the Fifth Week of Lent
Holman Bible Dictionary
Darkness was thought of as a curse. Thus the Old Testament speaks of death as a land of darkness (Job 10:21-22; Job 17:13; Psalm 88:6 ). Darkness is frequently associated with supernatural events involving the judgment of God, such as the plagues of Egypt (Exodus 10:21 ), the coming of the Lord (Isaiah 13:9-10; Joel 2:31; Matthew 24:29 ), and Christ's crucifixion (Matthew 27:45 ). The day of God's judgment is often described as a day of darkness (Joel 2:2; Amos 5:18-20 ). Elsewhere darkness forms part of God's punishment on the disobedient (Deuteronomy 28:29; 1 Samuel 2:9; Job 5:14; Job 15:30; Job 20:26; Psalm 107:10; Isaiah 47:5; Jeremiah 13:16; Ezekiel 32:8 ).
In the New Testament, the place of punishment for humans and sinful angels is designated “the outer darkness” (Matthew 8:12; Matthew 22:13; Matthew 25:30; compare 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6 ,Jude 1:6,1:13 ). Darkness often has an ethical sense. Scripture speaks of ways of darkness (Proverbs 2:13; Proverbs 4:19 ), walking in darkness (John 8:12; 1 John 1:6; compare 2 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 5:8 ), and works of darkness (Romans 13:12; Ephesians 5:11 ). In this ethical sense God has no darkness in Himself (1 John 1:5 ). Powers hostile to God can be termed darkness. People thus face a choice of whether to yield allegiance to God or to darkness (Luke 22:53; John 1:5; John 3:19; Colossians 1:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:5 ). Darkness also symbolizes ignorance, especially of God and of God's ways (Isaiah 8:22; Isaiah 9:2; John 12:46; Acts 26:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:4; 1 John 2:9 ). God's deliverance (either from ignorance or hostile powers) is described as lighting the darkness (Isaiah 9:2; Isaiah 29:18; Isaiah 42:7-16; Micah 7:8; 1 Peter 2:9 ). See Light.
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Darkness'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​hbd/​d/darkness.html. 1991.