…..A. Absolute Ellipsis:


That is, the omission of words or terms which must be supplied only from
the nature of the subject. The omitted word may be a noun, adjective, pronoun,
verb, participle, adverb, preposition.

I. The Omission of Nouns and Pronouns.

…….1. The Omission of the Nominative.

Gen. 14:19, 20 Melchizedek said to Abram, “Blessed be the most high God,
which hath delivered thine enemies into thine hand.
And he [i.e., Abram] gave him tithes of all.”

From the context, as well as from Heb. 7:4, it is clear that it was Abram who gave the tithes to Melchizedek, and not Melchizedek to Abram.
Gen. 39:6 —“And he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.”
Here it is not at all clear which it was of the two who “knew not ought he had.”
If we understand Potiphar, it is difficult to see how he only knew the bread he ate:
or if Joseph, it is difficult to understand how he knew not ought he had.
If the Ellipsis, however, is rightly supplied, it makes it all clear.

The verse may be rendered, and the Ellipsis supplied as follows:— “And he [Potiphar] left all that he had in Joseph’s hand: and he [Potiphar] knew not anything save the bread which he was eating. And Joseph was beautiful of figure, and beautiful of appearance.”

All difficulty is removed when we remember that “the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination unto the Egyptians” (Gen. 43:32). Everything, therefore, was committed by Potiphar to Joseph’s care, except that which pertained to the matter of food.

2 Sam. 3:7 —“And Saul had a concubine, whose name was Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah, and . . . said to Abner, Wherefore, etc.”

Here it is clear from the sense of the next verse and 2 Sam. 21:8 that “Ishhosheth
is the word to be supplied, as is done in italics.

2 Sam. 23:20 —“He slew two lionlike men of Moab.”

The Massorah points out* that the word Ariel occurs three times,
in this passage and Isa. 29:1. In Isa. the word is twice transliterated as a proper name, while in 2 Sam. 23:20, margin, it is translated lions of God: the first part of the word אֲרִי (aree) a lion, and the second part אֵל (ēl) God. But if we keep it uniformly and consistently as a proper name we have with the Ellipsis of the nominative (sons)
the following sense: “He slew the two sons 0f Ariel of Moab.”
*Ginsburg’s Edition, Vol. 1, pg. 106.

2 Sam. 24:1 —“And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel,
and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.”
Here the nominative to the verb “moved” is wanting. Someone moved, and who that was we learn from 1 Chron. 21:1, from which it is clear that the word Satan or the Adversary is to be supplied, as is done in the margin: — “And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and [the Adversary] moved David against them to say. Go, number Israel and Judah.”

1 Chron. 6:28 (12) —“And the sons of Samuel; the firstborn Vashni
(marg., called also Joel, ver. 33 and 1 Sam. 8:2) and Abiah.”
Here there is an Ellipsis of the name of the firstborn: while the word
וַשְׁנִי Vashni, when otherwise pointed ( וְשֵׁנִ֖י) means “and the second”! so that the verse reads,
“And the sons of Samuel; the firstborn [Joel] and the second Abiah.”
This agrees with the Syriac Version. The R.V. correctly supplies the Ellipsis,
and translates vashni “and the second.” “Joel” is supplied from ver. 33
(see also 1 Sam. 8:2, and the note in Ginsburg’s edition of the Hebrew Bible).

Psa. 34:17 —“[The righteous] cry, and the Lord heareth,
and delivereth them out of all their troubles.”

The immediate subject in ver. 16 is evildoers. But it is not these who cry.
It is the righteous. Hence the A.V. and the R.V. supply the words “the righteous”
in italics. The nominative is omitted, in order that our attention may be fixed not on their persons or their characters, but upon their cry, and the Lord’s gracious answer.

The same design is seen in all similar cases.

Psa. 105:40 —“[They] asked, and he brought quails,”
i.e., the People asked.

The nominative is supplied in the A.V.
But the R.V. translates it literally “They asked.”

Prov. 22:27 —“If thou hast nothing to pay, why should one [i.e. the creditor]
take away thy bed from under thee?”

Isa. 26:1 —“In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; we have a strong city; salvation will one [i.e, God] appoint for walls and bulwarks.”

The A.V. interprets by supplying the nominative. The R.V. translates it literally.

Jer. 51:19 —“He is the former of all things, and Israel is the rod of his inheritance.”

Here both the A.V. and R.V. supply the Ellipsis from 10:16.
Had it been supplied from the immediate context, it would have come under
the head of Relative Ellipsis, or that of Repetition.

