Literary Devices in the Bible, Part 10: Metonymy 

Introduction

We’ve set out in this series to explore some of the literary devices in the Bible. Specifically, we’re looking at:

(1) common figures of speech;
(2) common semantic, rhetorical and poetic devices; and
(3) common structuring techniques.

The first category—common figures of speech—can be subdivided into:

(a) figures of speech involving comparison; and
(b) figures of speech involving substitution.

Thus far we have looked at nine figures of speech involving comparison (simile, metaphor, hypocatastasis, parable, allegory, personification, anthropomorphism, anthropopathism, and zoomorphism). We continue today with the first figure of speech involving substitutionmetonymy.

Metonymy

Pronunciation: \ mə-ˈtä-nə-mē \

Metonymy is a figure of speech in which a certain word or expression is substituted for the related thing it is intended to suggest. Metonymy is distinguished from metaphor in that metaphor draws resemblance between two different things (e.g., “You are sunlight,” where human beings and sunlight are two different things without any association, but a comparison is attempted based on a suggested similarity of some kind).

Metonymy, however, is a substitution based on the grounds of a close association (e.g., “The suits gathered in the office to discuss new market strategies,” where “suits” substitutes for the expression “business executives,” who typically wear suits while working in the office).

General Examples

•  “Rebels took to the streets to oppose the crown (= authority associated with the king or queen).”

•  “The brass (= military officers) at the Pentagon (= Defense Department) testified yesterday.”

•  “It was a bad day on Wall Street (= stock market, U.S. financial institutions) today.”

•  “The pen (= ideas expressed in writing) is mightier than the sword (= brute force).”

•  “Teenagers often drive with a lead foot (= too much speed) until they have their first accident.”

•  “He’s addicted to the track (= horseracing) and needs help now before he goes bankrupt.”

•  “For my devotions this month, I’ve been reading Matthew (= the book of Matthew).”

Biblical Examples

•  “And the whole earth was of one lip (= language) . . .” (Gen 11:1a)

•  “At the mouth (= testimony) of two or three witnesses . . . .”  (Deut 17:6a)

•  “. . . when he sees that their hand (= strength) is gone . . . .” (Deut 32:36)

•  “Pour out your anger (= judgment) upon the nations.” (Ps 79:6a)

•  “They have Moses (= the Torah) and the Prophets (= the prophetic books) . . . .”  (Luke 16:29a)

•  “The grave (= dead people) cannot praise you . . .” (Isa 38:18a)

•  “You prepare a table (= food and drink) before me . . .” (Ps 23:5a)

•  “The scepter (= rulership, tribal supremacy) shall not depart from Judah . . . .” (Gen 49:10a)

•  “May the name (= the person) of the God of Jacob protect you . . . .”  (Ps 20:2)

•  “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven (= God) is near.” (Matt 4:17b)

Additional Note

As noted above, when it comes to metaphor (and the related figure hypocatastasis), the thing to which a comparison is made is both semantically distant and imaginative. In metonymy, however, the word that triggers the association is semantically near and real (i.e., there really is a crown, brass, pen, foot, etc., though much more is meant by the substitution word).

If we say, “The White House said today . . . ,” that is a metonymy, “White House” being substituted for the president in the White House. But there is a White House. On the other hand, if we say, “Uncle Sam wants you!” that is a hypocatastasis. There is no Uncle Sam; he is a fictional character. (Uncle Sam is therefore also an anthropomorphism for the government.)

Additional Resources

The definition at Merriam-Webster.com for metonymy.

An audio pronunciation guide for the word metonymy.

Studies

Literary Devices in the Bible, Part 10: Zoomorphism

Introduction

With this post we conclude our look at biblical figures of speech involving comparison, after which we will consider figures of speech involving substitution. In our previous post, we considered anthropopathism, which is the attributing of human emotions or passions to non-human beings, natural phenomena, objects, or God. Today we consider the figure known as zoomorphism.

Zoomorphism

Pronunciation: \ ˌzō-ə-ˈmôr-fi-zəm \

Zoomorphism is the attributing of animal characteristics to objects, events, or non-animal beings, such as humans, deities, or God. These characteristics may include traits, forms, patterns, or behaviors deriving from the animal. The purpose of the comparison is to facilitate a better understanding of some aspect, attitude, or function of the non-animal entity. It is the opposite of anthropomorphism.

