From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [1]

 Exodus 17:6 (a) This is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ who was smitten at Calvary and from whose precious sacrifice there flows to all mankind the gift of salvation, redemption and pardon. Because of Calvary, Christ also gives the Holy Spirit.

 Exodus 33:21-22 (a) This rock represents the Lord Jesus Christ When we sing "Rock of Ages, Cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee," that is the thought which we find in this passage of Scripture. GOD the Father can only look upon us as we are in CHRIST. It is only as we are in CHRIST that we can see or understand or enjoy the glory of GOD.

 Numbers 20:8,11 (a) In the first instance GOD told Moses to strike the rock. That represents the stroke of GOD on Christ Jesus at Calvary. (  Exodus 17:6). In this instance GOD told him to speak to the rock. That rock is CHRIST (  1 Corinthians 10:4). CHRIST is not to be smitten again, once was sufficient. This completely condemns the Catholic mass. Those who celebrate mass will be shut out of the promised land, as Moses was shut out of Canaan. The rock was to be spoken to the second time, which indicates that we are only to come to Him m prayer and praise With our petitions and receive again the abundance of forgiveness, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

 Numbers 24:21 (a) This figure is used to represent the Lord Jesus as the hiding place from the storm, the tempest, the wind, and the enemy. (See also  Jeremiah 48:28).

 Deuteronomy 32:4 (a) This type represents the sure foundation which we have for our faith. It represents the character of GOD, His stability, security and firmness. It represents that He is our place of protection and of refuge. (See  Psalm 94:22).

 Deuteronomy 32:13 (a) Both honey and water are described as coming out of "the Rock" (CHRIST!). The honey is for rich food value, and the water is for refreshing, inspiration and life- giving virtue. (See  Psalm 81:16).

 Deuteronomy 32:15 - GOD is the source of our salvation (See  Psalm 89:26).  Deuteronomy 32:18 - GOD is the source of our life  Deuteronomy 32:30 - GOD is our owner

 Deuteronomy 32:31 - GOD is eternally perfect and unchanging  Deuteronomy 32:37 - The ungodly are not trusting the true Rock

 1 Samuel 2:2 (a) Our GOD and our Saviour can be trusted fully. No one else is dependable except them.

 2 Samuel 22:2 (a) David uses this as a type of the strength and stability of the Lord who never changes, never sinks, but is always dependable and safe. (See also  Psalm 31:3).  Psalm 18:2,  Psalm 18:31 and  Psalm 92:15).

 Psalm 27:5 (a) Whenever David was in trouble he turned to the Lord for security, safety and rest. (See also  Psalm 40:2;  Psalm 28:1).

 Psalm 62:2 (a) The Psalmist learned by experience that there is no hiding place that is secure from trouble except in the presence, the care and the fellowship of his Lord. (See also  Psalm 61:2;  Psalm 78:35).

 Psalm 114:8 (a) CHRIST never seems to be attractive until after we are saved. Then our Lord becomes the source of all joy and blessing, and the giver of the Holy Spirit.

 Proverbs 30:26 (c) We are reminded by this that the Rock, Christ Jesus is a place of refuge for weak, feeble Christians who are unable to resist the enemy, nor stand in the storm.

 Isaiah 8:14 (a) The Lord JESUS is an offense to all the house of Israel. They resent Him, they reject Him, they crucified Him, and today they will not have Him. He is also an offense to most Gentiles who prefer a false religion, or worldliness, or sinful pleasure rather than to own Him as their Lord, trust in Him as the Redeemer, and follow Him as their Guide.

 Isaiah 32:2 (a) This describes the sweet, restful experience of the child of GOD who retires from his busy life, the cares of the home, the distress of business, to rest in the Lord, and to enjoy His fellowship.

 Isaiah 51:1 (b) Christ Jesus is the Rock and each believer is a chip from that Rock, a very part of CHRIST. (See  Isaiah 17:10). It may mean that each sinner is a part and character of this wicked world (which is compared to a rock, with no life), and that only the Divine power of GOD in the Gospel can blast him loose from it, and make him free.

 Jeremiah 23:29 (b) In this passage the rock represents the hardened heart of the sinner. It may represent the hard soil in a church, or the hard feelings in a family. The Word of GOD is able to break up any of these and make the ground safe for the entrance of His Word.

 Jeremiah 48:28 (b) This is a call for sinners to leave their state of wickedness and give themselves over to Christ Jesus the Rock of ages, to make Him their dwelling place and their habitation.

 Amos 6:12 (b) This verse contains a truth which every Christian worker should observe. The rock represents a hardened condition of the heart which has no desire to receive the Word of GOD. It represents a class that is being well taught, but does not respond to the teaching. The ground is barren, the minds are not receptive. It represents a church group which resists the teaching of the Word of GOD, has no interest in the Son of GOD, and will not listen to the Spirit of GOD. In every such case, this verse is telling us plainly to move away, find a different location, cease the labor, and find a field or a person who does want the Word of GOD, and will listen.

 Matthew 7:24 (b) Here we see a type of Christ Jesus the foundation stone for every true believer, a resting place for those who build for eternity. (See also  Luke 6:48).

