…..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, or preposition.

I. The Omission of Nouns and Pronouns.

…….1. The Omission of the Nominative.…….


…….2. The Omission of the Object or Accusative, etc., after the verb.

2 Sam. 6:6 —“And when they came to Nachon’s threshing floor, Uzzah put forth
his hand to the ark of God.”

Here the omission is supplied. The Ellipsis is used, and the accusative is omitted,
in order to call our attention to the act, rather than to the manner of it.

1 Chron. 16:7 —“Then on that day, David delivered first this psalm to thank the Lord, etc.”

The Ellipsis might also be supplied thus:
“David delivered first [the following words] to thank the Lord, etc.”

Job 24:6 —“They reap everyone his corn in the field.”
This hardly makes sense with the context, which describes the wicked doings
of those who know not God. The question is whether the word בְּלִיל(beleelō) translated “his corn” is to be taken as one word, or whether it is to be read as
two words בְּלִי ל(belee lō) which mean not their own. In this case there is the
Ellipsis of the accusative, which must be supplied. The whole verse wilt then read,  “They reap [their corn] in a field not their own: They glean the vintage of the wicked,” which carries on the thought of the passage without a break in the argument.
If we read it as one word, then we must supply the Ellipsis differently:—“They reap their corn in a field [not their own] ,” so that it comes, in sense, to the same thing.

Psa. 21:12 (13) —“When thou shalt make ready thine arrows upon thy strings.”
Psa. 44:10 (11) —“They which hate us spoil for themselves.”
The word spoil is 
שָׁסָה (shahsah) and means to plunder.
And it is clear that the accusative, which is omitted, should be supplied: —
“They which hate us plunder [our goods] for themselves.” The emphasis being,
of course, on the act and the motive in the verb “plunder,” and “for themselves,”
rather than on the goods which they plunder.
In verse 12 (13), both the A.V. and R.V. have supplied the accusative, “thy wealth”.

Psa. 57:2 (3) —“I will cry unto God most high;
unto God that performeth all things for me.”

Here the object is supplied in the words “all things.”
Other translators suggest “His mercy” “His promises” “ my desires.”
Luther has “my sorrow” the Hebrew being גָּמַר (gamar), to bring to an end, complete, etc. The Ellipsis is left for emphasis. Nothing is particularised, so that we may supply everything. The mention of any one thing necessarily excludes others.

In Psa. 138:8 we have the same verb (though with a different construction)
and the same Ellipsis: but the former is translated “the Lord will perfect,”
and the latter is supplied “that which concerneth me”:
i.e., will consummate all consummations for me.

Psa. 94:10 —“He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct
[you among the heathen]?” This is evidently the completion of the sense.
The A.V. fills up the Ellipsis in the next sentence. This is of a different character,
and comes under another division: “He that teacheth man knowledge,
shall not he know?”

Psa. 103:9 —“Neither will he keep his anger for ever.”
So in Nah. 1:2; Jer. 3:5, 12.

Psa. 137:5 —“If  I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.”

Here both versions thus supply the accusative.
But surely more is implied in the Ellipsis than mere skill of workmanship.
Surely it means, “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget me:”
Let it forget to work for me, to feed me and to defend me, if I forget to pray for thee
and to defend thee.

Prov. 24:24 —“He that saith unto the wicked, Thou art righteous;
him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him;”
i.e., “He that saith to the wicked [king]:” This is clear from the context.

Verses 21-25 read literally. “Fear the Lord, O my son, and the king.
With men that make a difference (שָׁנָה , shanah see Esther. 1:7; 3:8),
between a king and
an ordinary man thou shalt not mingle thyself.
For their calamity (whose? evidently that of two persons, viz., that of the king
and also of the common man) shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin
of them both? These matters also belong to the wise.” To make no difference
between man and man belongs to everyone alike, see Deut. 1:17; but to make no difference between a man and a king is a matter that pertains only to the wise.”
It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment. He that saith to the wicked [king, as well as common man], Thou art righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him; but to them that rebuke him (i.e., the wicked king) shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them.”

Here there is accuracy of translation and consistency of interpretation.
There is only one subject in verses 21-25.* Here it is the command not to flatter a wicked king; and this, explains the word “both” in verse 22, and the reference to “people” and “nations” in verse 24. Unless the Ellipsis is thus supplied, the meaning
is not clear.

