Figures of decided in Psalms: Hebrew poetry has a distinctive type of language that supplies illustrative expressions well-known as numbers of speech to bring warmth, vividness and vitality come biblical poetry.

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Figures of decided in Psalms

Ryken explains that “poetry is heightened speech, far more compressed than prose. Conversely, expository prose supplies the sentence or paragraph as its straightforward unit, and also narrative the illustration or scene, the an easy unit of city is the individual picture or number of speech.”

“Thus in the new Testament epistles we can get a paragraph or thing that describes godliness. In a historical narrative we get a story in i beg your pardon a character exhibits godliness in action. But the poet compresses godliness into picture or picture: ‘He is choose a tree planted by streams of water that returns its fruit in its season’” (Psalm 1:3; Leland Ryken, words of Delight, p. 159).

In light of the above, it is therefore important to know imagery and also figures of speech in psalms. What are they and also how do they work? The following numbers of speech space the most common used in the psalms.


The simile provides a comparison between two objects by using the word like or as. In Psalm 1:3 we review that the godly guy is favor a tree planted by streams the water and in Psalm 1:5 we read that the ungodly guy is choose chaff. The comparison says the godly man will grow and also prosper yet the ungodly male will wither and also perish.


The an allegory is similar to the simile without the usage of like or as. The an allegory makes a comparison in between two objects by stating one come be prefer another. If we usage Psalm 1:3 and also Psalm 1:5 as an example, we would certainly state that the godly man is a tree planted by streams that water and also the ungodly guy is chaff the is swollen away and also perishes.

“The mr is my shepherd, i shall not be in want” (Psalm 23:1) notice it doesn’t say the mr is choose my shepherd; it states that the lord is mine shepherd. The psalmist says one to be like one more without using like or as.


An allegory is a collection of extended metaphors built around a main theme. One great example of this is Psalm 80:8-16). This allegory or extended metaphor of the vine and vineyard describes the adjusted condition the Israel. “You carried a vine out of Egypt; friend drove the end the nations and also planted it. You clearing the ground because that it, and it take it root and filled the land. The mountains were spanned with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches. It sent its boughs come the sea, its shoot as much as the river. Why have actually you damaged down its wall surfaces so the all who pass by choose its grapes? Boars native the forest ravage it and the creatures of the ar feed on it. Go back to us, O God Almighty! Look under from heaven and see! Watch over this vine, the source your appropriate hand has planted, the child you have raised up because that yourself. Her vine is cut down, that is shed with fire; at your rebuke your world perish” (Psalm 80:8-16).


The metonymy is a number of speech the substitutes one thing or principle for the of one more to which that is related. In Psalm 73:9 the tongue is substituted for mouth. “Their mouths lay insurance claim to heaven, and also their tongues take it possession that earth.”

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


The synecdoche is a figure of speech in i beg your pardon a component is make to stand for the entirety or vice versa. Psalm 24:4 is an example of a synecdoche. Hands and heart represent the totality of one’s life. “He who has actually clean hands and also a pure heart, that does not lift increase his heart to one idol or swear by what is false” (Psalm 24:4).


The hyperbole is a number of speech the conveys a ide using a intentional exaggeration because that dramatic effect. Hyperbole does not claim to convey literal truth yet instead conveys emotional truth. Hyperbole drops into the category of poetic license and also therefore not intended come be understood as literal meaning fact.

“The earth trembled and quaked, and also the structures of the hills shook; castle trembled since he to be angry. Smoke rose from his nostrils; spend fire came from his mouth, burn coals blazed the end of it” (Psalm 18:7-8).


An apostrophe is a number of speech that addresses a point as if it were a person or an lacking or imaginary person as if he were present. That is sometimes merged with personification treating a lifeless object together though that is a person.

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


An anthropomorphism is a number of speech the speaks that God as having actually a human body so the we can understand God much more readily. “Arise, LORD! lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless” (Psalm 10:12).

“Turn your ear come me, come quickly to mine rescue; be my rock of refuge, a solid fortress to save me” (Psalm 31:2).

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Some finish Comments

When it comes to the exposition that biblical poetry, it is crucial to understand numbers of decided in psalms, varieties of parallelism in Hebrew poetry and the different varieties of psalms. Placing all this together will help you preach the psalms to her congregation.

Some resources For figures of decided in Psalms

Words of Delight: A Literary advent to the scriptures by Leland Ryken

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

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

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

The NIV applications Commentary that the Psalms (Volume 1) through Gerald H. Wilson

The dictionary of Biblical Imagery through Leland Ryken

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

The Dynamics of Biblical Parallelism by Adele Berlin

Figures of speech in the Bible: Explained and Illustrated through E.W. Bullinger

Filed Under: Biblical Poetry, Sermon ready Resources, Sermon advice Tagged With: 8 numbers of speech in the Bible, 8 figures of decided in the Psalms, numbers of speech in the Bible