Hermeneutics - Lesson 23

Hermeneutics and Figures of Speech

In this lesson, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the various types of figures of speech in the Bible and how to interpret them properly. You will learn about metaphors, similes, hyperboles, personifications, paradoxes, ironies, synecdoche, and metonymy, with examples and their application in biblical interpretation. Recognizing and interpreting these figures of speech is crucial for accurate and meaningful hermeneutics, as they convey deeper meaning and help illuminate the message of the text.

Todd Miles
Lesson 23
Watching Now
Hermeneutics and Figures of Speech

NT310-23: Hermeneutics: Figures of Speech

I. Introduction to Figures of Speech

A. Definition and Importance

B. Types of Figures of Speech

II. Metaphor and Simile

A. Definition and Comparison

B. Examples and Interpretation

III. Hyperbole and Personification

A. Definition and Usage

B. Examples and Application

IV. Paradox and Irony

A. Definition and Function

B. Examples and Understanding

V. Synecdoche and Metonymy

A. Definition and Relationship

B. Examples and Analysis

VI. Conclusion and Application

A. Importance of Recognizing Figures of Speech

B. Applying Hermeneutics to Figures of Speech

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  • In this lesson, you'll grasp the Holy Spirit's vital role in biblical interpretation, going beyond changing hearts to enabling comprehension and acceptance of the text. Dr. Todd Miles stresses the Spirit's role in illuminating the Bible, making it relevant to believers, challenging the idea that unbelievers interpret it as effectively, and emphasizing the importance of understanding the text's intent. The ultimate aim is not mastery but being mastered by the text, with the Holy Spirit as a key player.
Hermeneutics is the science and art of the interpretation of the Bible. It's a science because it is an orderly process based on rules you can apply. It is an art because of the nuances in communication and translation.



