The Hebrew word for bear is דוב ‘dov’ which literally is a picture of the father who sits at the door of the tent. The door of the tent was the place of relaxation for the father. Here he would watch his family, livestock and the road for approaching visitors (Genesis 18:1). The root of דוב ‘dov’ is דב which means to rest, to be quiet as in the father sitting at the door of the tent. This word is also related to mourning and sorrow as a time of quietness.
The shepherd would sit at the door of the tent where he could watch his family and livestock. If there was danger He would arise. In the Scriptures, when God arises, all the earth is silent before Him (Revelation 8:1; Habakkuk 2:20; Zechariah 2:13; Zephaniah 1:7-18; Psalm 76:8-12).
One of the Hebrew words for a cave or den (the ‘tent’ of the bear) is מאורה ‘meorah’ which comes from the root אר ‘or’ meaning light and order. A cave is a place of darkness yet has a lighted whole when viewed from the inside. The Hebrew word for the ark of the covenant is ארון ‘aron’ which comes from this same Hebrew root. The ark was a box, which is a device used to arrange and order articles. The Tabernacle/Temple was a place of darkness whose only light was the Menorah in the Holy Place and the Glory of the LORD in the Holy of Holies. Here we see a connection between the den/cave of the bear and the House of God. Scripture further links these concepts by picturing the LORD as a bear.
When God judges the earth it is likened to a bear robbed of her cubs (Hosea 13:8; Amos 5:19).
The Hebrew word for this bereavement is שכל ‘shakal’ which is literally means a loss of children. Interestingly the Hebrew word for a cluster of grapes, אשכול ‘eshkol,’ is a cognate of this word. The roaring of God in judgment as a bear robbed of her cubs is linked to the ‘grapes of wrath’ spoken of in Revelation.
Rev 6:9 And when He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those having been slain for the Word of God, and for the witness which they had.
Rev 6:10 And they cried with a great voice, saying, Until when, holy and true Master, do You not judge and take vengeance for our blood, from those dwelling on the earth?
Rev 6:11 And there was given to each one a white robe. And it was said to them that they should rest yet a little time, until might be fulfilled also the number of their fellow-slaves and their brothers, those being about to be killed, even as they.
Isa 26:20 Come, My people, go in your rooms and shut your doors behind you. Hide for a little moment, until the fury passes.
Isa 26:21 For, behold, Jehovah comes out of His place to visit his iniquity on those dwelling on the earth. The earth shall also reveal her blood, and shall no more cover over her slain ones.
Amo 1:2 And he said: Jehovah will roar from Zion and utter His voice from Jerusalem. And the pastures of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither.
Joe 3:13 Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down, for the press is full, the vats overflow, for their wickedness is great.
Joe 3:14 Multitudes, multitudes in valley of decision! For the day of Jehovah is near in the valley of decision.
Joe 3:15 The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall gather in their light.
Joe 3:16 And Jehovah roars from Zion, and He gives His voice from Jerusalem. And the heavens and the earth quake. But Jehovah is a refuge for His people and a fortress to the sons of Israel.
Amo 5:18 Woe to those desiring the day of Jehovah! What is this for you? The day of Jehovah is darkness, and not light.
Amo 5:19 It is as if a man fled before a lion, and the bear met him. Or he goes into the house and leans his hand against the wall, and a snake bites him.
Amo 5:20 Shall not the day of Jehovah be darkness, and not light; even very dark, and not any brightness in it?
Jer 25:27 So you shall say to them, So says Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel: Drink, and be drunk, and vomit, and fall, and do not rise up, because of the sword which I will send among you.
Jer 25:28 And it shall be, if they refuse to take the cup from your hand to drink, then you shall say to them, So says Jehovah of Hosts, Drinking you shall drink.
Jer 25:29 For, behold, I begin to bring evil on the city on which is called My name, and shall you be found entirely without guilt? You shall not be without guilt. For I will call for a sword on all those living in the earth, says Jehovah of Hosts.
Jer 25:30 And now you prophesy against them all these Words, and say to them, Jehovah shall roar from on high and give forth His voice from His holy habitation; He shall mightily roar over His dwelling place. He answers with a shout, like those who tread out the grapes, against all those living in the earth.
Jer 25:31 A roaring will go to the ends of the earth, for Jehovah has a controversy with the nations. He will enter into judgment with all flesh; He will give the wicked to the sword, says Jehovah.
Jer 25:32 So says Jehovah of Hosts, Behold, evil is going from nation to nation, and a great tempest shall be stirred up from the corners of the earth.
Jer 25:33 And the slain of Jehovah shall be at that day from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth. They shall not be mourned, nor gathered, nor buried; they shall be as dung on the face of the earth.
Jer 25:34 Howl, O shepherds, and cry, and roll in ashes, O leaders of the flock! For the days of your slaughter and of your scatterings are fulfilled, and you shall fall like a desirable vessel.
Jer 25:35 And refuge has perished from the shepherds, and escape from the leaders of the flock.