Zoomorphism is seen, for example, in Egyptian deities presented in animal form, Bronze Age vases cast in the shape of animal heads or bodies, and African ceremonial masks made to resemble creatures in the wild. It is also seen in many fictional superheroes, such as Batman, Spiderman, Aquaman, etc. Zoomorphism can also include giving the features of one animal to another, such as if a dog were to say “meow” in a cartoon or work of literature.

General Examples

•  “The detective was barking up the wrong treeby questioning the employee.”

•  “The agent was champing at the bit at the beginning of negotiations.”

•  “The trade deal ruffled some feathers in the company.”

•  “There was something about his wolf-like independence.” (William Faulkner)

•  “Man is but an ass, if he go about to expound this dream.” (William Shakespeare)

Biblical Examples

•  “But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door . . . .” (Gen 4:7b)

•  “Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.”  (Ps 63:7)

•  “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.” (Psalm 91:4a)

•  “If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea . . . .” (Ps 139:9)

•  “The lion has roared—who will not fear? The Sovereign Lord has spoken—who can but prophesy?” (Amos 3:8)

•  “Then one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed.’” (Rev 5:5a)

Additional Resources

 The definition at Merriam-Webster.com for zoomorphism.

 An audio pronunciation guide for the word zoomorphism.

Studies

Literary Devices in the Bible, Part 9: Anthropopathism 

Introduction

We continue our look at biblical figures of speech involving comparison. In our previous post, we considered anthropomorphism, which is the attributing of human characteristics to plants, animals, non-human beings, natural phenomena, objects, or God. Today we consider the figure known as anthropopathism.

Anthropopathism

Pronunciation: \ ˌan-thrə-pō-ˈpa-ˌthi-zəm \ or \ ˌan-thrə-ˈpä-pə-ˌthi-zəm \

Anthropopathism is the attributing of human emotions or passions to non-human beings, natural phenomena, objects, or God. It belongs to the sub-group of figures involving resemblance. Here, too, the things compared are of unlike nature, but the thing to which the comparison is made is always an aspect of human feeling or emotion. Anthropopathism is a specific type of personification.

Like anthropomorphisms, anthropopathisms would seem to be necessary in expressing truths about God, who, by very nature, cannot be fully known or described by finite creatures in this life. But because human beings are made in God’s image, certain human emotions are able to convey accurate information about the God who is otherwise indescribable.

Indeed, those with a high view of Scripture might be reluctant to call such references “figures of speech” at all. One could argue that God’s love, anger, delight, jealousy, pity, etc., are literal realities—not exactly like their human correspondents, but close enough to be regarded as both accurate and meaningful. The reason that anthropomorphisms are rightly considered figures of speech while anthropopathisms may not be is because God is portrayed in Scripture as personal but not corporeal (i.e., he is spirit). As such, his “right arm of power” may be regarded as figurative while his “unfailing love” may be considered actual.

General Examples

•  “My computer was irritated with me after I spilled coffee on it.”

•  “The sky expressed its anger toward the city with lightning, storm clouds, and thunder.”

•  “Ashamed of her latest binge, my puppy led me to empty candy wrappers.”

•  “The stone collects dust; the mountain is implacable.” (Jason Giannetti)

•  “The sun, the great sun, in so far as he is the old sun of a superseded cosmic day, is hateful and malevolent to the new-born, tender thing I am.” (D. H. Lawrence)

Biblical Examples

•  “Then the anger of the Lord burned against Moses.” (Exod 4:14a)

•  “For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” (Deut 4:24)

•  “The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this.” (1 Kgs 3:10)

•  “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.” (Ps 103:8)

•  “The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” (Ps 147:11)

•  “When the Lord heard them, he was very angry . . . .” (Ps 78:21a)

•  “Then the Lord will be jealous for his land and take pity on his people.” (Joel 2:18)

•  “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God.” (Eph 4:30a)

Additional Resources

•  The definition at Merriam-Webster.com for anthropopathism.

•  An audio pronunciation guide for the word anthropopathism.

•  An alternate audio pronunciation guide for the word anthropopathism.

Studies

Literary Devices in the Bible, Part 8: Anthropomorphism 

Introduction

We continue our look at biblical figures of speech involving comparison. In our previous post, we considered personification, which is the attributing of human characteristics to inanimate objects or abstract realities. Today we consider the figure known as anthropomorphism.

Anthropomorphism 

Pronunciation: \ ˌan-thrə-pə-ˈmôr-fi-zəm \

Anthropomorphism is the attributing of human characteristics to plants, animals, non-human beings, natural phenomena, objects, or God. It belongs to the sub-group of figures involving resemblance. Here, too, the things compared are of unlike nature, but the thing to which the comparison is made is always an aspect of human activity, capacity, or personality. Anthropomorphism is related to, but distinguished from, personification. Personification is the attributing of human characteristics to inanimate objects or abstract realities to create imagery, while anthropomorphism seeks to make an object behave and appear as if they are human beings.