* Each “proverb” or paragraph in the book of Proverbs is occupied with only one subject, even if it consists of several verses. This may sometimes throw light on a passage, e.g., Prov. 26:3-5, where verses 4 and 5 follow up the subject of verse 3,
not changing the subject but enforcing it; i.e., “For the horse a whip, for the ass a bridle, and for the fool’s back a rod.” In other words you cannot reason with a horse
or an ass, neither can you reason with a fool. Then follow two very finely stated facts, not commands. If you answer him according to his folly, he will think you are a fool like himself, and if you answer him not according to his folly, he will think that he is wise like yourself! So that we have a kind of hypothetical command:
…..Do this, and you will see that;
…..Do that, and you will see,

That which is a true admonition as to kingcraft, is also a solemn warning as to priestcraft. The “wise” makes no difference between a so-called priest and another man; for he knows that all the people of God are made “priests unto God” (Rev. 1:6), and “an holy priesthood” (1 Pet. 2:5). Those who make a difference do so to their own loss, and to the dishonour of Christ.

Isa. 53:12 —“Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong”; i.e., “Therefore will I [Jehovah] divide (or apportion) to him a great multitude [for booty] , and the strong ones will he (i.e., Messiah) divide as spoil.”

The structure shows that 53:12 corresponds with, and is to be explained by 52:15.

The passage is concerning: —

……………………..Jehovah’s Servant—the Sin Offering.

…………………A. 53:13 His Presentation.

……………………B. 14 His Affliction.
…………………………… C. 15 His Reward.

…………………A. 53:1-3. His Reception.

……………………B. 4-10. His Affliction.

…………………….. C. 10-12. His Reward.


Hence the “many nations” of 52:15, answer to the “great multitudes” of 53:12; and
“the kings” of 52:15 answer to “the strong ones” of 53:12. Thus the two passages explain each, other. The first line of verse 12 is what Jehovah divides to His Servant; and the second line is what He divides as Victor for Himself and His host.
Compare Psa. 110:2-5, Rev. 19:11-16.
The word נָזָה (nazah) in 52:15, means to leap, leap out: of liquids, to spurt out as blood: of people, to leap up from joy or astonishment. So the astonishment of verse 15 answers to that of verse 14. Moreover the verb is in the Hiphil, and means to cause astonishment.*
* See Things to Come, August, 1898.

Jer. 16:7 —“Neither shall men tear themselves for them in mourning.”
The word tear is פָּרַס (paras) to break, cleave, divide. So that the Ellipsis will be, “Neither shall men break [bread] for them in mourning”
(as Ezek. 24:17, Hos. 9:4, etc., and A.V. marg. and R.V.). See under Idiom.

Jer. 8:4 —“Thus saith the Lord, Shall they fall, and not arise?
Shall, he turn away and not return?”
This is unintelligible, and the R.V. is no clearer:—
“Shall one turn away and not turn again?”

The fact is that the Massorah* calls attention to this passage as one of several examples where two connected words are wrongly divided. Here, the first letter
of the second of these two words should be the last letter of the preceding word.
Then the sense comes out most beautifully:

…………“Shall they return [to the Lord]
……………     And He not return [to them]?”
Agreeing with Mal. 3:7, and with the context; and bringing out the parallel between
the two lines as well as exhibiting more clearly the figure of Polyptoton (q.v.)

* See note on this passage in Ginsburg’s Edition of the Hebrew Bible.

Matt. 11:18 —“John came neither eating nor drinking.”

Clearly there must be an Ellipsis here; for John, being human, could not live
without food. The sense is clear in the Hebrew idiom, which requires the Ellipsis
to be thus supplied in the English:—
“John came neither eating [with others] nor drinking [strong drink].”
See Luke 1:15. Or, observing the force of the Greek negative:
“John came [declining invitations] to eat and drink.”

Luke 9:52 —“And sent messengers before his face; and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready . . for him,” i.e., to prepare reception for him.

