III. Metonymy of the SUBJECT. 

METONYMY; or, CHANGE OF NOUN.                                                                                                           pg. 538
The change of one noun for another related noun.

From “Figures Of Speech Used In The Bible” by E. W. Bullinger,
(Public Domain) (pgs. 538-539)  and (pgs. 567-587) Adapted for website compatibility.

Me-ton-y-my. Sometimes pronounced Met-o-nym-y.
Greek Μετωνυμία , from  μετά  (meta), indicating change, and  ὄνομα  (onoma), a name;
or, in grammar, a noun.
[See A Greek-English Lexicon by Liddell, Henry George, 1811-1898 ; Scott, Robert, 1811-1887 ;
μετά  pg. 946 G. VIII ; ὄνομα  pg. 1056]

Metonymy is a figure by which one name or noun is used instead of another, to which it stands in a certain relation.

The change is in the noun, and only in a verb as connected with the action proceeding from it.

The names of persons are put by Metonymy for something which stands in a special relation to them. Thus we speak of “a stanhope” (carriage), from the Hon. Mr. Stanhope;
“a brougham,” from Lord Brougham;
“boycotting,” from Capt. Boycott;
a “blanket,’” “negus,” a “spencer,” a “d’oyley,” etc.,
from the respective inventors.

Thus it will be seen that Metonymy is not founded on resemblance, but on relation.

When we say that a person writes “a bad hand,” we do not mean a hand, but we use the noun “hand” for the characters which it writes.

Metonymy is of four kinds: viz., of the Cause, of the Effect, of the Subject, and of the Adjunct.

I.    Metonymy of the Cause is when the cause is put for the effect: i.e., when the doer is put for
the thing done; or, the instrument for that which is effected; or, where the action is put for the
effect produced by the action.

II.   Metonymy of the Effect is the opposite of the above: when the effect is put for the cause.


III. Metonymy of the Subject is when the subject is put for something pertaining to it: as the possessor for the possessed; the thing signified for the sign.

IV. Metonymy of the Adjunct, on the contrary, is when that which pertains to anything is put
for the thing itself.

Some grammarians have added a fifth Metonymy, where the antecedent is put for the consequent;
but it really belongs to Metonymy of the Cause.

                                                                                                                                                                                        pg. 539

The following is the complete outline of the figure now to be treated of: —

.     III. Of the Subject.

.          i. The subject receiving for the thing received.

.          ii. The container for the contents.

.          iii. The possessor for the thing possessed.

.          iv. .The object for that which pertains or relates to it.

.          v. . The thing signified for the sign.


                                                                                                                                                                                      pg. 567

III. Metonymy of the SUBJECT. (567-587)

The third division of Metonymy is when the subject is put for the adjunct: i.e., for some circumstance pertaining to (or joined to) the subject: e.g., as when the place, or thing containing it, is put for that which is contained: the possessor for the thing possessed, etc.
It is divided into the five following heads : —

.      i. The SUBJECT (i.e., the THING or ACTION) for that which is connected with it (i.e., the adjunct).

                                                         1. Nouns.

Gen. 3:7 “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked.”
They knew this fact before: but they did not know all that was connected with it.
Their nakedness, after the fall, received a new meaning.

1 Sam. 1:15  “I . . . have poured out my soul before the Lord”: i.e., my desires and longings.

1 Chron. 12:38 “All these . . . came with a perfect heart”: 
i.e., affections and desires.

Psa. 7:9 “God trieth the hearts and reins”: i.e., the thoughts 
and affections and desires.
This is clear from Psa. 51:6 (8); 73:11; Prov. 23:7.

Psa. 16:7 “My reins (i.e., my thoughts) also instruct me in the night season.”

                                                                                                                                                                                       pg. 568
Psa. 26:2 “Examine me, O Lord, and prove me: try my reins (i.e., my thoughts) and my heart.”
See also Jer. 11:20; 17:10; 20:12; Rev. 2:23.

Psa. 38:8 (9) “I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart”
(i.e., my thoughts).

Psa. 62:8 “Pour out your heart before Him”: i.e., your thoughts and desires. So Lam. 2:19.

Psa. 62:10 (11) “Set not your heart (i.e., your affections) upon them.”

Prov. 6:32 “Whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh heart.” (So Heb., see A.V. margin).
Here heart is put for “understanding,” as in A.V.; because it is spoken of as the seat of wisdom and understanding.
See Prov. 2:10; 8:5; 11:29; 15:14; 16:21.

Prov. 7:7 “A young man void of heart”: i.e., of understanding.
It is so used in Prov. 9:4, 16; 10:13, 21.

Prov. 15:32 “He that heareth reproof possesseth an heart”:
i.e, as in A.V. margin, getteth understanding.

Prov. 16:23 “The heart (i.e., the desires and thoughts) of the wise maketh wise his mouth”:
i.e., his words, by Metonymy of the cause. See A.V. margin.

Prov. 22:17 “Apply thine heart (i.e., thy thoughts and powers) unto my knowledge.”

Prov. 26:7 “The legs of the lame are not equal: so is a parable in the mouth of fools.” So A.V.

R.V. : “The legs of the lame hang loose!” The Heb. is: “The legs of the lame are lifted up”
(see A.V. margin). Here “legs” are put for the clothes which being lifted up expose the lameness.
So when a fool attempts to utter a parable, he soon exposes himself.

Prov. 28:26 “He that trusteth in his own heart (i.e., understanding) is a fool.”

Isa. 5:21 “Woe unto them that are . . . prudent before their face”:
i.e., in themselves or in their own view of matters. See A.V.margin.

