It is most important to notice these. It is
absolutely necessary for true interpretation. God's Word is made up of "words which
the Holy Spirit teacheth" (1Corinthians 2:13. 1Thessalonians 2:13. 2Timothy 3:16. 2Peter 1:21, etc.).
A "Figure of speech" relates to the form
in which the words are used. It consists in the fact that a word or words are used out of
their ordinary sense, or place, or manner, for the purpose of attracting our attention to
what is thus said. A Figure of speech is a designed and legitimate departure from the laws
of language, in order to emphasise what is said. Hence in such Figures we have the Holy
Spirit's own marking, so to speak, of His own words.
This peculiar form or unusal manner may not be true, or so
true, to the literal meaning of the words; but it is more true to their real
sense, and truer to the truth.
Figures are never used but for the sake of emphasis. They can
never, therefore, be ignored. Ingnorance of Figures of speech has led to the grossest
errors, which have been caused either from taking literally what is figurative, or from
taking figuratively what is literal.
The Greeks and Romans named some hundreds of such figures. The
only work on Biblical Figures of speech in the English language is by Dr.
from which we have taken the whole of information given here as well as in the marginal
notes. He has classified some 217 seperate figures (some of them with many varieties or
subdivisions), and has given over 8,000 illustrations.
In Genesis 3:14,15. we have some of the
earlist examples. By interpreting these figures literally as meaning "belly",
"dust", "heel", "head",
we lose the volumes of precious and mysterious truth which they convay and intensify. It
is the truth whish is literal, while the words employed are
figurative. (See under Appendix 19)
In the marginal notes will be found the names of most of these
figures; and we append a list with their pronunciation and English definitions (giving one
or more references as examples).
- Ac-cis'-mus ; or, Apparent Refusal
- (Matthew 15:22-26). So named because it is an apparent or assumed
- Ac-ro'-stichion; or, Acrostic
- (Psalm 119). Repetition of the same or successive letters at the beginnings of words or
- Æ-nig'-ma; or, Dark Saying
- (Genesis 49:10. Judges 14:14). A truth
expressed in obscure language.
- Æ'-ti-o-log'-ia; or Cause Shown
- (Romans 1:16). Rendering a reason for what is said or done.
- Affirmatio; or, Affirmation
- (Philppians 1:18). Emphasising words to affirm what no one has
- Ag'-an-ac-te'-sis; or Indignation
- (Genesis 3:13. Acts 13:10). An expression
of feeling by way of indignation.
- Al'-le-go-ry; or, Continued Comparison by
- (Genesis 49:9. Galatians 4:22,24),
- and Implication (Hypocatastasis) (Matthew 7:3-5).
Teaching a truth about one thing by substituting another for it which is unlike it.
- Am-oe-bae'-on; or, Refrain
- (Psalm 136). The repetition of the same phrase at the end successive paragraphs.
- Am'-phi-di-or-tho'-sis; or, Double Correction
- (1Corinthians 11:22). A correction setting
right both hearer and speaker.
- Am'-pli-a'-tio; or, Adjournment
- (Genesis 2:23. 1Samuel 30:5). A retaining of an old name after the reason for it has passed away.
- An-ab'-a-sis; or, Gradual Ascent
- (Psalm 18:37,38). An increase of emphasis or sense in successive
- An-acho'-re-sis; or, Regression
- (Ephesians 3:14). A return to the original subject after a
- An'-a-coe-no-sis; or, Common Cause
- (1Corithians 4:21). An appeal to others as
having interests in common.
- An'-a-co-lu'-thon; or, Non-Sequence
- (Genesis 35:3. Mark 11:32). A breaking off
the sequence of thought.
- An'-a-di-plo'-sis; or, Like Sentence Endings and
- (Genesis 1:1,2. Psalm 121:1,2). The word
or words concluding one sentence are repeated at the beginning of another.
- An'-a-mne'-sis; or, Recalling
- (Romans 9:3). An expression of feeling by way of recalling to
- An-a'-pho-ra; or, Like Sentence Beginnings
- (Deuteronomy 28:3-6). The repetition of the same word at the
beginning of successive sentences.
- An-a'-stro-phe; or, Arraignment
- (Acts 7:48). The position of one word changed, so as to be out of
its proper or usaul place in a sentence.
- An'-e-sis; or Abating
- (2Kings 5:1). The addition of a concluding
sentence which diminishes the effect of what has been said.
