Biblical Allusions

Anything Good

After Ichabod Crane disappears, Hans Van Ripper burns Ichabod’s “magic books and poetic scrawl” and is determined “to send his children no more to school; observing, that he never knew any good come of this same reading and writing.” Irving’s diction closely parallels Nathanael’s response to Philip’s claim to have found the Messiah named Jesus […]

Sparing the Rod

Ichabod Crane is described as always having “in mind the golden maxim, ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child,’” which is a popularization of PROVERBS 13 : 24 which actually reads, “He who spares his rod hates his son, / But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.”


1 SAMUEL 4 : 19-22 reports that “…Phinehas’ wife, was with child, due to be delivered…when she heard the news that the ark of God was captured, and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she…gave birth…she named the child Ichabod, saying the ‘The glory has departed from Israel!’”


In ACTS 2 : 17, the Apostle Peter quotes the Old Testament prophet Joel (JOEL 2 : 28) saying, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, / that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; / Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, / Your young men shall see visions, / Your old men shall dream dreams.”