Isa. 49:16 “I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands”: i.e., as indelible as the lines graven in the palms of the hands, (with which we are born) will be My remembrance of thee.
                                                                                                                                                                                      pg. 569
Jer. 12:2 “Thou art near in their mouth (i.e., their words, Metonymy of cause), and far from
their reins ” (i.e., their affections. Metonymy of subject). See Isa. 29:13.

Hos. 4:11 “Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart”: i.e., the understanding.
That this is meant is clear from Hos. 5:11.

Hos. 7:11 “Ephraim also is like a silly dove without heart”: 
i.e., without understanding.

Matt. 6:21 “Where your treasure is, there will your heart (i.e., your thoughts and affections) be also.”

Matt. 16:19 “Whatsoever thou (i.e., by the word which thou shalt minister) shalt bind
(see Metonymy of Adjunct) on earth.” So 18:18. Whatever this refers to, Peter had neither the power nor the authority to pass it on to any one else.

Matt. 24:45 “Who then (i.e., how great and blessed and happy) is a faithful and wise servant ?”

John 20:23 “Whose soever sins ye (i.e., by the word which ye minister) remit.” See below under verbs. Whatever this may mean, it was spoken to the apostles: and it is certain that they had no commission, authority, or power to pass on that gift to others.

Acts 1:11 “This same Jesus, which is taken up from you”: i.e., from your presence and company.
So verse 22.

Acts 1:24 “Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts (i.e., the thoughts) of all men,” etc.
See Psa. 139:2, 4.

Rom. 6:6 “Our old man is (Greek, was) crucified with him”: i.e., not a man really, but our Old nature derived from Adam: our old self with its desires and qualities and conditions. So Eph. 4:22.
Compare Rom. 6:12; 7:5, 7, 8; 2 Cor. 7:1; Heb. 12:1.

Rom. 15:24 “If first I be somewhat filled with you”: i.e., your company, etc., as expressed in A.V. margin and verse 32.

Rom. 16:3, 7 “My helpers in Christ Jesus”: i.e., in the service of Christ.

2 Cor. 5:17 “If any man be in Christ he is a new creature”: i.e., he has a new nature created within him. Thus a new standing is given to him, with new thoughts and desires, etc. So Eph. 4:24.
Compare Rom. 12:2; 7:2, 5, 8; 1 Pet. 3:4 and Rom. 7:22; 2 Cor. 4:16.

                                                                                                                                                                                      pg. 570
Gal. 4:15 “Where is then the blessedness ye spake of ”:
i.e., how great was that blessedness ye spake of ! for, etc.

Phil. 1:21 “To me to live is Christ”: i.e., to serve Christ, to work and labour for Him.

.                                                            2. VERBS.

Where the action is put for the declaration concerning it: or where what is said to be done is put for what is declared, or permitted, or foretold as to be done: or where an action, said to be done, is put for the giving occasion for such action.

Gen. 2:17. See below, under Deut. 9:1.

Gen. 27:37 “Behold, I have made him (Jacob) thy lord”:
i.e., I have blessed him; and this was part of the blessing.

Gen. 30:13 “The daughters will call me blessed”:
i.e., I am now a mother. For the parallels to this see Psa. 72:17; Luke 1:48.

Gen. 34:12 “Ask me never so much dowry and gift”: i.e., ask me to give never so much, etc.

Gen. 35:12 “And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac”:
i.e., which I promised to give, or gave in promise.

Gen. 41:13 “Me he restored (i.e., declared that I should be restored) unto mine office, and him he hanged (i.e., declared he should be hanged).”

Ex. 13:2 “Sanctify unto me all the first-born”: i.e., declare in My name to the People that I sanctify
(i.e., separate) them, etc. Which Moses did in verses 11 and 12.

Ex. 20:7 “The Lord will not make him guiltless”:
i.e.,  will not declare or pronounce. Or “hold,” as in A.V.

Lev. 13:3 “And the priest shall look on him, and he shall be unclean
(or “uncleanse him,” for the verb is in the Piel)”: i.e., “he shall pronounce him unclean,” as in A.V.

Deut. 9:1 “Hear, O Israel: Thou art to pass over Jordan this day”: i.e., it is declared this day that thou art to pass over Jordan. With this passage compare Gen. 2:17: “In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die”: i.e., not that he should die in that day, but it should be declared “in that day”: i.e., thou shalt be sentenced to die.

2 Sam. 7:22 “Wherefore thou art great”: i.e., I will declare and praise Thee as great: or. Thou shalt be known as great.

See other examples in Isa. 8:13; Jer. 1:5, 10. Eze. 13:19; 20:26.

                                                                                                                                                                                      pg. 571
Isa. 6:10 “Make the heart of this people fat”: i.e., declare that it shall become so.
(Isaiah could not make it fat, etc.) So Matt. 13:14; Mark 4:12; Luke 8:10; John 12:40; Acts 28:26, 27; Rom. 11:8.

Jer. 1:10 “I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out
(i.e., to declare that they shall be rooted out), and to pull down
(i e., to prophesy that they shall be pulled down), and to destroy
(i.e., to declare that they shall be destroyed), and to throw down
(i.e., to foretell that they shall be thrown down),” etc.

Jer. 4:10 “Then said I, Ah, Lord God (Adonai-Jehovah)! surely thou hast vehemently (or verily) deceived this people (i.e., prophesied that this People shall be deceived), saying, Ye shall have peace; whereas the sword reacheth unto the soul.”

The people deceived themselves, assuring themselves that they should have peace (see Jer. 5:12).
The Lord had declared by his prophet that they would so deceive themselves, and so it came to pass that they were permitted to be deceived by their false prophets.