- Ant-eis'-a-go-ge; or, Counter Question
- (Matthew 21:23-25). The answering of one quetion by asking
- An-throp'-o-path-ei'-a; or, Condescension
- (Genesis 1:2; 8:21. Psalm 74:11. Jeremiah 2:13. Hosea 11:10).
Ascribing to God what belongs to human and rational beings, irrational creatures, or
- Ant-i-cat'-e-gor'-ia; or, Tu Quoque
- (Ezekiel 18:25). Retorting upon another the very insinuation or
accusation he has made against us.
- Ant'-i-me'-rei-a; or, Exchange of Parts of Speech.
- Of the Verb. The Verb used istead of some other part of speech (Genesis 32:24. Luke 7:21).
- Of the Adverb. The Adverb used instead of some other part of speech (Genesis 30:33. Luke 10:29).
- Of the Adjective. The Adjective used instead of some other part of speech (Genesis 1:9. Hebrews 6:17).
- Of the Noun. The Noun used instead of some other part of speech (Genesis 23:6. James 1:25).
- Ant-i-me-tab'-o-le; or, Counterchange
- (Genesis 4:4,5. Isaiah 5:20). A word or
words repeated in a revers order, with the object of opposing them to one another.
- Ant-i-met-a-the'-sis; or, Dialogue
- (1Corinthians 7:16). A transference of
speakers; as when the reader is addressed as if actually present.
- Ant-i'-phras-is; or, Permutation
- (Genesis 3:22). The use of a word or phrase in a sense opposite
to its original signification.
- Ant'-i-pros-o'-po-poe-i-a; or Anti-Personification
- (2Samuel 16:9). Persons represented as
- Ant'-i-ptos'-is; or, Exchange of Cases
- (Exodus 19:6, compare to 1Peter 2:9). One Case is put for another Case, the governing Noun being used as the
Adjective instead of the Noun in regimen.
- Ant-i'-stro-phe; or, Retort
- (Matthew 15:26,27). Turning the words of a speaker against
- Ant-i'-thes-is; or, Contrast
- (Proverbs 15:17). A setting of one phrase in contrast with
- Ant'-o-no-ma'-si-a or, Name Change
- (Genesis 31:21). The putting of a proper name for a Appellative
or common Noun, or the reverse.
- Aph-aer'-e-sis; or, Front Cut
- (Jeremiah 22:24). The cutting off of a letter or syllable from
the beginning of a word.
- Ap'-o-di-ox'-is; or, Detestation
- (Matthew 16:23). An expression of feeling by way of destestation.
- Ap-o'-phas-is; or, Insinuation
- (Philemon 19.). When, professing to suppress certain matters, the
writer adds the insinuation negatively.
- A-po'-ria; or, Doubt
- (Luke 16:3). An expression of feeling by way of doubt.
- Ap-o-si-opes'-is; or, Sudden Silence
- It may be associated with:-
- Some great promise (Exodus 32:32).
- Anger and threatening (Genesis 3:22).
- Grief and complaint (Genesis 25:22. Psalm 6:3.
- Inquiry and deprecation (John 6:62).
- Ap-o'-stro-phe; or, Apostrophe
- When the speaker turns away from the real auditory whom he is addressing to speak to
another, who may be-
- God (Nehemiah 6:9).
- Men (2Samuel 1:24,25).
- Animals (Joel 2:22).
- Inanimate things (Jeremiah 47:6).
- Association; or, Inclusion
- (Acts 17:27). When the speaker associates himself with those whom
he addresses, or of whom he speaks.
- As'-ter-is'-mos; or, Indicating
- (Psalm 133:1). Employing some word which directs special
attention to some paticular point or subject.
- A-syn'-de-ton; or, No-Ands
- (Mark 7:21-23. Luke 14:13). The usual
conjunction is omitted, so that the point to be emphasised may be quickly reached and
ended with an emphatic climax (compare to Polysyndeton, and Luke 14:21).
- Bat-to-log'-i-a; or, Vain Repetition
- (1Kings 18:26). Not used by the Holy
Spirit: only by man.
- Ben'-e-dic'-ti-o; or, Blessing
- (Genesis 1:22,28. Matthew 5:3-11). An
expression of feeling by way of benediction or blessing.
- Bra-chy'-lo-gi-a; or, Brachyology
- A special form of Ellipsis (Genesis 25:32). See Ellipsis I.3.
- Cat-a'-bas-is; or, Gradual Descent
- (Philippians 2:6-8). The opposite of Anabasis. Used to emphasise
humiliation, sorrow, etc.