Ezek. 46:12 —“Now when the Prince shall prepare a voluntary offering or peace offerings voluntarily unto the Lord, one shall then open him the gate that looketh toward the East, &c.,”
i.e., הַשּׁעֵר the gate-keeper (supplied from the noun הַשַּׁעַר the gate), which follows, shall open the gate.

Zech. 7:2 —“When they (Heb. he) had sent unto the house of God,
Sherezer and Regemmelech and their men, to pray before the Lord”
[i.e., when the people who had returned to Judea had sent].

Matt. 16:22 —“Be it far from Thee, Lord.”

Here the Ellipsis in the Greek is destroyed by the translation.
The Greek reads, Ἵλεώς σοι κύριε (hileōs soi  kyrie ), which is untranslatable literally, unless we supply the Ellipsis of the Nominative, thus: “[God be] merciful to Thee, Lord!” Thus it is in the Septuagint 1 Chron. 11:19, where it is rendered
“God forbid that I should do this thing,” but it ought to be, “[God] be merciful to me [to keep me from doing] this thing.”

Acts 13:29 —“And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre” i.e., Joseph of Arimathæa and Nicodemus took him down. But it is the act which we are to think of here rather than the persons who did it. Hence the Ellipsis.

1 Cor. 15:25 —“For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet,”
i.e., “he [the Son] must reign, until he [the Son] shall have put all things under his
[the Son’s] feet.”

Here the subjection refers to the period of Christ’s personal reign. This is one of the seven New Testament references to Psa. 110:1, “Jehovah said unto Adon—Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” The English word “make” occurs 1,111 times in the Old Testament, as the rendering of 49 Hebrew words.
The one so rendered here is 
שִׁית and means to put, place, set, or appoint, and is rendered make only 19 times out of 94. Its proper meaning is put or appoint.
(See Gen. 3:15; 4:25; 30:40. Psa. 140:5. Isa. 26:1, &c.)

The word in the N. T. is τίθημι (titheemi), and has the same meaning.
It is rendered make only 10 times out of 91, but in these cases it means to set or appoint (Acts 20:28, Rom. 4:17, &c.). In every case the verb is in the second aorist subjunctive, and should be rendered “shall have put.”

Six of the seven references,
(Matt. 22:44; Mark 12:36; Luke 20:42; Acts 2:34; Heb. 1:13; 10:13) refer to Christ’s session on the Father’s throne (not to His reign upon His own, Rev. 3:21). And this session will continue until such time as the Father shall have placed Christ’s enemies as a footstool for His feet. When that shall have been done, He will rise up from His seat and come forth into the air for His people, to receive them to Himself, and take them up to meet Him in the air so to be ever with the Lord. Then He will come unto the earth with them, and sit upon the throne of His glory, and reign until He shall have put all enemies under His feet. The other six passages refer to Christ’s session. This one refers to His reign upon His own throne (not to His session on His Father’s throne, Rev. 3:21). And this reign will continue until He (Christ) hath put all His enemies under His feet.

Note, that in the six passages His enemies are placed “as a footstool for His feet,” and there is not a word about their being under His feet. In the one passage (1 Cor. 15:25) there is not a word about being placed “as a footstool,” but the word “under” His feet is used. We must distinguish between placing and making, and Christ’s session and His reign. Then all these passages teach the Pre-Millennial and Pre-Tribulation coming of Christ for His people before His coming with them.*

* See Things to Come for October, 1898. †

1 Cor. 15:53 —“For this corruptible [body] must put on incorruption,
and this mortal [body] must put on immortality.”
The noun “body” must also be supplied in the next verse.

Eph. 1:8 —“Wherein he hath abounded towards us in all wisdom and prudence.”
It is not “wherein,” but ἧς (hees) which, i.e., “[the knowledge] or grace, which he hath made to abound in us in all wisdom and prudence.”

Titus 1:15 —“Unto the pure all things are pure.”
The noun “meats” (i.e., foods) must be supplied as in 1 Cor. 6:12.
“All [meats] indeed are clean to the clean.”
The word “clean” being used in its ceremonial or Levitical sense,
for none can be otherwise either “pure” or “clean.”

Heb. 9:1 —“Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service.”
Here the word covenant is properly supplied in italics.

2 Pet, 3:1—“This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you;
in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance,”
i.e. “In both which [epistles] I stir up,” etc.

1 John 5:16 —“If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death,
he shall ask, and he shall give him life, etc.,” i.e., “[God] shall give him life.”
See also Matt. 5:11, 15; Luke 6:38, where men must be the word supplied.

From “Figures Of Speech Used In The Bible” by E. W. Bullinger,
(Public Domain) pages 4-8. Adapted for website compatibility.
See original at link.     Stream
. . . . . .

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