 Matthew 16:18 (a) This rock is a type of the Lord JESUS Himself, and is not a type of the Catholic church, nor any other human thing. GOD never builds anything on the failures of men. He never builds on anything that is not Jewish. The Catholic Popes are Italian, and not Jewish. Most of the officials are Italian or Irish. GOD never builds anything on men outside the Jewish faith. Christ Jesus is the Rock, He is the foundation, He is the Stone which builders have rejected, and no one else is the Rock. Peter never claimed to be this rock, nor is he ever referred to in the Bible as this rock. "Salvation is of the Jews" (  John 4:22).

 Matthew 27:51 (c) This is probably a picture of the fate that awaits the foundation of every false religion in the world. Everything upon which men build, every false faith will be utterly broken by the power of our Lord, and only CHRIST, the eternal Rock, will remain.

 Luke 8:6 (a) This rock represents the heart that is hardened by the Devil, so that the seed of the Word of GOD cannot take root, finds no substance with which to grow, and therefore brings forth no fruit. (See  Luke 8:13 for the explanation).

 Romans 9:33 (a) Again Christ Jesus is the Stone. He is an offense to both Jew and Gentile. When they come in contact with Him, through preaching, or through the Scriptures, they stumble and fall. They oppose CHRIST, but He stands firm while they disappear. It describes the permanent character of CHRIST. The failure of Israel to receive CHRIST did not change Him from His purpose, nor remove Him from His place as the Lord and Saviour of the soul. The ungodly might butt their heads against this Rock, might seek to injure or destroy Him, but like the Rock of Gibraltar He stands firm through the ages. He remains on the field of battle to see the burial of His enemies.

 1 Corinthians 10:4 (a) This passage very clearly states that the Rock which Moses struck the first time, and should have spoken to the second time (but he struck it). was Christ Jesus the Lord. We, too, find that in this desert world where there is so little for the soul of the Christian to enjoy, Christ Jesus is still the Rock from which the Holy Spirit, the Living Water, and the Word of GOD, the Living Water, flow freely to refresh our hearts and souls.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [2]

ROCK represents various Heb. words, which, generally speaking, have the same ideas as the Eng. strength, security, height, etc. (cf. Stanley, SP [Note: P Sinai and Palestine.] , Appendix). The rocks named in OT are Oreb (  Judges 7:25 ,   Isaiah 10:26 ), Etam (  Judges 15:8 ), Rimmon (  Judges 20:45;   Judges 21:13 ), the crags Bozez and Seneh (  1 Samuel 14:4 ), Sela-hammahlekoth (  1 Samuel 23:28 ). In   2 Kings 14:7 ,   Isaiah 16:1;   Isaiah 42:11 ‘the Rock’ (RV [Note: Revised Version.] ‘ Sela ’) is a proper name. Sela or Petra, the rock-city par excellence  ; in   Judges 1:36 (RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] ‘Sela’) the identification is doubtful; es-Safieh , ‘a bare and dazzling white sandstone promontory 1000 ft. high,’ near the south of the Dead Sea, is probably intended. Rocks were the haunt of the eagle (  Job 39:28 ), of the wild goat (v. 1), or the coney (  Proverbs 30:28 ); cf.   Psalms 104:18 , Psa 30:19 refers to the mysterious gliding of the serpent over a rock;   Amos 6:12 , to the proverbial impossibility of horses running over crags.   Deuteronomy 32:13 emphasizes the fact that in Palestine even the rocks are the home of bees (  Psalms 81:16 ,   Isaiah 7:19 ), and the rocky soil produces olives (  Job 29:6 ). Besides this natural marvel, we have the miracles of   Exodus 17:6 ,   Numbers 20:8 etc. In   1 Corinthians 10:4 St. Paul follows a wide-spread Jewish haggâdâh , which can be traced to the 1st century a.d., according to which the rock (perhaps originally the well ) followed Israel; when the Tabernacle was pitched, the water gushed out afresh, the princes singing the song of   Numbers 21:17 . The epithet ‘spiritual’ does not deny the literal reality of that to which it refers; the manna was literal to St. Paul, and the water and rock must have been so too. He sees in the literal fact a foreshadowing of the Christian sacraments. Further, he identifies the rock with Christ, implying His pre-existence and care for His people; cf. Philo’s identification of it with the Wisdom and Word of God.