- Cat'-a-chres-is; or, Incongruity
- One word used for another, contrary to the ordinary usage and meaning of it.
- Of two words, where the meanings are remotely akin (Leviticus 26:30).
- Of two words, where the meanings are different (Exodus 5:21).
- Of one word, where the Greek receives its real meaning by permutation from another
language (Genesis 1:5. Matthew 8:6).
- Cat'-a-ploc'-e; or, Sudden Exclamation
- (Ezekiel 16:23). This name is given to a parenthesis when it
takes the form of a sudden exclamation.
- Chleu-as'-mos; or, Mocking
- (Psalm 2:4). An expression of feeling by mocking and jeering.
- Chron'-o-graph'-i-a; or, Description of Time
- (John 10:22). The teaching of something important by mentioning
the time of an occurrence.
- Climax; or, Gradation
- (2Peter 1:5-7). Anadiplosis repeated in
successive sentences (see "Anadiplosis", above).
- Coe'-no-tes; or, Combined Repetition
- (Psalm 118:8,9). The repetition of two different phrases, one at
the beginning, and the other at the end of successive paragraphs.
- This term is applied to repetition of a subject or subjects, which reappear in varying
order, thus determing the "Structure" of any portion of the Sacred
Text. This Correspondence is found in the folowing forms:-
- Alternate. Where the subjects of the alternate members correspond with each other,
either by way of similarity or contrast.
- Extended. Where there are two series, but each consisting of several members (Psalm 72:2-17. Psalm 132.).
- Repeated. Where there are more than two series of subjects, either consisting of two
members each (Psalm 26. Psalm 145.), or consisting of more than two members each (Psalm
- Introverted. Where the first subject of the one series of members corresponds with the
last subject of the second (Genesis 43:3-5. Leviticus 14:51,52.
- Complex or Combined. Where both Alternation and Introversion are combined together in
various ways (Exodus 20:8-11. Psalm 105).
- Cy-clo-id'-es; or, Circular Repetition
- (Psalm 80:3,7,19). The repetition of the same phrase at regular
- De'-i-sis; or, Adjuration
- (Deuteronomy 4:26). An expression of feeling by oath or
- Dep-re-ca'-ti-o; or, Deprecation
- (Exodus 32:32). An expression of feeling by the way of
- Di'-a-log-is-mos; or, Dialogue
- (Isaiah 63:1-6). When one or more persons are represented as
speaking about a thing, instead of saying it oneself.
- Di'-a-syrm-os; or, Raillery
- (Matthew 26:50). Tearing away disguise, and showing up a matter
as it really is.
- Di-ex'-od-os; or, Expansion
- (Jude 12,13). A lengthening out by copious exposition of facts.
- Ec'-pho-ne'-sis; or, Exclamation
- (Romans 7:24). An outburst of words, prompted by emotion.
- Ei'-ron-ei-a; or, Irony.
- The expression of thought in a form that naturally conveys its opposite.
- Divine Irony. Where the speaker is Divine (Genesis 3:22. Judges
- Human Irony. Where the speaker is a human being ( Job 12:2).
- Peirastic Irony. By way of trying or testing (Genesis 22:2).
- Simulated Irony. Where the words are used by man in dissimulation (Genesis 37:19. Matthew 27:40).
- Deceptive Irony. Where words are clearly false as well as hypocritical (Genesis 3:4,5. Matthew 2:8).
- E-jac'-u-la'-ti-o; or, Ejaculation
- (Hosea 9:14). A parenthesis which consists of a short wish or
- El-eu'-ther-i'-a; or, Candour
- (Luke 13:32). The speaker, without intending offence, speaks with
perfect freedom and boldness.
- El-lips'-is; or, Omission
- When a gap is purposely left in a sentence through the omissiion of some word or words.
- Absolute Ellipsis. Where the omitted word or words are to be supplied from the nature of
- Noun and Pronouns (Genesis 14:19,20. Psalm 21:12).
- Verbs and participles (Genesis 26:7. Psalm 4:2).
- Certain connected words in the same member of a passage (Genesis 25:32. Matthew 25:9). Called Brachyology.
- A whole clause in a connected passage (Genesis 30:27. 1Timothy 1:3,4).
- Relative Ellipsis.
- Where the omitted word is to be supplied from a cognate word in the context (Psalm 76:11).
