metaphor

(Greek - carrying across) In metaphoric language the comparison being made between one thing and another is not made explicit. Rather something is talked about as if it were something else: "Oh, you pig!"

Biblical Hebrew usage does not seem to make a strong distinction between metaphor and simile, though the lesser precision of what part of the meaning is being transferred may give metaphor greater power over the imagination. While the meaning of: "I have gone astray like a lost sheep" (Ps 119:176) is fairly straightforward, to imagine what it means to be "the sheep of his pasture" (Ps 100:3) engages our imagination and different readers will give differing content to the image.


This page is part of the Hypertext Bible Commentary - Amos,

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