Anthropomorphisms would seem to be necessary in expressing truths about God, who, by very nature, cannot be fully known or described by finite creatures in this life. But because human beings are made in God’s image, certain human traits are able to convey accurate information about the God who is otherwise indescribable.

General Examples

•  Woody in Toy Story

•  Pinocchio in Pinocchio

•  Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors

•  A Dog’s Tale by Mark Twain

•  Animal Farm by George Orwell

•  The Jaguar by Ted Hughes

•  Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Scooby-Doo, etc.

•  Many characters in fables and fairy tales

Biblical Examples

•  “Hide your face from my sins . . . .” (Ps 51:9a)

•  “Turn your ear to me and save me.” (Ps 71:2b)

•  “Your arm is endued with power; your hand is strong, your right hand exalted.” (Ps 89:13)

•  “Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel.” (1 Chron 21:1)

•  “And all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” (Isa 55:12b)

•  “One day the trees went out to anoint a king for themselves. . . .” (Jdgs 9:8a)

Additionally, indirect anthropomorphic expressions appear in Scripture (e.g., the sword and arrows of the Lord, the throne and footstool of God, etc.). Such expressions are the natural implications of anthropomorphizing God.

Additional Resources

The definition at Merriam-Webster.com for anthropomorphism.

An audio pronunciation guide for the word anthropomorphism.

Studies

Literary Devices in the Bible, Part 7: Personification

Introduction

We continue our look at biblical figures of speech involving comparison. In our previous post, we considered the allegory, which is an extended metaphor—an illustration or narrative featuring characters, a setting, and a brief storyline to teach a moral lesson or spiritual truth by way of representation. Today we consider the figure known as personification.

Personification 

Pronunciation: \ pər-ˌsän-ə-fə-ˈkā-shən \

Personification is the attributing of human characteristics to inanimate objects or abstract realities. It belongs to the sub-group of figures involving resemblance. The things compared are of unlike nature, but the thing to which the comparison is made is always an aspect of human activity, capacity, or personality.

In addition to adding a certain richness, interest, or vividness to the comparison, the use of personification can reveal an author’s attitude toward the object or abstraction being personified. Note that personification is distinguished from anthropomorphism, which is the attributing of human characteristics to other living beings or objects such that they behave and appear as if they are human beings.

Note also that anthropopathism is a specific type of personification, where human emotions are attributed to inanimate objects or abstract realities.

General Examples

•  Time has a way of creeping up on us.

•  The stars danced playfully in the moonlit sky.

•  The words leapt off the page as she read the story.

•  My laptop computer throws a fit [personification with implied anthropopathism] every time I try to use it.

•  The ocean waves lashed out [personification with implied anthropopathism] at the boat as the storm approached.

•  “Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon.” (William Shakespeare)

•  “Because I could not stop for Death, He kindly stopped for me.” (Emily Dickinson)

•  “The conscious water saw its master and blushed [personification with implied anthropoathism].” (Alexander Pope)

Biblical Examples

•  “Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.” (Gen 4:10b)

•  “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” (Ps 19:1)

•  “Let the rivers clap their hands; let the mountains sing together [personification] for joy [anthropopathism].” (Ps 98:8)

•  “When the waters saw you, they were afraid [anthropopathism]; the very deep trembled.” (Ps 77:16b)

•  “Then the moon will be abashed, and the sun ashamed [anthropopathism].” (Isa 24:23a)

•  “Evil will slay the wicked . . . .” (Ps 34:21a)

Additional Resources

The definition at Merriam-Webster.com for personification.

An audio pronunciation guide for the word personification.

Studies

Literary Devices in the Bible, Part 6: Allegory

Introduction

We continue our look at biblical figures of speech involving comparison. In our previous post, we considered the parable, which is an extended simile—an illustration or narrative featuring characters, a setting, and a brief storyline to teach a moral lesson or spiritual truth. Today we consider the figure known as allegory.

Allegory

Pronunciation: \ ˈal-ə-ˌɡôr-ē \

An allegory in biblical studies is an extended metaphor. As a metaphor, it is an implicit comparison between two things of unlike nature that nevertheless have something in common. As an extended metaphor, it consists of a narrative designed to teach a moral lesson or spiritual truth by way of representation. The narrative may have characters, a setting, and even a minor storyline. When the characters are personified plants or animals, it is considered a fable. Do note that scholars often diverge on the precise difference between allegory and parable.

