As one reads and studies the Bible, it should be noted that it is written in various types of symbolic languages as the listing on the right. This is especially important when studying prophetic passages. Discernment is necessary to decipher what is literal and what is symbolic; what is physical in one sense in the Old Covenant, and ends up in a spiritual sense in the New Covenant. Also, in studying prophetic writings of both the Old and New Covenants, it is important to ask the following questions: WHO was speaking - and to WHOM?? under WHAT circumstances - and WHERE?? WHY was the prophecy given - and WHEN??
When Phillip met the man from Ethiopia reading the Scriptures, he asked him if he understood what he was reading, and the man answered, "How can I, except some man should guide me?" Acts 8:31.
Jesus used many Parables to illustrate His Kingdom which He desired to implant in each Believer's Soul.
A Fable is recorded in 2 Kings 14:9-10. "...The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, Give thy daughter to my son to wife: and there passed by a wild beast that was in Lebanon, and trode down the thistle...."
A Simile is recorded in Matthew 3:16 when Jesus was baptized John "saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him [Jesus]."
A Metaphor in Matthew 26:26 likens the Body of Jesus to bread. He said, "Take, eat; this is my body." Throughout Scriptures, the Godhead is likened to many things: Water, Wind, Rock, Light, Star, Scepter, Rose, Lily, Branch, Arm, Dew, Angel Of The Lord, Fountain, Sun, Bridegroom, Husband, High Priest, etc.
An Allegory is used in Ephesians 6:11-17 where Spiritual Warfare is described and Believers are to use the Armor of God which is likened to the belt as being Truth; the breastplate being Righteousness; the shoes being the Gospel of Peace; the shield likened to Faith; the helmet likened to Salvation; and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.
A Riddle is found in Judges 14:14 where Samson used a riddle instead of telling the real incident that occurred when he returned to get the carcass of a lion which he had killed and found the bees had made honey in it! He said, "Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not in three days expound the riddle."
The Psalmist David used Hyperboles when he declared in Psalm 22:6, 14. "But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels."
Irony is found in Matthew 27:29. Speaking of Jesus at His trial, "And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!"
Sarcasm is recorded in Mark 15:31-32. "Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He [Jesus] saved others; himself he cannot save."
Interrogation is used in Hebrews 2:3. "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation...."
Metonymy is found in 1 Corinthians 11:25-26. "After the same manner also he [Jesus] took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come."
Personification is found in Psalm 114:3. "The sea saw it, and fled; jordan was driven back."
Anthropomorphism is found in Exodus 33:22-23. And it shall come to pass, while my [God's] glory passeth by [Moses], that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by."
Copyright 2015, 2016 Covenant Of Sovereign Grace Ministry. This article may be printed in its entirety for personal study and free distribution. Please include the following statement: "Permission granted by Covenant Of Sovereign Grace Ministry for Free Distribution Only - Never To Be Sold". "Buy [possess] the truth and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding" (Proverbs 23:23). Jesus said: "The kingdom of heaven [He Himself] is at hand ... freely ye have received, freely give" (Matthew 10:7, 8). This Document
Copyright 2015, 2016 Covenant Of Sovereign Grace Ministry. This article may be printed in its entirety for personal study and free distribution. Please include the following statement: "Permission granted by Covenant Of Sovereign Grace Ministry for Free Distribution Only - Never To Be Sold". "Buy [possess] the truth and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding" (Proverbs 23:23). Jesus said: "The kingdom of heaven [He Himself] is at hand ... freely ye have received, freely give" (Matthew 10:7, 8).