Ruddy Skin In The Bible: Forget Everything You’ve Been Told


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

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What is “ruddy” skin, and in what context is it used in the Bible? This was just one of my questions that I needed to answer for a previous study, and I quickly realized that there was so much information that it could be a study all on it’s own. 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.

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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4 thoughts on “Ruddy Skin In The Bible: Forget Everything You’ve Been Told

  • December 12, 2016 at 9:07 pm
    Permalink

    I actually have a question. Who is Esau today?

    Your study is very interesting. Thank you

    Reply
    • December 13, 2016 at 11:28 am
      Permalink

      That is a study I plan to write soon. I don’t want to jump to conclusions based on what I’ve heard. I like to do the full research myself without anyone telling me where to look, so it’s taking a while, but it’s coming.

      Reply

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