Abraham and Isaac
In Genesis, Abraham was asked by God to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac. Abraham made ready to obey. At the last moment, his hand was stayed by an angel of the Lord. Isaac was spared and Abraham received the Lord's blessing. This story is symbolic of man's willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice to demonstrate his faith and trust in God. It is also symbolic of the idea that faith shall be rewarded.
In Samuel II, Absalom was David's favorite son who was killed in battle while attempting to usurp his father's throne. David grieved: "O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom!" The word alludes to paternal grief, and to a lost and faithless son. William Faulkner used Absalom! Absalom! as the title of a novel.
In Greek legend, Achilles was the hero of Homer's Iliad who was the model of valor and beauty. He slew the Trojan hero Hector but was himself invulnerable to wounds because his mother Thetis had held him by the heel and dipped him in the river Styx. Later he was slain by Paris who shot an arrow into his heel, which had not gotten wet. Today the term "Achilles' heel" refers to the vulnerable part of a person's character.
In Greek mythology, he was the king who sacrificed his daughter Iphigenia to win the gods' favor for his war against Troy. Also father of Orestes and Electra and unfaithful husband of Clytemnestra.
Daughter of Oedipus who performed funeral rites over her brother Polynices in defiance of Creon's order. Her story can be seen as symbolic of the choice between the gods' authority and civil authority, or the choice between justice and law.
In Revelation, which predicts apocalypse, Armageddon is the location of the final cosmic battle between the forces of good and evil. The term is often used in literature to refer to an apocalyptic climax, or to a time of judgment.
In Greek mythology, she was a huntress who promised to marry any man who could outrun her in a footrace. She was defeated by Hippomenes, who threw three golden apples to distract her as she ran. She is the archetype of speed, strength, and daring foiled by a trick of the intellect.
In Greek mythology, Atlas was one of the Titans who rebelled against Zeus. As punishment for his actions, he was condemned to forever hold up the heavens on his shoulder (literally: "has the weight of the world on his shoulders").
Blind leading the blind
"And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." In the Bible, blindness frequently represents a lack of spiritual enlightenment. This particular reference from Matthew implies that wisdom cannot be attained through the teachings of the unenlightened.
In Exodus, God used this device to catch Moses' attention when he wished to assign him the task of bringing the Israelites out of Egypt. Because the bush burns but is not consumed, this tale is symbolic of initial reluctance, followed by proof of authoritative truth. The burning bush also represents physical proof of divinity.