sign

sign

A significant event, act, or other manifestation that betokens God’s presence or intention. Signs may be miraculous and spectacular, as in the case of those performed by Moses (Exod 4:1-9; Exod 4:17; Exod 4:30; Exod 7-11:30). On the other hand, a natural phenomenon such as a rainbow or a sunset may be called a sign (Gen 9:13; Ps 65:8), as may an identifying mark such as circumcision (Gen 17:11) or even a prophet and his children (Isa 8:18). In the NT, signs tend to be apocalyptic or miraculous, but the shepherds are told that the infant Jesus “wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12) will be a sign of God’s salvation. When Jesus is asked about a sign indicating the coming destruction of the Temple (Mark 13:4), he responds by referring to natural, if catastrophic, events (Mark 13:5-13) as well as to more supernatural ones (Mark 13:24-27). In the synoptic Gospels, Jesus refuses to work signs (Mark 8:11-12; Matt 12:38-39), but in the Gospel of John, he does perform signs that are intended to evoke faith in him (John 2:11; John 20:30-31). The Fourth Evangelist, however, also seems to be aware of the inadequacies of faith based on signs (John 4:48). Paul speaks of miraculous apostolic signs (2Cor 12:12), and Jesus is characterized in (Acts 2:22) as “a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you.”

Exod 4:1-9

Moses' Miraculous Power
1Then Moses answered, “But suppose they do not believe me or listen to me, but say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you.’ ”2The Lord said to ... View more

Exod 4:17

17Take in your hand this staff, with which you shall perform the signs.”

Exod 4:30

30Aaron spoke all the words that the Lord had spoken to Moses, and performed the signs in the sight of the people.

Exod 7-11:30

1The Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet.2You shall speak all that I command you, and yo ... View more

Gen 9:13

13I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.

Ps 65:8

8Those who live at earth's farthest bounds are awed by your signs;
you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy.

Gen 17:11

11You shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you.

Isa 8:18

18See, I and the children whom the Lord has given me are signs and portents in Israel from the Lord of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion.

Luke 2:12

12This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”

Mark 13:4

4“Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?”

Mark 13:5-13

5Then Jesus began to say to them, “Beware that no one leads you astray.6Many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray.7When you h ... View more

Mark 13:24-27

The Coming of the Son of Man
24“But in those days, after that suffering,
the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light,25and the stars will be ... View more

Mark 8:11-12

The Demand for a Sign
11The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, asking him for a sign from heaven, to test him.12And he sighed deeply in his spirit and ... View more

Matt 12:38-39

The Sign of Jonah
38Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.”39But he answered them, “An evil and adulterou ... View more

John 2:11

11Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

John 20:30-31

The Purpose of This Book
30Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book.31But these are written so that y ... View more

John 4:48

48Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”

2Cor 12:12

12The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, signs and wonders and mighty works.

Acts 2:22

22“You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did t ... View more

 NEH Logo
Bible Odyssey has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.