Dr. Todd Miles


Hermeneutics and Figures of Speech

Lesson Transcript


In this next section. Let's think for a while about figures of speech. I had said that we're going to have to look at figures of speech because the poetry in particular is full of metaphorical language. And so learning how to understand figures of speech is is vital for biblical interpretation. Now, I say learning how to understand figures of speech is vital. But but really, your experience as human beings who have managed to get through life to this point has taught you plenty about how to understand figures of speech, because we use them all the time. Actually, I just used one just now. That was hyperbole. I don't literally use figures of speech all the time. I intentionally exaggerated to make a point. My point being, we use figures of speech a lot. A lot. So what what would be guidelines for determining whether a figure of speech is being used? It we'll walk through this first and then I'll come back to the different kinds of figures of speech and give them technical names. Well, when I read something for the first time, I read it, if only for a microsecond at face value. That is very wooden, very literally. And of course, context is always the Supreme Court of interpretation, and all meaning is context driven. And so I'm thinking, how does the context drive, meaning with this passage, I consider discarding the face value or the literal meaning when context allows for a figurative interpretation. And then I decide whether the context actually demands a figurative construction. And so now all this is taking place, and it sounds like very mechanical. This, then this, then this. But but we do this often. Every time we hear a figure of speech, it's just kind of automatic and maybe even subconsciously. Now, we're never going to escape the subjective and we can be wrong at times. But but I would say that any time figurative makes more sense than than the face value or the literal, we should at least strongly consider, if not always, take it figuratively. So here's an example. Galatians Chapter two, verse nine the Apostle Paul is writing to the churches in Galatia, and he writes this, When James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right and the fellowship to Barnabas and me that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. All right. This is chock full of very interesting wording. So James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars. What's a pillar? It's this big stone thing that holds up a building. Is there a building nearby where the pillars are named James and Cephas and John? Are James and Cephas and John the people that Paul had heard of, were they not in fact people, but are actually like literal stone pillars. Hmm. Probably not. Probably not. This is probably a figure of speech that these are foundational people that would make more sense. These are very important people to the church. People that Paul needed some some good words from. These these people are not not stone pillars. People perceived the grace that was given to me they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me. Yuck. That's kind of creepy. Freaky? What? They. They cut off their hand. They cut off the right hand and handed it to two to Barnabas and Paul. That would be weird and creepy. That's probably a figure of speech. Probably a figure of speech. And I don't know whether in your churches, when you accept someone into membership, if you call it that. But I've been at churches before where they say we're going to extend the right hand of fellowship to this person by welcoming them into into membership. That's like weird Christianese or Bibleese, I suppose. But what it means here is that you extend fellowship to them. So notice again, I take it I take it would only or literally for a second and then I quickly disregard it because, because the literal or wooden meaning is creepy. And we don't expect James and Cephas or Peter and John to be creepy, that we should go, we should go, Barnabas and Paul should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. Hmm. How would you even know? Are like the apostles on mission, going out and lifting up, you know, robes to figure out whether they should talk to them or not? Probably not. Probably not. Probably more likely that the circumcised is a term for the Jewish people. And so. So Paul and Barnabas are off to the Gentiles because that was what they were commissioned to do, Paul in particular. And Peter, James and John, they're going to continue to focus on the Jewish people. So again, you read something, even if it's just for a millisecond, you read it would only at face value, literally. And then you quickly discard the the wooden or face value because it would make no sense. That's that's what goes on in our heads, even if we're not conscious of it. What are figures of speech? Well, on the one hand, we could just generically call every figure of speech a metaphor. That's a metaphorical use. So that's a metaphor for this. But. But metaphor, yeah, it can be used that way, but it can also be a technical term for a specific kind of figure of speech. And we use figures of speech when we compare or identify one thing to another in a pregnant way. And I say pregnant because we don't know exactly, precisely what it's going to be just like. I mean, we can know that that a pregnant lady is going to give birth to a baby, But we don't know exactly what the baby is going to look like. Who's knows whose eyes does does the baby have? Who who does this little girl favor? That sort of thing. And so our imaginations are stirred by figures of speech. It creates a sense of expectation, in a sense. Well, you you might have heard the phrase. A picture paints a thousand words. Well, a figure of speech is a word picture. And when you use a figure of speech, you typically have a definite point of comparison that is context determined. And so a figure of speech is not like an invitation to just make up whatever you want. We still want to think, what did the author mean with this figure of speech? Paul in first Thessalonians 5:19 said, Do not quench the spirit. Quench? Hmm. What? What does that mean? Is my thirst quenched or put out? Or what precisely does it mean? What could Paul have meant? And he's probably meaning don't say no to the spirit. Don't put out the Spirit's fire in in your life. But that is is a figure of speech. A figure. If we think about how to interpret a figure of speech that lays the groundwork for interpreting a figure of thought or, for example, like a parable, is really just an elaborate long simile. The Kingdom of God is like. So that's just that's a it's metaphorical, or to be precise, it's a simile, a formal comparison between the kingdom of God and whatever Jesus is comparing it with. If you can handle a figure of speech, then then you can handle a figure thought like the parables. The best way, of course, to. Interpret figures of speech is just be at home in the literature, get used to them, read them. You already know how to interpret so many figures of speech. For example, when I said I use figures of speech all the time, probably none of you were thinking, I think you're lying. You don't actually use figures of speech all the time. You probably immediately understood that I was using hyperbole. I was intentionally exaggerating to make a true point. I made a