- Where the omitted word is to be supplied from a related or contrary word (Genesis 33:10. Psalm 7:11).
- Where the omitted word is to be supplied from analogous or related words (Genesis 50:23. Isaiah 38:12).
- Where the omitted word is contained in another word, the one word comprising the two
significations (Genesis 43:33).
- Ellipsis of Repitition.
- Simple; where the Ellipsis is to be supplied from a preceding or a succeding clause
(Genesis 1:30. 2Corinthians 6:16).
- Complex; where the two clauses are mutually involed, and the Ellipsis in the former
clause is to be supplied from the latter; and, at the same time, an Ellipsis in the latter
clause it be supplied from the former (Hebrews 12:20).
- E-nan-ti-o'-sis; or, Contraries
- (Luke 7:44-46). Affirmatation or negation by contraries.
- En'-thy-me-ma; or, Omission of Premiss
- (Matthew 27:19). Where the conclusion is stated, and one or both
of the premisses are omitted.
- Ep-a-dip'-lo-sis; or, Double Encircling
- (Psalm 47:6). Repeated Epanadiplosis (see below).
- Ep'-an-a-di-plo'-sis; or, Encircling
- (Genesis 9:3. Psalm 27:14). The repetition
of the same word or words at the beginning and end of a sentence.
- Ep'-an-a-leps'is; or, Resumption
- (1Corinthians 10:29. Philippians 1:24). The repetition of the same word after a break or parenthesis.
- Ep-an'-od-os; or, Inversion
- (Genesis 10:1-31. Isaiah 6:10). The
repetition of the same word or words in an inverse order, the sense being unchanged.
- Ep'-an-or-tho-sis; or, Correction
- (John 16:32). A recalling of what has been said in order to
substitute something stronger in its place.
- Ep-i'-bo-le; or, Overlaid Repetition
- (Psalm 29:3,4,5,7,8,9). The repetition of the same phrase at
- Ep'-i-cri'-sis; or, Judgement
- (John 12:33). A short sentence added at the end by way of an
- Ep'-i-mo-ne; or, Lingering
- (John 21:15-17). Repetition in order to dwell upon, for the sake
- Ep'-i-pho-ne'-ma; or, Exclamation
- (Psalm 135:21). An exclamation at the conclusion of a sentence.
- Ep-i'-pho-za; or, Epistrophe in Argument
- (2Corinthians 11:22). The repetition of
the same word or words at the end of successive sentences used in argument.
- Ep-i-stro-phe; or, Like Sentence-Endings
- (Genesis 13:6. Psalm 24:10). The
repetition of the same word or words at the end of successive sentences.
- Ep-i'-ta-sis; or, Amplification
- (Exodus 3:19). Where a concluding sentence is added by way of
increasing the emphasis.
- Ep'-i-ther-a-pei'-a; or, Qualification
- (Philippians 4:10). A sentence added at the end to heal, soften,
mitigate, or modify what has been before said.
- Ep-i'-the-ton; or, Epithet
- (Genesis 21:16. Luke 22:41). The naming of
a thing by describing it.
- Ep'-i-ti-me'-sis; or, Reprimand
- (Luke 24:25). An expression of feeling by way of censure,
reproof, or reproach.
- Ep'i-tre-chon; or, Running Along
- (Genesis 15:13. John 2:9). A sentence, not
complete in itself, thrown in as an explanatory remark. A form of Parenthesis (see below).
- Ep'-i-troch-as'-mos; or Summarising
- (Hebrews 11:32). A running lightly over by way of summary.
- Ep-i'-trop-e; or, Admission
- (Ecclesiastes 11:9). Admission of wrong, in order to gain what is
- Ep'-i-zeux'-is; or, Duplication
- (Genesis 22:11. Psalm 77:16). The
repetition of the same word in the same sense.
- Er'-o-te-sis; or, Interrogating
- (Genesis 13:9. Psalm 35:10). The asking of
questions, not for information, or for an answer. Such questions may be asked (1) in
positive affirmation, (2) in negative affirmation, (3) in afffirmative negation, (4) in
demonstration, (5) in wonder and admiration, (6) in rapture, (7) in wishes, (8) in
refusals and denials, (9) in doubts, (10) in admonition, (11), in expostulation, (12) in
prohibition or dissuasion, (13) in pity and commiseration, (14) in disparagement, (15) in
reproaches, (16) in lamentation, (17) in indignation, (18) in absurdities and
impossibilities, (19) double questions.
