Yes, he clearly did announce methapors, but it is often a question in my mind whether or not a critical term has been somehow altered in translation. Different interpreters translate a given term differently.However, if the Buddha meant something as a metaphor, he'd usually announce it and give the teachings that it is analogue to.
I look upon the Buddha as a supreme scientist who was an expert in experimental psychology---both in his day and ours. But I often wonder what his teaching would be were he a contemporary of ours.
I have been reading and thinking about Buddhism, albeit in sporadic and untutored form, for a half century. At first, all I could find in my university library were books that were old and dusty even then: books by Rhys-Davids and a few others. Often I was even forced to read Theosophical Society tracts (e.g. Madame H. P. Blavatsky) and try to winnow out the chaff from the good kernels of wisdom. Nowdays there are many references, and the teaching seems to have changed enormously since then. Happily!
But, my point is that interpretations change rapidly even within one persons physical lifetime, so I wonder how it might change over several kalapas! Or several rounds of rebirth. So, for me, the practical approach is to merely interpret rebirth as merely a temporal alteration in the aggregates. But, as I said earlier, I am finding this discussion rewarding---and appreciate each and every comment.
By the by, thanks so much for the kalama sutta reference, Buckwheat. I think that is the one that stuck in my mind long ago and influenced my thinking on the subject. I intend to read it again very carefully.