true statement, even though the words themselves, if taken literally, which would be interpreted wrongly. It would have been a false statement. Okay. What are the different types of figures of speech? Well, let's begin with simile. A simile that's a formal comparison between two objects that's designed to impress the mind with likeness, a formal comparison. So you're going to see words like, like or as Jesus that I said in his parables. It's a long simile. The kingdom of heaven is like. And so we know, because he has formally introduced a comparison that the words as and like are good indicators of that. Jeremiah 23, verse 29 Jeremiah said, says, Speaking for the Lord is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces. Here there's a formal comparison being made to the Word of God and fire, or the Word of God and a hammer. And we have to think now what is the comparison? It's not like fire in every way, but in a specific way or some specific ways that the author intends. So even after we interpret the figure of speech, we've still got some interpretive work to do. That's a simile form of comparison, a metaphor. We see this in Luke 13:32 where there's an implied comparison, but not a formal comparison. Luke writes, and he that is Jesus said to them, Go and tell that Fox, Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow. And the third day I finish my course. Go and tell that Fox he's talking about Herod. Go and tell that Fox. Now, he wasn't talking about a literal fox. He's likening. Herod to a fox, but he does it by implication, rather than specifically making a formal comparison. He could have said Herod is like a fox, but instead he just flat out calls Herod a fox. Now we might be tempted to think, Hey, isn't that a zoomorphism? No, it's not. It's just a metaphor. Because he's not attributing the forms of a fox to Herod. What is he doing? Well, this is interesting. What? What is a fox? As I said, you can identify a figure of speech, but then you have to interpret it. In calling Herod a fox. What is Jesus doing? What are our range of possibilities? There was a time when it was politically correct or OK to call attractive ladies a fox, and that's probably not what Jesus is doing there. So we'll just toss that one up immediately. More likely you might be thinking, Oh, a fox. That is a clever and sly animal. And that's possible. Maybe he's saying go and tell Herod who is like a fox and that he's clever and sly. But more likely, we have to realize that in biblical times, especially in Jewish culture, a fox was a scavenger. It was an unclean animal. Like a vulture. A vulture. And so when he says, Go and tell that Fox Herod he's not he's not complimenting Herod for being clever and sly. He's criticizing him for being a vulture and unclean animals, someone who eats roadkill, if you will. So that's that's a metaphor, an implied comparison. Now it gets more difficult. There are there are comparisons made. And the term we'll use for this one is metonymy. Metonymy. And here the comparison. It's based on relationship, not resemblance. And the word metonymy literally means if you look at the roots of it, it means to change the name, changed the name. And in this kind of figure speech, one word is substituted for another, to which there's a close conceptual relationship. And the emphasis is on concept, not on physical resemblance. So, for example, we might say, Man, I would hate to be in your shoes. Is that because you don't like the person's shoes that you're saying, Boy, what ugly shoes that you're wearing? Bill, I'd hate to be in your shoes. No, what we're saying there is shoes stands in close mental relationship to personal experience. When we say I'd hate to be in your shoes, we're saying, I would hate to be experiencing what you are experiencing. We might say about a couple. Will they ever make it to the altar? Will they ever make it to the altar here? Altar stands for marriage, where we're asking, is this couple ever going to get married or not? That's metonymy. Where? Where altar is substituted for marriage. We find this in the scriptures as well. Psalm 23 verse five you prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. What is that we're saying? Provision you provide for me in the presence of my enemies. My cup overflows is a literal cup. No, he is talking about his. His experience with the Lord. Perhaps joy, where overflowing joy is given. Proverbs 12:19 Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is bite for a moment here. Truthful lips endure forever. The lips are in form a comparison with a person. A person who speaks lips don't actually speak. People speak, but. But lips are being substituted there. Um. Luke Chapter 16, verse 29. This is the the parable or story that Jesus tells of the rich man and Lazarus. And the rich man wants Lazarus to go and and tell his brothers, warn them so they don't end up in the same place. And and Abraham says, they have Moses and the prophets. Let them hear them. The ghosts of Moses and the prophets are going to go and speak to these men. No, no. They have Moses in the prophets. They have the word of God written by them. So Moses and prophets are substituted for the Word of God. That's metonymy. Conceptual relationship. The next kind synecdoche, this is where you place one thing in in for another. You compare it, but the relationship is physical, not mental. You put the part of something in place of the whole. Back when I was younger, if we looked at a car we liked, we might say, Look at that set of wheels. Look at that set of wheels. And we weren't really looking at the Goodyear tires that they might have had, although although today with with the wheels that some people have, we might actually say, look at that set of wheels and we want to draw attention to the you know, to the spinning hubs or something like that. No wheels is a part of the car and it stands in place for the car. So, for example, Micah, chapter four, verse three, very, very famous passage. It's repeated multiple times in Scripture. He shall judge between many people's and shall decide for strong nations afar off. They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. So is it limited just to swords and plowshares, spears and pruning? Probably not. No. They're taking the part in place of the whole swords. It stands in place for all the implements of war. And those are being beaten into not just plowshares, but all the implements of farming. So warfare is going to be replaced by peace and prosperity. We see the same sort of thing in, um, in Psalm eight, verse ten, I will turn your feasts in the morning and all your songs in lamentation. I will bring sack cloth on every waste and baldness on every head at you. There was a ritual in which you repented and you mourned. And one of the pieces was sackcloth. And so when the Lord brings repentance and sadness, he's going to bring sackcloth. But that stands in place of the whole accouterments of mourning. Um. Any time that we're told not to trust in horses or chariots, that is synecdoche. Don't trust in any of the implements of warfare. Instead, put your trust in the Lord some 44 six as an example of that. We've already mentioned the fifth one hyperbole, but I'll give you some specifics on it. Hyperbole is intentional or deliberate exaggeration, where the figure is usually magnified well beyond reality. And that's the point