Biblical Allusions

Judge Not

After clarifying his belief that the God of the Bible disapproves of the practice of human slavery, Lincoln urges, “but let us judge not, that we be not judged.” He alludes here to one of the most referred to and perhaps least understood verses in the entire Bible, MATTHEW 7 : 1.


In this tribute to Charlotte Brontë, Dickinson speaks of Charlotte’s travels and return home to Haworth, commenting that Gethsemene could attest to her anguish. Gethsemene is the garden on the Mount of Olives where Jesus went with his disciples to pray after their observance of the Lord’s Supper, and where He was subsequently betrayed by […]


Tagged With: - MOBY DICK

In chapter 49, after being rescued from the sea after an encounter with a whale, Ishmael writes his will and says, “I felt all the easier; a stone was rolled away from my heart. Besides, all the days I should now live would be as good as the days that Lazarus lived after his resurrection…” […]

The Ark of the Covenant

Much like Patrick Henry in his Speech to the Virginia Convention, Whittier declares that there is a “Just God!” (See “Betrayed with a Kiss” for a discussion of that Biblical allusion.) Whittier goes on to speak of “Israel’s Ark of light,” an allusion to The Ark of the Covenant, also called The Ark of the […]

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 […]