- Eth'-o-poe'-i-a; or, Description of Manners
- (Isaiah 3:16). A description of a person's peculiarities as to
manners, caprices, habits, etc..
- Eu'-che; or, Prayer
- (Isaih 64:1,2). An expression of feeling by way of prayer,curse,
- Eu'-phem-is'-mos; or, Euphemy
- (Genesis 15:15). Where a pleasing expression is used for one that
- Exemplum ; or, Example
- (Luke 17:32). Concluding a sentence by employing an example.
- Ex-er-gas'-i-a; or Working Out
- (Zechariah 6:12,13). A repetition so as to work out or illustrate
what has already been said.
- Ex'-ou-then-is'-mos; or, Contempt
- (2Samuel 6:20). An expression of feeling
by way of contempt.
- Gno'-me; or, Quotation
- The citation of a well-known saying without quoting the author's name.
- Where the sense originally intended is preserved, though the words may vary (Matthew 26:31).
- Where the original sense is modified in the quotation or reference (Matthew 12:40).
- Where the sense is quite different from that which was first intended (Matthew 2:15).
- Where the words are from the Hebrew or from the Septuagint (Luke 4:18).
- Where the words are varied by omission, addition, or transposition (1Corinthians 2:9).
- Where the words are changed by a reading, or an inference, or in number, person, mood,
or tense. (Matthew 4:7).
- Where two or more citations are amalgamated (Matthew 21:13).
- Where Quotations are from books other than the Bible (Acts 17:28).
- Hen-di'-a-dys; or, Two for One
- (Genesis 2:9. Ephesians 6:18). Two words
used, but one thing meant.
- Hen-di'-a-tris; or, Three for One
- (Daniel 3:7). Three words used, but one thing meant.
- Her-men'-ei-a; or, Interpretation
- (John 7:39). An explanation immediately following a statement to
make it more clear.
- Het'-er-o'-sis; or, Exchange of Accidence.
- Exchange of one voice, mood, tense, person, number, degree, or gender for another.
- Of forms and voices (1Peter 2:6).
- Of moods (Genesis 20:7. Exodus 20:8).
- Of tenses (Genesis 23:11. Matthew 3:18).
- Of persons (Genesis 29:27. Daniel 2:36).
- Of adjectives (degree) and adverbs (2Timothy 1:18).
- Of nouns (number), adjectives, and pronouns (Genesis 3:8. Hebrews
- Ho-moe-o'-pto-ton; or, Like Inflections
- (2Timothy 3:2,3).
Similar endings arising from the same inflection of verbs, nouns, etc. . This figure
belongs peculiarly to the original languages.
- He-moe-o-pro'-pher-on; or, Alliteration
- (Judges 5). The repetiton of the same letter or syllable at commencement of successive
- Heo'-moe-o-tel-eu'-ton; or, Like Endings
- (Mark 12:30). The repetition of the same letters or syllables at
the end of successive words. Used also of an omision in the text caused by such-like
endings: the scribe's eye going back to the latter of such similar words, instead of the
former. See Joshua 2:1.
- Hyp-al'-la-ge; or, Interchange
- (Genesis 10:9. 1Kings 17:4). A word logically belonging to one connection is grammatically united with
- Hyp-er'bat-on; or, Transposition
- (Romans 5:8). The placing of a word out of its usual order in a
- Hy-per'-bo-le; or Exaggeration
- (Genesis 41:47. Deuteronomy 1:28). When
more is said than is literally meant.
- Hy'-po-cat-as'-ta-sis; or, Implication
- (Matthew 15:13; 16:6). An implied
resemblance or representation.
- Hy-po-ti-me'-sis; or, Under Estimating
- (Romans 3:5). Parenthetic addition by way of apology or excuse.
- Hy'-po-ty-po'-sis; or, Word Picture
- (Isaiah 5:26-30). Representation of
objects or actions by words.
- Hys'-ter-e-sis; or, Subsequent Narration
- (Genesis 31:7, 8. Psalm 105:8). When later record gives supplemental or new particulars, not inserted in the
- Hys'-ter-o-log'-ia; or, The First Last
- (Genesis 10 and 11. 2Samuel 24). A prior mention of a subsequent
- Id-i-o'-ma; or, Idiom
- The peculiar usage of words and phrases, as illustrated in the language peculiar to one
nation or tribe, as opposed to other languages or dialects.
- Idiomatic usage of verbs (Genesis 42:38. 1John
- Special idiomatic usages of nouns and verbs (Genesis 33:11.