with hyperbole. We say something that is ridiculous. If I take three cookies but tell you that I took four. That's not really hyperbole. That's just inaccuracy. But if I take three cookies and say, oh, I took I took 100 cookies. What I'm telling you is I took more than I should. I took a lot of cookies. It just happened to be three. That's more hyperbole. Robert Stein offers a helpful analysis. What makes hyperbole or exaggeration illegitimate is when the writer is not sharing with his reader that he's using this form of language either explicitly or almost always implicitly. So here are some examples of biblical hyperbole. Judges 7:12 The Midianites and the Amalekites and all the people of the East lay along the valley like locusts in abundance, and their camels were without number as the sand that is on the seashore in abundance. That's hyperbole. We think about it. Their camels were without number. They had an infinite number of cameras? I would say that that's impossible. They had a finite number of camels. It was just a lot too many for them to count. Not too many to literally count. But they didn't want to take the time. They just knew they were being overwhelmed. This is an overwhelming force, is what's being said there, that the people are like locusts? You know, probably not. I mean, that locust would come through. There would be like millions of locusts in a place. I'm sure that the the millions and implicates didn't have that big an army. The point is overwhelming numbers. And so he uses hyperbole to make that point some six six. Remember I always said in the poetry, look for figurative language. I'm weary with my moaning, David says. Every night I flood my bed with tears. I drenched my couch with my weeping. Seriously, you cried so much. So many tears left your body that your bed literally floated away in the torrent of water. You desiccated yourself. You don't even have enough fluid in your body to literally flood your bed. And that's the whole point. What's David saying? I'm really sad, but saying every night I flood my bed with tears, I drenched my couch with my weeping. Is a more effective way of saying that. You're sad than just saying I'm really sad. John. John uses hyperbole in chapter 21, verse 25, when he says, There's many other things Jesus did where every one of them to be written. I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. I'm not even sure how that works. I have so many books literally written that the world cannot contain them. I think that's an impossibility. But that's not the point. The point John is saying is that Jesus did a lot of wonderful things. He did so many wonderful things, it would be really hard to write them all down. But talking about the world not being able to contain the books that could be written about Jesus is a more effective way of saying Jesus is awesome than just saying Jesus is awesome. How do we recognize and interpret hyperbole? And here I'm borrowing from Robert Stein as well. One, if the statement is literally impossible, that's a pretty good indicator that there's hyperbole. Genesis Chapter 22 over 17. God says to Abraham, I will surely bless you. I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. Now, I don't know if you've ever tried to count up grains of sand before, but if you had like a cubic yard of sand, which is just a minuscule fraction of all the sand is on the seashore, there would be billions of grains of sand there. I think we're fooling ourselves if we think, no, there's like a finite number of sand on the seashore and God is going to give that many kids plus one to Abraham. I think it's a hyperbolic statement where God is basically saying to Abraham, Hey, look up and see the stars. Can you count them? No, we'll look down. Can you can you count the dirt? No, you can't. I'm going to give you uncountable progeny, which would have been pretty encouraging because at the time he had like two kids, one of them illegitimate, and yet he's had to wander around forever, calling himself exalted father of multitudes, which would have been really embarrassing. Hey. Hey. What's your name? Exalted father. And what exalted father May What exalted father? Many I get. I only got one kid. Nevertheless, that's what I want you to call me. I want you to call me father in me. So? So God's promise to him was probably pretty important because God changed his name to that very thing. Number two, the statement conflicts with what the speaker says elsewhere. Again, because the Bible's inspired, we expect there not to be contradiction. So Matthew, 6:46. Jesus says, When you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your father who is in secret. However, he had just given the Lord's Prayer, which uses plural. Our father like we're praying with other people. So which one is it, jesus? Heavens, This is like in the span of, like, two chapters. Am I supposed to pray with others or pray by myself? Which one? Probably. He's using hyperbole when he says, Go into your room and shut the door and pray to your father, who is in secret, because he's going to contrast that with what the Pharisees do, who pray for the purpose of being heard by others. And that's Jesus's point. He uses a hyperbolic statement praying secret. To make the point. Don't be like them. Don't be like them. Pray to be heard by your father, not by others. If the statement conflicts with the actions of the speaker himself, that's probably hyperbole. Matthew 10:34 Jesus says, Don't think I've come to bring peace to the earth. I've not come to bring peace, but a sword. Well, at least in the first Advent ministry, Jesus didn't bring a sword when he needed one to fulfill prophecy. He didn't have one even yet. He said, Peter, you got one. I got two. That'll do. That'll do. Okay. And so he didn't have a sword. What's his point? I came to bring division. And of course, the point of his ministry was not necessarily to divide. That was a necessary implication of the gospel ministry that comes into a into a broken world. If the statement in the New Testament conflicts with the teachings of the Old Testament. You probably have hyperbole. I sound like, you know, you know you're a redneck if you know you've got hyperbole. If the teachings conflict with the teachings of the Old Testament, Luke 14, verse 26, Jesus says, If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters. Yes, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. But the Old Testament tells us to honor our father and mother. Jesus came to fulfill the law, not to abolish it. He's not literally asking us to hate our parents. He's saying, don't have divided loyalty. Your relationship with Jesus trumps every relationship that you have. Or if the statement conflicts with the New Testament. We could look at the same thing. Jesus says that you're supposed to hate your own wife in Luke 14: 26, but in Ephesians five we're told husbands are supposed to love their wives. So who's right? Jesus or Paul? Well, they're both right. Again, it's about divided loyalties, and Jesus uses hyperbole to drive the point home. Sometimes you'll have parallel statements where there's hyperbole in one, but not in the other. So Matthew 10:34, we read it earlier, Don't think I've come to bring peace to the earth. I've not come to bring peace but a sword. Jesus says. So there's hyperbole there. And there's also some phonetically as well, a weapon