Jer. 38:23 “Thou shalt burn this city with fire”: i.e., thou shalt declare that it shalt be burnt. A.V. renders it cause it to be burnt, as though it were the Metonymy of the effect. It is clearly the Metonymy of the subject: for Zedekiah was not personally to set light to the city!

Eze. 13:19 “And will ye pollute me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread,
to slay the souls that should not die and to save the souls alive that should not live”: to prophesy (falsely) that they should die, and to promise life to those who should not live.

Eze. 13:22 “Ye have . . . strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by quickening him”: i.e., by promising him life. See A.V. margin.

Eze. 20:25, 26 “Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live (i.e., I permitted them to receive such statutes from the heathen); And I polluted them in their own gifts,” etc.: i.e., I suffered them to pollute themselves in those gifts which, by the Law, they ought to have dedicated to Me.
See under Antanaclasis and Idioma.

Hos. 6:5 “Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets (i.e., I have declared by the prophets that they shall be hewed); I have slain them by the words of my mouth (i.e., I have foretold by the words of my mouth that they shall be slain).”

                                                                                                                                                                                        pg. 572
Matt. 6:13 “And lead us not into temptation”: i.e., suffer us not to he led.

Matt. 16:19 “Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth (i.e., declare to be binding; as a precept, etc.),
shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth (i.e., declare to be not binding)
shall be loosed in heaven.”

But note that, whatsoever this may mean, it is nowhere stated that the apostle had either authority or power to transmit the gift to others; still less to transmit the power to others to give this gift!
And in any case it refers to the “kingdom” and not to the “Church.” See also chap. 18:18.

Luke 7:29 “And all the people that heard him, and the Publicans justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John”: i.e., declared God to be just, and praised him for His justice and goodness; in that they humbled themselves in confession of sin and were baptized by John. So the word is used again in verse 35 and in 10:29; 16:15, etc.

John 20:23 “Whose soever sins ye remit (i.e. declare to be remitted) they are remitted unto them:
and whose soever sins ye retain (i.e., declare to be retained) they are retained.”


Here note that the apostles had neither the authority nor the power to transmit this gift; still less to transmit the power to others to give it.


Acts 10:15 “What God hath cleansed”: i.e., declared to be (ceremonially) clean:
as is clear from verse 28.


Rom. 7:9 “But when the commandment came”: i.e., when its power was declared in revealing my impotence to obey it. I, in my experience, suffered its penalty—death. See Gal. 3:23.

2 Cor. 3:6 “The letter killeth”: i.e., the Law of God manifests its power, in convincing of sin, and causing the sinner to condemn himself to death, which is the wages of sin.
Compare Rom. 7:10, and Hos. 6:5.

Gal. 3:23 “Before faith came”: i.e., before the Gospel was declared, and brought a new object for faith.

Jas. 2:21 “Was not Abraham our father justified by works?” i.e., declared to be justified. See verse 23 and Gen. 22:12. So also verses 24, 25.

Jas. 2:22 “By works was faith made (i.e., declared to be, or manifested to be) perfect”:
i.e., true and sincere.
                                                                                                                                                                                          pg. 573

.                                  ii. The CONTAINER for the CONTENTS:
.                                and the PLACE for the THING placed in it.

.                                  1. CIRCUIT is so put in all these cases for what is contained within it.

Num. 22:4 “Now shall all this company lick up all our circuit”:
i.e., “all that are round about us” (as in A.V.).

Ezra 1:6 “And all their circuit”: i.e., all that were about them.

.                                  2. BASKET is put for its contents.

Deut. 28:5 “Blessed shall be thy basket and thy kneading-trough” (and verse 17 contra).
Here the A.V. has translated the latter Metonymy, but not the former. The R.V. has translated neither. The container is put for the contents. Here, probably, the “basket” is put for the seed, and “kneading-trough” for the meal; the beginning and the end of their labours.

.                                  3. WILDERNESS is put for the wild beasts in it.

Psa. 29:8 “The voice of the Lord shaketh the wilderness”: i.e., the people and animals or inhabitants of the wilderness, as is clear from the next verse, and Deut. 8:15.

.                                  4. HOUSE is put for household.

Gen. 7:1 “Come thou and all thy house (i.e., thy family) into the ark.”

Gen. 30:30 “When shall I provide for mine own house (i.e., family) also?”

Gen. 43:16 “Joseph . . “said to the ruler of his house”: i.e., of his servants. We use the word “establishment” in the same way: as the French also use “ménage.”

Ex. 1:21 God “made them houses”: i.e., families, or progeny.

Ex. 2:1 “ And there went a man of the house (i.e., lineage) of Levi.”

2 Sam. 7:11 “Jehovah telleth thee that make thee an house will Jehovah”:
i.e., a posterity, especially referring to Christ, Who should be of “the seed of David,” and sit on His throne for ever. Luke 1:31-33. Observe the Figure Epanadiplosis in the above rendering of the Hebrew.

1 Chron. 10:6 “So Saul died, and his three sons, and all his house died together” (i.e., all his family),
as explained in 1 Sam. 31:6.

                                                                                                                                                                                       pg. 574
Psa. 49:11 (12) “Their inward thought is that their houses (i.e., their families) shall continue for ever.”

Isa. 36:3 “Then came forth unto him Eliakim, Hilkiah’s son, which was over the house”:
i.e., the servants, or household.

Eze. 3:1 “Go speak unto the house (i.e., the descendants) of Israel.”
The margin of Ginsburg’s Hebrew Bible gives another reading: “sons.”

Eze. 27:14 “They of the house of Togarmah”: i.e., of Togarmah’s descendants. See Gen. 10:3.

Luke 19:9 “This day is salvation come to this house”: i.e., to Zacchaeus and his family.