Rocks, particularly the soft sandstone of Edom, were primitive dwelling places ( Job 24:8;   Job 30:6; cf. cave-dwellers of   Deuteronomy 2:12 ), and were used for sepulchres (  Isaiah 22:16 ,   Mark 15:46 ).   Job 19:24 refers to the permanence of the rock inscription;   Job 28:9 (a somewhat unusual word, ‘flinty rock’ RV [Note: Revised Version.] ) to mining. In   Judges 6:20;   Judges 13:16 the rock is a natural monolithic altar; in   Judges 6:26 tr. [Note: translate or translation.] ‘strong-hold’ with RV [Note: Revised Version.] . Rocks as dangers to ships are mentioned in   Acts 27:29 , and metaphorically in   Judges 1:12 RV [Note: Revised Version.] [but RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] and Bigg retain ‘spots’ of AV [Note: Authorized Version.] , which has the support of the parallel   2 Peter 2:13 ]. The barrenness and desolation of a rock is the point of   Ezekiel 26:4;   Ezekiel 26:14 , with a pun on Tyre (= rock); cf. the unfruitful ‘rock’ (  Luke 8:6 ), or ‘rocky places’ (  Matthew 13:5 RV [Note: Revised Version.] ) of the parable of the Sower; i.e. rock with a thin layer of earth. The rock meets us continually as a place of refuge, literal or metaphorical (  Numbers 24:21 ,   1 Samuel 13:6 ,   Isaiah 2:19 ,   Jeremiah 48:28;   Jeremiah 49:16 ,   Obadiah 1:6 ); cf. ‘feet on rock’ (  Psalms 27:5;   Psalms 40:2 ) In   Isaiah 32:2 it is a shade from the heat. And so it is a frequent title for God , as the unvarying strength and support of His people (  Deuteronomy 32:4 ff. [6 times],   Psalms 18:2 etc.,   Isaiah 17:10;   Isaiah 30:29 ,   Habakkuk 1:12 ). It is often represented by ‘God,’ and vague terms (‘help,’ etc.) in the ancient versions, as well as AV [Note: Authorized Version.] and Pr. Bk. [Note: r. Bk. Prayer Book.] ( e.g.   Psalms 95:1 ). A sufficient explanation of the use is found in the natural scenery of Palestine. It is doubtful how far ‘Rock’ ( Zur ) was a definite name for God. It has been found in compounds in two S. Arabian inscriptions, and occurs in the proper names of   Numbers 1:5-6;   Numbers 1:10;   Numbers 3:35 . ‘Great Rock’ is a common title of Asshur and Bel in Assyria. In   Deuteronomy 32:31 ,   Isaiah 31:9 the title is given to heathen gods, but in the latter passage the word sela is used. And the fact that this word is freely employed in this connexion side by side with zur rather contradicts the supposition that the latter was technically a proper name. Convulsions of nature and the power of God are connected with breaking the rock (  1 Kings 19:11 ,   Job 14:18 ,   Jeremiah 23:29 ,   Nahum 1:6 ,   Matthew 27:51 ), and in   Jeremiah 5:3 it is a symbol of obstinacy. In   Matthew 7:24 it represents the sure foundation; cf.   Matthew 16:18 and art. Power of the Keys, p. 742 b . The name ‘Peter’ is a tr. [Note: translate or translation.] of the Aram. [Note: Aramaic.] Cephas , the Heb. form of which is used   Jeremiah 4:29 ,   Job 30:6 (see art. Peter). For the ‘rock of offence or stumbling,’ see   Isaiah 8:14;   Isaiah 28:16 , Rom 9:33 ,   1 Peter 2:6 . Precipitation from a rock was a form of execution (  2 Chronicles 25:12 [?   2 Samuel 21:8;   2 Samuel 21:10 ], cf.   Luke 4:29 ).

C. W. Emmet.

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [3]

(πέτρα,  Romans 9:33,  1 Peter 2:8,  1 Corinthians 10:4,  Revelation 6:15-16; cf.  Acts 27:29,  Judges 1:12)

Of the physical features of Palestine, rocks form a conspicuous part. Rock walls and escarpments, deep gorges and desolate crags, caves, fastnesses, and mighty boulders, are common in many portions of the country. Allusions to them on the part of the biblical writers were, therefore, inevitable. Symbolically they stood for solid foundations ( Matthew 7:24), for confession of the Deity of Christ ( Matthew 16:18), and for Christ Himself ( 1 Corinthians 10:4). Among the rocks mentioned in Scripture are Sela ( Judges 1:36, Revised Version), Oreb ( Judges 7:25), Etam ( Judges 15:8), and Rimmon ( Judges 20:45). Precipitation from a rock was one form of execution ( 2 Chronicles 25:12; cf.  Luke 4:29).

Of the four principal references to rocks in apostolic history, those in  Romans 9:33 and in  1 Peter 2:8 may appropriately be considered together. Both St. Paul and St. Peter quote and combine the same two prophetic passages ( Isaiah 8:14;  Isaiah 28:16), adapting the Septuagintversion of them so as to show that Israel had failed to attain unto God’s true law of righteousness, because they sought it not by faith but by works. Because they had not apprehended the wisdom of God’s salvation in Jesus Christ, St. Paul declares that he had become unto them ‘a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence.’ St. Peter probably had St. Paul’s statement ( Romans 9:33) before him when he wrote, for his use of the two passages from Isaiah is practically the same. He tells his readers that they are stumbling through disobedience, and failing to obey what they must recognize is true. Instead of availing themselves of the blessing of the gospel offered them, they are refusing to submit to its influence, and so come into collision with the power and authority of Christ. Both apostles boldly apply to Christ what is spoken by the prophet of Jahweh, and they point to the prophet’s words as a prediction of their own people’s spiritual blindness and consequent failure. As Jahweh is a firm foundation to those who trust in Him, so is Jesus; but to those who disbelieve, both He and His Son may be a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence.

