From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [1]

Argaman , the purple juice of the Tyrian shell fish, Μurex Trunculus . (See Purple ; TYRE.) Shani Tolaath , an insect color from the cocci or semiglobular bodies as large as a split pea, black but dusted with a grey white powder, on evergreen oaks and other trees. The insect is of the order Ηomoptera , the females have a mouth able to pierce and suck plants. The Arabs call them Kermes , from whence come our "caroline" and "crimson". The full grown larva has the dye in greatest abundance. They yield their dye by infusion in water. The dye is fixed by a mordant, anciently alum, now solution of tin.

The double dipping is implied in Shunt , differently pointed in Hebrew:  Isaiah 1:18, "though your sins be as scarlet (Double Dyed, Deeply Fixed So That No Tears Can Wash Them Away; Blood-Colored In Hue, I.E. Of Deepest Guilt,  Isaiah 1:15 ; The Color Of Jesus' Robe When Bearing Them,  Matthew 27:28 ) they shall be as white as snow" ( Psalms 51:7) (See Atonement , DAY OF.) Rahab's scarlet thread was the type ( Joshua 2:18). Scarlet was also used in cleansing the leper ( Leviticus 14:4). The Mishna says a band of twice dyed scarlet wool tied together the living bird, the hyssop, and the cedar, when dipped into the blood and water. Kurtz makes the scarlet wool symbolize vital health; but  Isaiah 1:18 gives a contrary sense. A glaring, gorgeous color ( Nahum 2:3); that of the spiritual whore or corrupt church, conformed to that of the beast or God-opposed world power on which she rides (Revelation 17; 18).

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [2]

1: Κόκκινος (Strong'S #2847 — Adjective — kokkinos — kok'-kee-nos )

is derived from kokkos, used of the "berries" (clusters of the eggs of an insect) collected from the ilex coccifera; the color, however, is obtained from the cochineal insect, which attaches itself to the leaves and twigs of the coccifera oak; another species is raised on the leaves of the cactus ficus. The Arabic name for this insect is qirmiz, whence the word "crimson." It is used (a) of "scarlet" wool,  Hebrews 9:19; cp., in connection with the cleansing of a leper,  Leviticus 14:4,6 , "scarlet;" with the offering of the red heifer,  Numbers 19:6; (b) of the robe put on Christ by the soldiers,  Matthew 27:28; (c) of the "beast" seen in symbolic vision in  Revelation 17:3 , "scarlet-colored;" (d) of the clothing of the "woman" as seen sitting on the "beast,"  Revelation 17:4; (e) of part of the merchandise of Babylon,  Revelation 18:12; (f) figuratively, of the glory of the city itself,  Revelation 18:16; the neuter is used in the last three instances.

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [3]

 Genesis 38:30 (a) Since Pharez is found in the genealogy of Christ this thread may indicate that Zarah would need the blood to redeem him. (See  Matthew 1:3).

 Exodus 25:4 (c) It may be that this color all through the tabernacle equipment served to remind the Israelites that the blood was always essential in every part of life and service.

 Leviticus 14:4 (c) This probably is a picture of the value of the blood in every sacrifice for sin. Sins are put away only by and through the Blood of Jesus

 Joshua 2:18 (c) This is usually taken to be a picture of the precious Blood of CHRIST. The woman was sheltered because of the red cord. The sinner is sheltered under the red Blood of the Saviour.

 Song of Solomon 4:3 (a) The smooth, pretty lips of the bride are compared to the scarlet line. It is a picture of the loveliness of the church (the bride) in the sight of the Bridegroom, her Lord.

 Isaiah 1:18 (a) It is used to describe the stain of sin in contrast with the white garments of salvation.

 Matthew 27:28 (c) It is a sign of royalty, though used here in mockery.