Acts 10:2  Cornelius . . “feared God with all his house”: i.e., all his family or household.

1 Cor. 1:16 “Here the Greek word “house” is rendered “household”: i.e., family.

1 Tim. 3:4 “One that ruleth well his own house”: i.e., his own family.

2 Tim. 3:6 “For of this sort are they that creep into houses”: i.e., families.

2 Tim. 4:19  Here the Greek, “house,” is rendered “household”: i.e., family.

Tit. 1:11 “Who subvert whole houses”: i.e., families.

Heb. 11:7 “Noah . . . prepared an ark to the saving of his house”: i.e., of his family.


.                                  5. ISLANDS are put for their inhabitants.

Isa. 41:1 “Keep silence before me, O islands”:
i.e., the inhabitants of the islands. So 42:4; and 51:5.

.                                  6. TABLE is put for the things on it.

Psa. 23:5 “Thou preparest a table before me”: i.e., the good things upon it.
As when we say that such an one “keeps a good table,” we mean that it is spread bountifully.

Psa. 78:19 “Can God ( אל, the name of concentrated power) furnish (Heb., order, see A.V. marg.)
a table in the wilderness?”: i.e., set the things upon it.

Under this head comes also…

Hos. 14:2 (3) “So will we render the calves of our lips.”

                                                                                                                                                                                         pg. 575

Here, note first, that the word “render” is שַׁלְּמָ (shilem), to offer or pay a vow. Next, that the word “calves” means oxen; i.e., the animals used in sacrifice.

Then we have two Metonymies. First, oxen are put (by Metonymy 
of the subject) for the sacrifices offered; and then the lips are put (by Metonymy of the cause) for the confession made by them.
So that the verse really should read : “So shall we offer our sacrifices of confession and prayer”;
being exactly what is expressed in Psa. 51:17 (19). “ The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, etc.,”
and Heb. 13:15: “By him … let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of
our lips, giving thanks to his name.”
See also Psa. 69:30 (31), 31 (32); 116:17; 141:2.

The R.V., while trying to improve the translation, misses both Metonymies: “So will we render as bullocks the offering of our lips” retaining the “letter” (“bullocks” and “lips”) and missing the “spirit” (sacrifices and confession).

Heb. 13:10 “We have an altar”: i.e., a sacrifice, referring to the sin-offering which was burned without the camp including the skin and the dung, no soul having a right to eat of it. So Christ is our sin-offering offered without the gate. That it is a figure is clear, for the verse reads on: “We have an altar, whereof (ἐξ οὗ , ex hou, of which) they have no right to eat which serve the Tabernacle.” People do not eat “altars”! The word “altar” must, therefore, be used by Metonymy for the sacrifices offered upon it, which were eaten.

But, here, it is the sin-offering which is referred to, which no one might eat; and therefore those who continued still “served the tabernacle” could have no part in Christ as the sin-offering.

.                                  7. MOUNTAIN is put for mountainous region.

Josh. 13:6 “Mountain” is put for a mountainous region, translated here “hill country.”
See Judges 7:24.

Judges 3:27; 7:24 “Mountain of Ephraim”: Mount Ephraim is put for the mountainous region of Ephraim.

                                  Mountains are also put for idols worshipped there; or for their inhabitants.

Jer. 3:23 “Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains.” Here, “mountains” and “hills” are put for the idols which were worshipped there. See Eze. 18:6, 11, 15.

                                                                                                                                                                                        pg. 576 Micah 1:4 “And the mountains shall be molten under him, and the valleys shall be cleft, as wax before the fire, and as the waters that are poured down a steep place.” From a comparison with Psa. 68:2
and 1 Chron. 12:15 (16) it seems that “mountains” and ”valleys” are here put for their inhabitants.
So Psa. 97:5.

.                                  8. The WORLD is put for its inhabitants.

John 3:16 “God so loved the world”: i.e., the inhabitants of the world, now without distinction.
Before it was only Israel without exception.

See further under;” Synecdoche.

2 Cor. 5:19 “Reconciling the world (i.e., the inhabitants of the world) unto himself.”

1 John 2:2 “He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the whole world”:
i.e., for all the inhabitants of the world without distinction; as shown by the use of the word for “ours” (which is ἡμέτερος (heemeteros) and not ἡμν (heemōn), of us : i.e., “our,” as in the previous clause).

Heemeteros denotes that which is peculiarly ours as distinct from others.
See Acts 2:11; 24:6; 26:5; Rom. 15:4; 2 Tim. 4:15; Tit. 3:14; 1 John 1:3.

See also under Synecdoche and Ellipsis.

1 John 5:19 “The whole world (i.e., all the inhabitants of the world) lieth in the power of‘ the wicked one.” See under Ellipsis.

.                                  9. The WORLD is put for a portion of its inhabitants.

John 1:10 “The world knew him not”: i.e., people of the world.

John 3:17 “That the world through him might be saved”: i.e., people in the world without distinction.

John 6:33 “The bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world”: i.e., to God’s People in the world. Compare verse 51. Hence John 1:9 and 3:17.

John 7:7 “The world cannot hate you, but me it hateth”: i.e., the inhabitants of the world, as without God.

John 14:17 “The Spirit of truth; whom the world (i.e., men) cannot receive.”
So 15:19; 16:20, 33; 17:9, 14, etc.

John 14:31 “But that the world may know that I love the Father”: i.e., that the godly in the world.
Hence John 1:9: “That* was the true light, which, coming into the world (i.e., among men), lighteth every man,” without distinction of race or language, etc.; as heretofore only Israel, not without exception, for that is not the fact.

See under Periphrasis.

                                                                                                                                                                                       * pg. 577

John 17:21 “That the world may believe”: i.e,, many in the world, without distinction.

