Symbolism of water in the bible...

Nattering Nabob

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I have this theory that water is symbolic of emotions.. For example Posideon was the god of the sea and was notoriously emotional...Jesus used the analogy of living water welling up from inside of us.

Many of Jesus' miracles involved water: water into wine...walking on water...calming the stormy sea...

I believe that Jesus was in complete control of his emotions and that his first miracle of water into wine was symbolic language describing his ability to be happy and content regardless of his situation, something that Paul says he also learned.

Walking on water can be seen to represent Jesus' mastery over his emotions as can his calming of the seas.
his voice as the sound of many waters


1:13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man...

1:15 ...and his voice as the sound of many waters.

I find that quote fascinating.

There are many references in the scriptures of water meaning the Word of God.

Below I have posted verses from several scriptures referencing water. Imho, It appears to be the same message, the same Voice, renewed throughout the ages.

10:13 When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.(King James Bible, Jeremiah)

"the counsels of heaven are likened to water, even as the Qur’án saith: ‘And pure water send We down from Heaven,’ 1 and the Gospel: ‘Except a man be baptized of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.’ 2 Thus is it clear that the Teachings which come from God are heavenly outpourings of grace; they are rain-showers of divine mercy, and they cleanse the human heart." Selections From the Writings of `Abdu'l-Baha, Pages 146-150

"Withhold not, O my Lord, the water that is life indeed from running down—the water from whose murmuring the wondrous melodies which extol and glorify Thee can be heard." Prayers and Meditations by Baha'u'llah, Pages 69-70

"Water is the cause of life, and when Christ speaks of water, He is symbolizing that which is the cause of Everlasting Life. This life-giving water of which He speaks is like unto fire, for it is none other than the Love of God, and this love means life to our souls." Paris Talks, Pages 81-83

To shelter Virtue's laws;

The Fount whence Life's stream draws

All waters of all rivers of all being:

The One Unborn, Unending:

Unchanging and Unblending!

With might and majesty, past thought, past seeing!
(Hindu, Bhagavad Gita (Edwin Arnold tr))

I am the fresh taste of the water;
(Hindu, Bhagavad Gita (Edwin Arnold tr))

And God sendeth down water from Heaven, and by it giveth life to the Earth after it hath been dead: verily, in this is a sign to those who hearken.

(The Qur'an (Rodwell tr), Sura 16 - The Bee)

O Nanak, the season of spring comes to one who serves the True Guru.

The Lord rains His Mercy down upon him, and his mind and body totally blossom forth; the entire world becomes green and rejuvenated. ||59||
(Shri Guru Granth Sahib, Section 43 - Shaloks In Addition To The Vaars)

More than any earthly power,

More than all the joys of heaven,

More than rule o'er all the world,

Is the Entrance to the Stream
((The Eightfold Path), Buddha, the Word (The Eightfold Path))

And, verily, those who are filled with unshaken faith in me, all those have entered the stream.

((The Eightfold Path), Buddha, the Word (The Eightfold Path))

and i really like this quote from Rumi...

"O friend,

This is the tree of knowledge, O knowing one;

Very high, very fine, very expansive,

The very water of life from the circumfluent ocean.

Thou hast run after form, O ill-informed one,

Wherefore thou lackest the fruit of the tree of substance.

Sometimes it is named tree, sometimes sun,

Sometimes lake, and sometimes cloud.

'Tis one, though it has thousands of manifestations;

Its least manifestation is eternal life!

Though 'tis one, it has a thousand manifestations,

The names that fit that one are countless.

That one is to thy personality a father,

In regard to another person He may be a son.

In relation to another He may be wrath and vengeance,

In relation to another, mercy and goodness.

He has thousands of names, yet is One,

Answering to all of His descriptions, yet indescribable.

Every one who seeks names, if he is a man of credulity,

Like thee, remains hopeless and frustrated of his aim.

Why cleavest thou to this mere name of tree,

So that thou art utterly balked and disappointed?

Pass over names and look to qualities,

So that qualities may lead thee to essence!

The differences of sects arise from His names;

When they pierce to His essence they find His peace!"

(Mathnavi of Rumi (E.H. Whinfield tr), The Masnavi Vol 2)
What a beautiful post, 9Harmony. :) Thank you.

It's interesting to note that the early Greek philosophers thought that all matter sprang from one of the four elements ... there were the proponents of each.

In Hebraic metaphysics (Genesis 1) the source of all is water - in the sense that water is the primordial 'substance' from which all forms arise ...

"And the earth was void and empty, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God moved over the waters."
(Gen 1:2)

"And God said: Let there be a firmament made amidst the waters: and let it divide the waters from the waters. And god made a firmament, and divided the waters that were under the firmament, from those that were above the firmament, and it was so."
(Gen 1:6-7)

The waters above and below introduce a deeper study, but essentially all creation is brought forth from the waters. In Vedic metaphysics there is purusha (essence 'eastern dawn') and prakriti (substance 'that which gives shapes') which follow roughly the same lines in some exegetics ... purusha = waters above, prakriti = waters below.

It's interesting to note that science is currently of the same opinion, that all life emerged from the 'primordial soup'.

The symbolism of wine - of fire and water mixed - signifies the union of the higher and lower...

Christ walking upon the waters signifies His place in regard to the whole created order...

... then we get the Ark ...

Just some thoughts...

Wasn't it just simply to mean "clean"?

Someone talked of the ark? Ok it was to clense the world of what was deemed not good enough and so on... Then you have the baptisim... Which says for your whole body to be submurged.... So to wash away the "old you" perchance..
Mythologically speaking, it seems that water usually symbolizes the unconscious mind. Monsters under the water are our inner demons. Images like walking on the water or climbing a mountain symbolize our mastery of our own minds and inner demons.
Hello All:

Thomas, I am especially in agreement with what you have said here regarding the Greek view of the earthly realities. I like to envision the ineffable and subtle spirit of G-d entering the four essences of the material world in a primodoral era and then proceeding with the wonderful works of life.

Of the four essences only water and air are indispensible and universal in support of the wonders of life. Since most life forms on Earth are predominantly water in their composition and air is usually only used for respiratory functions to supply oxygen to/for life forms; and, since water is the universal carrier and solvent of the components of life, it seems that
G-d knew exactly what He/She was doing in the acts of Creation. Big Surprise ! absolutely sublime collection of wisdom concerning the wonders of water.