5127 back
Dictionary of Bible Themes

Dictionary of Bible Themes  »  5000 Humanity  »  5125 Parts of the body and clothing  »  5127 back

As the part of the body used for bearing loads it is used both literally and metaphorically.

The human back used for carrying

Jesus Christ carried his cross on his back

John 19:17 See also Matthew 27:32 pp Mark 15:21 pp Luke 23:26 The shape of the cross necessitated it being carried across the shoulders and back. It appears that Jesus Christ started to carry his own cross but Simon of Cyrene took over as Christ weakened.

Weapons carried on the back

1 Samuel 17:6

Animals carry people and goods on their backs

Isaiah 30:6 See also Exodus 15:1,21; 2 Samuel 13:29; Samuel 16:1-2; Samuel 18:9; Samuel 19:26; 2 Kings 18:23 pp Isaiah 36:8; Isaiah 21:7; Isaiah 30:16; Jeremiah 6:23; Haggai 2:22; Revelation 9:17

Riding on the backs of animals may indicate royalty or privilege

Zechariah 9:9 See also 1 Kings 1:33,38,44

Nobility and wealth:

Judges 5:10; Judges 10:4; Judges 12:14


Revelation 6:1-8; Revelation 19:11-21

Jesus Christ mounted a donkey for his triumphal entry into Jerusalem

Matthew 21:7-9 pp Mark 11:7-11 pp Luke 19:35-38 See also John 12:13-15

Carrying a burden on the back represents bearing suffering and trials

Psalm 66:11 See also Psalm 38:4; Ecclesiastes 1:13; Ecclesiastes 3:10; Matthew 11:28-30

Injury to the back

Judges 3:22; 2 Samuel 2:23; Job 20:24-25

Pain in the back causing anguish

Psalm 38:7

The back endures punishment

Bending of the back indicates loss of physical strength

Psalm 69:23 See also Romans 11:10

Beating on the back is a punishment

Proverbs 10:13; Proverbs 14:3; Proverbs 19:29; Proverbs 26:3

Beating on the back may be an unjust punishment for God's servants

Isaiah 50:6 See also Isaiah 53:4-5; Matthew 21:35 pp Mark 12:3 pp Luke 20:11 The servants in the parable represent the OT prophets.

Jesus Christ endured flogging

Matthew 27:26 pp Mark 15:15 pp John 19:1 Jesus Christ becomes the suffering servant of Isaiah's prophecies.

The apostles endured flogging

2 Corinthians 11:23-25 See also Acts 5:40; Acts 16:22-23,37; Acts 21:32; 2 Corinthians 6:5,9

Jesus Christ's disciples should expect similar flogging

Matthew 10:17 See also Matthew 23:34; Mark 13:9

Whipping on the back used figuratively in a warning

Joshua 23:12-13

Walking over the back used figuratively to indicate defeat

Isaiah 51:23

Turning one's back means desertion

God makes the enemies of his people flee

Exodus 23:27 See also 2 Samuel 22:41 pp Psalm 18:40; Psalm 21:12

Israel flees from her enemies

Joshua 7:12

God's people desert him

Nehemiah 9:29 “To turn one's back”, in these verses and the following verses, also implies a lack of respect and reverence for God and his ways. See also 2 Chronicles 29:6; Isaiah 1:4; Isaiah 59:12-13; Jeremiah 2:27; Jeremiah 32:33-34; Ezekiel 8:16

God's people desert his instruction

Zechariah 7:11; 2 Peter 2:21

Thrusting behind one's back means discarding

Isaiah 38:17 God forgives sins, putting them out of sight ; Ezekiel 23:35 See also 1 Kings 14:9; Nehemiah 9:26

God turns his back in his grace

Exodus 33:22-23 To see God's face would bring death.

God turns his back against disobedient people

Jeremiah 18:17

See also

1055  God, grace & mercy
1065  God, holiness of
1075  God, justice of
1210  God, human descriptions
1255  face of God
2230  Messiah, coming of
2366  Christ, prophecies concerning
2570  Christ, suffering
4633  donkey
4657  horse
5313  flogging
8794  persecution

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