A more difficult passage is that contained in  1 Corinthians 10:4, ‘And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of a spiritual rock that followed them: and the rock was Christ’ (ἔπινον γὰρ ἐκ πνευματικῆς ἀκολουθούσης πέτρας, ἡ δὲ πέτρα ἦν ὁ Χριστός). There is a Rabbinical legend, which can be traced back as far as the 1st cent. a.d., to the effect that the rock of Rephidim ( Exodus 17:6; cf.  Numbers 20:2 ff.), ‘globular, like a bee-hive,’ rolled after the camp in Israel’s wanderings, and supplied them with water. But in the face of  Numbers 21:5, which must have been known to the Apostle, it is scarcely likely that St. Paul believed this. Rather he adapted it, stating explicitly that the rock which followed them was a ‘spiritual,’ i.e. a supernatural, rock, and that Christ was a rock. The manna was literally ‘food from heaven’ to him ( 1 Corinthians 10:3; cf.  Psalms 78:24), and so were the water and the rock ( Psalms 78:15 ff.); and both the water and the manna were a foreshadowing of the Christian sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper ( 1 Corinthians 10:2;  1 Corinthians 10:16). St. Paul’s argument is briefly this: ‘all’ ate of the same spiritual food ( 1 Corinthians 10:3), and ‘all’ drank of the same spiritual drink ( 1 Corinthians 10:4)-the manna and the water being intended to sustain the spirit as well as the body-but only two (Caleb and Joshua) recognized the spiritual presence of Christ, who in His pre-existent state was ever with Israel in their gathering of the manna and beside every cliff which Moses struck. Philo had already identified the rock of  Deuteronomy 8:15 with the Wisdom of God, and the rock of  Deuteronomy 32:13 with His Wisdom and Word; hence, it was easy for St. Paul to take another step and identify the smitten rock with Christ, the Rock spiritual. A parallel to this mode of interpretation may be found in  Hebrews 11:26, where the Apostle represents Moses as ‘accounting the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt.’ See also articleMetaphor.

In a passage in Acts ( Acts 27:29), St. Paul and his ship companions are described as fearful of being driven ashore on ‘rocky ground’ (τραχεῖς τόποι, literally ‘rough places’). While a different expression is used here in the Greek, the reference is evidently to rocks, upon which it would be hazardous to let their vessel strike. In  Judges 1:12, also, a kindred expression (σπιλάδες) is used, in a similar but metaphorical way. ‘These are they who are hidden rocks in your love-feasts,’ etc. The Revised Versiontranslates σπιλάδες by ‘spots,’ and this has the support not only of the Vulg.[Note: Vulgate.]maculae, but also of the parallel passage in  2 Peter 2:13. Hidden, or sunken, rocks is an eminently appropriate metaphor by which to describe the ungodly character of those who, like Balaam and Korah, were inclined to mar the fellowship of Christian believers.

The only other passage remaining to be discussed is that contained in  Revelation 6:15-16, in which the Seer pictures the struggle of the Church, and of God’s judgment upon her enemies. At the opening of the sixth seal, the wicked are depicted as terrorized by an earthquake, and as hiding in the caves and rocks of the mountains, to escape the wrath of the Lamb. It is the dreadful Day of the Lord which is about to come. Panic seizes troubled consciences. The end is near. The wicked, even the rich and the mighty, princes and captains, bondmen and freemen, hide themselves, calling to the mountains and rocks to fall on them and hide them from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb (cf.  Isaiah 2:19,  Hosea 10:3,  Luke 23:30).

George L. Robinson.

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [4]

This name is familiar to every one who is conversant with the things of nature. And in Scripture we meet with the continual mention of rocks by particular names, such as the rock of Horeb, the rock of Adullam, the rock of divisions, called Selahammah lekoth. See the margin of the Bible,  1 Samuel 23:1-29. But it would have been unnecessary in a work of this kind to have noticed the word had it not been for the special application of the term, in a figurative way and manner, to the person of the Lord Jesus Christ as the visible Jehovah He is, if I mistake not, the glorious person all along spoken of in the Old Testament Scripture, and explained most clearly in the New "as the rock whose work is perfect? Beautifully to this purpose doth Moses, the man of God, speak of him under this figure,"He is the rock, (saith Moses) his work is perfect; for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth, and without iniquity, just and right is he? And speaking of the defects of Israel, and his departure from the Lord, he saith, "he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the rock of his salvation. Of the rock that begat thee, thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee." And then tracing the sad effects of their being brought into captivity by their enemies, to the cause of having forsaken their confidence in the Lord, Moses adds, "how should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their rock had sold them, and the Lord had shut them up? For their rock is not as our rock, even our enemies themselves being judges;" ( Deuteronomy 32:4; Deu 32:15; Deu 32:18; Deu 32:30-31)

But the most striking and particular use of the term rock, as a figure applied to Christ, is that we read in the eventful history of Israel, beginning at Horeb, ( Exodus 17:6) where we find the Lord speaking unto Moses in those remarkable words; "Behold, I will stand before thee upon the rock in Horeb, and thou shalt smite the rock and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink" Now it never would have been known to any farther extent concerning this miracle of grace, but that the Lord did here, as upon many other occasions, work a miracle to supply the pressing occasions and wants of his people, had not the Holy Ghost in his love and condescension to the church, thought fit to explain this transaction, and not only declared that it was Christ which wrought this mi racle, but that this rock was Christ himself, If the reader will turn to the tenth chapter of Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians, ( 1 Corinthians 10:1-33) and first and following verses, he will behold the gracious comment of the Holy Ghost upon it. "Moreover brethren, (saith the apostle) I would not that ye should be ignorant how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and did all eat the same spiritual meat, and did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ." The margin of the Bible is stronger, for it saith that this rock went with them.

