- A story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.
- The genre to which such works belong.
When speaking about the actual lives of Sarah and Hagar:
Gal 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
Consider the depth of this:
Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
There is no problem with that which is literally true being allegory that represents another truth. Genesis chapter 1, although the written account of the literal six day creation, is full of allegorical teachings. God is simply that awesome in his ability to work things to the counsel of his own will. We are even told about the allegory/figurative nature of the account of the first Adam being that which explains the last Adam.
Rom 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
I went to a church that forbid the use of allegorical interpretation unless it was expressly defined as such within the scriptures. Taking this position has become a bar against knowledge for them.
Hsa 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
But God has declared that he uses such through his prophets.
Hsa 12:10 I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.
Jesus himself testified to the fact that the scripture was full of these allegorical pictures.
Jhn 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
Luk 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
The truth is that the only way to a proper understanding of scripture is obedience to that which is revealed.
Luk 8:18 Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.
Simply studying to try and figure it out is insufficient and only leads to gross error in interpretation. Understanding the allegorical interpretation of the Creation account is paramount in understanding the figurative language later used to describe people in different ways such as the sea or earth. Strict literalists who do not allow for an allegorical understanding of scripture end up in error unable to understand why God would write something like (let him who readeth understand:)
I am not one who believes in theistic evolution but believe that the theory of evolution was taken from the spiritual development that was prophesied to occur in man over a period of 6000 years as God revealed himself unto man and continually conformed man to his own image.
All that said, the only way to properly understand the prophetic pictures in the scriptures is to have them revealed to us by God through the Holy Spirit who is promised to guide us into all truth. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
In Jesus Name,