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Fausset's Bible Dictionary


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Once in Scripture (Galatians 4:24): "which things (the history of Hagar and Sarah, Ishmael and Isaac) are an allegory;" (are, when allegorized, etc.) not that the history is unreal as to the literal meaning, (such as is the Song of Solomon, a continued allegory); but, besides the literal historical fact, these events have another and a spiritual significance, the historical truths are types of the antitypical truths; the child of the promise, Isaac, is type of the gospel child of God who is free to love and serve his Father in Christ; the child of the bondwoman, Ishmael, is type of those legalists who, seeking justification by the law, are ever ill the spirit of bondage. Origen at Alexandria introduced a faulty system of interpreting Scripture by allegorizing, for which this passage gives no warrant. In an allegory there is

(1) an immediate sense, which the words contain; and

(2) the main and ulterior sense, which respects the things shadowed forth. In pure allegory the chief object aimed at is never directly expressed.

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Allegory'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. 1949.

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