What Is Scepter In The Bible

Scepter Symbolism

The scepter is used widely in biblical anecdotes to symbolize power, status, and wealth. It was thought to be a potent tool that held immense influence and authority over authority figures and the people they governed. An intricate scepter would indicate to people a superior or regal figurehead. The scepter was oftentimes decorated with gold or a precious stone. Bible passages specifically note figures like Moses, David, and Joseph carrying staffs or sticks but none as befitting a scepter – a rod with a royal adornment.

In the Old Testament, God often uses the metaphor of the scepter to represent His divine power over certain circumstances. The most well-known is in Psalm 45:6-7 when He anoints His anointed King with a scepter of righteousness and glory. Additionally, scepters are used to communicate God’s favor from the Old Testament to the New Testament. The Lord says He will extend His scepter of protection over His people in Isaiah 22:22. Jesus also speaks of using a scepter to destroy chains and pursue justice in Luke 4:18-19.

Scepter As A Messianic Symbolism

Scepters have a deeper resonance in the Messianic context and are used metaphorically to represent one’s investiture with a special divine leadership. In Jacob’s words to Joseph in Gen. 49:10-11, “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations be his.” This is a reference to the Messiah and His reign in the future world.

Further, when Nathaniel reveals the identity of Jesus in John 1:18, he calls him “God’s Son, the King of Israel,” a verbal adornment of rulership. In the book of Esther, the scepter is a emblematic metaphor to describe Esther’s authority over Haman and her success with the king. Esther took the scepter from the king, a gesture that was familiar with any ruler at that time, and Haman was built aback. He realized his power was nothing compared to the one who held the scepter in her hands.

Scepter and Rod

The terms ‘scepter’ and ‘rod’ are often used interchangeably, as they both convey a message of rule. The rod refers to a staff that symbolized authority. This typically belonged to a shepherd, as Moses was initially a shepherd who went on to become a leader. The rod connotes intention, while the scepter provides physical evidence of anointing to a ruling position.

A scepter was a symbol of high authority and superiority over others that was passed down the royal line. A royal staff or mace was held by the king or queen to signify royalty. Ancient scepters were typically made of hardwood and gold, or were crafted in the form of a double headed eagle. This meant to communicate the idea of a “double authority”.

Scepter Reference

In his vision of the Old Testament prophet in Amos, God draws attention to the fact that there is no one dominating with a scepter. He says: “‘the Lord has forsaken his booth and abandoned his sanctuary,’ and that ‘the scepter of justice’ had departed from the people” (Amos. 8:11). This is why there is need for the re-establishment of the scepter of justice, a restoration of the kingdom of God.

Spanning the divide between the Old and New Testaments is the fantastic tale of the Three Magi who visited baby Jesus in Bethlehem. These Magi had heavy scepters with them to pay tribute to the new King of the Jews. Jews considered scepters to represent something special, so this is why they chose to give the newborn a scepter as a gift.

Interpreting the Scepter

What should we make of these biblical references to the majestic scepter? The authority of Jesus, the Messiah, from God, is paramount and its use across the scriptures is utilised to emphasize the greatness of Jesus and His rightful place as the rightful King. Whenever a scepter is mentioned, especially in prophetic scripture, its message is to remind us that Jesus is the true King over all the nations, that He holds the power of discernment, and is greatly exalted.

More importantly, it invites us to focus on the fact that as a King, Jesus rules with mercy, justice, and grace. His reign of power stretches far and wide, far beyond any person’s expectations and is certainly an everlasting one. He is to be adored and praised. Thus, the scepter is a reminder to us of this truth and should be seen as representative of His holiness and goodness.

Scepter’s Persistence

The scepter has wide-reaching symbolism that connects different occurrences throughout scripture. It is as a symbol of God’s favor and can be seen in multiple contexts from Samuel anointing Saul, a shepherd boy, to the seat of kingship to Jesus being given the scepter as a symbol of authority and victory in the world. It is a striking symbol in the Bible, found in parables, stories and poems.

The scepter is a powerful emblem of royalty, morality, judgment and faithfulness. Its presence in the Bible implies a ruler that meets all of these criteria. Therefore, it is a noble symbol of special military, political, and spiritual power. Its love remains significant to this day.

Scepter as a Sign of Blessing and Judgement

Scepters speak of authority, power, and wealth that are given to those who are favored by God and are given the privilege to exercise their God-given abilities in service of His will. It is a sign of blessing from God to His people, and one that recognizes the ultimate sovereignty of Jesus Christ over all. Therefore, when we look to the Bible, it is with plenty of encouragement that we can say the scepter is a sure sign of God’s grace and favor for us.

At the same time, the scepter of God can also be seen as a judgment tool. All rulers in the Bible receive scepters and the trust of God, but they must also answer to their Father and exercise His justice in a righteous and just manner. For this reason, the scepter can be seen as a way of determining justice and righteousness, as it was always carried by kings who sought to make right decisions.

Scepter Connections to Monarchies

In ancient times, scepters were held by powerful monarchs in order to indicate their influence and authority, and it appears in the Old Testament of the Bible as a tool of rulership. Moving foward, the relation between scepters and monarchy has persisted, and scepters are often still seen in use by rulers and leaders of nations in the present. They are viewed as an important symbol of authority, one that helps to respect the promises of victory and protection made by a ruler to their people.

Scepters still can be seen today as part of formal royal regalia, with contemporary royalty using them as a sign of their status. They are typically made of wood or metals and may contain a number of intricate carvings or designs. Furthermore, they still display many of the same symbolic qualities they had in the Bible, and serve to remind those in any position of power that they must always make decisions that are in the best interest of their people.


The scepter is a notable element throughout the Bible, appearing in a variety of contexts and stories. Its symbolism is deeply tied to rule and authority, often representing monarchies, military successes and protection, justice, and right judgement. Through persistent references to the scepter throughout the Bible, we can better understand and appreciate the continuity of divine power throughout different epochs. Whether it is through the shepherd boy, Saul, Jesus, or modern day monarchs, the scepter serves as a reminder of the strength and reliability of God’s love for us.

Hilda Scott is an avid explorer of the Bible and inteprator of its gospel. She is passionate about researching and uncovering the mysteries that lie in this sacred book. She hopes to use her knowledge and expertise to bring faith and God closer to people all around the world.

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