Jer 25:36 The sound of the cry of the shepherds, and the howling from the leaders of the flock will be heard. For Jehovah is spoiling their pasture.
Jer 25:37 And the peaceful pastures are devastated, because of the glow of the anger of Jehovah.
Jer 25:38 Like the young lion, He has left His den; for their land is a waste because of the glow of the oppressor, and because of His flowing anger.
In Jeremiah 25:38, the word for den is סך ‘sok’ which literally means a tent or booth. The Hebrew word for young lion is כפיר ‘kephiyr’ which comes from the word כפר ‘kaphar’ which means atonement. Here the imagery is pointing to the Temple and God arising from His throne (lid of atonement כפרת ‘kaporet’ – Exodus 26:34) to judge the earth (Psalm 80:1).
Lam 3:10 He was a bear lying in wait for me, a lion in secret places.
The Hebrew word for lying in wait or ambush is ארב ‘arav’ which comes from the root רב ‘rav’ which means the head of the house who strives with the enemies of his family. Here is yet another picture of the above concept of God being likened to a bear who tears apart its prey.
Hos 13:4 Yet I am Jehovah, your God from the land of Egypt; and you shall know no other gods than Me. For there is no Savior besides Me.
Hos 13:5 I have known you in the wilderness, in the land of great dryness.
Hos 13:6 According to their pasture, so they were filled. They were filled, and their heart was lifted up. On account of this they have forgotten Me.
Hos 13:7 Now I am as a lion to them; I will watch by the way like a leopard.
Hos 13:8 I will meet them like a bereaved bear, and I will tear the lining of their heart; and as a lion, I will devour them there; the beast of the field shall tear them.
Hos 13:9 O Israel, you are destroyed, but your help is in Me.
The Hebrew word for the roaring of a bear is המה ‘hamah’ which comes from the root הם ‘ham’ which is speaking of the roaring of many waters.
Rev 1:15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
Eze 43:2 And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. And His voice was like the voice of many waters. And the earth shone from His glory.
Eze 43:3 And the appearance of the vision which I saw was as the appearance which I saw when I came to destroy the city, and as the appearance that I saw by the river Chebar. And I fell on my face.
Eze 43:4 And the glory of Jehovah came into the house, the way of the gate facing eastward.
Eze 43:5 And the Spirit took me up and brought me into the inner court. And, behold, the glory of Jehovah filled the house!
Eze 43:6 And I heard one speaking to me from the house. And standing beside me was a Man.
Eze 43:7 And He said to me, Son of man, the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, there where I will dwell among the sons of Israel forever, even the house of Israel shall not defile My holy name any more, they nor their kings, by their fornication, nor by the corpses of their kings in their high places.
Eze 1:24 And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of an host: when they stood, they let down their wings.
Further connecting the bear to many waters and the coming of the Messiah is the etymology of the English word ‘bear.’ The English word bear comes from the Old English ‘bera’ which means the ‘brown one.’ This word traces back further to ‘bher’ which means bright. ‘Bher’ comes from the Hebrew word ברק ‘baraq’ which means bright and shining as lightning or the glistening of a sword.
Luk 17:24 For as the lightning lighting up out of one part under heaven to one part under heaven shines, so also will the Son of Man be in His day.
Mat 24:27 For as the lightning comes forth from the east and shines as far as the west, so also will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Zec 9:14 Then Jehovah will be seen over them, and His arrow shall go out as lightning; and the Lord Jehovah shall blow the ram’s horn and shall go forth with the windstorms of the south.
Lightning caused thunder which is likened unto His Voice.
The Hebrew word for brown is חום ‘chum’ which also means black as in something that is burnt from the sun. The root of חום ‘chum’ is חם ‘cham’ which means the heat of the sun.
Scripture speaks of the appearance of Messiah to the sun.
Rev 1:14 And the hairs of His head were white as white wool, as snow, and His eyes as a flame of fire;
Rev 1:15 and His feet like burnished brass having been fired in a furnace; and His voice as a sound of many waters;
Rev 1:16 and having in His right hand seven stars; and a sharp, two-edged sword proceeding out of His mouth, and His face shining as the sun in its power.
This likening of the brightness of the sun is also spoken of as lightning.
Dan 10:6 His body was also like the beryl, and his face looked like lightning. And his eyes were like torches of fire; and his arms and his feet in color like polished bronze; and the sound of his words were as the noise of a multitude.
Rev 19:11 And I saw Heaven being opened. And, behold! A white horse, and He sitting on it having been called Faithful and True. And He judges and wars in righteousness.
Rev 19:12 And His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head many diadems, having a name that had been written, which no one knows except Himself;
Rev 19:13 and having been clothed in a garment which had been dipped in blood. And His name is called The Word of God.
Rev 19:14 And the armies in Heaven followed Him on white horses, being dressed in fine linen, white and pure.
Rev 19:15 And out of His mouth goes forth a sharp sword, that with it He might smite the nations. And He will shepherd them with an iron rod. And He treads the winepress of the wine of the anger and of the wrath of God Almighty.
Rev 19:16 And He has on His garment and on His thigh a name having been written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.