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The English word firebrand is used to translate various Hebrew words of the Scriptures that are diversely also translated as "torch" (from one flaming end of a piece of wood), "lamp" (also by means of one flaming end of a piece of wood) and "flaming arrow" or "flaming dart" (instead of an arrowhead, the end of a flaming arrow might use a rolled piece of cloth soaked in pitch or bitumen). The words "fire" and "brand" are actually synonymous; flaming things are burning, while "brand" is from an old Anglo-Saxon word, with the same spelling, which meant to burn (brandy is the abbreviation for brandywine, meaning burnt wine, in referring to the heat used to distill the wine to make brandy).

"ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning"

Samson used firebrands to cause economic damage to the Philistines. The "corn" of the King James Version actually referred to wheat or barley (see Corn).


"And Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and turned tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between two tails. And when he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the standing corn of the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks, and also the standing corn, with the vineyards and olives." (Judges 15:4-5 KJV)

People who behave foolishly are like "a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death," all the while thinking that it's "sport":

"He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears. As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?" (Proverbs 26:17-19 KJV)

God refers to His people as "a firebrand plucked out of the burning" - and yet some choose to return to the flames.

"I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith The Lord." (Amos 4:11 KJV)

The Lord again used the "brand plucked out of the fire" analogy for the salvation of those who obey God (note that the Joshua in this example is not the Joshua from the time of the Exodus):

"And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of The Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And The Lord [see YHVH, Adonai, Jehovah, LORD] said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even The Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?"

"Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him."

"And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment."

"And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of The Lord stood by."

"And the angel of The Lord protested unto Joshua, saying, Thus saith The Lord of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by." (Zechariah 3:1-7 KJV)

Fact Finder: What sort of shield should Christians use to protect themselves against Satan's "flaming darts"?
Ephesians 6:16

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