- Idiomatic degrees of comparison (Luke 22:15).
- Idiomatic use of prepositions (Luke 22:49).
- Idiomatic use of numerals (Psalm 103:2).
- Idsiomatic forms of quotations (Psalm 109:5).
- Idiomatic forms of question (Luke 22:49).
- Idiomatic phrases (Genesis 6:2, 4. Matthew
- Idioms arising from other figures of speech (see notes in margin).
- Chages of usage of words in the Greek language (Genesis 43:18.
- Changes of usage of words in the English language (Genesis 24:21.
- In'-ter-jec'-ti-o; or, Interjection
- (Psalm 42:2). Parenthetic addition by way of feeling.
- Mal'-e-dic'-ti-o; or, Imprecation
- (Isaiah 3:11). Expression of feeling by way of malediction and
- Mei-o'-sis; or a Belittleing
- (Genesis 18:27. Numbers 13:33). A
belittleing of one thing to magnify another.
- Me-ris'-mos; or, Distribution
- (Romans 2:6-8). An enumeration of the
parts of a whole which has been just previously mentioned.
- Mes-ar-chi'-a; or, Beginning and Middle Repetition
- (Ecclesiastes 1:2). The repetition of the same word or words at
the beginning and middle of successive sentences.
- Mes-o-di-plo'-sis; or, Middle Repetition
- (2Corinthians 4:8,9).
The repetition of the same word or words in the middle of successive sentences.
- Mes-o-tel-eu'-ton; or, Middle and End Repetition
- (2Kings 19:7). The repetition of the same
word or words in the middle and at the end of successive sentences.
- Met-a'-bas-is; or, Transition
- (1Corinthians 12:31). A passing from one
subject to another.
- Met'-a-lep'-sis; or, Double Metonymy
- (Genesis 19:8. Ecclesiastes 12:6. Hosea
14:2). Two metonymies, one contained in the other, but only one
- Met-al'-la-ge; or, a Changing Over
- (Hosea 4:18). A different subject of thought substituted for the
- Met'-a-phor' or, Representation
- (Matthew 26:26). A declaration that one thing is (or represents)
another: while Simile resembles it, and Hypocatastasis implies
- Met-a-sta-sis; or, Counter-Blame
- (1Kings 18:17,18).
A transferring of the blame from one's self to another.
- Met-o'-ny-my; or, Change of Noun
- When one name or noun is used instead of another, to which it stands in a certain
- Of the Cause. When the cause is put for the effect (Genesis 23:8.
- Of the Effect. When the effect is put for the cause producing it (Genesis 25:23. Acts 1:18).
- Of the Subject. When the subject is put for something pertaining to it (Genesis 41:13. Deutronomy 28:5).
- Of the Adjunct. When something pertaining to the subject is put for the subject itself
(Genesis 28:22. Job 32:7).
- Mi-me-sis; or, Description of Sayings
- (Exodus 15:9). Used when the sayings and etc., of another are
described or imitated by way of emphasis.
- Neg-a'-ti-o; or, Negattion
- (Galatians 2:5). A denial of that which has not been affirmed.
- Oe'-on-is'-mos; or, Wishing
- (Psalm 55:6). An expression of feeling by way of wishing or
hoping for a thing.
- Ox'-y-mor-on; or Wise-Folly
- (1Timothy 5:6). A wise saying that seems
- Pae-sn'-si'-mos; or, Exultation
- (Zephaniah 3:14). Calling on others to rejioce over something.
- Pal'-in-od'-i-a; or, Retracting
- (Revelation 2:6). Approval of one thing after reproving for
- Par-a-bol-a; or, Parable i.e., Continued Simile
- (Luke 14:16-24). Comparison by continued
- Par'-a-di-a'-stol-e; or, Neithers and Nors
- (Exodus 20:10. Romans 8:35,38,39). The repetition of the disjunctives niether and nor,
or, either and or.
- Par'-ae-net'-ic-on; or, Exhortation
- (1Timothy 2). An expression of feeling by way of exhortation.
- Par-a-leips-is; or, a Passing By
- (Hebrews 11:32). When a wish is expressed to pass by a subject,
which is, notwithstanding, briefly alluded by subsequently.
- Parallelism; or Parallel Lines
- The repetition of similar, synonymous, or opposite thoughts or words in parallel or
successive lines. Compare to "Correspondence".
