The dragonfly, a flying insect admired by many for its grace and beauty, holds spiritual significance in many cultures. However, in this post, I will specifically explore the symbolism of dragonflies within the context of the Bible and the Christian faith.
To keep a tight focus, I will only draw my references from the word of God and any related perspectives. Thus, I won’t be referencing other forms of spiritualism that fall outside the scope for believers in Christ.
Now, let’s dive into understanding the dragonfly’s possible symbolic meaning in biblical terms!
1. The Dragonfly in the Bible
Are dragonflies specifically mentioned or symbolized in the Bible?
The short and simple answer is ‘no’. There are no Bible verses that directly reference dragonflies by their name, in any language translations.
By extension, I think that any claims about the exact biblical meaning or symbolism of dragonflies should be taken, at best, as purely speculative.
Put simply, the Bible doesn’t directly mention dragonflies. However, these insects can and have been used alongside Christian themes outside of the Scriptures. mostly for their aesthetic appeal in art.
But what about the “flying insects” mentioned in the Bible? Doesn’t that include dragonflies?
God’s Word does indeed mention “flying insects”. The relevant verse here is found in Leviticus:
“All flying insects that walk on all fours are to be regarded as unclean by you. There are, however, some flying insects that walk on all fours that you may eat: those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground.”Leviticus 11:20-23
However, there are two key lines of inquiry here – neither of which seem to point to the specific spiritual symbolism of dragonflies. But just to be thorough, I’ll briefly cover both of them.
First, let’s take the phrase “flying insects that walk on all fours” literally, with its English translation.
So, in a literal sense, dragonflies don’t fit the description of either category given in this Bible verse.
Second, let’s try to examine the same phrase but in its original Hebrew context, which most biblical scholars are far more inclined to do.
Amid the unique cultural and historical setting of the Old Testament Israelites, “flying insects that walk on all fours” isn’t meant to be taken literally. Instead, it is merely an idiomatic phrase that, according to Ellicott, refers to the broad category of flying insects in general. In addition, “on all fours” isn’t about a precise number of legs, but rather, holistically refers to every type of insect that is able to move with their bodies close to the ground.
In this regard, I guess one could potentially argue that dragonflies are likely to belong to the “unclean” category, since they fly and are able to land on surfaces but still can’t hop, unlike grasshoppers or locusts.
However, I think it is crucial to clarify that Leviticus 11:20-23, whether it includes dragonflies or not, pertains specifically to the dietary laws for the Israelites at Mount Sinai in the Old Testament. Thus, this Bible verse is clearly not centered on the potential biblical meaning or spiritual symbolism of the dragonfly in and of itself.
In addition, modern-day Christians don’t typically nor need to adhere to these Old Testament dietary laws, due to the updated contexts of the New Testament (find out more here).
In short, while there is a Bible verse that arguably may include the dragonfly by category, it has little to do with our main question at hand.
God’s symbolism: Could the dragonfly be a message for you?
The answer is ‘yes’!
Many believers already know that God still speaks today and is able to supernaturally communicate to us individually, often through symbolism. This can happen through dreams, visions, circumstances, and so on.
Many Christians refer to this kind of real-life divine message as God’s “rhema” word. It’s a supernatural message from Him for a specific person or situation that can happen at any time.
However, it’s important to note that while God’s rhema word might technically occur outside of the Bible, any messages He gives you will always align with (never contradict) His character and the core teachings of the Bible. So, you should familiarize yourself with the Scriptures.
Thus, with all this in mind, the dragonfly could very well be a part of God’s symbolic and relational message to you.
So, if you think God has shown you a vision, dream, etc. of the flying insect, here’s how you can better discern and understand its spiritual meaning for your life.
Steps to discerning the possible spiritual meaning of the dragonfly, specific from God to you
- Prayer: Begin with a simple conversation with God. Ask Him for spiritual clarity, insight, and wisdom regarding the symbolic dragonfly you believe He has shown you.
- Reflect on context: Consider the circumstances surrounding the symbol. Were you praying about something specific recently? Were you seeking guidance or an answer for anything in particular? With the Holy Spirit’s guidance, reflecting on this may give context to the dragonfly.
- Search the Scriptures: While the Bible might not directly discuss dragonflies, it does provide timeless principles and teachings from God that may resonate with His rhema word for you. Read His Word and keep praying for Him to highlight any relevant passages.
- Seek spiritual counsel: Share your experience with a trusted mentor, pastor, or friend. They may be able to pray alongside you for God to reveal any further spiritual insights on this potential rhema word.
- Be patient: Sometimes, God might choose to reveal a symbol’s meaning over a longer period of time, not immediately. So, just trust that if it’s genuinely His message to you, He will help you come to understand it. Seek answers but don’t stress over it.
- Stay open but discerning: Give room for God to speak supernaturally to you about the symbolic dragonfly. Don’t limit how He may choose to communicate. However, at the same time, it is also wise to be spiritually discerning as the enemy is also out to deceive us. Again, make sure any message you feel you have received aligns with God’s Word and strengthens your faith in Christ alone. Do not pursue other forms of spiritualism that will distract you.
Check out the videos below for further guidance as you seek to understand the spiritual significance of the dragonfly to your life.
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