1 Cor. 11:32 “That we should not be condemned with the world”: i.e., with the ungodly.

1 John 3:1 “Therefore the world (i.e., those who are without God) knoweth us not.”
So 4:5, and 5:4, 5, etc.

So the Devil is the Prince (or god) of this world: i.e., the ungodly inhabitants of it.
John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; 2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2; 6:12.

And conversely, the world may be put for God’s people.

.                                  10. SHIPS are put for the souls in them.

Isa. 23:1 “Howl, ye ships of Tarshish.” Here “ships” are put for the people in them. So verse 14.

.                                  11. NESTS are put for the birds in them.

Deut. 32:11 “As an eagle stirreth up her (Heb., masc.) nest”: i.e., her young in the nest, as is clear from the rest of the verse.

.                                  12. OPHIR is put for the gold of Ophir.

Job 22:24 “Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust; and Ophir (i.e., the gold of Ophir) as the stones of the brooks.”

.                                  13. CUP is put for the wine in it.

Jer. 49:12 “Cup” is put for the contents: i.e., for the wine in it.

Eze. 23:32 “Cup” is put for what is in it.

Luke 22:17, 20 “Cup” is put for its contents, as is clear from verse 10, and Mark 14:24 and Matt. 26:28.


1 Cor. 10:16, 21; 11:25, 26, 27, 28.—In these and other places “cup” is put for the contents of it.

.                                  14. REGION is put for its inhabitants.

Gen. 47:15 “All Egypt came unto Joseph”: i.e., all the Egyptians, as in A.V.

                                                                                                                                                                                        pg. 578 Psa. 105:38 “Egypt was glad when they departed”: i.e., the Egyptians were glad.

Psa. 68:31 (32) “Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God”: i.e., the Ethiopians.

Job 1:15 “Sheba fell upon them”: i.e., the Sabeans, as in A.V. See 6:19 and Isa. 43:3.

Matt. 3:5 “Then went out to him Jerusalem (i.e., the inhabitants of Jerusalem) and all Judaea
(i.e., the dwellers in Judaea),” etc.

Rom. 15:26
For it pleased Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution :
i.e., the saints in Macedonia and Achaia.

.                                  15. GRAVE is put for the dead buried in it.

Isa. 38:18 “The grave (i.e., those who are buried in it) cannot praise thee.”
This is clear from verse 19 and Psa. 115:17.

.                                  16. TENTS, etc., are put for the dwellers therein.

Gen. 13:5 “Tents” are put for the many servants, etc., who dwelt in them.

Psa. 78:67 “He refused the tabernacle (or tent: i.e. the tribe) of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim.”

Psa. 87:2 “The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings (i.e., tribes) of Jacob.”

Psa. 91:10 “Neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling”: i.e., those who dwell in it.

Prov. 14:11 Here “house” and “tabernacle” are put for those who dwell in them.

.                                  17. The LAND or EARTH are put for its inhabitants.

Gen. 6:11 “The earth also was corrupt before God”: i.e., the inhabitants of the earth,
as is clear from the next verse.

Gen. 11:1 “And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech”:
i.e.. the people on the earth.

Gen. 18:25 “Shall not the Judge of all the earth (i.e., the people on the earth) do right? ”

Gen. 41:30 “The famine shall consume the land””: i.e., the people in the land.

Gen. 41:57 “And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph to buy”:
i.e., people from all countries.

                                                                                                                                                                                       pg. 579 Judges 5:7 “The villages ceased”: i.e., the inhabitants of the villages, or the Peasantry.
So also 5:11. See under Ellipsis and Homœopropheron.

1 Sam. 14:29 “Then said Jonathan, My father hath troubled the land”: i.e., the People.

2 Sam. 15:23 “And all the country (i.e., the people) wept with a loud voice.”

Psa. 9:8 (9) “And he shall judge the world in righteousness”: i.e., the inhabitants of the world.

Psa. 22:27 (28) “All the ends of the world (i.e., the people living in the uttermost parts of the world)
shall remember and turn unto the Lord.” So Psa. 67:7 (8).

Psa . 66:1 “Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands”: i.e., ye nations.

Psa. 66:4 “All the earth (i.e., the peoples) shall worship thee.” So Psa. 82:8; 96:1; Eze. 14:13.

Prov. 28:2 “For the trangression of a land (i.e., of the people of a country) many are the princes thereof.”

Matt. 5:13 “Ye are the salt of the earth”: i.e., the peoples. “Salt” also is used by Metaphor (q.v.)
for its preserving eflfects.

.                                  Land is also put for its spoils.

Isa. 43:3 “Egypt ” is put for the spoils of Egypt.

.                                  18. THEATRE is put for its spectacle.

1 Cor. 4:9 “ For we are made a theatre to the world”: i.e., a spectacle, as in A.V.

.                                  19. CITY, etc., put for its inhabitants.

1 Sam. 22:19 “And Nob, the city of the priests, smote he”: i.e., its inhabitants.

Jer. 4:29 “The whole city shall flee”: i.e., all the inhabitants of the city.

Isa. 14:31 “Cry, O city”: i.e., ye inhabitants of the city.

Jer. 26:2 “Speak unto all the cities of Judah”: i.e., to their representatives.

Jer. 48:8  Here “city,” “ valley,” and “plain” are put for their respective inhabitants.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      pg. 580
Jer. 49:23 “Hamath” is put for its inhabitants. So Arpad too: in verse 24, Damascus.

Micah 6:9 “The Lord’s voice crieth unto the city”: i.e., to the inhabitants.

Matt. 11:21, 23 “Chorazin,” “Bethsaida,” and “Capernaum,” are put for their inhabitants.

