Water texts

In Scripture, water can symbolize either deliverance or death

In Scripture, water can symbolize either deliverance or death, salvation or destruction, healing or harm, prosperity or peril, blessing or curse, assurance or threat. What follows is a selection of such texts.

§ . . . 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.  —Genesis 1:2 

§ So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. —Genesis 1:21

§ Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. —Exodus 14:21

§ These are the waters of Meribah, where the people of Israel quarreled with the LORD, and by which he showed his holiness. —Numbers 20:13  

§ For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you crossed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we crossed over. . . . —Joshua 4:23  

§ I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast. —Psalm 22:14 

§ He leads me beside still waters. —Psalm 23:2

§ [All the people] feast on the abundance of your house [O God!], and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.” —Psalm 36:8-9  

§ There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. —Psalm 46:4  

§ O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. —Psalm 63:1   

§ You visit the earth and water it, you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide the people with grain, for so you have prepared it. —Psalm 65:9  

§ Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it. —Psalm 96:11

§ God turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water. —Psalm 107:35  

§ By the rivers of Babylon—there we sat down and there we wept. . . .  —Psalm 137:1

§ If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me. —Psalm 139:9

§ If your enemies are hungry, give them bread to eat; and if they are thirsty, give them water to drink. —Proverbs 25:21  

§ They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. —Isaiah 11:9

§ With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. —Isaiah 12:3  

§ When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. —Isaiah 43:2   

§ When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the LORD will answer them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. —Isaiah 41:17

§ Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the end of the earth! Let the sea roar and all that fills it, the coastlands and their inhabitants. —Isaiah 42:10

§ Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters. . . . —Isaiah 43:16

§ Was it not you who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep; who made the depths of the sea a way for the redeemed to cross over? —Isaiah 51:10

§ Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. —Isaiah 55:1   

§ But the wicked are like the tossing sea that cannot keep still; its waters toss up mire and mud. —Isaiah 57:20  

§ The LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail. —Isaiah 58:11  

§ Rejoice with Jerusalem . . . that you may nurse and be satisfied from her breast. . . . I will extend prosperity to her like a river, and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream; and you shall nurse and be carried on her arm, and dandled on her knees. —Isaiah 66:10-12

§ They grasp the bow and the javelin, they are cruel and have no mercy, their sound is like the roaring sea. —Jeremiah 6:23

§ They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit. —Jeremiah 17:8  

§ You who live by mighty waters, rich in treasures, your end has come, the thread of your life is cut. —Jeremiah 51:13  

§ On the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing. —Ezekiel 47:12  

§ But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. —Amos 5:24  

§ Do horses run on rocks? Does one plow the sea with oxen? But you have turned justice into poison and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood. —Amos 8:12

§ But the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. —Habakkuk 2:14  

§ They shall pass through the sea of distress, and the waves of the sea shall be struck down, and all the depths of the Nile dried up. —Zechariah 10:11

§ And he said to them, "Why are you afraid, you of little faith?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm. —Matthew 8:26

§ Then turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. —Luke 7:44  

§ When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom. . . . —John 2:9  

§ Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.” —John 3:5  

§ . . . but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life. —John 4:14  

§ . . . and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, “Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.” —John 7:38  

§ Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. —John 13:5  

§ For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. —Revelation 7:17  

§ Then from his mouth the serpent poured water like a river after the woman, to sweep her away with the flood. But the earth came to the help of the woman; it opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. —Revelation 12:15-16  

§ Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunder peals, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. —Revelation 19:6  

§ Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. —Revelation 21:1

§ Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb, through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. —Revelation 22:1-2  

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