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During Bible History, scarlet dye was obtained from two natural sources. The Egyptians produced it from a variety of shellfish (which are unclean for food for God's people, see Clean and Unclean), while the Israelites got it from the eggs of an insect (it was known to the Arab people as, when transliterated from Arabic, kirmiz, from which the English word crimson originated). Scarlet was known very early (e.g. Genesis 38:28), and unlike later when it came to be sometimes used as a color of harlotry (physical or religious), it was a very respectable color, as it still is, depending upon how, and by whom, it's used. The Lord specifically commanded the use of scarlet for articles in The Tabernacle In The Wilderness and for parts of the High Priest's vestments, and scarlet was used in ancient times, as it still is, in some royal or formal clothing e.g. the dress uniform coat of Canada's world-respected Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the "Mounties," is scarlet. It was only later that the term "scarlet" came to be used, because of its attention-getting power, as an analogy for blatent sin in God's sight.


A Scarlet Beast Scarlet "stuff" was used in articles of the Tabernacle, as specifically-commanded by The Lord, including in parts of the curtain, or veil, that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place where the Ark of The Covenant was kept (see also Why Was It Torn?):

"And you shall make a veil of blue and purple and scarlet stuff and fine twined linen; in skilled work shall it be made, with cherubim; and you shall hang it upon four pillars of acacia overlaid with gold, with hooks of gold, upon four bases of silver. And you shall hang the veil from the clasps, and bring The Ark of the testimony in thither within the veil; and the veil shall separate for you The Holy Place from The Most Holy." (Exodus 26:31-31 RSV)

"And of the blue and purple and scarlet stuff they made finely wrought garments, for ministering in The Holy Place; they made the holy garments for Aaron; as The Lord had commanded Moses." (Exodus 39:1 RSV)

Righteous people were sometimes dressed in scarlet:

"A good wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain ... She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. She makes herself coverings; her clothing is fine linen and purple." (Proverbs 31:10-11,21-22 RSV)

It was later that scarlet began to be used, by The Lord, in describing unrighteous people, with blatantly-sinful behavior in God's sight:

"Come now, let us reason together, says The Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool." (Isaiah 1:18 RSV)

The end-time Roman Catholic church (and all of the Protestant "daughter" churches who are going to eagerly surrender themselves back to Rome's rule when the last Pope's false miracles start, see Revelation 13) is described as a woman dressed in scarlet. The end-time "Holy Roman Empire" (see Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Euro!) that the Papacy "rides" (that is, has ridden, on and off, throughout the centuries of European history, see Emperors and Popes) is also described as a scarlet beast:

"And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and bedecked with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her fornication; and on her forehead was written a name of mystery: "Babylon the great, mother of harlots and of earth's abominations." And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and the blood of the martyrs of Jesus." Revelation 17:3-6 RSV)

Fact Finder: During their brutal mocking of Him as "the King of the Jews," did the Roman soldiers place a scarlet robe on Jesus Christ?
Matthew 27:28
See also What Have We Done?

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