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Jehovah’s Witnesses

English

Glossary

Hyperbole

Hyperbole

A figure of speech that employs intentional and obvious exaggeration or overstatement for emphasis or effect. Hyperbole should not be taken literally.

Jesus often used hyperbole in his teaching. For example, he said: “Why . . . do you look at the straw in your brother’s eye but do not notice the rafter in your own eye?” (Mt 7:3) Another example is when he said: “Not even a hair of your heads will perish.” (Lu 21:18) He was obviously not saying that every hair of each of his disciples would be preserved. Rather, by using hyperbole, Jesus left no doubt that his followers would be protected despite being “hated by all people.”—Lu 21:17.