These are the characters in this series. To see them put together in a story, click on the image above to access the pdf. Then review and quiz yourself at the bottom.


*Sunday school
(十宀) + 子
chapel + child

the class at the chapel that the children attend


走 + 召zhào
walk + summon

Among the many memorable prophets in the Bible is Elijah, who transcended death. He went out walking and was summoned up to heaven in a chariot of fire.


氵 + 良liáng
water + halo

One of Jesus’s most famous miracles was calming the breakers of the stormy Sea of Galilee.


岂 + 几
[rhetorical question] + wind

Moses goes to Pharaoh and requests him to “let his people go.” Pharaoh asks the rhetorical question, “Who is the Lord?,” and Moses answers with a series of plagues, including an east wind that brings in locusts that cover the land. After ten such plagues, Moses is ultimately triumphant over Pharaoh who lets Israel go.


扌 + 受shòu
hand + received

As Jesus was preparing for his death, he conferred authority on his apostles by placing his hands on them, and they received it.


元yuán + 页
Adam&Eve + head

With this choice of life comes children. And their first child, Cain, is a stubborn one, a real blockhead.

丶 + 乂yì
drop + sheaf

But, Joseph’s case is special. Picture the drop above this sheaf representing his righteousness that sets him apart. He’s touched by heaven.


亻 + 右yòu
persona + right

Christ says that those on his right are blessed because they blessed others (Matthew 25:34).


氵 + 共gòng
water + together

After letting Israel go, Pharaoh changes his mind and pursues them to the Red Sea. Moses parts the water to let his people pass through, but the water comes together in a deluge to flood the Egyptian army behind them.


歹 + 朱zhū
carcass + vermilion

The tempting tree brings knowledge of good and evil, but also contains life and death. This tree of contrasts is represented in this character meaning “dissimilar”, death on the left and tempting life on the right.

*sheaf, *X

Jacob, renamed Israel, has 12 sons. It is his last son, Joseph, who will carry on God’s covenant, so he is favored. Joseph has a dream about sheaves of grain, where his brother’s sheaves all bow to his. He shares the dream with his brothers in hopes they will see the favoritism is God’s will. They don’t buy it.

氵 + 敫jiǎo
water + Noah’s dove

Noah is excited when the dove returns back over the water with an olive leaf in her mouth

彳 + 𢛳dé
queue + ten commandments

This moral code has kept people in line for thousands of years.


女 + 良liáng
woman + halo

Perhaps the world’s most famous mom was the hallowed young woman, Mary, who became the mother of Jesus.


彐 + 寸
broom + thumb

Parable of the the Lost Coin: she seeks what is lost by sweeping the house, using her thumb to get it out of a crack.

look back
厂 + 已 + 页
cliff + snakeskin + head

Like people in all ages, the Israelites rebelled. They were getting sick and dying from snake bites, so Moses got up on a cliff with his long hair waving in the wind. He held up his staff, wrapped with a snake, and said that all the people needed to do to be healed was look back toward God (represented by the staff), and they would live.

月 + 孛bèi
body part + Sunday school

the only body part that is allowed to move during Sunday School to bow your head


request the presence of
敫jiǎo + 辶
Noah's dove + road

Noah releases the dove one last time, and she doesn’t return. He takes this as a sign that it is time to leave the ark, that the road is requesting his presence OR Request the Presence of Noah’s Dove: During the flood of misery during the Depression, people often requested the presence of Noah’s dove of peace.


十 + 宀
cross + house

chapel has a cross on the roof


*ten commandments
十 + 罒 + 一 + 心
ten + net + one + heart

After leading his people out of Egypt, Moses now has to teach them how not to be slaves but to govern themselves on the way to the promised land. He receives new laws from God, including the 10 commandments, a safety net for the people that encourages them to be of one heart with each other.


*Noah’s dove
白 + 放
white + release

The world turns to chaos, and only by listening to God does Noah save himself, and in turn, all of creation. As the water recedes, he releases a dove to see if it will find a tree on which to rest.


王 + 朱zhū
jewel + vermilion

This story about choosing to live fully, is a jewel in Western culture, a “pearl of great price,” just like a vermilion-colored pearl would be quite precious.


羊 + 灬
sheep + cooking fire

One law God’s people were asked to obey was sacrifice. They took their best lamb and burnt it on the altar to God.


