Body Parts in the Bible

Updated on October 16, 2019
revmjm profile image

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.

When a person reads the Bible, he can't help from seeing many body parts mentioned throughout from Genesis to Revelation.

The Bible mentions all the external body parts and some internal ones as well. Many times, the body part has a spiritual reference instead of a physical one.

Arms

The word "arm" is used many times in the Bible to symbolize God's power and authority. Most of the references about arms are in the Old Testament. There are only two references to arms in the New Testament.

Luke 1:51 reads, "He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. John 12:38 reads, "This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet: “Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” Both of these scriptures allude to Old Testament references.

Ears

The ear is mentioned many times in the Bible. It is the organ of hearing. However, most of the time when the word is used, it is in reference to spiritual hearing rather than physical hearing.

Jesus quoted many times, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear (Matthew 11:15). He was referring to spiritual ears for spiritual understanding. When we hear with spiritual ears, we are willing to obey the words of God. Without spiritual ears, the words are just words with no response.

Source

Eyes

The eyes are organs for seeing. Like the ears, eyes in the Bible do not always refer to physical sight. Many times eyes are in reference to seeing spiritually. "The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light," according to Matthew 6:22.

In this scripture, the eye is a metaphorical window to the soul by which light enters the body. The eye is also a metaphor for the conscience and moral vision of a person.

David prayed that God would keep him as the apple of His eye (Psalm 17:8). "God encircled him, he cared for him, he kept him as the apple of His eye" (Deuteronomy 32:10). These two verses indicate being at the center of God's focus and at a place of protection.

Face

The face is the front of a person's head. In the Bible, several words are translated as "face" with a variety of meanings. It is used literally to refer to the face of man. Also, the word "face" is used theologically with regard to the "presence of God" (Genesis 30:17-23).

The word "face" may stand for the entire countenance.because that's where emotions are expressed. When you get to know a person well, you will be able to detect how he is feeling about certain things by seeing what is expressed on his face. It could be anger or disgust. It could also be pleasure or pain. Pay attention to the faces of people and look in the mirror to see if what you are expressing matches the way you feel.

Feet

Most people are familiar with the scripture in Ephesians 6:11-18 where people are encouraged to put on the whole armor of God. Ephesians 6:15 says, "And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace." In other words, the feet of disciples of Christ should always be ready to walk and run to share the gospel of peace.

Even people in the world know about the saying that those who believe in Christ Jesus should walk the walk as well as talk the talk.

Hebrews 12:1-2 commands. "Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."

Fingers

The word "fingers" appears 31 times in the Bible. Most of the time, it denotes authority. It can also be associated with mercy, grace, and judgment. The finger of God is associated with God's authority, power, and influence.

Fingers function as images of activity by God and humans. Human fingers represent the source of deliberate activity of the character of their owners. The fingers can produce good or evil. Be careful what you use your fingers for. Remember, idols are made with fingers.

Hair

There are numerous references to hair in scripture. It represents health and beauty in youth, and wisdom and vitality in old age as the color turns to gray.

Proverbs 16:31 lets us know that "Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness."

Matthew 10:30 and Luke 12:7 declare, "Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered."

Source

Hands

The word "hand" appears about 1,800 times in the Bible. Over one-third of those times refer to the physical organ that is at the end of the arms. The other times, "hand" is used figuratively to represent the work a person does. The hands reflect the will and wishes of the entire person.

Most jobs require the use of a person's hands. Hands are used in doing good or evil. Therefore, it is important to obey Ecclesiastes 9:10 that says, "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might," Colossians 3:23 says, "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men."

Head

The word "head" appears over four hundred times in the Bible with several meanings. The head is the physical organ at the top of the body. It is the most prominent feature of the human body, the center of life, and the cornerstone of one's existence.

The head is conceived to be the seat of energy and the active principle of the whole individual. The head represents the entire body. It is the focal point for receiving blessings. According to Proverbs 10:6, "Blessings are upon the head of the just."

Heart

The heart is an internal organ of the body that cannot be seen as the external body parts. The Bible mentions the heart 725 times in the Old Testament and 105 times in the New Testament, but very few times is the word used to denote the physical organ. Instead, the heart is used symbolically to represent what makes an individual tick. The heart is used in the place of an individual's personality, intellect, memory, emotions, desires, and will.

The heart is at the center of all that we do or don't do. Pharaoh's hardened heart kept the Hebrews enslaved until he allowed them to go (Exodus 8:32).

Colossians 3:23 says, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters."

Knee

The word "knee" appears thirty-five times in the Bible. Bending the knee is symbolic of being submissive. When people kneel when they pray, they are showing submission and humility to God. Kneeling is a penitent posture, It's a way for one to show outwardly what one believes inwardly.

