What Is A Reed In The Bible

A reed is an important symbol in the Bible and can be seen throughout a variety of stories, symbols, and parables. The most common story of the reed is that of the prophet Isaiah who uses it as a representation of God’s enduring power and greatness. The reed is also used in a number of Old Testament passages to represent strength and courage, showing just how important this symbol is for both Christians and Jews.

The reed is mainly associated with the prophet Isaiah and his words are found throughout the Bible. Isaiah 56:11-12 reads, “Yea, they shall be like a valiant man who can break through a troop; and he shall cut down a flame without being charged with it; and he shall take up a reed, and he shall not break it: and he shall not quench the coal, neither shall he blow upon it.” This passage is referring to God’s might and strength, showing the importance of the reed as a symbol of God’s power in the face of opposition.

The reed was used to measure the depth of the Nile when Moses and the Hebrews first fled Egypt to escape the oppressive treatment of Pharaoh. Exodus 2:3 states, “And when she [Moses’ mother] could not longer hide him [Moses], she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink.” This passage reveals the reed’s capacity to measure the waters and how it helped Moses and the Hebrews in their escape from slavery.

The reed was also used in the Old Testament to represent strength and courage as seen in the story of David and Goliath. 1 Samuel 17:40-41 reads, “He [Goliath] took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine. And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David; and the man that bare the shield went before him.” This passage reveals how courageous and strong David was in battle, showing the reed as a symbol of resilience.

The reed is an essential symbol in the Bible, representing God’s strength, courage, and mercy. It appears in a number of passages throughout the Old and New Testaments, showing just how much importance the reed held and continues to hold for Christians and Jews today.

What The Reed Signify

The reed has a long history of signifying power and strength in the Bible. Isaiah 11:1 reads, “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.” In this passage, the rod symbolizes strength and power. This verse is also seen in other New Testament passages, including Matthew 2:23 which reads, “And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.” Here, the “rod” serves as a representation of strength, courage, and fortitude.

The reed is also used to denote mercy. Psalm 22:6 reads, “But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out their lips, and shake their heads.” This passage is a plea of mercy from the afflicted and persecuted, signifying the reed as a mercy-bearing instrument.

Origin Of The Reed

The reed is an ancient symbol, appearing in many different cultures throughout history. Drawing back to ancient times, the reed was believed to be a sacred object, believed to be a symbol of power, strength, and courage. In ancient Sumerian culture, the reed was believed to have a direct connection to the gods, and this belief carried on in ancient Egypt as well, where the reed was thought to bring power from the gods.

In ancient Greece and Rome, the reed was seen as a symbol of inspiration, offering comfort to those in pain and providing guidance to those in need. Even in ancient China, the reed was seen as an important symbol, believed to protect one’s house from darkness and evil. Throughout these various cultures, the reed has served as an age-old symbol of strength and courage, conveying messages of hope and mercy to those who need it.

Modern Usage Of The Reed

Today, the reed is still seen as a powerful symbol of resilience and endurance. For many Christians and Jews, the reed is seen as a reminder of God’s enduring power and greatness, and a representation of the strength and courage found within us all. For others, it is a reminder of mercy and compassion, offering comfort in times of distress.

The reed can be seen in many different places including art, literature, and music. From Christian hymns to modern pop songs, the reed is found in many different forms today. It is also used in literature, with authors often using the reed as a representation of strength and courage, and with artists using it to depict power and mercy. The reed is even seen in archaeology and anthropology, as it has been found in ruins around the world, showing just how widespread and significant this symbol remains today.

Modern Practices Using The Reed

In modern times, the reed is used in many different ceremonies and practices. In Christian worship, the reed is often used as a sign of hope, signifying God’s power to heal and protect. In Buddhist ceremonies, the reed is used to represent compassion and mercy, as it floats in water, signifying the idea of letting go of anger and things that have caused pain. In Jewish ceremonies, the reed is used as a reminder of Moses and the great deliverance from Egypt.

The reed is still seen as an important symbol today, offering comfort and strength to all. It remains a powerful symbol, signifying God’s power and mercy and offering hope for the future.

Reed In Art And Literature

The reed is also used extensively in art and literature, as it is seen as a representation of strength and courage. Authors often use the reed as a symbol of redemption, telling stories of strength and faith in the face of difficult situations. Poets often use the reed as a sign of hope, offering words of comfort against sorrow and grief. Artists have depicted the reed in paintings, sculptures, and prints, often as a representation of grace, strength, and mercy.

In literature, the reed is often used as a representation of change, with authors showing New Testament characters such as Jesus and Moses as beings of change and redemption who are related to the symbol of the reed. In art, the reed is often used to show mercy and protection, with painters and sculptors often depicting the reed as a sign of comfort and hope in the face of growing adversity.


The reed is an essential symbol in the Bible, representing strength, courage, and mercy. This symbol is seen throughout the Old and New Testaments, showing just how much importance the reed held and continues to hold for Christians and Jews today. The reed is still seen as a powerful symbol, offering comfort and strength to all, and it can be found in many different places today, from Christian hymns to modern art and literature.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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