An Enumeration of the Parts of a Whole which has been mentioned.

Me-ris’-mos, Greek, μερισμός (merismos), division, from μέρος (meros), a part.

The figure is so called because, after mentioning a thing as a whole,
the parts are afterwards enumerated.

Also EPIMERISMOS, which is merismos with ἐπί (epi), upon, prefixed

It was called also DIALLAGE (Dī-al’-la-gee), διαλλαγή, interchange, from διά (dia), through, or asunder, and ἀλλάσσειν (allassein), to make other than it is, to change throughout.

The Latins called it DISTRIBUTIO (Dis-tri-bu’-ti-o), and DISCRIMINATIO

Also DIGESTIO (Di-ges’-ti-o), i.e, reduction to order, classification.

Though these names express, in the first instance, division, we have classed the figure under figures of addition; because, after the thing has been named and mentioned, it is divided up, and the various parts are added together to enhance the effect, increase the emphasis, and amplify the sense.


Isa. 24:1-3  where, after stating the fact, “Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty,” the statement is amplified, and the way in which God will do this and scatter the People is afterwards enumerated.


Ezek. 36:4—After saying “Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God (Adonai Jehovah),” the word is spoken, not only to the mountains, but to the hills and rivers, and valleys, and desolate wastes, and the cities that are forsaken. And all this to show how complete shall be the blessing for the land of Israel.


Rom. 2:6-8—Here, after stating that God “will render to every man according to his deeds” in verse 6, verses 7 and 8 go on to enumerate the particulars of the two great classes of deeds.


Gal. 5:19-21—“The works of the flesh” are first mentioned as a whole, and then the whole sixteen are named and enumerated.

Gal. 5:22, 23—“The fruit of the Spirit” is first mentioned, and then the nine manifestations of it are enumerated. It is “fruit” in the singular, though made up of many parts like a cluster of grapes.


From “Figures Of Speech Used In The Bible” by E. W. Bullinger,
(Public Domain) page 435. Adapted for website compatibility.
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