Why Is Clay Used in the Bible?

Clay As a Symbol

There are several instances given in the Bible referring to clay. In Job 33:6 it states: I also am formed out of the clay. In Psalm 40:2, there is a reference to the “miry clay” symbolizing our lives before we were saved. In one of the miracles of Christ we find a reference to clay being made and put upon the eyes of the blind man (see John 9:6,11,14,15).

Another passage that refers to clay is found in Isaiah 64:8: But now, 0 Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

This passage gives the relationship described in the work of a potter (one who molds and models clay vessels) with the natural clay. The word potter could be translated as “the one who formed us”; the clay represents that which is pliable and submissive, and the potter represents the one who has absolute authority over the clay. (LIBERTY BIBLE COMMENTARY, Vol. 1, p. 1419).

There are many other Scripture references to the work of God likened unto a potter’s molding of clay.

All of these Scriptures give an analogy which describe the way God remolds our lives in order for us to be fit vessels of honor unto Christ. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and met for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work (2 Timothy 2:21).

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Dr. Elmer Towns is a college and seminary professor, an author of popular and scholarly works (the editor of two encyclopedias), a popular seminar lecturer, and dedicated worker in Sunday school, and has developed over 20 resource packets for leadership education.His personal education includes a B.S. from Northwestern College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a M.A. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary also in Dallas, a MRE from Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, and a D.Min. from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.He is co-founder of Liberty University, with Jerry Falwell, in 1971, and was the only full-time teacher in the first year of Liberty’s existence. Today, the University has over 11,400 students on campus with 39,000 in the Distance Learning Program (now Liberty University Online), and he is the Dean of the School of Religion.Dr. Towns has given theological lectures and taught intensive seminars at over 50 theological seminaries in America and abroad. He holds visiting professorship rank in five seminaries. He has written over 2,000 reference and/or popular articles and received six honorary doctoral degrees. Four doctoral dissertations have analyzed his contribution to religious education and evangelism.

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