Now I beg the reader's close attention to this most interesting of all subjects. It is what intimately concerns true believers in Christ to have just and right apprehensions of what the Holy Ghost hath so graciously explained.

Nothing can be more certain than that the Gospel was preached to the church in type and figure to Israel then, as much and as fully as it is now to the true Israel in sum and substance. For so the Holy Ghost declares by Paul, ( Hebrews 4:2) —so that Christ was the one great ordinance and design of the whole. And whether he was preached as the rock, or the paschal lamb, or the manna, or the brazen serpent, all pointed to Jesus, and in him all had their completion.

But what I more particularly beg the reader to observe is, the manifestation that is made by the rock, and the streams flowing from it of God in Christ. The proclamation of the Lord was on this occasion, "Behold, I will stand before thee upon the rock in Horeb;" intimating, as plain as words can shew, when opened to us by the Holy Ghost, that the whole dispensation is God in Christ. For as God in Christ was, and is, the foundation of all reconciliation, so is it God in Christ which was, and is, the source of all the blessings of redemption flowing there from. Hence the several manifestations of JEHOVAH in both Testaments of Scripture are all to this effect.

And as these several dispensations pointed all to Christ as the only possible supply for the church, so the church is uniformly considered under every estate, both in the Old Testament and New, as living by faith upon Jesus, and deriving all supplies from him. We are told that "they did all eat the same spiritual meat, and did all drink the same spiritual drink." There was no difference in the supply, neither in the privilege of the receivers, for all was Christ. Hence it proves that from the beginning all the grace the church would stand in need of through the whole period of time in every individual instance of it, this glorious Head of his body the church had in him; and whether it was the manna or the rook, he, and he alone, was the sum and substance of all. Sweet consideration to my soul! Hence, with one of old, I would say, "when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I" ( Psalms 61:2)

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [5]

Palestine, being a mountainous country, had also many rocks, which formed a part of the country's defence; for in time of danger the people retired to them, and found a refuge against any sudden irruption of the enemy. The Benjamites took shelter in the rock Rimmon,  Judges 20:47 . Samson kept garrison in the rock of Etham,  Judges 15:8 . David found shelter in the rocks of Maon, Engedi, &c,  1 Samuel 22:1;  1 Samuel 23:25;  1 Samuel 23:28;  1 Samuel 24:2-5 . Jerom says that the southern parts of Judea were full of caves under ground, and of caverns in the mountains, to which the people retired in time of danger. The Kenites dwelt in the hollow places of the rocks,  Numbers 24:21 . Even at this day the villages of this country are subterraneous, or in the rocks. Josephus in several places speaks of hollow rocks, where thieves and robbers had their haunts; and travellers still find a great number of them in Palestine, and in the adjoining provinces. Toward Lebanon, the mountains are high, but covered in many places with as much earth as fits them for cultivation. Among the crags of the rocks, the beautiful and far-famed cedar waves its lofty top, and extends its powerful arms, surrounded by the fir and the oak, the fig and the vine. On the road to Jerusalem, the mountains are not so lofty nor so rugged, but become fitter for tillage. They rise again to the south-east of Mount Carmel; are covered with woods, and afford very picturesque views; but advancing toward Judea, they lose their verdure, the valleys become narrow, dry, and stony, and terminate at the Dead Sea in a pile of desolate rocks, precipices, and caverns. These vast excavations, some of which will contain fifteen hundred men, are the grottoes of Engedi, which have been a refuge to the oppressed or the discontented in all ages. Westward of Jordan and the lake Asphaltites, another chain of rocks, still loftier and more rugged, presents a yet more gloomy aspect, and announces the distant entrance of the desert, and the termination of the habitable regions.

The name of rock is also given to God, by way of metaphor, because God is the strength, the refuge, and defence of Israel, as those places were to the people who resided among them,  Psalms 18:2;  Psalms 18:31;  Psalms 31:2-3;  Deuteronomy 32:15;  Deuteronomy 32:18;  Deuteronomy 32:30-31;  Psalms 61:2 , &c.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [6]

1: Πέτρα (Strong'S #4073 — Noun Feminine — petra — pet'-ra )

denotes "a mass of rock," as distinct from petros, "a detached stone or boulder," or a stone that might be thrown or easily moved. For the nature of petra, see  Matthew 7:24,25;  27:51,60;  Mark 15:46;  Luke 6:48 (twice), a type of a sure foundation (here the true reading is as in the RV, "because it had been well builded");   Revelation 6:15,16 (cp.   Isaiah 2:19 ,ff.;  Hosea 10:8 );  Luke 8:6,13 , used illustratively;  1—Corinthians 10:4 (twice), figuratively, of Christ; in   Romans 9:33;  1—Peter 2:8 , metaphorically, of Christ; in  Matthew 16:18 , metaphorically, of Christ and the testimony concerning Him; here the distinction between petra, concerning the Lord Himself, and Petros, the Apostle, is clear (see above).

