Shadow (צֵל, tsl, or צֵלֶל tselel; σκία, either simply or in composition), the privation of light by an object interposing between a luminary and the surface on which the shadow appears. The light of the sun may be obscured; but "with the Father of light there is no parallax nor tropical shadow;" no interposing bodies can change his purposes or for a moment intercept and turn aside his truth, because he is equally present everywhere (Jas 1:17). A shadow falling on a plate follows the course of the body which causes it; and, as it is often extremely rapid, the fleetness of human life is often compared to it (1Ch 29:15; Job 14:2).
Shadow is also used in the sense of darkness, gloom, "the shadow of death" — i.e. death-shade, a season of severe trial, heavy sorrow (Psalm 23), or depicting a state of ignorance and wretchedness (Mt 4:16; Lu 1:79). Hackett (Illust. of Script. p. 46 sq.) thinks that David's image of the valley of death's shadow may have been suggested by such wild, dreary ravines as the Wady Aly. Shadow is also used for covering and protection from the heat for repose, where the word shade would be preferable. The Messiah "is as the shade of a great rock in a weary land" (Isa 32:2; Isa 49:2; Song 2:3; Ps 17:8; Ps 63:7; Ps 91:1) (comp. Hackett, Illust. of Script. p. 50 sq.). Shadow is used to indicate that the Jewish economy was an adumbration, or a shadowing forth, of the things future and more perfect in the Christian dispensation (Heb 8:5; Heb 10:1; Col 2:17). On the curative power of Peter's shadow (Ac 5:15), see Engelschall, De Umbra Petri (Lips. 1725); Krakewitz, id. (Rost. 1704).