Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Parables in the Old Testament?

by CWK

Any consideration of the parable in Jewish thought should begin with the OT, and we a fair amount of parables in the OT. The list of parables is debatable, but includes the following:

The Fable of the Trees (Judges 9.7-21)
Nathan’s Parable of the Ewe Lamb (2 Sam. 12.1b-4)
The Parables of the Two Sons (2 Sam. 14.4-7)
The Parable of an Escapee (1 Kgs. 20.38-43)
The Parable of the Vineyard (Is. 5.1-7)
The Parable of the Eagles (Ezek. 17.2-10)
The Parable of the Lioness (Ezek. 19.1-9)
The Parable of the Vine (Ezek. 19.10-14)
The Parable of the Forest Fire (Ezek. 21.1-5)
The Parable of the Pot (Ezek. 24.2-5)

            Several things are noteworthy from this list. First, Ezekiel is by far the most prodigious employer of the parable (around 5 instances). Second, though we do find parables in the OT – there are about 10 –
we do not find them with near as much frequency as in the ministry of Jesus. Jesus spoke between 40-43 parables (depending on how you count them). 

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