Matt. 23:37  “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem”: i.e., the people that dwelt there.

Mark 1:5 “Judiea” is put for its inhabitants.

Mark 1:33 “And all the city was gathered”: i.e., all its inhabitants.

Acts 8:25 “They” preached the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans”: i.e., to their inhabitants.
The A.V. evades and hides the Metonymy by rendering it “in many,” etc.

.                                  20. HEAVEN is put for God, Who dwells there.

Psa. 73:9 “They set their mouth against the heavens””: i.e., against God, Who dwells there.
The rest of the verse confirms this:—“Their tongue (Metonymy for words) walketh through the earth.” Here “earth” is put for the people who dwell upon it; and so “heaven” is put for Him who dwells there. So Dan. 4:26, 29; 2 Chron. 32:20.

Matt. 3:2 “The kingdom of heaven”: i.e., of God; the sphere in which God rules and reigns.
For the word βασιλεία means dominion rather than territory.

The expression occurs only in Matthew, and in this gospel we have it 35 times. Whether the Lord spoke in Hebrew or Aramaic is open to question: but it is certain He did not speak in Greek.

It is also certain that several passages, which are exactly parallel in every other respect, are unlike in this: e.g., Matt. 11:11: “He that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he (i.e., John the Baptist),” and Luke 7:28: “He that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

How is this difference to be explained? Only by the assumption that the Lord speaking in Aramaic, or Hebrew, used the words “kingdom of heaven.” Then, in putting this into Greek, in Matthew the figure was translated, literally; while in Luke it was translated, “kingdom of God.”

                                                                                                                                                                                      pg. 581

Heaven” is frequently put for “God,” who dwells there. We say “Heaven forbid,” “Heaven protect us,” etc. So the lost son says, “I have sinned against heaven.” He means, against God!

This does not at all affect the truths concerning the kingdom, as contrasted with the Church.

While the kingdom or reign is God’s, yet it has different aspects. In Matthew, the expression “Kingdom of heaven” corresponds with the aspect of the kingdom as presented in that Gospel.

Our suggestion is that in each case the words “kingdom of heaven” were the words spoken in Aramaic; but that, in presenting them in Greek, the figure is translated, and given idiomatically in Mark and Luke.

The effect of this figure, then, here, is that, by the figure of Enallage, the emphasis is placed on the words “heaven” and “God,” and not on the word “kingdom”; and by the figure of Heterosis, the plural, “heavens” (as it is in the Greek) is put for the singular to still more emphasize the expression.

Hence the phrase means that this reign is the Divine or Heavenly Dominion, in contrast with all the kingdoms which are of or from this world.

In Matthew, the aspect of it is Old Testament and Jewish; while in the other gospels the aspect is larger and wider in its sphere.

The reign and rule of God comprises all in time and space, and many are the spheres and departments embraced within it. Thus, while the Church of God is embraced in it, the church is not the kingdom. While Israel is embraced in it, Israel does not exhaust the reign and dominion of God. While the Gentiles come within the reach of that dominion, they are neither the kingdom itself nor the church.
All these are distinct from each other; and yet all are embraced in the universal reign of heaven;
the church occupying its own unique position as the Body of Christ, in whom all things are to be
headed up (Eph. 1:10, 20-23).

Matt. 21:25 “The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven (i.e., from God), or of men? ”
So Luke 20:4.

Luke 15:18 “Father, I have sinned against heaven (i.e., against God), and before thee.”

John 3:27 “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven”: i.e., from God
(who dwells there).

                                                                                                                                                                                       pg. 582

.                                  21. HEART is put for nature and character.

Psa. 24:4 “He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart.” Here “hands” are put for the works done by them; while “heart” is not the muscular organ of the body, but is put for the inward character.

Psa. 84:2 (3) “My soul longeth (i.e., I long), yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord:
my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God”: i.e., my soul and my body, my whole being.
See also under Synecdoche

1 Pet. 3:4 “Let it be the hidden man of the heart”: i.e., the new nature implanted within.

.                                  22. BELLY is put for heart or thoughts.

Job 15:35 “Their belly prepareth deceit”: i.e., their thoughts and desires.

Prov. 18:8 “The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the chambers of the belly”: i.e., the innermost thoughts and feelings, moving them as the belly is actually moved by excitement.
See Hab. 3:16. So Prov. 26:22.

Prov. 20:27 “The spirit of man is the candle (or lamp: i.e., light) of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly”: i.e., moving and influencing the thoughts and feelings, as the belly itself is moved.

John 7:38 “He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, (out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” Here, “belly” is put for the innermost thoughts and feelings, and what the Scripture
hath said of this is written in Prov. 18:4.

.                                       iii. The POSSESSOR is put for THE THING POSSESSED.

.                                  1. NATIONS are put for countries.

Deut. 9:1 “To possess nations”: i.e., their countries, and all that they contained.

2 Sam. 8:2 “And he smote Moab, and measured them (i.e., the territory of the Moabites) with a line, casting them (i.e., the cities within it) to the ground.”

Psa. 79:7 “ They have devoured Jacob”: i.e., the riches and good things of the descendents of Jacob.

                                                                                                                                                                                       pg. 583 Mark 5:35 “While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue”:
i.e., from his house: i.e., his servants, whom he employed.

.                                  2. PERSON is put for possessions.

Gen. 15:3 “And, lo, one born in my house inherits me”: i.e., my possessions or property.

2 Cor. 11:20 “For ye suffer … if a man devour you”:
i.e., your goods or property, as expressed in Psa. 14:4.

.                                  3. PRINCES are put for the thousands whom they led.