- Simple synonymous, or gradational. When the lines are
parallel in thought, and in the use of synonymous words (Genesis 4:23,24. Psalm 1:1).
- Simple antithetic, or opposite. When the words are contrasted in the two
or more lines, being opposed in sense the one to the other (Proverbs 10:1).
- Simple synthetic, or constructive. When the parallelism consists only in
the similar form of construction (Psalm 19:7-9).
- Complex alternate. When the lines are placed alternately (Genesis 19:25. Proverbs 24:19,20).
- Complex repeated alternation. The repetition of two parallel subjects in
several lines (Isaiah 65:21,22).
- Complex extended alternation. Alternation extended so as to consist of
three or more lines (Judges 10:17).
- Complex introversion. When the parallel lines are so placed that the first
corresponds with the last, the second with the last but one, etc. (Genesis 3:19. 2Chronicles 32:7,8).
- Par-ec'-bas-is; or, Digression
- (Genesis 2:8-15). A temporary turning
aside from one subject to another.
- Par-e-che'-sis; or, Foreign Paronomasia
- (Romans 15:4). The repetition of words similar in sound, but
different in language.
- Par-eg'-men-on; or, Derivation
- (Matthew 16:18). The repetition of words derived from the same
- Par-em'-bol'-e; or, Insertion
- (Philippians 3:18,19). Inseration of a
sentence between others which is independent and complete in itself.
- Par-en'-the-sis; or, Parenthesis
- (2Peter 1:19). Insertion of a word or
sentence, parenthetically, which is necessary to explain the context.
- Par-oe'-mi-a; or Proverb
- (Genesis 10:9. 1Samuel 10:12). A wayside-saying in common use.
- Par'-o-moe-o'-sis; or, Like-Sounding Inflections
- (Matthew 11:17). The repetition of inflections similar in sound.
- Par-o-no-ma'-si-a: or, Rhyming Words
- (Genesis 18:27). The repetition of words similar in sound, but
not necessarily in sense.
- Path'-o-poe'-i-a; or, Pathos
- (Luke 19:41,42). The expression of feeling
- Per-i'-phras-is; or, Circumlocution
- (Genesis 20:16. Judges 5:10). When a
description is used instead of the name.
- Per-i'-stas-is;or, Description of Circumstances
- (John 4:6).
- Ple'-on-asm; or, Redundancy
- Where what is said is, immediately after, put in another or opposite way to make it
impossible for the sense to be missed.
The Figure may affect (1) words (Genesis 16:8); or
(2) sentences (Genesis 1:20. Deuteronomy 32:6).
- Plok'-e; or, Word-Folding
- (Jeremiah 34:17). The repetition of the same word in a different
sense, implying more than the first use of it.
- Po-ly-o-ny'-mi-a; or, Many Names
- (Genesis 26:34,35. 2Kings
23:13). Persons or places mentioned under different names.
- Po-ly-pto'-ton; or, Many Inflections
- The repetition of the same part of speech in different inflections.
- Verbs (Genesis 50:24. 2Kings 21:13).
- Nouns and pronouns (Genesis 9:25. Romans 11:36).
- Adjectives (2Corinthians 9:8).
- Po'ly-syn'de-ton; or, Many Ands
- (Genesis 22:9,11. Joshua 7:24. Luke 14:21). The repetition of the word "and"
at the beginning of successive clauses, each independent, important, and emphatic, with no
climax at the end (Compare Aysndeton and Luke 14:13).
- Prag'-mato-graph-i-a; or Description of Actions
- (Joel 2:1-11).
- Pro-ec'-the-sis; or Justification
- (Matthew 12:12). A sentence added at the end by way of
- Pro-lep's-is, (Ampliatio); or, Anticipation
- (Hebrews 2:8). Anticipating what is going to be, and speaking of
future things as present.
- Pro-lep's-is, (Occupatio); or, Anticipation.
- Answering an argument by anticipating it before it is used.
- Open. When the anticipated objection is both answered and stated (Matthew 3:9).
- Closed. When the anticipated objection is either not plainly stated or not answered
- Pros-a-po'-do-sis; or, Detailing
- (John 16:8-11). A return to previous words
or subjects for purposes of definition or explanation.
- Pros'-o-po-graph'-i-a; or, Description of Persons
- (Matthew 3:4). A vivid description of a person by detailed
- Pros'-o-po-poe'-i-a; or, Personification
- Things represented as persons.
- The members of the human body (Genesis 48:14. Psalm 35:10).
