Allegory in the Bible

Sometimes a rose isn't just a rose, a woman isn't just a woman and a passage in the Bible is actually illustrating a larger theme or event in the text.
I used to hate when my teacher told me a rose wasn't just a rose. I didn't trust that she knew what the author was thinking and didn't understand the point of guessing outside of what was explicitly written. As I've grown over the years, I've learn to appreciate hidden meanings in texts a lot more. In the Bible, a lot of the individual stories are allegories for larger themes. One of the biggest clues to helping me find these allegories can be found in Jeremiah ???. In this verse, we are explicitly told a woman symbolizes God's holy city was really is His holy people. In the New Testament, you see confirmation of this when the Church constantly being refered to as "the Bride of Christ." When I started plugging "the Church" in for women in Biblical narratives, a whole new layer started to unravel for me. Below are just a few examples of allegory in the Bible. Can you come up with more?
Passage Allegory
The Book of Esther Represents the transition of the Old Covenant into the New Covenant and redemption of God's people
  • King Ahauserus --> God
  • Queen Vashti --> Israel in rebellion
  • Esther --> The New Testament Church
  • Haman --> Satan
  • Purim --> The Marriage Supper of the Lamb to the Church
The Fall of Man Represents Christ coming to earth as a man to suffer to save the Church
  • Adam --> Christ (notably Christ doesn't sin as Adam did)
  • Eve --> the Church
  • Eden --> Heaven/Paradise
The Feast Days Represents the mission of Christ
  • Passover (Salvation from Egypt) --> Crucifixion (Salvation from sin)
  • Feast of Unleavened Bread (Firstfruits) --> The resurrected dead + Christ (Matthew 27:50-53)
  • Pentacost (Giving of the law) --> Receiving the Holy Spirit
  • Feast of Trumpets --> Warnings of Christ's second return (Matthew 24; Revelation 8-11)
  • Day of Atonement (High Priest redeems Israel for their sacrifice) --> The sealing of the saints in Revelation
  • Feast of Tabernacles (commemorates when God dwelt with Israel during their 40 years) --> Living in paradise in union with the Most High/The Millenium

References

  1. "Allegory". Merriam Webster Dictionary; visited March 2022

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About

Author Image Author Image I love reading the Word of God. With prayer God's Word reveals so much: from comfort to temperance, from perspective to affirmation. Digging into the depths of the Word, cross-referencing history, language and time differences, is a passion of mine. In March of 2015 I decided to go back through the Bible doing an in depth study on each section I read. Eventually I decided to share my journal of notes as I partake in this journey. I hope you are blessed by God and inspired to pursue a deeper relationship with Him. I love reading and learning about God, nature, and science. I am interested in how it all connects. The Creator's fingerprints are all over his creation. We can learn so much about Him and how we came to be by exploring the world around us. Join me as I explore the world and draw closer to the One who created it all.
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