of warfare or a weapon of division. But then Luke says the same exact thing. It's a parallel passage, but he doesn't use sword. He just says, No, I tell you, but rather division. So Luke doesn't use a figure of speech where Matthew does. Matthew uses hyperbole. A sword. And Luke says no. He just uses the main point, which was division. If the statement has not been literally fulfilled, then you probably have hyperbole in Mark Chapter 13. Jesus is wandering by the temple with his disciples and they look up at this wondrous Herod's temple that was being built and they say, Look, teacher, what wonderful stones, what wonderful buildings. And Jesus said to him, Do you see those great buildings that will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down? Now you can go to the Temple Mount and you will see. Stones on top of the other. The foundation of the temple is still sitting there. Are we supposed to look at that and say, Oh, Jesus was wrong? There's there's not one stone left on another. Are there still are stones there left on the other? Could this have been wrong? That's. That's strange. I went on a tour of Jerusalem where the guy went to great pains to explain how even though there were still these foundational stones that were sitting on top of each other. That's the whole point of the Wailing Wall. Right? And he said that that Jesus was still literally correct because the stones on top had all been thrown off. And I was just thinking it was a hyperbolic statement that the temple was totally destroyed. That was his point. It's totally, completely destroyed. He used hyperbole. There will not be one stone left on top of another. What if the statement wouldn't achieve its desired goal? Jesus said in Matthew five, If you're right, it causes you to sin. Tear it out, throw it away. It's better you lose one of your members in your whole body to be thrown into hell. He's saying take draconian measures to avoid sin. Gouging your eye out is not going to keep you from sinning. His point, though, and he uses hyperbole to make it do whatever it takes to avoid sin. If the statement doesn't achieve or wouldn't achieve its desired goal, you probably have hyperbole and then we should just be on the lookout for it any time we're looking at poetry. For sure. Psalms, Proverbs, prophecy, be on the lookout for hyperbole. There's going to be a lot of it there. Mark. 9:23 is another example of where if the statement uses universal language, probably you have hyperbole, probably you want to evaluate it. But in mark 9:23, Jesus says to his disciples, If you can, all things are possible for the one who believes. Well, is that literally true? There's there's all sorts of things that I don't think we're going to do. I suppose it's possible that if I believed I could flap my arms and fly to the moon. I don't think that's very likely because God does what he wants to do. He doesn't do the goofy, weird things that I might think I want to do in order to test him. All things are possible for the one who believes. Jesus. Point is, if God asks you to do something, you can do it. He'll do it for you. Okay. So that's that's a lot on hyperbole. Here are some other kinds of figures of speech. There is hendiadys. This is an expression of one idea with two or more words where the two words are used for the same thing. And so in Scripture, we have statements like to look with eyes and envy or to look with envious eyes, which would be another way of saying it. But to look with eyes and envy is like saying two things put together here. Here's 2 Timothy one. Verse ten, Paul writes, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to life through the Gospel. Here, it seems to me that life and immortality refer to the same reality so that the rules would apply in him. Itis for that we I kept cautioning you about with synonymous parallelism. Don't spend a lot of time when you have synonyms trying to figure out what the difference is. I don't know that you should have a point in your sermon. Jesus brings life and Jesus brings immortality. Those are probably the same thing. Probably the same thing. A very common figure of speech is personification. This is the presentation of a thing that is inanimate. Or an idea presenting it with the qualities or actions of a person. We turn something that is inanimate and give it a a personality. So Jesus uses personification in Matthew six when he says, When you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing while your left hand and right hand don't have minds of their own you can't get. He's personifying your left hand and right hand as conscious sentient beings and saying, Oh, when you give, don't let the one know what the other is doing. That's personification. Jesus point, of course, is when you give don't give for the approval of others. Don't make a big deal out of your own giving. Do it. Do it in secret. So secret that if your right hand were a sincere being and your left hand were sitting being, they wouldn't know what each one was doing. You're giving should be in secret. And then your father will reward you Psalm 68:16. There's there's a lot of personification where creation is given a personality. Why do you look with hatred oh, many peak mountain at the Mount that God desired for his abode? Yes. Where the Lord will dwell forever. Mountains don't look. And they don't look with hatred either. Unless you're reading Lord of the Rings or something like that. But. But that that is this is personification One caution on personification. God cannot be personified because he's already a person, right? He's already a person. And so we don't so select to think that God sees or God looks or something that's not personification. We might say that that is anthropomorphism, where we attribute the form of a human to God, but God already is a person with personality there. If we're Trinitarian, we might even say that God is three persons. There's something called litotes here where we're really getting into the weeds. But I just want you to be aware the richness of of biblical metaphors. Litotes occurs when an assertion is made by negating the opposite. This is kind of like the way British people talk. It's a it's a way of purposefully understating something for the opposite effect. So in Acts 15:2, we read this after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas, some of the others were appointed to go to Jerusalem. No small dissension. So it's it's a dissension that is not small. They could have said after Paul and Barnabas had a big fight and debate with them, but they use lighter teeth to say no small dissension. You you assert something by negating the opposite. Paul liked to brag that he was from a certain city. It was no mean city. It was no mean city, was no average city. It was a remarkable city. But it's oftentimes an understated, more appropriate way of a bragging, if you will, or or complimenting someone. You know, we might say something like, oh, that food was not bad, which is a way of saying that food was good. That's litotes. That's just a survey of the different kinds of figures of speech that you'll find in the Bible. The Bible is rich with them, their word pictures that are to be interpreted. They're not a playground where we can make them think whatever we want them to mean. But they bring a richness to the biblical literature that that that's that's wonderful.