- Animals (Genesis 9:5. Job 12:7).
- The products of the earth (Nahum 1:4).
- Inanimate things (Genesis 4:10).
- Kingdoms, countries, and states (Psalm 45:12).
- Human actions, etc., attributed to things, etc. (Genesis 18:20.
- Pro'-ther-a-pei'-a; or, Conciliation
- (Matthew 19:16). Conciliating others, by way of precaution,
because of something we are about to say.
- Pro'-ti-me-sis; or, Description of Order
- (1Corinthians 15:5-8).
The enumeration of things according to their places of honour or importance.
- Repeated Negation; or Many Noes
- (John 10:28). The repetition of divers negatives.
- Repetitio; or, Repetition
- (2Chronicles 20:35-37. John 14:1-4). Repetition of the
same word or words irregularly in the same passage.
- Sim'-i-le; or, Resemblance
- (Genesis 25:25. Matthew 7:24-27). A declaration that one thing resembles another. (Compare Metaphor,
- Sim'-ul-ta'-ne-um; or Insertion
- (Revelation 16:13-16). A kind of
historical parenthesis, an event being put out of its historical place between two others
which are simultaneous.
- Syl-leps'-is; or, Combination
- (2Chronicles 31:8). The repetition of the
sense without the repetition of the word.
- Syl-leps'-is; or, Change in Concord
- (John 21:12). A change in the grammatical concord in favour of a
- Syl'-lo-gis'-mus; or, Omission of the Conclusion
- (1Samuel 17:4-7).
The conclusion, though implied, is unexpressed, in order to add emphasis to it.
- (Isaiah 22:22). A material object substituted for a moral, or
- Sym'-per-as'-ma; or, Concluding Summary
- (Matthew 1:17). When what has been said is briefly summed up.
- Sym'-plo-ke; or, Interwining
- (1Corinthians 15:42-44). The repetition of different words in successive sentences in the same order
and the same sense.
- Syn'-ath-roes'-mos; or, Enumeration
- (1Timothy 4:1-3).
The enumeration of the parts of a whole which has not been mentioned.
- Syn'-cho-re'-sis; or, Concession
- (Habakkuk 1:13). Making a concession of one point in order to
- Syn'-cri-sis; or, Repeated Simile
- (Isaiah 32:2). Repetition of a number of resemblances.
- Syn-ec'-do-che; or, Transfer
- The exchange of one idea for another associated idea.
- Of the Genus. When the genus is put for the species, or universals for particulars
(Genesis 6:12. Matthew 3:5).
- Of the Species. When the species is put for the genus, or particulars for universals
(Genesis 3:19. Matthew 6:11).
- Of the Whole. When the whole is put for a part (Genesis 6:12).
- Of the Part. When a part is put for the whole (Genesis 3:19.
- Syn'-oe-cei-o'-sis; or, Cohabitation
- (Matthew 19:16,17). The repetition of the
same word in the same sentence with an extended meaning.
- Syn-o-ny-mi-a; or, Synonymous Words
- (Proverbs 4:14,15). The repetition of
words similar in sense, but different in sound and origin.
- Syn'-the-ton; or, Combination
- (Genesis 18:27). A placing together of two words by usage.
- Ta-pei-no'-sis; or, Demeaning
- (Genesis 27:44. Romans 4:19). The
lessoning of a thing in order to increase and intensify that same thing. (Compare Meiosis.)
- Thau-mas'-mos; or, Wondering
- (Romans 11:33). An expression of feeling by way of wonder.
- Tme'-sis; or, Mid-Cut
- (Ephesians 6:8). A change by which one word is cut in two, and
another word put in between.
- Top'-o-graph'-i-a; or, Description of Place
- (Isaiah 10:28-32). Throwing light on the subject dealt with by
alluding to locality.
- (Romans 5:14). A figure or ensample of something future, and more
or less prophetic, called the Anti-type.
- Zeug'-ma; or, Unequal Yoke
- When one verb is yoked on to two subjects, while grammatically a second verb is
- Proto-zeugma, or, Ante-yoke or Fore-yoke (Genesis 4:20. 1Timothy 4:3).
- Meso-zeugma, or, Middle yoke (Luke 1:64).
- Hypo-zeugma, or End yoke (Acts 4:27,28).
- Syne-zeugmenon, or, Joint yoke (Exodus 20:18).
- 1 Figures of Speech Used in the Bible:
- Baker Book House; Grand Rapids, Michigan.