SHORT BIBLE STUDY: The Meaning of Water in the Bible

What is the meaning of water in the bible?

Flowing throughout the pages of the Bible, water is mentioned over 500 times in the Scriptures. A sign of God’s creating presence, water is first mentioned in the opening chapter of the Bible, Genesis 1:2, which reads:

“The earth was a formless void, and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.”

Water is also found in the closing verses of the Bible. In Revelation 22:1:

“The the angel showed me the river of the water of life.”

Among the meanings of water in the Old Testament:

  • Water is a sign of God’s judgement, as told in the story of Noah and the flood, in the 7th and 8th chapters of Genesis.
  • Water is a sign of deliverance, as the former slaves of Egypt crossed through the Red Sea.
  • Water is the promise of God’s presence as found in Isaiah 43:2:

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. And through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you.”

Among the meanings of water in the New Testament, water is a sign of renewal, and of new beginnings as told through the baptism of Jesus in the gospels.

God’s eternal sustenance, as found in Revelation 22:17:

“Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.”

New life offered through Jesus is found in John 4:14:

“But those who drink of the water that I will give them, will never be thirsty.”

Vital to understanding God as the source of life, and the source of faith, water is the continual presence throughout the Scriptures, as life is affirmed, and faith is affirmed, through the eternity of God’s creating, renewing, and sustaining presence.