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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Redness of the Sky

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REDNESS OF THE SKY.—When the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matthew 16:1 f.) demanded of Christ a sign from heaven (ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ), He replied by reminding them how, when the sky (οὐρανός, Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885 ‘heaven’) was red at morning or evening, they were able to foretell foul or fair weather, and so showed that they themselves could discern the face of the sky (or the heaven). There is here an insistence on the various meanings of οὐρανός that is lost in the Authorized Version by the introduction of a second word to construe it (see Sky). The ‘redness’ of the sky is denoted by the verb πυρράζω, to glow, literally, to become fire. The colour of fire (πυρρός) is used for ‘red’ in Revelation 6:4; Revelation 12:3. In the LXX Septuagint it stands for the Hebrew אָדֹם. The consequences of a fiery hue in the sky at morning or evening, due to the condition of the atmospheric medium, is one of the commonest of weather maxims. It is familiarized in various old couplets.

W. S. Kerr.


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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Redness of the Sky'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hdn/r/redness-of-the-sky.html. 1906-1918.

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