丶zhǔ + 未
drop + not yet

God gives them specific instructions about the trees in the garden. There is one with very tempting vermillion fruit from which they are not supposed to eat. Can you see the fruit hanging on the branch of this tree?


judge [v.]
半bàn + 刂
half + sword

There is lots of wisdom literature in the Bible. The king famous for his wisdom was Solomon. Once two women came to him arguing over a baby that they both claimed was theirs. He suggested they cut the baby in half with a sword and each take half. Of course, he knew this was the best way to judge between the women, because the real mother would never allow her baby to be killed.


large rope
L + 糸
chapel + fine silk

the rope in chapels is made of fine silk


己 + 攵
snake + taskmaster

you alter the snake into a whip OR snake hopes to alter the human condition by becoming the taskmaster OR to the taskmaster "You snake! You altered the plan on us!"


石 + 出chū
stone + exit

foundation stone exits the quarry to become cornerstone of the temple


木 + 灬
tree + cooking fire

The people of Israel spend 400 years as slaves in Egypt. One Israelite, Moses, has an outstanding experience, where he sees God in a burning tree. God tells him to get Pharaoh to free his people.


plant [v.]
木 + 直zhí
tree + straight

Proverbs 22:6 whether it is children or trees, if you plant them in the straight way, they won’t depart from it

二 + 儿
two + human legs

In the garden, Adam and Eve wore (next to) nothing. Do you see the two fig leaves on Eve like a two-piece bathing suit?


one’s elder
一 + 乂
one + sheaf

This character shows one elder brother ruling over the sheaf. The elder brothers naturally think Joseph’s sheaf (birthright) should belong to them.


乂 + 凵
sheaf + pit

Joseph’s cruel brothers decide to do away with him and throw him in a pit.


young man
良liáng + 阝
halo + city walls

As a young man, Jesus traveled to Jerusalem, the walled city, to teach the elders in the temple.


slumber [n.]
目 + 民mín
eye + people

One of the later apostles Paul, in his epistle to the Romans said, “God hath given the people the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see.”

[rhetorical question]
山 + 己jǐ
mountain + snake

While Moses is on Mount Horeb (where he saw the burning bush), he is told by God he will be the one to free his people. Moses asks some rhetorical questions like, “Who am I to do this thing?” Rather than answer, God gives him a rod that can be changed into a snake. In this way,  he can demonstrate his power and authority from God.


门 + 活huó
gate + lively

wide is the gate and broad is the way of the lively life that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13)


beginning, *Adam & Eve
二 + 儿
two + human legs

The Bible starts with the creation story: “In the beginning…” and tells of the first two humans, Adam and Eve.


月 + 月
2 body parts

Adam and Eve were created as companions. They were so close, Adam called her “flesh of my flesh.”


play [v.]
王 + 元yuán
jewel + Adam&Eve

Since the garden provided so abundantly, Adam and Eve didn’t have much to do besides play. Here they are playing with a jewel they found.


shut [v.]
丷 + 天
horns + heavens

the heavens are shut to the devil (the big guy with horns)

“The heavens were shut to those who built the golden calf.” (Bible Series)


one another
木mù + 目mù
wood + eye

The two components of this character sound like one another.

"Jesus’s teaching: love one another by removing the wooden beam from your eye before removing the mote from your brother’s." (Bible Series)


元yuán + 辶
Adam&Eve + road

"Eve makes the choice of life, which starts their journey into our world. If we look back to the distant past, we can see our brave first parents showing us the way." (Bible Series)


garden [n.]
囗 + 元yuán
enclose + Adam&Eve

"Adam and Eve were enclosed for a while in a garden, Eden, where they thought they had everything they needed." (Bible Series)


even more
一 + 日 + 乂
ceiling + sun + sheaf

when you put the sun under a ceiling (like a greenhouse) you produce even more sheaves

"The story goes on with many twists and turns, but ultimately, Joseph ends up in a position of privilege in Egypt (a sunny place) where he can provide grain to his family during a famine. The dream is fulfilled, and the covenant is perpetuated." (Bible Series)


high-quality, *halo
丶 + 艮
drop + silver

"Much of Western civilization’s Bible heritage was transmitted through art. Picture all of those prophets, saints, and especially Jesus, donned with a halo, a drop of silver above their heads." (Bible Series)

hope [v.]
乂yì + 布
sheaf + cloth

"The hope of Joseph’s father, that God’s covenant will be carried on, is represented in the colorful cloth, the coat of many colors that Jacob gives Joseph." (Bible Series)


口 + 乂
mouth + sheaf

history of food OR History, in the time of Joseph, was passed down by mouth, so stories often got better and more layered with meaning over time.




slumber [n.]



*Noah’s dove


*ten commandments


*Sunday school


request the presence of

[rhetorical question]


one another


high-quality, *halo


one’s elder


garden [n.]


beginning, *Adam & Eve

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