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Reference: Symbol


The prevalence of figurative language in the Bible is due partly to the antiquity and Oriental origin of the book and to the fact that its subject, religion, deals with the most difficult problems of life and the deepest emotions of the soul. The English word 'type,' as the equivalent of 'symbol' or 'emblem,' is sometimes confusing, as it has been used both for the fulfilment of the prototype and as that which points forward to the antitype. Like the proverb and parable, the symbol implies a connexion between two things of which one is concrete and physical, the other abstract and referring to intellectual, moral, and spiritual matters. The former, of course, is the symbol.

1. Symbols of similarity.

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