Monday, March 27Exploring The Black Presence In The Bible

The Meaning of Ruddy: Reddish Brown Skin Tones In The Bible



"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge..." - Hosea 4:6

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If you’ve ever wondered what the Bible means when it referred to Esau, David, and other Hebrews as ruddy, then you’ve come to the right place.

This is a very in depth study on the word, because this page will be used as a resource page for other studies. For that reason, it is very important to have a full understanding of the word, and the context in which it is used in scripture. All I ask is that you look at the evidence presented and based solely on that, make up your mind as to what color ruddy is referring to in scripture.


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Ruddy In Hebrew

  • Admoni (Strong’s #132)
  • Short Definition: Ruddy
  • Exhaustive Definition: Or (fully) admowniy {ad-mo-nee’}; from ‘adam; reddish (of the hair or the complexion) — red, ruddy.

The Definition of Ruddy

  • Ruddy: (of a person’s face) having a healthy red color. – Google.com
  • Ruddy: of or having a fresh, healthy red color.  – Dictionary.com
  • Ruddy: having a healthy reddish color. – Merriam-Webster

The Origin of Ruddy

  • Late Old English rudig, from the base of archaic rud ‘red color’; related to red.

Ruddy In The Bible (People)

  • 1 Samuel 16:12 – Description of King David
  • 1 Samuel 17:42 – Description of King David
  • Song of Solomon 5:10 – Description of Solomon
  • Lamentations 4:10 – Description of Nazarites

Red In The Bible (People and Animals)

  • Genesis 25:25 – Description of Esau
  • Numbers 19:2 – Description of A Cow
  • Zechariah 1:8 – Description of A Horse
  • Revelation 6:4 – Description of A Horse
  • Revelation 12:3  – Description of A Dragon

Pictures of Ruddy People and Animals

Ruddy Tree Frog
Ruddy Tree Frog
Ruddy Shelduck
Ruddy Shelduck
Ruddy Cow (Red Heifer)
Ruddy Cow (Red Heifer)
Google Result For Ruddy People
Google Result For Ruddy People
Google Result For Ruddy People
Google Result For Ruddy People
Google Result For Ruddy People
Google Result For Ruddy People

Search Results Disclosure

  • The Google Image results also display a few pictures of white and light people, but most of those pictures appeared because they had the last name Ruddy, and so those pictures were not used.
  • Some of the people appearing in the search results were college professors that used the word “ruddy” in a paper or an article online.
  • The vast majority of relevant results were people of brown or very dark skin.


Read More About Black History & The Bible In My Book

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More Evidence

“And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.” – Genesis 25:30

After a bit of research into “red pottage”, I found that many people agree that this most likely referred to red lentils. So I decided to Google “red lentils“.

Red Lentils (Pottage)
Red Lentils (Pottage)

Ruddy Covers A Range of Reddish Colors

Based on the evidence above, I concluded that the word “ruddy” was used in context, to cover colors that ranged from orange to dark red. From here I decided to look at the following color mixes:

  • Red (listed as a primary color)
  • Orange (red + yellow)
  • Brown (orange + blue)(red + green)

Search Results Disclosure

The word “brown” is used four times in the Bible, but upon further digging into the matter, I found that the Hebrew word translated as brown in scripture, was:

  • Shachar (Strong’s #7835)
  • Short Definition: Black
  • Exhaustive Definition: A primitive root (identical with shachar through the idea of the duskiness of early dawn); to be dim or dark (in color) — be black.

Based on the above information, and the fact that brown is created by using red or a red based color, is why brown is included in the definition of ruddy.


My Conclusion

Based on all of the evidence presented, I believe that the term “ruddy” was used to describe the following range of colors:

ruddy1

ruddy2





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9 Comments

  • ER

    God put all of the races into the first man, Adam. Everything God does is good. We are brothers and sisters, God’s children. While this research is interesting, how much better it would be to concentrate on the Bible’s theme, God’s Kingdom government (Dan. 2:44) that will usher in the Paradise Earth (Rev. 21:4) as well as what God requires of us. If we are so very fortunate to be there, then we can get the whole story from an eye witness himself, the resurrected Abel.

    • Black History In The Bible

      I find it quite satisfying to focus on the whole Bible and not just to ignore what makes us uncomfortable. The Bible’s theme is everything that’s in it. There is no one theme. If it wasn’t important, it wouldn’t have been inspired to go into it in the first place.

    • ER

      Thank you. I try to keep an open mind and heart. Gen. 3:15 is the central theme of the holy scriptures. The kingdom of God that will restore the earthly Paradise is woven throughout the Bible from beginning to end. Jesus Christ confirmed this throughout the gospels. Matt. 24:14, Luke 4:43, 1 Cor. 9:23. It is evident that the Bible is your passion and that is commendable.

    • Black History In The Bible

      I’m working on it as we speak. I have to make sure it’s all accurate so I’m taking my time on it. It’s looking good though.

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