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Allegory in the Bible

Season
Season 4
Episode Number
125
Release Date
March 27, 2022
Tags
Literary DevicesEstherGenesisThe FallFeasts

Defining Allegory

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 6:2. 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 referred 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?

Biblical Examples

📖 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) • Pentecost (Giving of the law) --> Receiving the Holy Spirit • Feast of Trumpets --> Warnings of Christ's second return (Matthew 24Revelation 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 Millennium

References and Footnotes

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

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PSALMS to God is a blog, podcast, and YouTube channel that discusses many topics and issues, always keeping YHWH as the anchor. Hosea 4:6 says “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”—here, the aim is to always ask questions and study to find the answers. You can keep up with new content by signing up for the weekly newsletter.

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