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Apple Of My Eye In The Bible

“Apple of my eye” is a phrase that appears in the Bible, specifically in the book of Psalms and in the book of Zechariah. This phrase is used to describe a special⁤ and cherished person or ⁣object, symbolizing affection and protection.

In Psalms 17:8, the author ‍writes, “Keep⁢ me as the apple of your eye; hide ‌me in the shadow of your ⁢wings.” This verse portrays ⁣the psalmist’s plea​ to ⁤God for guidance and protection, ⁤seeking refuge in His watchful care. The imagery of being the apple of God’s eye indicates a close, ⁤intimate relationship, where one is

The phrase “apple of my eye” is a common expression used to convey deep affection and endearment towards someone. Interestingly, this phrase also has a rich biblical history, appearing in both the Old and New Testaments. In this blog post, we will explore the origins and significance of “apple of my eye” in the Bible.

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The Biblical Usage:

The term “apple of my eye” appears in several Bible verses, each with unique contexts and implications. Two prominent examples include:

  1. Deuteronomy 32:10 (NIV): “In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye.” This verse conveys the protective and caring nature of God toward His people. God is described as a guardian, sheltering and cherishing the Israelites as the “apple of His eye.”
  2. Psalm 17:8 (NIV): “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.” This verse reflects a plea for God’s protection, using the term “apple of your eye” to express the psalmist’s desire to be safeguarded under God’s watchful care.

Origin of the Expression:

The expression “apple of my eye” may seem unusual, but it has its roots in the anatomy of the eye. In the center of the eye, there is a small, circular and darker region called the pupil. In ancient times, the pupil was likened to a tiny apple. Thus, “apple of the eye” signifies something cherished, central, and protected.

Divine Protection and Endearment:

In its biblical context, “apple of my eye” carries a dual message:

  1. Divine Protection: The term emphasizes God’s commitment to shielding and guarding His people. It conveys the idea of being cherished, watched over, and sheltered from harm.
  2. Endearment: Just as it is used today to express deep affection, “apple of my eye” in the Bible signifies a special and beloved relationship. It reflects the intimate bond between God and His chosen people.

Application in Daily Life:

  1. God’s Love and Care: Understanding the biblical use of this phrase reminds us of God’s boundless love and protection. We are the apple of His eye, and He watches over us with unwavering devotion.
  2. Expressions of Love: The expression “apple of my eye” can also be used in our daily lives to convey affection and endearment to loved ones. It is a beautiful way to express the deep care and importance someone holds in our hearts.

What Does “the Apple of His Eye” Mean?

In Psalm 17, David pleads for God’s attention and protection under attack. In verse 7, he writes, “Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand,” and in verse 8, David begs, “Keep me as the apple of your eye.” In other words, “Guard me as you would your own precious sight.”

The first line of verse 8 translates, “Guard me as the pupil, the daughter of the eye.” “Pupil” in Hebrew is “little man.” The center of your eye reflects the person it sees. That is to say that a tiny reflection of the object of your attention appears in your pupil. When God looks at His children, we are reflected in His eyes. We are a tiny reflection of His vision. We are “the apple of His eye.”

In Deuteronomy 32:10, the people of Israel are also called “the apple of His eye.” When the people of Israel reached the Promised Land and Moses turns over leadership to Joshua, Moses recalls the story of God’s people. Called the Song of Moses, the people are reminded of God’s protection and provision in the desert. In the desert, he found them in a barren and howling waste. He shielded and cared for them. He guarded the people as “the apple of his eye.”

What does it mean to be the apple of God’s eye?

Several verses in the Bible mention “the apple of the eye.” This ancient metaphor is a reference to the “pupil” of the eye, which is exactly how some Bible translations render it. Here are three Old Testament uses of the phrase the apple of the eye:

The wise father says to his son, “Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye” (Proverbs 7:2).

The psalmist prays, “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings” (Psalm 17:8).

And in Deuteronomy 32:10 Moses relates a poetic description of God’s care for Israel: “In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye.”

At the risk of getting a little word-nerdy, let’s look at some of the Hebrew behind the phrase. The “apple” in the apple of the eye is a translation of the Hebrew word for “apple,” ishon, which is related to the word ish, meaning “man.” Etymologically, the ishon of the eye is “the little man of the eye.” Have you ever looked someone in the eye and seen your own reflection in their pupil? That’s the “little man,” right in the center of the eye.

The apple of one’s eye is a very sensitive place and therefore very protected. Think about your own eye for a moment. What happens if something flies in it or toward it? Your eyelids reflexively close, your head turns, and your hands position themselves to ward off the threat. Our eyesight is valuable, and our body naturally protects that vulnerable spot to prevent injury.

So, the instruction in Proverbs 7:2 is to hold godly wisdom in high regard as the valuable thing it is. The prayer in Psalm 17:8 is for God to keep guard over us as He would the pupil of His own eye. And the description of God’s care for His people in Deuteronomy 32:10 emphasizes Israel’s vulnerability and God’s tender, loving affection. God provided complete protection; His people were a priority. In the “howling wilderness,” God provided manna for them to eat, water from a rock, and safety from their enemies. His care was as automatic as if He were guarding the center of His eye from harm. What a loving God we serve.

God held the Israelites as the apple of His eye, rebellious and stiff-necked though they were in the wilderness. Being the apple of His eye, they were most cherished. And God’s care for His people has not diminished with time. He holds His children close, and He can protect us as easily as our eyelids protect our pupils. He does this because He loves us in Christ. He has a parental, protective love for us, and the biblical descriptions of His love are eye-opening, to say the least.


The biblical phrase “apple of my eye” carries profound meaning, signifying both divine protection and a bond of endearment. It is a reminder of God’s watchful care over His people and serves as a heartfelt expression of love. Whether in our relationship with God or in our interactions with loved ones, this expression beautifully captures the idea of cherishing and safeguarding what we hold most dear.

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