A second common figure of speech found within the Bible is hyperbole. A hyperbole is a deliberate exaggeration made for emphasis. When a mother tells her child, “I called you a thousand times to come home for dinner,” that is hyperbole. An example of a hyperbole in the Bible would be Jesus’ statement about cutting off our right hand:

And if your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off, and throw it from you; for it is better for you that one of the parts of your body perish, than for your whole body to go into hell (Matt. 5:30).

If Jesus literally meant that every one of us who sins in some way by using our right hand should cut that hand off, then all of us should be missing our right hands! Of course, the problem with sin is not really in our hands. Most likely, Jesus was teaching us that sin can send us to hell, and the way to avoid sin is to remove temptations and those things that cause us to stumble.