General Examples

•  George Orwell’s Animal Farm is an allegorical novella symbolizing the Communist Revolution of Russia and the overthrow of Czar Nicholas II. The actions of the animals are used to expose the greed and corruption of the revolution. It also describes how powerful people can change the ideology of an entire society.

•  Edmund Spenser’s “Faerie Queene” is a work of allegorical poetry symbolizing a person’s moral and spiritual journey through myriad temptations toward the ultimate attainment of glory. The good characters represent virtues, and the bad characters represent vices.

•  John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress is a work of allegorical prose symbolizing the Christian disciple’s journey toward “the Celestial City.” Various characters representing spiritual vices, virtues, obstacles, and assistance are introduced throughout the pilgrim’s trek toward his ultimate destination.

Biblical Examples

•  “You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it. You cleared the ground for it, and it took root and filled the land. . . .” (Ps 80:8-16)

•  “One day the trees went out to anoint a king for themselves. They said to the olive tree, ‘Be our king.’ But the olive tree answered, ‘Should I give up my oil . . . .’” (Jdgs 9:8-15)

•  “. . . when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men stoop, when the grinders cease because they are few, and those looking through the windows grow dim. . . .” (Eccl 12:3-7)

•  “I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. . . .” (John 10:1-16)

Additional Resources

The definition at Merriam-Webster.com for allegory.

An audio pronunciation guide for the word allegory.

Studies

Literary Devices in the Bible, Part 5: Parable

Introduction

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

Parable

Pronunciation: \ ˈpar-ə-bəl \

A parable in biblical studies is an extended simile. As a simile, it is an explicit comparison between two things of unlike nature that nevertheless have something in common. As an extended simile, it consists of an illustration or narrative designed to teach a moral lesson or spiritual truth by way of resemblance. The narrative may have characters, a setting, and a brief storyline. When the characters are personified plants or animals, it is considered a fable. Do note that scholars often diverge on the precise difference between parable and allegory.

General Examples

•  “Rabbi Yitzḥak Nappaḥa said to them: I will relate a parable. To what can this be compared? It can be compared to a man who has two wives, one young and one old. The young wife pulls out his white hairs, so that her husband will appear younger. The old wife pulls out his black hairs so that he will appear older. And it turns out that he is bald from here and from there.” (B. Bava Kamma 60b)

•  “A man traveling along a path came to a great expanse of water. As he stood on the shore, he realized there were dangers and discomforts all about. But the other shore appeared safe and inviting. The man looked for a boat or a bridge and found neither. But with great effort he gathered grass, twigs and branches and tied them all together to make a simple raft. Relying on the raft to keep himself afloat, the man paddled with his hands and feet and reached the safety of the other shore. He could continue his journey on dry land. Now, what would he do with his makeshift raft? Would he drag it along with him or leave it behind?” [Buddha said he would leave the raft behind, explaining that it is useful for crossing over but not for holding onto. The abandoned raft is likened to other things in life that people need to release in order to keep moving forward on their journey.] (Buddha’s “Parable of the Raft”)

Biblical Examples

•  “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. . . . You are the man.” (2 Sam 12:1-7a)

•  “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. . . .” (Matt 13:24-30)

•  “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. . . . This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.” (Matt 18:23-35)

Additional Considerations

As noted above, scholars often diverge on the precise difference between parable and allegory. The Greek term parabole literally means “to throw alongside,” and that’s largely what a parable does. It makes comparisons. It sets one thing next to another to clarify the second thing. It portrays scenes from everyday life—sowing seed, catching fish, kneading dough, going on a journey—in order to convey spiritual truth, taking the reader from the known to the unknown.

Parabole is closely linked to the Hebrew word mashal, meaning “to be like,” which is the normal word for “proverb.” But the Old Testament mashalim and the New Testaent parabolai are broader categories than their English counterparts. They might include riddles, allegories, proverbs, and sayings, as well as analogies and stories. As such, we might categorize them as:

•  Extended similes (explicit comparisons):
“The kingdom of heaven is like yeast.”

•  Extended metaphors (implicit comparisons):
“A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”

•  Fuller parables (contains narrative elements):
“A certain man had two sons. . . .”