The most prominent scriptures about knees are found in Philippians 2:10-11, "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue and everyone will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Similar scriptures about knees are also found in Isaiah 45:23 and Romans 14:11.

Legs

In the Bible, legs appear as an image of strength. When Jesus was crucified on the cross, his legs and the legs of the two thieves were supposed to be broken so they could die and be taken down from the cross before Passover. The legs of the thieves were broken, but Jesus' legs didn't need to be broken because he had already died. It was prophesied in the Old Testament that his legs would not be broken.

John 19:31-34 tells us that when the soldiers came to Jesus to break His legs to hasten his death, they found that he was already dead. These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled.

Mouth

The mouth is a major image in the Bible. It is mentioned over three hundred times. It is the organ of speech. The mouth is connected to thoughts and knowledge. The mouth reveals what's in the heart and frequently denotes moral character and internal emotions.

Because the mouth reveals a person's inner being, it is wise to exercise discretion in speech. "Those who guard their mouths preserve their lives" (Proverbs 13:3). According to Luke 6:45, "For out of the abundance of his heart, his mouth speaks." Ephesians 4:29 says, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

Neck

The neck is used figuratively in the Bible. To fall on someone's neck was to embrace him in a greeting or in a farewell (Genesis 33:4 and Acts 20:37). To put a yoke around someone's neck showed that the person belonged to another (Jeremiah 27:12). A victor would triumph over his enemy by putting his foot on the enemy's neck.

The word "neck" is also in the Bible to describe one's spiritual condition. A "stiff-necked" person is one who rebels or resists authority. He also goes against the will of God (Acts 7:51).

Nose

The nose has two functions: to help people breathe and to help them smell. During Bible times, women wore rings in their noses (Ezekiel 16:12). Some women still follow that trend today,

When someone was captured, a metal hook would be put through the person's nose to force him to obey (Isaiah 37:29).

Shoulder

Shoulder in the Bible indicates greater power and authority. It symbolizes much more strength than the hand and arm that also signify some power and authority. Jesus was given that greater power and authority even before He was conceived.

According to Isaiah 9:6, "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, God, Hero, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace."

In Luke 15:5, Jesus found the lost sheep and carried it on his shoulder as a form of protection and gentle caring.

Mouth and Teeth
Mouth and Teeth | Source

Teeth

Teeth are images and figures of speech in the Bible.

  • Job 19:20, "By the skin of my teeth" means a narrow escape.
  • Jeremiah 31:29 and Ezekiel 18:2, "children teeth set on edge" means children will suffer for the sins of their fathers.
  • Amos 4:6 "cleanness of teeth" means famine, hunger or starvation.
  • Psalm 3:7 "to break an enemy's teeth" was a sign of his defeat.
  • Job 16:9 and Acts 7:54, "gnashing of teeth" symbolizes intense anger and suffering.

Thigh and Hip

One might think there is nothing in the Bible about the thigh. Jacob wants you to know that there is something about his thigh in the Bible. He wrestled with God all night and said he would not let him go until God blessed him. God blessed him and changed his name to Israel.

In the meantime, God took a part of Jacob's thigh and the patriarch limped for the rest of his life. That incident was so significant that the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip of any animal (Genesis 32:32) even though the thigh is one of the choicest pieces of meat.

Tongue

The Bible tells us a lot about the tongue. Our tongue is a powerful force that man can use for good or evil. It is very small, but the tongue can do many big things. It can build, inspire, destroy, or tear down.

James 3:1-12 lets us know just how dangerous the tongue can be. Even though it is such a small body part, it is like a bit in a horse's mouth to make it turn and go where the rider wants it to go. It is like a rudder that can steer a large ship. The tongue is like a small spark that can cause a great forest fire.

Proverbs 18:21 says, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue." We can use our tongue to bring curses and death or blessings and life. Some people believe the saying that "sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me." That sounds good, but it is not true. What people say to one another can hurt them.

Comments

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    • Cheryl E Preston profile image

      Cheryl E Preston 

      4 weeks ago from Roanoke

      You really find interesting subjects that others do not. You read the word and it shows.

    • revmjm profile imageAUTHOR

      Margaret Minnicks 

      4 weeks ago from Richmond, VA

      Lori and Tim, Thanks for reading and commenting. Trust me, I haven't run out of things to write about. I found the topic interesting to research and share.

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

      Tim Truzy 

      4 weeks ago from U.S.A.

      Great read. Truly interesting and rewarding.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      4 weeks ago from Pacific Northwest

      Very well done. I like that you showed the metaphors and spiritual meaning of our organs.

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