figurative language

Avoiding Burnt Clothes and Burned Feet

The early chapters of Proverbs have several admonitions addressed to a son but they are not gender-specific. Yes, it sure seems like it but they were written during ancient times. Women did not have the place they have now in most societies. 

Many admonitions also focus on the dangers of immoral women, which sounds hypocritical coming from King Solomon who had a thousand wives and concubines. But figurative language is used a lot to emphasize a point, even overstating it.

Evil and Hated Things

In the ancient world—long before printing presses and the world-wide-web—most people didn't have the opportunity to learn to read and write. Education and literacy were the privilege of the few—mostly the wealthy.

Even today, much of the world's population is non-literate or has limited literacy. God in His great wisdom instructed those who wrote the Scriptures (2 Peter 1:20-21) to write in a memorable way—using stories and parables and poetry with lists, alliteration, illustrations and other forms of figurative language.

Wisdom Calls Out

Personification brings an abstract and conceptual thought more real and relatable. Wisdom is often personified as a woman in Proverbs as a means of illustration, which I mentioned in an earlier post and in my study guide for Proverbs.

Personification makes things more personal, like BB King's guitar named Lucille and Willie Nelson's guitar Trigger. Ships and cars are often referred to as if feminine and sometimes characters or caricatures serve to personalize an attitude like Dickens' Scrooge and Dr. Seuss' Grinch

Does God Have Wings?

Listen to my cry for help, O God. Pay attention to my prayer. From the ends of the earth, I call to you when I begin to lose heart.

Lead me to the rock that is high above me. You have been my refuge, a tower of strength against the enemy.

I would like to be a guest in your tent forever and to take refuge under the protection of your wings. Selah [vss 1-4]