2: Σπιλάς (Strong'S #4694 — Noun Feminine — spilas — spee-las' )

"a rock or reef," over which the sea dashes, is used in  Jude 1:12 , "hidden rocks," RV, metaphorical of men whose conduct is a danger to others. A late meaning ascribed to it is that of "spots," (AV), but that rendering seems to have been influenced by the parallel passage in  2—Peter 2:13 , where spiloi, "spots," occurs.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words [7]

Tsûr ( צֻר , Strong'S #6697), “rock; rocky wall; cliff; rocky hill; mountain; rocky surface; boulder.” Cognates of this word appear in Amorite, Phoenician, Ugaritic, and Aramaic. Other than in names of places and persons, the word appears 70 times in biblical Hebrew and in all periods.

First, tsûr means “rocky wall” or “cliff.” This is probably what Moses struck in Exod. 17:6: “Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it.…” Thus God hid Moses in a cleft of the “rocky cliff” (Exod. 33:21-22).

Second, the word frequently means “rocky hill” or “mountains.” This emphasis clearly emerges in Isa. 2:10, 19: “Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust.… And [men] shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth.…” Thus “rock” is an abbreviation for “caves of the rocks.” A lookout sees someone “from the top of the rocks [hills] … , from the hills” (Num. 23:9). The “rock” (mountains or hills) flowing with honey and oil figures the abundant overflowing blessing of God (Deut. 32:13). The “rock” (or mountain) serves as a figure of security (Ps. 61:2), firmness (Job 14:18), and something that endures (Job 19:24).

Third, tsûr can mean “rocky ground” or perhaps a large flat “rock”: “And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock …” (2 Sam. 21:10; cf. Prov. 30:19).

Fourth, in some passages the word means “boulder.” in the sense of a rock large enough to serve as an altar: “… There rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes …” (Judg. 6:21).

“Rock” is frequently used to picture God’s support and defense of His people (Deut. 32:15). In some cases this noun is an epithet, or meaningful name, of God (Deut. 32:4), or of heathen gods: “For their rock [god] is not as our Rock [God] …” (Deut. 32:31).

Finally, Abraham is the source (rock) from which Israel was hewn (Isa. 51:1).

King James Dictionary [8]

ROCK, n. Gr., L. rupes, from the root of rumpo, to break or burst. If this is not the origin of rock, I know not to what root to assign it.

1. A large mass of stony matter, usually compounded of two or more simple minerals, either bedded in the earth or resting on its surface. Sometimes rocks compose the principal part of huge mountains sometimes hugh rocks lie on the surface of the earth, in detached blocks or masses. Under this term, mineralogists class all mineral substances, coal, gypsum, salt, &c. 2. In Scripture, figuratively, defense means of safety protection strength asylum.

The Lord is my rock.  2 Samuel 22 .

3. Firmness a firm or immovable foundation.  Psalms 28 .

 Matthew 7 .  Matthew 16 .

4. A species of vulture or condor. 5. A fabulous bird in the Eastern tales.

ROCK, n.

A distaff used in spinning the staff or frame about which flax is arranged, from which the thread is drawn in spinning.


1. To move backward and forward, as a body resting on a foundation as, to rock a cradle to rock a chair to rock a mountain. It differs from shake, as denoting a slower and more uniform motion, or larger movements. It differs from swing, which expresses a vibratory motion of something suspended.

A rising earthquake rock'd the ground.

2. To move backwards and forwards in a cradle, chair, &c. as, to rock a child to sleep. 3. To lull to quiet.

Sleep rock thy brain. Unusual.

ROCK, To be moved backwards and forwards to reel.

The rocking town supplants their footsteps.

Webster's Dictionary [9]

(1): ( n.) See Roc.

(2): ( n.) That which resembles a rock in firmness; a defense; a support; a refuge.

(3): ( v. t.) To cause to sway backward and forward, as a body resting on a support beneath; as, to rock a cradle or chair; to cause to vibrate; to cause to reel or totter.

(4): ( n.) A distaff used in spinning; the staff or frame about which flax is arranged, and from which the thread is drawn in spinning.

(5): ( v. i.) To roll or saway backward and forward upon a support; as, to rock in a rocking-chair.

(6): ( v. i.) To move or be moved backward and forward; to be violently agitated; to reel; to totter.

(7): ( v. t.) To move as in a cradle; hence, to put to sleep by rocking; to still; to quiet.

(8): ( n.) The striped bass. See under Bass.

(9): ( n.) A large concreted mass of stony material; a large fixed stone or crag. See Stone.

(10): ( n.) Any natural deposit forming a part of the earth's crust, whether consolidated or not, including sand, earth, clay, etc., when in natural beds.

