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Holman Bible Dictionary


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A short, fictitious story that uses animals or inanimate objects as characters to teach ethical or practical lessons. Typically, the characters are portrayed as having human personality traits that are good or evil. The practical or moral lesson is obvious in the story when these character traits lead to either failure or success. Fables are rarely found in the Bible. There are two clear examples in the Old Testament. The fable of the trees of the forest selecting a king (Judges 9:8-15 ) is designed to warn Israel of the dangers in selecting a weak and ruthless king. In 2 Kings 14:8-10 ( 2 Chronicles 25:17-19 ), there is a fable addressed to Amaziah, king of Judah, about the folly of arrogance. In this story a thistle thinks that it is equal to the giant cedars of Lebanon and gets trampled by a wild beast of the forest.

Daniel B. McGeer

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Fable'. Holman Bible Dictionary. 1991.

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