John 15:6 —“If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered;
and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”

Here the accusative “them” is not repeated. But the meaning of the verse is obscured, or rather a new meaning is read into it by inconsistency of rendering. Why, we ask,
are the words ἐὰν μή (ean mee) translated “except” twice in verse 4, and here in
verse 6 “if . . not”? It is an expression that occurs fifty two times, and more than thirty of these are rendered “except.”

Here it should be rendered “Except anyone abide in me.” In the preceding verses the Lord had been speaking of His disciples “you” and “ye.”
Here in verse 6 He makes a general proposition concerning anyone.
Not, if anyone who is already in Him does not continue in Him, for He is not speaking of a real branch; but except anyone is abiding in Him he is cast forth “AS a branch.”


Matt. 5:20; 12:29; 18:3; 26:42.

Mark 3:27; 7:3, 4.

John 3:2, 3, 5, 27; 4:48; 6:44, 53, 65; 12:24; 15:4 (twice); 20:25.

Acts 8:31; 15:1; 27:31.

Rom. 10:15.

1 Cor. 14:6,7,9; 15:36.

2Thess. 2:3.

2Tim. 2:5.

Rev. 2:5, 22εἰ μή (ei mee), “if not”, is also rendered “except”

Matt. 19:9; 24:22; Mark 13:20; John 19:11; Rom. 7:7; 9:29; 2 Cor. 12:13.

Likewise, in verse 2, the verb is αἴρω (airō) to lift up* raise up, “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he lifteth up,” i.e.. He raises it from the ground where it can bear no fruit, and tends it, that it may bring forth fruit, “and every branch that beareth fruit, he pruneth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.”
*As in Luke 17:13. John 11:41; Acts 4:24. Rev. 10:5.
Thus there are two conditions spoken of – two kinds of branches: one that bears no fruit, and one that does. The former He raises up that it may bear fruit, and the latter He prunes that it may bear more.

Acts 9:34 —“Arise, and make thy bed.”

Here both versions translate the figure. The Greek reads, “Arise, and spread for thyself,” i.e., spread [a bed] for thyself: in other words, “make thy bed.”

Acts 10:10 —“But while they made ready, he fell into a trance,”
i.e., while they made ready [the food].
Rom. 15:28 —“When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain”:
i.e., “When, therefore, I have performed this business.”
1 Cor. 3:1 —“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual [men],
but as unto carnal [men].”
(See under 1 Cor. 2:2).
1 Cor. 7:17 —“But as God hath distributed to every man.”
This is literally:—“Only as God hath apportioned [the gift] to each.”

1 Cor. 10:24 —“Let no man seek his own [advantage only], but every man that of his neighbour [also] .” “ Wealth,” in the A.V. is the old English word for well-being generally. As we pray in the Litany, “In all time of our wealth”; and in the expression, “Commonwealth,” i.e., common weal. Compare verse 33, where the word “profit” is used. The R.V. supplies “good”.

2 Cor. 5:16 —“Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh
(κατὰ σάρκα , kata sarka, according to flesh, i.e., according to natural standing): yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now, henceforth know we him [thus] no more.”

Our standing is now a spiritual one, “in Christ” risen from the dead; a standing on resurrection ground, as the members of the Mystical or Spiritual Body of Christ.

2 Cor. 5:20 —“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”

Here the word “you” is incorrectly supplied. Paul was not beseeching the saints in Corinth to be reconciled to God. They were reconciled as verse 18 declares, “Who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ.” Then in verse 19 he goes on to speak of “men”; and in verse 20 he says that he beseeches them as though God did beseech them by us; we pray them in Christ’s stead, and say:—“Be ye reconciled to God.”
This was the tenor of his Gospel to the unconverted.

2 Cor. 11:20 — “If a man take [your goods].”

Phil. 3:13 —“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended
[the prize (from verse 14)].”

1 Thess. 3:1 —“When we could no longer forbear.”
Here στέγω (stegō) means to hold out, to bear, to endure, and must have the accusative supplied:— “Wherefore, when we could no longer bear [our anxiety] , etc.” The same Ellipsis occurs in verse 5, where it must be similarly supplied.

2 Thess. 2:6, 7 —“And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.”

Here, there is an Ellipsis. But the A.V. treats it as though it were the verb that is omitted, and repeats the verb “will let.” The R.V. avoids this, by translating it thus:—“only there is one that restraineth now, until, etc.”