Matt. 2:6 “Art not the least among the princes of Judah.”
Here the princes who led men by the thousand are put for the thousands or families whom they led.
See 1 Sam. 10:19. In Micah 5:2 (1), we have the word “thousands” literally instead of the figure Metonymy. So Judges 6:15, and 1 Sam. 10:19. Our English “hundreds,” as applied to a territorial division, has the same origin.

.                                  4. GOD is put for the sacrifices offered to Him.

Josh. 13:33 “The Lord God of Israel was their (the Levites’) inheritance, as he said unto them”:
see verse 14. From which it is clear that the name of Jehovah is put for the sacrifices which were offered to him, and which He accepted: i.e., their priesthood, as stated in 18:7; Deut. 10:9;
Eze. 44:28; Num. 18:8, 20. Deut. 18:1-3.

.                                  5. CHRIST is put for His people.

Acts 9:4 “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” i.e., My People who belong to Me.
See verse 5; and compare verses 1 and 2.

1 Cor. 12:12 “For as the body is one, and hath many members and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ” or the Christ: i.e., Christ mystical; not personal; as is clear from verse 13 and what follows.

Col. 1:24 “Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh”: i.e., Christ mystical; not personal; as is clear from what follows: “for His body’s sake, which is the Church.”

.                                  6. GOD is put for the power manifested by Him.

Luke 1:35 “The power of the Highest shall overshadow thee”: i.e., the Highest shall overshadow thee; and His power, which is infinite, shall be put forth upon or manifested in thee.

                                                                                                                                                                                         pg. 584

.                                       iv. The OBJECT is put for that which pertains or relates to it.


.                                  1. JESUS is put for His doctrine.

2 Cor. 11:4 “For if he that cometh (i.e., the one who is coming, perhaps from Jerusalem or the Twelve) preacheth another Jesus”: i.e., a different doctrine or teaching concerningJesus. See Gal. 1:8.

.                                  2. A god is put for his worship.

Ex. 32:1 “Make us a god which shall go before us”: i.e., whom we may worship and honour.
Compare 1 Kings 12:28.

.                                  3. ATTRIBUTES are put for the praise and celebration of them.

Psa. 29:1 “Give unto the Lord glory and strength”: How can we give these to God? We can praise Him for these, but we cannot give them. They are thus put, by Metonymy, for the praise given to Him for his glory and strength. So also Psa. 96:7.

Psa. 8:2 (3) “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength”:
i.e., praise for the manifestation and putting forth of God’s strength, as is clear from Matt. 21:16, where it is rendered “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise.”

.                                  4. BURDEN is put for the prophecy.

Isa. 21:1 “The burden of the desert of the sea. Here, “burden” is put for the prophecy of Divine punishment which follows. So 13:1; 23:1, etc., etc. Mal. 1:1
The burden might be in words, or by a vision.

.                                  5. SIN is put for the offering for sin.

Gen. 4:7 “Sin (i.e., a sin offering) lieth at the door.” So the word “sin” is frequently used for a sin offering.
See Ex. 30:10; Lev. 4:3; 6:25; Num. 8:8; Psa. 40:6 (7), etc.; Lev. 7:5,7; 1 Sam. 6:3,4, and 2 Cor. 5:21.

Ex. 29:14 “It is a sin”: i.e., an offering which atones for sin.

Hos. 4:8 “They eat up the sin, (i.e., the sin-offering) of my people.”

2 Cor. 5:21 “He hath made him to be sin (i.e., a sin-offering) for us.”
See Isa. 53:10; Eph. 5:2.

                                                                                                                                                                                         pg. 585

.                                  6. PROMISE is put for the faith which receives it.

Rom. 9:8 “The children of the promise are counted for the seed”: i.e., who believe and receive the promise of God, as is clear from 4:12, 16; Gal. 3:7, 294:28.

.                                  7. COVENANT is put for the two tables of stone.

1 Kings 8:21 “I have set there a place for the ark, wherein is the covenant of the Lord
(i.e , the two tables of stone) which he made with our fathers,” etc., as is clear from Ex. 34:28; Rom.9:4. See especially Deut. 9:9, 11, 15, 17.

.                                  8. BLOOD is put for blood-shedding.

Isa. 33:15 “That stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood”: from listening to those who shed blood, according to Prov. 1:10, 11.

.                                  9. DOUBLE is used for that which is complete, thorough, or ample;
.                                      . . .and of full compensation, whether of judgment or of blessing.

This Metonymy arose out of the literal use of the word. See Gen. 43:12, where the “double money” was to pay for the corn taken that time as well as for that which was taken the time before.

Ex. 16:5  The “double” manna was “twice  as much,” so as to be enough for two days instead of one.

Ex. 22:7, 9, where the thief was to restore “double”: i.e., to make compensation in full.

Deut. 15:18, where the liberated bond-servant was worth the “double” of an hireling in serving six years instead of three (compare Isa. 16:14; 21:16).

From this literal use of the words mishneh (מִשְׁנֶה) and kiphlayim (ִפ֖לַיֵם)*, the word “double” is used
Metonymy, as follows: —
* See Bible Hub kephel 3718 “Forms and Transliterations”.

Job 11:6 “The secrets of wisdom are double to that which is”: i.e., far beyond, or much more.

Job 41:13 “Who can come to him (leviathan) with his double (i.e., strong) bridle.”
it is כֶפֶל (kephel) in the singular.

Isa. 40:2 “For she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins”: i.e., full punishment.

Isa. 61:7 “For your shame ye shall have double, and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore, in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.”

                                                                                                                                                                                      pg. 586

Here, we have the “double” denoting not full punishment (as in 40:2), but complete compensation. And this is marked in the alternation of the four lines: where we have this completeness in the first and third lines; and the consequent joy and rejoicing in the second and fourth lines: —

.                        a. For your shame ye shall have complete compensation or full acquittal.

