Dark as night, a total eclipse, or spiritual blindness
Also see Clouds | Sin

DARKNESS [BibleGateway Search]

    Cross Reference Bible links
Genesis 1:2-5, 1:18, 15:12,17 | Exodus 10:21-22, 14:20, 20:21 | Deuteronomy 4:11, 5:22-23 | Joshua 24:7 | 1 Samuel 2:9 | 2 Samuel 22:10-12, 22:29 | 2 Chronicles 6:1 | Job 3:4-6, 5:14, 10:22, 11:17, 12:22,25, more...

Topical links

DARKNESS [Easton Bible Dictionary]

* The plague (the ninth) of darkness in Egypt (Exodus 10:21) is described as darkness "which may be felt." It covered "all the land of Egypt," so that "they saw not one another." It did not extend to the land of Goshen (ver. 23).

* When Jesus hung upon the cross (Matthew 27:45; Luke 23:44), from the "sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour."

* On Mount Sinai, Moses (Exodus 20:21) "drew near unto the thick darkness where God was." This was the "thick cloud upon the mount" in which Jehovah was when he spake unto Moses there. The Lord dwelt in the cloud upon the mercy-seat (1 Kings 8:12), the cloud of glory. When the psalmist (Psalms 97:2) describes the inscrutable nature of God's workings among the sons of men, he says, "Clouds and darkness are round about him." God dwells in thick darkness.

* Darkness (Isaiah 13:9,10; Matthew 24:29) also is a symbol of the judgments that attend on the coming of the Lord. It is a symbol of misery and adversity (Job 18:6; Psalms 107:10; Isaiah 8:22; Ezek. 30:18). The "day of darkness" in Joel 2:2, caused by clouds of locusts, is a symbol of the obscurity which overhangs all divine proceedings. "Works of darkness" are impure actions (Ephesians 5:11). "Outer darkness" refers to the darkness of the streets in the East, which are never lighted up by any public or private lamps after nightfall, in contrast with the blaze of cheerful light in the house. It is also a symbol of ignorance (Isaiah 9:2; 60:2; Matthew 6:23) and of death (Job 10:21; 17:13).

DARKNESS [Smith Bible Dictionary]

is spoken of as encompassing the actual presence of God, as that out of which he speaks, -- the envelope, as it were, of divine glory. (Exodus 20:21; 1 Kings 8:12) The plague of darkness in Egypt was miraculous. The darkness "over all the land," (Matthew 27:45) attending the crucifixion has been attributed to an eclipse, but was undoubtedly miraculous, as no eclipse of the sun could have taken place at that time, the moon being at the full at the time of the passover. Darkness is also, as in the expression "land of darkness," used for the state of the dead, (Job 10:21,22) and frequently, figuratively, for ignorance and unbelief, as the privation of spiritual light. (John 1:5; 3:19)


dark, dark'-nes (choshekh; skotos):

1. Darkness and Light in Palestine:

The day and night, light and darkness, are notable antitheses in Palestine. There the day does not slowly fade away into the night after a period of twilight, but before sunset there is the brightness of day, and when the sun has disappeared everything has changed and night is at hand. From sunset until the darkness of night is less than an hour.

2. Symbolic Uses:

In the Bible the main use of darkness is in contrast to light. Light is the symbol of God's purity, wisdom and glory. Darkness is the opposite. Miraculous occurrence of darkness in the land of Egypt for three days is recorded in Exodus 10:21-22, and at the death of Christ (Matthew 27:45).


The figurative uses of darkness are many and various. It is used as a symbol (a) of moral depravity and its punishment. The wicked walk and work in darkness (Psalms 82:5; Proverbs 2:13; John 3:19; Romans 13:12), and their reward is to "sit in darkness" (Psalms 107:10) or to be "cast forth into the outer darkness" (Matthew 8:12); (b) of things mysterious or inexplicable (1 Kings 8:12; Psalms 97:2); (c) of trouble and affliction (2 Samuel 22:29; Job 5:14; Proverbs 20:20; Isaiah 9:2; compare Genesis 15:12); (d) of punishment (Lamentations 3:2; Ezekiel 32:8; Zephaniah 1:15); (e) of death (1 Samuel 2:9; Job 10:21 f; Ecclesiastes 11:8); (f) of nothingness (Job 3:4-6); (g) of human ignorance (Job 19:8; 1 John 2:11).

"A dark (the Revised Version, margin "squalid") place" (2 Peter 1:19) refers especially to the state of things described in 2 Peter 2.

Alfred H. Joy


    Over the face of the earth
        Genesis 1:2
        Job 38:9
        Jeremiah 4:23

    Called night
        Genesis 1:5
        Genesis 1:17-18

    God creates
        Isaiah 45:7
        Amos 4:13

    Miraculous -
        In Egypt
            Exodus 10:21-22
            Psalms 105:28

        At Mount Sinai
            Exodus 20:21
            Hebrews 12:18

        At the crucifixion
            Matthew 27:45
            Mark 15:33

    Of judgments
            Proverbs 20:20
            Isaiah 8:22
            Isaiah 13:10
            Jeremiah 4:28
            Jeremiah 13:16
            Lamentations 3:2
            Ezekiel 32:7-8
            Joel 2:2
            Joel 2:10
            Amos 4:13
            Amos 5:18-20
            Amos 8:9
            Micah 7:8
            Matthew 24:29
            Mark 13:24
            Luke 23:45
            Revelation 8:12
            Revelation 9:2

    Outer darkness
            Matthew 8:12
            Matthew 22:13
            Matthew 25:30

    Power of darkness
            Luke 22:53
            Acts 26:18
            Ephesians 6:12
            Colossians 1:13
            1 Thessalonians 5:4-5
            Revelation 16:10

            Ecclesiastes 2:13-14
            Isaiah 9:2
            Isaiah 42:16
            Isaiah 50:10
            Matthew 4:16
            Matthew 6:22-23
            Matthew 8:12
            Luke 1:79
            John 1:5
            John 3:19-21
            John 8:12
            John 11:9-10
            Acts 26:18
            Romans 1:21
            Romans 13:12-13
            1 Corinthians 4:5
            2 Corinthians 4:6
            2 Corinthians 6:14
            Ephesians 5:8-11
            1 Thessalonians 5:4-5
            1 Peter 2:9
            1 John 1:5-7
            1 John 2:8-11

The darkness of the Holy of Holies was symbolical of the Dwelling place of Jehovah

See also the following scriptures
            Exodus 19:16
            2 Samuel 22:10-12
            1 Kings 8:12
            2 Chronicles 6:1
            Psalms 18:11
            Psalms 97:2
            Ecclesiastes 11:8
            Hebrews 12:18

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