Examples of Biblical Allusion

Allusion is a device that activates and vitalizes our ideas, association, and information in the reader’s mind through words and reference. It reflects how the reader interprets the allusion. In this article, biblical allusions and the references are taken from the Holy Bible. In literature, allusions are used to get a grasp over certain situations. No matter what part of the writing is, they sneak into the waves of words and make the piece more profound and sensible. In the Bible, we get many references of allusions through the people’s names, places, and situations; it is the skill of writer that how he puts these allusions in his work.

Example -1 Antediluvian

When Adam had lived one hundred and thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth. Then the days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died. – Genesis 5:3-32

Antediluvian is a Latin phrase for “before the flood”. It refers to the worldwide flood during the times of Noah in Genesis. Something very old or outdated is sometimes exaggeratedly called Antediluvian. This period chronicled in the Bible between the fall of humanity and the Genesis flood narrative in the biblical cosmology. The term refers to any ancient and murky period.

Sentence: The teacher’s antediluvian belief made John ill-suited for classroom teaching.

Example -2 Jonah

“For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth”. – Mathew 12:40

Jonah was a prophet who defied God’s command to deliver a warning to the city of Nineveh. Instead, he decided to flee on the ship of Tarshish. A storm was sent to punish him, and would not relent until Jonah was thrown off the ship. A person or thing that brings bad luck is called ‘a Jonah’.

Sentence: I’m not going to carpool with that Jonah. Every vehicle she gets into ends up in an accident.

Example -3 Killing the fatted calf

“Bring the fatted calf and kill it. Let us feast and celebrate” – Luke 15:23

The prodigal son’s father calls for a fatted calf to be killed for the welcoming feast as his son was returning after squandering his fortune. Killing the fatted calf is now used as an expression for sparing no expense on a celebration or celebrate exuberantly.

Sentence: It looks like Molly killed the fatted calf for her lavish anniversary party.

Example -4 Thirty pieces of silver

“What are you willing to give me if I hand Him over to you? And they set out for him thirty pieces of silver” – Mathew 26:15

Judas was paid thirty pieces of silver for betraying Jesus. Judas was well known for his weakness for money, so he was tempted to accept the offer. Payment for any treacherous act is now referred to thirty pieces of silver, or blood money.

Sentence: Kyle got a large amount of stock for helping depose his partner as CEO, but the thirty pieces of silver didn’t keep his conscience from troubling him.

Example -5 Eye of the needle

“Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” – Mathew 19:24

The above phrase’ eye of the needle’ is an allusion. It also used as a metaphor for a very narrow opening. A rich man came to Jesus and asked what it took to eternal life. Jesus Christ defined several of the Ten Commandments, and the man answered that he had kept from the time he was a boy. Then Jesus told him if he wanted to be perfect, he must be willing to sell all he owned, give the proceeds to the poor, and follow him! After hearing these words, the rich man went away sad. Jesus, then, quotes the above lines.

Sentence: Getting Henry to wake up before 6 o’clock is harder than getting a camel through the eye of a needle.

Example -6 Solomon

“Now God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment and breadth of mind, like the sand that is on the seashore.” – Kings 4:29

The third King of Israel, King Solomon, was the son of David, who ruled the kingdom of Israel for 40 years. Here, Solomon is an allusion for wisdom. He offered sacrifices to God. Later, God appeared to him in a dream, asking what Solomon wanted the most. He chooses an understanding of heart and wisdom so that he can make the right decisions for his people.

Sentence: His advice is very valuable; after all, he is the Solomon of our team.

Example -7 Judas

During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him. – John 13-2

Judas Iscariot was one of the twelve original apostles of Jesus Christ. He is most famously known for his betrayal of Jesus in exchange for thirty pieces of silver. Judas is a classic example of betrayal. He is the most frequently referenced member of this list. His name conjures images of the highest sin and deception. An allusion to Judas means that the character is so evil that they are being compared with killing Jesus.

Sentence: Herman proved himself Judas by giving our secrets to the enemy organization in NK.

Example -8 Serpent

Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” – Genesis 3:13

At first, the Serpent appears in Genesis 3:1, in the Garden of Eden. It is portrayed as a deceptive creature or trickster. Who combined good with evil and evil with good. He promotes evil with deception. Eve was deceived by the Serpent and ate the fruit of the forbidden tree. It stands for sin and the devil. Hence the word ‘serpent’ has a negative connotation.

Sentence:  This enchanting world is a serpent, which leads you away from spirituality.

Example -9 Garden Of Eden

 “Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” – Genesis 2:15-17

Adam and Eve, the first pair, was inhabited in the Garden of Eden. When God found they disobeyed, He banished them from there. The story of the Garden of Eden is a theological use of mythological themes to explain the human progression from a state of innocence and bliss to the present human condition of knowledge of sin, misery, and death. This garden stands for a happy place.

Sentence: Your backyard is a Garden of Eden; it’s such a peaceful and perfect spot for reading.

Example -10 Burning Bush

When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
And Moses said, “Here I  am.” – Exodus 3

The people of Israel cried out to God to be rescued from their misery as slaves in Egypt, and God heard them. He was ready to set them free. But first, God had to reveal himself to Moses in a convincing manner that would prove his power and his purposes. God had to get Moses’ full attention. He did this by appearing to Moses in a burning bush. The fire did not consume the bush or a plant. In this stunning appearance, the Lord distinguished himself as the God of Israel, who was aware of his people’s affliction and was coming to deliver them.

Sentence:  I guess I should see this message of my new job interview as my burning bush.

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