(11): ( n.) Fig.: Anything which causes a disaster or wreck resembling the wreck of a vessel upon a rock.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [10]

Two words are principally employed for this word. One is sela, 'an elevation of strength, immovable': used symbolically for Jehovah as the rock of His people: "Jehovah is my rock and my fortress."  Psalm 18:2 . He hath "set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings."  Psalm 40:2 .

The other word is tsur, a rock, generally sharp and precipitous, 'a place of shelter and security': "Lead me to the rock that is higher than I"; Thou art "my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation." "My God is the rock of my refuge."  Psalm 61:2;  Psalm 89:26;  Psalm 94:22 .

In the N.T. any one who heard and did the sayings of the Lord is compared to a man who built his house upon the rock which nothing could shake.  Matthew 7:24,25;  Luke 6:48 . The Lord said, "Thou art Peter [πέτρος], and upon this rock [πέτρα] I will build my church." The church is being built upon what Peter confessed, Christ Himself, the Son of the living God.  Matthew 16:16-18 : cf.  1 Corinthians 3:11;  1 Corinthians 10:4 .

Holman Bible Dictionary [11]

 Numbers 24:21 Judges 15:8 Judges 20:47 Genesis 49:24  Deuteronomy 32:4 Deuteronomy 32:15 Deuteronomy 32:18 Psalm 61:2 Isaiah 8:13-14  1 Corinthians 10:4 Romans 9:33 1 Peter 2:8 Matthew 7:24-25 Matthew 16:18 Petros petra  1 Corinthians 3:11 Ephesians 2:20 Revelation 21:14 Romans 15:20 1 Corinthians 3:10 Matthew 16:16Keys Of The KingdomPeter

Chris Church

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [12]

The Old Testament often speaks of God as being like a rock to his people. The reference is to the security and safety that God gives to those who trust in him. Just as a high rocky cliff can be a refuge or fortress, so God is a refuge and fortress to his believing people ( Genesis 49:24;  Psalms 18:2;  Psalms 28:1;  Psalms 62:2;  Psalms 78:35;  Isaiah 32:1-2).

A rock is also a solid foundation ( Matthew 7:24). This is probably the central idea in Jesus’ statement to the apostles, through their representative Peter, that they were the rock on which he would build his unconquerable church ( Matthew 16:18;  Ephesians 2:20). (See also Cornerstone; Stumbling Block )

Easton's Bible Dictionary [13]

 1 Samuel 2:2 2 Samuel 22:3 Isaiah 17:10 Psalm 28:1 31:2,3 89:26 95:1 Matthew 16:18 Romans 9:33 1 Corinthians 10:4 Daniel 2:45  Habakkuk 1:12Stone

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [14]

rok ((1) סלע , ṣela‛  ; (2) צוּר , cūr (3) חלּמישׁ , ḥallāmı̄sh , "flint"; compare Arabic khalanbûs , "flint"; (4) כּפים , kēphı̄m (  Job 30:6;"  Jeremiah 4:29 ); compare Κηφᾶς , Kēphás , "Cephas" = Πέτρος , Pétros , "Peter" ( John 1:42 the King James Version and the Revised Version margin); (5) πέτρα , pétra ):

1. Names:

Cūr and ṣela‛ are the words most often found, and there is no well-defined distinction between them. They are frequently coupled together in the parallelism which is characteristic of the Hebrew writers: e.g.

"Be thou to me a strong rock cūr ),

A house of defense to save me.

For thou art my rock ( ṣela‛ ) and my fortress" (  Psalm 31:2 ,  Psalm 31:3 ).

"He clave rocks ( cūr ) in the wilderness,

And gave them drink abundantly as out of the depths.

He brought streams also out of the rock ( ṣela‛ ),

And caused waters to run down like rivers" ( Psalm 78:15 ,  Psalm 78:16 ).

It is plain here that the two words are used for the sake of variety, without any clear difference of meaning. Even ḥallāmı̄sh (translated "flint") is used in the same way with cūr in   Psalm 114:8 :

"Who turned the rock ( cūr ) into a pool of water;

The flint ( ḥallāmı̄sh ) into a fountain of waters."

2. Figurative:

(1) Some of the most striking and beautiful imagery of the Bible is based upon the rocks. They are a symbol of God: "Yahweh is my rock, and my fortress" ( 2 Samuel 22:2;  Psalm 18:2;  Psalm 71:3 ); "God, the rock of my salvation" ( 2 Samuel 22:47; compare  Psalm 62:2 ,  Psalm 62:7;  Psalm 89:26 ); "my God the rock of my refuge" ( Psalm 94:22 ); "the rock of thy strength" ( Isaiah 17:10 ); "Lead me to the rock that is higher than I" ( Psalm 61:2 ); repeatedly in the song of Moses ( Deuteronomy 32:3 ,  Deuteronomy 32:4 ,  Deuteronomy 32:18 ,  Deuteronomy 32:30 ,  Deuteronomy 32:31; compare  2 Samuel 22:32 ). Paul applies the rock smitten in the wilderness ( Exodus 17:6;  Numbers 20:11 ) to Christ as the source of living water for spiritual refreshment ( 1 Corinthians 10:4 ).

