Figures of Speech (Types)

Last week we began to examine figures of speech more specifically. We noted that a simile is a comparison of two objects by the use of some adverb of comparison, such as like, as, so, etc. This week we will look at a metaphor through Biblical examples. Before that, what is a metaphor? The definition of metaphor is: a way of presenting a truth that is wholly or partly unknown by likening it to something that is known to the person or persons under instruction. As we come to appreciate metaphors in the biblical text we will see the world of the writer more clearly.

Jeremiah 1:18 “Now behold, I have made you today as a fortified city and as a pillar of iron and as walls of bronze against the whole land, to the kings of Judah, to its princes, to its priests and to the people of the land.

This example was used for simile because of the “as” comparison. But this verse also utilizes metaphor by likening Jeremiah to a fortified city. God was letting the prophet Jeremiah know that he was to gain full defense from Him.

Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

This verse reminds us that David spent many years as a shepherd. David is describing God personally as only he can. Metaphors in the Bible are figures of speech that allow the reader see word pictures of concepts and ideas that would be hard to describe otherwise.