Speaker 2 I was thinking, when you're talking about hyperbole, how hard it is in some cases to move to hyperbole or not. And so I'll say, like the numbers in the Old Testament, you know, the numbers are so massive that a lot of people argue that the land simply couldn't hold 2 million people coming out.


Speaker 1 Of.


Speaker 2 Egypt or something. How do you know whether the numbers intentional or whether it's an exaggeration for like there is a lot of people. But I mean, that's really hard, isn't it?


Speaker 1 Is, especially because there's there's translation issues with the Hebrew numbering as well that that complicates it. Yeah. And especially that like like in battle reports, we often get rounded numbers that are probably exaggerated. The the wonderful thing about about hyperbole is is that. It is. It is that it authorizes exaggeration and it is maybe a better way to say it is is it allows for exaggeration and allows us to look for exaggeration where we would expect it. And so it probably is helpful to look at like ancient Near East battle reports where the numbers are inflated. Right. And but that was just how things were done. Yeah. And so when we go to the scriptures, if if it were determined, well, there were not actually, you know, 600 million people who were killed in this one battle in The Valley of Elah or something. But we would look at that and say, Well, okay, yeah, you're probably right. But but that's not an error. That was the way these were written. And they made sense to the people at the time.


Speaker 2 Or the age of people.


Speaker 1 That could be as well.


Speaker 2 Yeah, it's interesting. And then about, say, the other examples and Paul, the Galatians, he's frustrated them going back and circumcision and we always mute the translation at that point but policies you know so translations I wish they would go all the way. What he's saying is e.g. castrate.


Speaker 1 Yourself, castrate yourself.


Speaker 2 Just Paul really want them to castrate themselves? Or is that an exaggeration for effect? Yeah, it is a hard. You're right. It is.


Speaker 1 Hard. It is. And maybe with Paul, it could have been both. It maybe Paul. It could have been both. Right where he's. I wish they'd just go ahead and castrate themselves. There's certainly some hyperbole there, I think. Although if you cornered Paul, he might. You might want it to be literally done as well. Yeah. Yeah, but it's fun. It makes the Bible fun for sure. Yeah.