The Sunday school definition of parable is “an earthly story with heavenly meaning,” which is not a bad place to start. It should be noted, however, that the meaning of a parable has implications for life on earth, too. A more sophisticated definition—and one that has withstood the test of time—comes from Bible scholar C. H. Dodd:

“At its simplest, the parable is a metaphor or simile drawn from nature or common life, arresting the hearer by its vividness or strangeness, and leaving the mind in sufficient doubt about its precise application to tease it into active thought.”

The only adjustment we will make to Dodd’s definition is to confine our definition of parable to an extended simile, and regard the extended metaphor as an allegory, which we will consider next time.

Additional Resources

The definition at Merriam-Webster.com for parable.

An audio pronunciation guide for the word parable.

Studies

Literary Devices in the Bible, Part 4: Hypocatastasis

Introduction

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

Hypocatastasis

Pronunciation: \ ˌhī-pō-ˌka-ˈtasˌ-tə-sis \

A hypocatastasis captures implication. It is an inferred comparison between two things of unlike nature that nevertheless have something in common. Unlike metaphors, where the two points of comparison are both named, in a hypocatastasis only the one is named; the other is implied.

A hypocatastasis can therefore have more intensity than a metaphor, expressing a greater degree of resemblance because the referent is not named, and does not need to be. Consequently, the term has fallen out of general usage because it nearly becomes a figure of speech involving substitution (e.g., a metonymy or synechdoche). The term is thus largely confined to biblical studies.

General Examples

•  “Clean your pigsty [= your messy room]!”

•  “How could she marry that snake [= that awful person]?”

•  “An angel [= a very kind person] carried my groceries to the car.”

•  “That scum [= that mean person] took my wallet, keys, and phone.”

•  “That wretched beast [= that hostile person] shoved her up against the wall and screamed at her.”

•  “My baby [= my adorable husband] takes the morning train.” (Sheena Easton)

Biblical Examples

•  “Dogs [= evil men] have surrounded me . . . .” (Ps 22:16a)

•  “Blessed is the man who fills his quiver [= his family] with them!” (Ps 127:5a)

•  “A lion [= Babylon] has come out of his lair.” (Jer 4:7a)

•  “Watch and beware of the leaven [= the erroneous, spreading teaching] of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” (Matt 16:6b)

•  “Look, the Lamb of God [= the substitutionary sacrifice], who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)

•  “Destroy this temple [= my body], and in three days I will raise it up.” (John 2:19b)

•  “I know that after I leave, savage wolves [= false teachers] will come in among you and will not spare the flock.” (Acts 20:29)

Additional Resources

The definition at Wikipedia for hypocatastasis.

An audio pronunciation guide for the word hypocatastasis.

 

Studies

Literary Devices in the Bible, Part 3: Metaphor

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.

 

Studies

Literary Devices in the Bible, Part 2: Simile

Overview

We’ve set out in this series to explore some of the literary devices in the Bible. Specifically, we’re looking at: (1) common figures of speech; (2) common semantic, rhetorical and poetic devices; and (3) common structuring techniques.

The first category, common figures of speech, can be subdivided into: (a) figures of speech involving comparison; and (b) figures of speech involving substitution. We begin today with the first figure of speech involving comparison—the simile.

Simile

Pronunciation: \ ˈsi-mə-lē \

A simile captures resemblance. It is an explicit comparison (i.e., using “like” or “as”) 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

•  His temper was like a volcano.

•  When we’re out on the dance floor, we’re as happy as pigs in mud.

•  “It’s been a hard day’s night, and I’ve been working like a dog.” (The Beatles)

•  “Like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down.” (Simon & Garfunkel)

•  “The water made a sound like kittens lapping.” (M. K. Rawlings)

•  “In the eastern sky there was a yellow patch like a rug laid for the feet of the coming sun.” (Stephen Crane)

•  “Elderly American ladies leaning on their canes listed toward me like towers of Pisa.” (Vladimir Nabokov)

•  “Snow lay here and there in patches in the hollow of the banks, like a lady’s gloves forgotten.” (R. D. Blackmore)

Biblical Examples

•  “…his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau.” (Gen 25:25b)

•  “Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was leprous, like snow.” (Exod 4:6b)

•  “At midday you will grope about like a blind man in the dark.” (Deut 28:29)

•  “He is like a tree planted by streams of water.” (Ps 1:3a)

•  “My heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast.” (Ps 22:14b)

•  “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.” (Ps 42:1)

•  “His heart is hard as a stone, hard as the lower millstone.” (Job 41:24)

•  “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” (Isa 1:18b)

•  “His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.” (Rev 1:14)

Additional Resources

The definition at Merriam-Webster.com for simile.

An audio pronunciation guide for the word simile.

 

 

 

Studies