What Is Pitch In The Bible

Definition of Pitch

The term “pitch” in the Bible has a long, convoluted history. It is used in numerous ways to refer to a variety of different meanings and is often incorporated into accounts throughout scripture. In general, it is commonly understood that “pitch” has to do with some resinous, adhesive substance used in construction, waterproofing, and coating materials.

Origin of Pitch in the Bible

Pitch is derived from the Old Testament Hebrew term “kaphar,” which primarily means “to cover.” It is used in various contexts throughout the Bible from the story of Noah to the Walls of Jericho.
In the book of Genesis, Noah uses a “pitch” to cover the bottom of the Ark upon which he and his family flees from the great Flood. In the narrative of the Walls of Jericho, the Israelites are told to smite their weapons together in a specific pattern to cause the walls to fall. Both stories involve the substance of pitch to be involved in the miraculous events.

Application of Pitch in the Bible

In addition to its use in stories, Hebrew terms used to refer to pitch are often found in references to the building of the Jewish Temple or Tabernacle. Aaron and his sons used furnace heated pitch to fashion the golden calf. The New Testament also mentions the use of pitch to waterproof the arms of Jesus’ disciples’ boat against the sea.
Moreover, pitch was used for a variety of purposes in practical day-to-day life. The Israelites used pitch to waterproof their boats and patch their leaky roofs. They employed pitch to make tools such as the bow and arrow and the spear. Aside from these, the Israelites also covered their cooking pots with pitch to prevent their food from spoiling.

Symbolism of Pitch

Whether or not used literally or symbolically, pitch found its way into several accounts in the biblical narrative. Symbolically, pitch serves as a reminder of God’s ability to protect, provide and secure his people. It is a barrier that guards against evil and destruction and symbolizes God’s power of protection.
Additionally, the Ark of Noah covered in pitch symbolizes God’s faithfulness in restoring His people, the Israelites, from the destruction of the flood. In the same vein, pitch used in the building of the Temple and other accounts serves as a reminder of God’s presence among His people.

Actions for Everyday Living

Ultimately, different accounts in the Bible that use pitch illustrate the significance of trusting and looking to God for protection. From a practical perspective, individuals who look to Christ as their source of protection need to also actively practice submission and obedience to Him every day.
The Bible mandates that believers rely on God in all circumstances, no matter how difficult or complex they may be. As God vows to provide and protect those who trust in Him, obedient believers need to routinely examine their faith and practice acts of humility and submission.

Metaphorical Use of Pitch in the Bible

Beyond its physical uses, pitch can be looked at in a metaphorical sense and finds usage in several passages of scripture. In the parable of the sower, the gospel of Matthew states, “But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold”
In this parable, “pitch” is a metaphor for the various soils in which the seed of the word of God is planted, thus showing how it can be used to broadly refer to the concept of planting God’s message in the world and seeing it manifest in different ways.

Significance of Pitch in the Bible

In summary, pitch is all-encompassing and its application in the Bible is as varied and complex as the various meanings it carries. It is a tool that lets readers analyze and break down scripture metaphysically, spiritually and physically.
The symbolism and metaphor behind pitch presents an opportunity to learn more about who God is and His character. It serves to remind believers of their responsibility to trust, obey and act in accordance with the divine will of God. Finally, pitch in the Bible is a potent reminder of the significance of faithfulness and obedience in everyday life.

Pitch in Eschatology

Eschatology is a branch of theology and study of the end times. According to Revelation 19:13, “And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God.” In this passage, “pitch” is a metaphor for a vesture dipped in blood, indicating the terrifying presence of Jesus when He returns for judgment.
Theologians have used this narrative to study the ways in which God will intervene and transform the world in its final days. Further, pitch allows them to study the motivations of mankind as alluded to in scripture and as pronounced by God.

Pitch and Religiosity

The notion of pitch in the Bible also speaks to how Israelites viewed the world. Ancient religions of the Middle East often used pitch in rituals and ceremonies. It was a substance attributed to spiritual power and its inclusion into certain symbols was believed to provide divine protection and defeat evil forces.
The Israelites adopted this notion of pitch and invested it with religious significance throughout their scriptures. In the Bible, pitch was both a physical entity useful in practical matters and a spiritual symbol of the divine.

Pitch in Wisdom Literature

Wisdom literature like the Psalms and Proverbs often employ pitch symbolically to reflect the trustworthiness of God and reverence of His Word. Psalm 18:4-5 states, “The cords of death encompassed me, and the flood of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of Sheol compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me.”
In this psalm, pitch is often seen as a protective covering or substance like God’s grace that ensures security and victory over death and darkness. This is reflective of the belief that those who trust in God will find their faithfulness rewarded.

Pitch in Messianic Texts

The use of pitch found its place in Messianic texts since these texts make up a major portion of the Bible. In the book of Isaiah, prophecy of the coming of the Messiah is revealed through the imagery of pitch being poured over the Messiah as a sign of mandate to accomplish His work and devotions.
Additionally, the coats of skin in which Adam and Eve were clothed by God after the Fall is seen as a dressing of pitch over sinful and broken humanity. This indicates that God’s grace can ultimately cover our corruptible and fallen nature.

Pitch in the Transition from Old to New Testament

Finally, the use of pitch bridges the ga pass between the Old and New Testament as well. With Allusions to earlier biblical passages, New Testament writers use metaphors relative to pitch to indicate God’s role in ushering in new spiritual perspective to humanity.
Hebrews 6:19 speaks of the high priesthood of Christ citing, “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;”
The phrase “veil” is a reference to the Temple curtains, which was waterproofed with pitch and would be later torn in half when Jesus dies. This is indicative of the answer to the promise of the old covenant, being found and fulfilled in the new covenant in Christ.

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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