(2) The rocks are a refuge, both figuratively and literally (  Jeremiah 48:28;  Song of Solomon 2:14 ); "The rocks are a refuge for the conies" ( Psalm 104:18 ). Many a traveler in Palestine has felt the refreshment of "the shade of a great rock in a weary land" ( Isaiah 32:2 ). A very different idea is expressed in  Isaiah 8:14 , "And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offense" (compare  Romans 9:33;  1 Peter 2:8 ).

(3) The rock is a symbol of hardness ( Jeremiah 5:3; compare  Isaiah 50:7 ). Therefore, the breaking of the rock exemplifies the power of God ( Jeremiah 23:29; compare  1 Kings 19:11 ). The rock is also a symbol of that which endures, "Oh that they ... were graven in the rock for ever!" ( Job 19:23 ,  Job 19:24 ). A rock was an appropriate place for offering a sacrifice ( Judges 6:20;  Judges 13:19 ). The central feature of the Mosque of 'Umar in Jerusalem is Ḳubbat - uṣ - Ṣakhrat , the "dome of the rock." The rock or ṣakhrat under the dome is thought to be the site of Solomon's altar of burnt offering, and further is thought to be the site of the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite which David purchased to build an altar to Yahweh.

3. Kinds of Rock:

(1) The principal rock of Palestine and Syria is limestone of which there are many varieties, differing in color, texture, hardness and degrees of impurity, some of the limestone having considerable admixtures of clay or sand. Some of the harder kinds are very dense and break with a conchoidal fracture similar to the fracture of flint. In rocks which have for ages been exposed to atmospheric agencies, erosion has produced striking and highly picturesque forms. Nodules and layers of flint are of frequent occurrence in the limestone.

(2) Limestone is the only rock of Western Palestine, with the exception of some local outpourings of basaltic rock and with the further exception of a light-brown, porous, partly calcareous sandstone, which is found at intervals along the coast. This last is a superficial deposit of Quaternary or recent age, and is of aeolian origin. That is, it consists of dune sands which have solidified under the influence of atmospheric agencies. This is very exceptional, nearly all stratified rocks having originated as beds of sand or mud in the bottom of the sea.

(3) In Sinai, Edom, Moab, Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon is found the Nubian sandstone, a silicious sandstone which, at least in the North, is of middle or lower Cretaceous age. In the South, the lower strata of this formation seem to be paleozoic. Most of it is not sufficiently coherent to make good building stone, though some of its strata are very firm and are even used for millstones. In some places it is so incoherent or friable that it is easily dug with the pick, the grains falling apart and forming sand that can be used in mortar. In color the Nubian sandstone is on the whole dark reddish brown, but locally it shows great variation, from white through yellow and red to black. In places it also has tints of blue. The celebrated rock tombs and temples of Petra are carved in this stone.

(4) Extensive areas of the northern part of Eastern Palestine are covered with igneous rock. In the Jaulân Southeast of Mt. Hermon, this has been for ages exposed to the atmosphere and has formed superficially a rich dark soil. Further Southeast is the Leja' (Arabic "refuge"), a wild tract covered with a deposit of lava which is geologically recent, and which, while probably earlier than man, is still but little affected by the atmosphere. It is with difficulty traversed and frequently furnishes an asylum to outlaws. See Crag; Flint; Geology; Lime .

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [15]

(properly סֶלִע , or צוּר , Πέτρα ) . Palestine is a mountainous and stony country, abounding in caves and fastnesses where the inhabitants sought shelter from sudden invasions of enemies, and where bands of robbers frequently formed their dens. Thus when the Benjamites were overcome, they secured themselves in the rock Rimmon, and David hid himself from Saul in the caves of Adullam, Engedi, and Maon. These ravines furnish a great number of defensible positions, which have been the scene of many deadly struggles, from the days of the Canaanites down to the present hour. The prevailing rock is a dark-gray limestone, which, though it has a most saddening aspect of barrenness and desolation, is very susceptible of cultivation, being easily worked into terraces, which give support to the soil, and facilitate the fertilizing process of irrigation. Travelers who now visit the land are disposed, at the first view, to doubt the ancient accounts of its fertility; they can scarcely bring themselves to believe that these barren wastes were the promised land "flowing with milk and honey;" but a more attentive examination of the country affords abundant evidence that its present sterility is owing to the nature of its government, which, affording no security either for life or property, prevents the husbandman from tilling the soil when he is uncertain whether he shall reap its fruits. Indeed, it may be generally said that a country of limestone rock will be found one of the best in rewarding the labor of cultivation, and one of the worst in spontaneous produce. (See Cave); (See Hill).

Rock is frequently used in Scripture in a figurative sense of the ancestor of a nation, the quarry whence it was derived ( Isaiah 51:1). It is also used in a metaphorical sense of God, as the "Rock," i.e. the strength and refuge of his people ( Deuteronomy 32:4;  2 Samuel 23:3;  Psalms 18:2). The rock from which the Hebrews were supplied with water in the desert was a figure or type of Christ ( 1 Corinthians 10:4). So the term Rock is used of the grand doctrine of Christ's eternal supremacy, which is the foundation of the Christian system ( Matthew 16:18). (See Stone).