 Revelation 17:3 (b) It indicates the enormous sin and wickedness of this woman whose stain of sin covered her completely. The woman represents the apostate church.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [4]

The word most frequently translated 'scarlet' is shani, and this is often accompanied by the word tolaath, 'worm or grub,' apparently intimating that the colour was obtained from some insect, as it is now from the cochineal. Scarlet was much used in the needlework and hangings of the tabernacle, in conjunction with blue and purple; but there it apparently refers to some fabric of the colour of scarlet. If the purple be taken as symbolical of royalty and universal dominion, the scarlet may signify earthly grandeur and Israelitish royalty.   Exodus 39:1-29;  Joshua 2:18,21;  2 Samuel 1:24;  Proverbs 31:21;  Song of Solomon 4:3;  Isaiah 1:18 . In the N.T. they clothed the Lord in a scarlet robe, κόκκινος,  Matthew 27:28 (it is 'purple' in Mark and John: it may have been an old faded robe that could be called either). Scarlet is also employed with purple to point out the earthly grandeur of Papal Rome.   Revelation 17:3,4;  Revelation 18:12,16 .

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [5]

A color much prized by the ancients,  Exodus 25:4   26:1,31,36 . It is assigned as a merit of Saul, that he clothed the daughters of Israel in scarlet,  2 Samuel 1:24 . So the diligent and virtuous woman is said to clothe her household in scarlet,  Proverbs 31:21 . The depth and strength of the color are alluded to in  Isaiah 1:18; and it is used as a symbol of profligacy in  Revelation 17:3,4 . This color was obtained from the Coccus Ilicis of Linnaeus, a small insect found on the leaves of a species of oak, the Quercus Cocciferus, in Spain and the countries on the eastern part of the Mediterranean, which was used by the ancients for dyeing a beautiful crimson or deep scarlet color, and was supposed by them to be the berry of a plant or tree. It is the Kermez of the Materia Medica. As a dye it has been superseded in modern times by the cochineal insect, Coccus Cactus, which gives a more brilliant but less durable color. See Purple .

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [6]

תולעת ,  Genesis 38:28;  Exodus 25:4 . This tincture or colour expressed by a word which signifies worm colour, was produced from a worm or insect which grew in a coccus, or excrescence of a shrub of the ilex kind, which Pliny calls "coccus scolecius," the wormy berry, and Dioscorides terms "a small dry twig, to which the grains adhere like lentiles:" but these grains, as a great author observes on Solinus, "are within full of little worms or maggots, whose juice is remarkable for dying scarlet, and making that famous colour which we admire, and with which the ancients were enraptured. We retain the name in the cochineal, from the opuntia of America; but we improperly call a mineral colour "vermilion," which is derived from vermiculus, a little worm. The shrub on which the cochineal insect is found is sometimes called the "kermez oak," from kermez, the Arabic word both for the worm and the colour; whence "carmasinus," the French "cramoisi." and the English "crimson."

Easton's Bible Dictionary [7]

This colour was early known ( Genesis 38:28 ). It was one of the colours of the ephod ( Exodus 28:6 ), the girdle (8), and the breastplate (15) of the high priest. It is also mentioned in various other connections ( Joshua 2:18;  2 Samuel 1:24;  Lamentations 4:5;  Nahum 2:3 ). A scarlet robe was in mockery placed on our Lord ( Matthew 27:28;  Luke 23:11 ). "Sins as scarlet" ( Isaiah 1:18 ), i.e., as scarlet robes "glaring and habitual." Scarlet and crimson were the firmest of dyes, and thus not easily washed out.

Webster's Dictionary [8]

(1): ( v. t.) To dye or tinge with scarlet.

(2): ( a.) Of the color called scarlet; as, a scarlet cloth or thread.

(3): ( n.) Cloth of a scarlet color.

(4): ( n.) A deep bright red tinged with orange or yellow, - of many tints and shades; a vivid or bright red color.

Holman Bible Dictionary [9]

 Daniel 5:7 5:16 5:29Clothing ClothColorsCrimsonDyeing

King James Dictionary [10]


1. A beautiful bright red color, brighter than crimson. 2. Cloth of a scarlet color.

All her household are clothed with scarlet.  Proverbs 31 .

SC'ARLET, a. of the color called scarlet of a bright red color as a scarlet cloth or thread a scarlet lip.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [11]

Scarlet.  Genesis 38:28. The Hebrew word Tolah signifies A Worm, I.E., the Coccus Worm, from which the color was made.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [12]

Scarlet. See Colors .

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [13]

SCARLET . See Colours, § 4 .

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [14]

See Colours.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [15]

Bibliography Information McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Scarlet'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [16]

Scarlet [PURPLE]