.                        b. And for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion.

.                        a. Therefore in their land they shall possess the complete pardon.

.                        b. Everlasting joy shall be unto them.

Jer. 16:18 “And first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double”: i.e., with a complete and thorough punishment. Not literally double, but completely.

Jer. 17:18 “Destroy them with double destruction”: i.e., with a complete destruction.

Zech. 9:12 “ Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render double unto thee”: i.e., I will completely pardon you and give you full compensation for all your troubles.

1 Tim. 5:17 “Let the elders that rule be counted worthy of double (i.e., liberal) honour
(i.e., maintenance).” See under Idiom.

.                                       V. The THING signified is put for the SIGN.

Ex. 8:23 (19) “And I will put a redemption between my people and thy people
(i.e., the judgment, which would be the sign of the redemption): for tomorrow will this sign be.”

Num. 6:7 “Because the consecration (Heb. separation
, see margin) of his God is upon his head”:
i.e., the hair, which was the sign and symbol of his separation.

Deut. 16:3 “Unleavened bread . . . even the bread of affliction”:
i.e., the bread which was the sign and symbol of their affliction in Egypt.

Deut. 22:15, 17  Here the Metonymy is supplied in italics, the letter of the passage being so obviously figurative.

2 Kings 13:17 “The arrow of the Lord’s deliverance”:
i.e.. the sign of the future deliverance which the Lord would work for His People.

                                                                                                                                                                                      pg. 587
1 Chron. 16:2 “Seek the Lord and his strength”: i.e., the Ark of the Covenant, which was the sign and symbol of His Presence and strength. So Psa. 105:4, according to Psa. 132:8.

Psa. 78:61 “And delivered his strength into captivity”, i.e., the Ark of the Covenant, referring to
1 Sam. 4:11, etc. See Psa 132:8.

Isa. 49:6  “It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the desolations of Israel”: i.e., the land and the cities of Israel which have been reduced to desolation. The A.V. renders it “preserved,” not seeing the figure, but it puts “desolations” in the margin.

Eze. 7:27 “The prince shall be clothed with desolation”:
i.e., with his garments rent, which was the sign of his mourning.

Notes and References:

Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for cabiyb (Strong’s 5439)“.
Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2019. 12 Aug 2019.
< http:// www.blbclassic.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H5439&
amp;t=KJV >

Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for mish’ereth (Strong’s 4863)“.
Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2019. 12 Aug 2019.
< http:// www.blbclassic.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H4863&
amp;t=KJV >

Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for tene’ (Strong’s 2935)“.
Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2019. 12 Aug 2019.
< http:// www.blbclassic.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H2935&
amp;t=KJV >

Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for midbar (Strong’s 4057)“.
Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2019. 12 Aug 2019.
< http:// www.blbclassic.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H4057&
amp;t=KJV >

Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for bayith (Strong’s 1004)“.
Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2019. 12 Aug 2019.
< http:// www.blbclassic.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H1004&
amp;t=KJV >

Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for ‘iy (Strong’s 339)“.
Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2019. 14 Aug 2019.
< http:// www.blbclassic.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H339&
amp;t=KJV >

Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for shulchan (Strong’s 7979)“.
Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2019. 16 Aug 2019.
< http:// www.blbclassic.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H7979&
amp;t=KJV >

Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for ‘el (Strong’s 410)“.
Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2019. 16 Aug 2019.
< http:// www.blbclassic.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H410&
amp;t=KJV >

Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for `arak (Strong’s 6186)“.
Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2019. 16 Aug 2019.
< http:// www.blbclassic.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H6186&
amp;t=KJV >

Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for 
shalam (Strong’s 7999)“.
Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2019. 17 Aug 2019.
< http:// www.blbclassic.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H7999&
amp;t=KJV >

Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for har (Strong’s 2022)“.
Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2019. 17 Aug 2019.
< http:// www.blbclassic.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H2022&
amp;t=KJV >

Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for kosmos (Strong’s 2889)“.
Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2019. 17 Aug 2019.
< http:// www.blbclassic.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G2889&
amp;t=KJV >

Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for hēmeteros (Strong’s 2251)“.
Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2019. 17 Aug 2019.
< http:// www.blbclassic.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G2251&
amp;t=KJV >

Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for hēmōn (Strong’s 2257)“.
Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2019. 17 Aug 2019.
< http:// www.blbclassic.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G2257&
amp;t=KJV >

Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for theatron (Strong’s 2302)“.
Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2019. 22 Aug 2019.
< http:// www.blbclassic.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G2302&
amp;t=KJV >

Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for basileia (Strong’s 932)“.
Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2019. 22 Aug 2019.
< http:// www.blbclassic.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G932&
amp;t=KJV >

Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for yarash (Strong’s 3423)“.
Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2019. 22 Aug 2019.
< http:// www.blbclassic.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H3423&
amp;t=KJV >

Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for chatta’ath (Strong’s 2403)“.
Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2019. 23 Aug 2019.
< http:// www.blbclassic.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H2403&
amp;t=KJV >

Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for mishneh (Strong’s 4932)“.
Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2019. 23 Aug 2019.
< http:// www.blbclassic.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H4932&
amp;t=KJV >

Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for laqat (Strong’s 3950)“.
Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2019. 23 Aug 2019.
< http:// www.blbclassic.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H3950&
amp;t=KJV >

Thanks go to Blue Letter Bible and Internet Archive and The Cornell University Library
for providing public domain material.

From “Figures Of Speech Used In The Bible” by E. W. Bullinger,
(Public Domain) pages 538 – 539, and pages. 567-587. Adapted for website compatibility.
See original at link.      Stream           Download.

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