The word “shadow” is used in several ways in the Bible.
- There is the obvious and literal meaning (e.g., 2 Kings 20:9-11; Acts 5:15).
- Then there are places where it means shelter (e.g., Psalm 17:8; Isaiah 30:2).
- It can also be used figuratively to mean things that are symbolic of something else. For example, the law of Moses is described as a “shadow” of Christ (Colossians 2:17; Hebrews 8:5; 10:1). We might use the word “foreshadowing” in the same way.
In each case, the context makes it clear how the word is being used.