Did I not say to you a little while ago that the universe swam in an ocean of similitudes and analogies?
God is the Light of the heavens and the earth; the likeness of His Light is as a niche wherein is a lamp (the lamp in a glass, the glass as it were a glittering star) kindled froma Blessed Tree, anolivethat isneitherof the East nor of the West whose oil wellnigh would shine, even if no fire touched it; Light upon Light; (God guides to His Light whom He will). (And God strikes similitudes for men, and God has knowledge of everything.)The Koran
...in the Old Testament, the first recorded parable in the form of fable is that of the trees choosing for themselves a king, an exposition ...bare precepts were clothed with parables and similitudes. Hillel and Shammai were the most illustrious teachers by parables before the time of Christ. After him was Meir, with whom tradition says the power of inventing parables notably, declined? Knowing how Jewish teachers illustrated their doctrines with the help of parables and comparisons, Christ adopted these old forms and gave them a newness of spirit.Herbert Lockyer