SIMILITUDES - FIGURES {Metaphors &Types}

 

When we study the Bible we should seek out and make note of “Bible words” (“words” that are used in the Holy Bible); and we should make it a practice to use those specific “words” in instruction wherever possible. If we want to reinforce God’s “words” in our teaching we should use “His words” whenever we can rather than words that can not be defined with Scripture.

 

The words “Metaphor” and “Type” can not be found in the Bible – which does not mean that there are no “metaphors” or “types” in the Bible, or that we are prohibited from using those words; but on the other hand, if we want to receive instruction and understanding from God’s word, we should make it a practice to use words that can be found in the Holy Bible whenever we can, since we then can “search the Scriptures” for the meaning or definition of those words.  

 

THE USE OF THE WORD “SIMILITUDE” IN THE BIBLE {Look for the word “as” in Scripture}

Numbers 12:8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?

Deuteronomy 4:12 And the LORD spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice.

Deuteronomy 4:15 Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire:

Deuteronomy 4:16 Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female,

2 Chronicles 4:3 And under it was the similitude of oxen, which did compass it round about: ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round about. Two rows of oxen were cast, when it was cast.

Psalms 106:20 Thus they changed their glory into the similitude of an ox that eateth grass.

Psalms 144:12 That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace:

Daniel 10:16 And, behold, one like the similitude of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord, by the vision my sorrows are turned upon me, and I have retained no strength.

Hosea 12:10 I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.

Romans 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

Hebrews 7:15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,

James 3:9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.

 

WEBSTER’S 1828 DICTIONARY

 

MET'APHOR, n. Gr. to transfer, over, to carry.

 

A short similitude; a similitude reduced to a single word; or a word expressing similitude without the signs of comparison. Thus "that man is a fox," is a metaphor; but "that man is like a fox," is a similitude or comparison. So when I say, "the soldiers fought like lions," I use a similitude. In metaphor, the similitude is contained in the name; a man is a fox, means, a man is as crafty as a fox. So we say, a man bridles his anger, that is, restrains it as a bridle restrains a horse.                     

 

THE USE OF THE WORD “FIGURE” IN THE BIBLE {Look for the word “LIKE” in Scripture}

Deuteronomy 4:16 Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female,

1 Kings 6:29 And he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, within and without.

Isaiah 44:13 The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; that it may remain in the house.

Matthew 6:16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Matthew 17:2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

Mark 9:2 And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them.

Acts 7:43 Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.

Romans 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

1 Corinthians 4:6 And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.

Hebrews 9:9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;

Hebrews 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

Hebrews 11:19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

1 Peter 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

 

WEBSTER’S 1828 DICTIONARY

TYPE, n. L. typus; Gr. from the root of tap; to beat, strike, impress.

1. The mark of something; an emblem; that which represents something else.

 

Thy emblem, gracious queen, the British rose,

 

Type of sweet rule and gentle majesty.

2. A sign; a symbol; a figure of something to come; as, Abraham's sacrifice and the paschal lamb, were types of Christ. To this word is opposed antitype. Christ, in this case, is the antitype.

3. A model or form of a letter in metal or other hard material; used in printing.

4. In medicine, the form or character of a disease, in regard to the intension and remission of fevers, pulses, &c.; the regular progress of a fever.

5. In natural history, a general form, such as is common to the species of a genus, or the individuals of a species.

6. A stamp or mark.

TYPE, v.t. To prefigure; to represent by a model or symbol beforehand. Little used.

 

When studying the Holy Bible there are two simple words (as & like) which are often overlooked, but which we must be aware of, since they can be a great help to us in our understanding of the Bible. God uses these words to illustrate a teaching; or to clarify a Bible truth (or doctrine) that He wants to teach us.

 

For example in the case of “AS”:

 

Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

                       

Luke 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.

27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.

28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;

29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.

30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. 

 

Or in the case of “LIKE”:

 

Matthew 13:31 “. . . . The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: . . . .”  

 

Matthew 13:44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a  man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

 

Additional examples:

 

Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. {A Similitude}
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
{A Similitude}
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
{A Similitude}
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
{A Similitude}
29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
{A declarative statement - No Similitude}
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

 

32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

 

{The Apostle Paul uses the Scriptural relationship between a married man & woman (a husband & his wife), as a “similitude”, to describe (explain) the same relationship between the Lord Jesus Christ and His church. Verse 32 is a declarative statement explaining the “similitude” - There is NO “as” or “like” in it.}

 

 

2 Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, {A declarative statement - No Similitude} that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

 

{The Apostle Paul uses a “Similitude” to describe (explain) his preceding declarative statement of fact.}

 

Romans 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that
ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

 

{This is a declarative statement - There is NO “as” or “like” in the statement.}

 

Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
 

 

{The Apostle John uses a “Similitude” here to describe (or explain) what he saw - the holy city, new Jerusalem . . . . “prepared as a bride”.}

 

Revelation 21:9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.
10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy
Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

 

{The Apostle John records a declarative statement (made by an angel of God) as to WHO the “Bride” is; this is not a “Similitude” - There is NO “as” or “like” in the statement.}

 

 

WEBSTER’S 1828 DICTIONARY DEFINITIONS

 

AL'LEGORY, n. Gr. other, to speak, a forum, an oration.

