Personification and Anthropomorphism

Personification and Anthropomorphism 

 

 

These two literary devices related and are used throughout the word of God. Personification involves attributing human features or characteristics to inanimate objects while anthropomorphism is the application of human traits on otherwise non-human beings.

 

Examples of personification can be seen in:

Numbers 16:31-32: As he finished speaking all these words, the ground that was under them split open; and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men who belonged to Korah with their possessions.

 

Genesis 4:10 He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground.

 

In each of these examples the Earth is given human characteristics. The Earth does not literally have a mouth with which to open, nor a throat with which to swallow or speak. Human characteristics are given to the Earth to make a clear point.

 

In Psalm 27:8, God uses human characteristics to describe Himself through the inspired writer. This is an example of anthropomorphism. Notice the human features given to God:

When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, O Lord, I shall seek

 

God is a spirit (John 4:24), and spirits do not have physical features like our earthly bodies. As followers of Christ we should be seeking to do the will of the Father. We can do this by living a life that is in close proximity to His commands, close to His face.