Introduction

We continue our look at biblical figures of speech involving comparison. In our previous post, we considered the simile, which is an explicit comparison between two things of unlike nature that nevertheless have something in common. Today we consider the closely related figure known as metaphor.

Metaphor                  

Pronunciation: \ ˈmet-ə-ˌfôr \ or \ ˈmet-ə-ˌfər \

A metaphor captures representation. It is an implicit comparison between two things of unlike nature that nevertheless have something in common. It is important to identify both the point of likeness and the mood or feeling evoked by the comparison.

General Examples

•  America is a melting pot.

•  Why would she lend money to a guy who is such a snake?

•  “Love is a battlefield.” (Pat Benatar)

•  “I am a rock. I am an island.” (Simon & Garfunkel)

•  “A hospital bed is a parked taxi with the meter running.” (Groucho Marx)

•  “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” (William Shakespeare)

•  “All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind.” (Khalil Gibran)

Biblical Examples

•  “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf . . . .” (Gen 49:27a)

•  “The Lord is my shepherd . . . .” (Ps 23:1a)

•  “The Lord is my rock, my fortress . . . .” (Ps 18:2a)

•  “The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life.” (Prov 13:14a)

•  “We are the clay, and you are the potter.” (Isa 64:8b)

•  “Ephraim is a trained heifer that loves to thresh . . . .” (Hos 10:11a)

•  “I am the good shepherd.” (John 10:14a)

Additional Resources

The definition at Merriam-Webster.com for metaphor.

An audio pronunciation guide for the word metaphor.

 

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