 

A figurative sentence or discourse, in which the principal subject is described by another subject resembling it in its properties and circumstances. The principal subject is thus kept out of view, and we are left to collect the intentions of the writer or speaker, by the resemblance of the secondary to the primary subject. Allegory is in words that hieroglyphics are in painting. We have a fine example of an allegory in the eightieth Psalm, in which God's chosen people are represented by a vineyard. The distinction in scripture between a parable and an allegory, is said to be that a parable is a supposed history, and an allegory, a figurative description of real facts. An allegory is called a continued metaphor.

 

PAR'ABLE, n. L. parabola; Gr. to throw forward or against, to compare to or against; as in confero, collatum, to set together, or one thing with another.

 

A fable or allegorical relation or representation of something real in life or nature, from which a moral is drawn for instruction; such as the parable of the trees choosing a king, Judges 9.; the parable of the poor man and his lamb. 2 Sam. 12.; the parable of the ten virgins, Matt.25.

 

PAR'ABLE, v.t. To represent by fiction or fable.

 

ANAL'OGY, n. Gr. ratio, proportion.

 

1. an agreement or likeness between things in some circumstances or effects, when the things are otherwise entirely different. Thus a plant is said to have life, because its growth resembles in some degree, that of an animal. In life and growth, then, there is an analogy between a plant and an animal. Learning enlightens the mind, because it is to the mind, what light is to the eye, enabling it to discover things before hidden. When the things which have an analogy follow a preposition, that preposition must be between or betwixt; as there is an analogy between plants and animals, or between customs. When one of the things precedes a verb, and the other follows, the preposition used must be to or with; as, a plant has some analogy to or with an animal.

 

2. With grammarians, analogy is conformity of words to the genius, structure or general rules of a language. Thus the general rule in English is that the plural of a noun ends in es; therefore all nouns which have that plural termination have an analogy, or are formed in analogy with other words of a like kind.

 

 

 

if & but

 

It should be noted that there are two additional words in Scripture (if & but) that are also often overlooked in Bible study but which are extremely important to everything that follows them. We must be very careful when we encounter these words for whole doctrines (usually false) have been concocted over the misuse or the purposeful omission of these words.

 

For example in the case of “IF:

 

Matthew 6:23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

 

John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

 

Matthew 11:14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.

 

Matthew 11:21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

 

Matthew 11:23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

 

Or in the case of “BUT”:

 

Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Or:

 

Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Or:

 

Matthew 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 

 

Based on the use of these words in the Holy Bible, the following are the Scriptural definitions of the words IF & BUT:

         

IF: A conditional prerequisite or requirement, the outcome of which is (or was) determined by the response of an individual; a church; or a nation.

 

BUT: A particular determinate outcome (almost always unfavorable), in direct response to an individual’s; or a church’s; or a nation’s conduct.

 

 

 

 

ABBREVIATIONS, ETC.

 

i.e. - abbreviation

 

An abbreviation for id est, a Latin phrase meaning “that is.” It indicates that an explanation or paraphrase is about to follow:

 

“Many workers expect to put in a forty-hour week — i.e., to work eight hours a day.” (Compare e.g.)

 

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
 

i.e. - abbreviation

 

1598, abbreviation of id est, from L., lit. "that is;" used in Eng. in the sense of "that is to say."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper
 

 

e.g. - abbreviation

 

For example; for the sake of example; such as.

 

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2009.

 

e.g. - abbreviation

 

An abbreviation meaning “for example.” It is short for the Latin exempli gratia, “for the sake of example.”

 

A list of examples may be preceded by e.g.: “She loved exotic fruit, e.g., mangoes, passion fruit, and papayas.” (Compare i.e.)

 

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

 

 

a.k.a. - abbreviation

 

Also known as:

 

According to police records he is Joe Smith a.k.a. “Baby Face Smith” and Joseph Smathers.

 

et aladverb

 

1.and others ('et al.' is used as an abbreviation of 'et alii' (masculine plural) or 'et aliae' (feminine plural) or 'et alia' (neuter plural) when referring to a number of people); "the data reported by Smith et al." [syn: et al.]

2.and elsewhere (used when referring to other occurrences in a text) [syn: et al.]

 

WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.

 

 

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