1.  Hebrew /v@ (shen) = tooth; v, the 21st letter of Hebrew alphabet, is pictorial for teeth.
2.  Incisors for biting (Prov 30:14; Mic 3:5), gnashing (Lam 2:16).
3.  Canines for tearing, piercing, and holding:  Hebrew touL=t^m= (metalle`oth) = from root for a worm, the coccus ilicis yielding scarlet colored dye; thus the red is associated with meat (and Red Planet) (Prov 30:14);  associated with Arab. ltg; the Aethiopic maltâht, jawbone (maxilla)1 (Job 29:17); canines of lions (Psa 58:6; Joel 1:6)
There is a generation whose teeth (incisors) are swords and their canines knives
To devour the poor from the Earth and the needy from among mankind. (Proverbs 30:14)

I broke the canines of the wicked
And made him drop the spoil out from his teeth. (Job 29:17)

4.  Bicuspids for crushing and gnawing (Num 24:8; Ezek 23:34; Joel 1:4)
5.  Molars for grinding (Eccl 12:3); epileptic grinding the teeth (Mk 9:18)
6.  Gnashing the teeth means to strike them together in anger or pain.


1.  The upper teeth symbolize Right Man and the lower teeth symbolize Right Woman.
2.  Sex (Job 31:10)
3.  Planets - the teeth correspond to the planets in order (ref. Biblical Astrology).
    a.  Sun - upper teeth
    b.  Moon - lower teeth
4.  Twins (SOS 4:2; 6:6)
5.  Wild children (from wrong man - wrong woman) upper and lower bite not aligned.
6.  Wisdom teeth symbolize marriageable age.
7.  Crowded teeth symbolize crocodile teeth (Job 41:14).  The crocodile is a symbol of Baal.
8.  Canines symbolize fangs and dog teeth.
9.  Sour grapes set the teeth on edge (Jer 31:29-30; Ezek 18:2) refers to unripe grapes, which are acidic and blunt or dull the mouth.  Eating sour grapes symbolizes sinning and reaping the results under the Law of Volitional Responsibility (Hos 8:7a).
10.  Gnashing the teeth:
     a.  Grate or grind the teeth in rage against (Job 16:9; Psa 35:16; 37:12; Lam 2:16; Acts 7:54).
     b.  Anguish and mourning (Matt 8:12; 13:42; Lk 13:28).
11.  White teeth are healthy and symbolize prosperity (Gen 49:12), and losing a tooth can make a person appear ugly (SOS 4:2).
12.  Teeth of beasts (and tyrants) symbolize death and destruction of devouring judgment (Deut 32:24; Psa 124:6).
13.  Skin of the teeth symbolizes a thin margin or narrow escape (Job 19:20).
14.  Teeth symbolize a jail.  Knocking out the tooth of a slave, therefore, required that he be freed (Ex 21:27).
15.  Breaking the teeth can symbolize a disabling injury (Job 4:10; Psa 3:7).
16.  An eye for eye and tooth for tooth symbolized justice (Ex 21:24; Deut 19:21).
17.  Taking one's flesh in his teeth can symbolize taking one's life into his own hands (Job 13:14).
18.  A bad tooth cannot be trusted and may symbolize a person who cannot be trusted (Prov 25:19).


1.  Keil, C. F., & Delitzsch, F. (2002). Commentary on the Old Testament. (Job 29:1517). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson.

Author:  Larry Wood,   Released January 20, 2011 - Revised Sept. 27, 2011

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