Figures of decided in Psalms: Hebrew city is a unique form of language that uses vibrant expressions well-known as numbers of decided to carry tenderness, richness, vividness and also energy come biblical poetry.

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Figures of decided in Psalms

Hebrew poetry is heightened speech. The is far much more compressed 보다 prose. Prose uses sentences and also paragraphs together its an easy unit. Narrative offers episodes and scenes as its basic unit. Poetry provides individual images and figures the speech as its basic unit.

The epistles describe godliness with sentences and also paragraphs. Narratives express godliness in the characters within the stories. Hebrew poetry compresses godliness into picture or picture. “He is like a tree planted by streams that water that returns its fruit in the season” (Psalm 1:3).

The colorful language that Hebrew poetry draws the audience right into the painted snapshot to bring warmth, vividness and vitality. As such it is important to understand imagery and also figures of decided in poetry. What room they and also how carry out they work?

Below are several of the most typical figures that speech supplied in the psalms.


The simile compares two objects by utilizing the word like or as. This is plainly seen in Psalm 1:3. We read that the wise male is choose a tree planted by streams of water and also in Psalm 1:5 we check out that the unwise male is favor chaff. The compare of the wise man and also the tree planted through the stream suggests grow and also prosperity. The comparison between the unwise man and also the chaff indicates uselessness and hopelessness.


Instead of using choose or as, the an allegory simply compares two objects by stating one to be like another. If Psalm 1:3 and also Psalm 1:5 were examples, we could easily state the the wise guy is a tree planted by streams that water and also the unwise guy is chaff the is puffy away and also perishes. The metaphor simply states one come be like the other.

Another great example of the an allegory stating one to be like an additional is Psalm 23:1. “The mr is mine shepherd, i shall no be in want.” A simile would state that the lord is choose a shepherd. The metaphor is much more intense in the statement 보다 a simile.


An allegory is a series of expanded metaphors build around a main theme. There space two an excellent examples of this in the Psalms – Psalm 80:8-16 and also Psalm 23:1-4.

In Psalm 23:1-4, the allegory or the extended an allegory of the shepherd and how the interacts v the lamb in ancient Israel. “The lord is my shepherd, ns shall not want. He provides me come lie under in green pastures; he leader me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; he leads me in the courses of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though i walk with the sink of the shadow of death, i will are afraid no evil; for you space with me; your rod and also your staff, they lull me” (Psalm 23:1-4).


The metonymy substitutes one thing or principle for that of an additional to which it is very closely related. In Psalm 73:9 the tongue is substituted because that mouth. “Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession that earth.”

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and also renew a steadfast soul within me.” (Psalm 51:10). A steadfast soul is substituted because that a pure heart.


The synecdoche is a literary device in i beg your pardon a component is made to represent the totality or the entirety for the part. Psalm 24:4 is an instance of exactly how the literary maker works. The hands and also the heart represent the whole of one’s life. “He who has clean hands and a pure heart, that does not lift increase his heart to one idol or swear through what is false” (Psalm 24:4).


The hyperbole conveys a principle using a intentional exaggeration because that dramatic effect. Hyperbole does not convey literal truth yet instead presents an emotional truth. Hyperbole is considered poetic license and also therefore no intended come be understood as literal meaning fact.

“The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; lock trembled since he to be angry. Smoke climbed from his nostrils; spend fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed the end of it” (Psalm 18:7-8).


An apostrophe addresses a point as if it were a person or an imaginary human as if he to be present. It can be combined with personification dealing with a lifeless object as though the is alive.

“Lift up her heads, O gates” (Psalm 24:7); Glorious points are talked of you, O city that God” (Psalm 87:3); “Bless the Lord, O mine soul” (Psalm 103:1).


Anthropomorphism speaks of God as being human in that it refers to God, that is Spirit, has having eyes to see, ear to hear, tongue to speak and also nose to smell. “Arise, LORD! lift up her hand, O God. Execute not forget the helpless” (Psalm 10:12).

“Turn her ear come me, come conveniently to mine rescue; it is in my absent of refuge, a solid fortress to conserve me” (Psalm 31:2).

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Closing Comments:

Hebrew poetic language is an extremely colorful and also vivid. It bring energy and also vitality to truths the God wishes to proclaim. An expertise of the figures of decided in psalms will aid you lug the psalms alive together you proclaim them to her congregation. Listed below are some resources for figures of decided in psalms that will help you preach the psalms to your people.

Some sources For figures of speech in Psalms


Words that Delight: A Literary arrival to the holy bible by Leland Ryken

Holman Old testament Commentary that the Psalms (Volume 1 & Volume 2) by Steven J. Lawson

An Expositional comment of the Psalms (Volume 1, Volume 2 and also Volume 3) by James Montgomery Boice

A comment of the Psalms (Volume 1, Volume 2 and Volume 3) by Allen P. Ross

The NIV application Commentary of the Psalms (Volume 1) through Gerald H. Wilson

The thesaurus of Biblical Imagery by Leland Ryken

The best of Biblical Poetry: Parallelism and also Its history by James Kugel

The Dynamics of Biblical Parallelism through Adele Berlin

Figures of decided in the Bible: Explained and also Illustrated by E.W. Bullinger

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