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a trite maxim; a similitude; a parable
The Hebrew word thus rendered (Mashal) has a wide signification. It comes from a root meaning “to be like,” “parable.”
Ahab's defiant words in answer to the insolent demands of Benhadad, “Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off,” is a well known instance of a proverbial saying (1 Kings 20:11).