...and symbolism - a simple way to explain something when you have illiterate peeps, or when you are trying to teach something.
It was very commonplace then and before that time.
Using symbols as a way to communicate has been found all over the world in forms of petroglyphs and hieroglyphs.
Jesus used parables to communicate.
Christianity takes it to another extreme by twisting the tales to its liking, instead of earnestly seeking out the true meanings.
Written word(especially english) is the absolute worst form of communication ever in it's multiple determination of meaning and intent. Egyptian-Greek is next in line....oh and then you have the church who obfuscates everything until it is totally indiscernible...and you had better believe it or we'll torture.burn and kill you!