Figures of Speech of Comparison

How God’s Word Interprets Itself Integrity of the Word Cinardo Home (Rutherford, NJ) Young, Michael 11/09/2010 11/09/2010

How do you describe a paper clip to an alien using only words? You try to compare it to something they already know and understand. This teaching covers five figures of comparison God uses in the Bible to help us understand and add emphasis: (1) simile, which is a comparison using “like” or “as”, (2) metaphor, a compressed simile where the explicit part is removed, (3) hypocatastasis, which is when the subject is implied, (4) prosopopoeia or personification, where human characteristics or traits are applied to inanimate objects or ideas, and (5) condescensio, where human or animal characteristics or traits are applied to God. It is important to read the context of the verse when identifying a figure of speech so we do not take things literally that are meant to be figurative.

Figures of Speech