Both the A.V. and R.V. fail to see that it is the Ellipsis of the accusative after the verb in both verses. The verb is κατέχω (katechō), which is rendered “withhold” in verse 6 and “let” in verse 7 (and in R.V. “restrain” in both verses). But this verb, being transitive, must have an object or accusative case after it; and, as it is omitted by Ellipsis, it has therefore to be supplied. The verb κατέχω (katechō) means to have and hold fast.

The preposition κατά (kata), in composition, does not necessarily preserve its meaning of down, to hold down; but it may be intensive, and mean to hold firmly,
to hold fast, to hold in secure possession
. This is proved by its usage; which clearly shows that restraining or withholding is no necessary part of its meaning. It occurs nineteen times, and is nowhere else so rendered. On the other hand there are four or five other words which might have been better used had “restrain” been the thought in this passage.

Indeed its true meaning is fixed by its use in these epistles.
In 1 Thess. 5:21 we read “hold fast that which is good,” not restrain it or “withhold”
that which is good! But the idea is of keeping and retaining and holding on fast to that which is proved to be good. So it is in all the passages where the word occurs: —

Matt. 21:38. Let us seize on his inheritance.

Luke 4:42. And stayed him, that he should not depart.

Luke 8:15. Having heard the word, keep it.

Luke 14:9. Thou begin with shame to take the lowest room.

John 5:4. Of whatsoever disease he had (i.e., was held).

Acts 27:40. And made toward shore
(i.e., they held their course, or kept going for the shore).

Rom. 1:18. Who hold the truth in unrighteousness.

Rom. 7:6. Being dead to that wherein we were held (margin and R.V.),

1 Cor. 7:30. As though they possessed not.

1 Cor. 11:2. And keep the ordinances.

1 Cor. 15:2. If ye keep in memory what I preached.

2 Cor. 6:10. And yet possessing all things.

1 Thess. 5:21. Holdfast that which is good.

Philemon 13. Whom I would have retained with me.

Heb. 3:6. If we holdfast the confidence.

Heb. 3:14. If we hold the beginning,

Heb. 10:23. Let us holdfast the profession.

This fixes for us the meaning of the verb κατέχω. But what is it that thus holds fast
“the man of sin”? and who is it that holds fast something which is not mentioned, and which has therefore to be supplied? For, in verse 6, that which holds fast is neuter, τὸ κατέχον (to katechon), while in verse 7 it is masculine ὁ κατέχων (ho katechōn):
so that in verse 6 it is something (neuter) which holds the man of sin fast, while in verse 7 some one is holding fast to something.

We submit that in verse 6, that something is τὸ φρέαρ (to phrear) the pit
(Rev. 9:1,2 and 11:7) out of which he ascends, and in which he is now kept in sure possession until the season arrive when he is to be openly revealed: meanwhile, his secret counsels and plans are already working, preparing the way for his revelation.

The whole subject of the context is the revelation of two personages (not of one), viz., “ the man of sin” (verse 3) and “the lawless one” (verse 8). These correspond with the two beasts of Rev. 13.

This is clear from the structure of the first twelve verses of this chapter: —*
* See “The Structure of the Two Epistles to the Thessalonians
by the same author and publisher.

…..2Thess. 2:1-12.

..A / 1-3. Exhortation not to be believing what the apostle did not say.
………B / 3, 4. Reason. “For, etc.”
…..A / 5, 6. Exhortation to believe what the apostle did say.
………B / 7-12. Reason. “For, etc.”

…..Or more fully, thus: —

..A / 1-3. Exhortation (negative).
………B /a/ 3. The Apostasy (open).
……………/b/ 3. The Revelation of the “Man of Sin.”
………………………(The Beast from the Sea, Rev. 13:1-10).
……………/c/ 4. The character of his acts. See Rev. 13:6-8.

..A / 5-6. Exhortation (positive).
………B /a/ 7 . Lawlessness (secret working).
…………….../b/ 8. The Revelation of the Lawless one.
…………………………(The Beast from the Earth, Rev. 13:11-18).
………………/c/ 9-12. The character of his acts. See Rev. 13:13-15.

Thus the open working of the apostasy and the secret working of the counsels of the Lawless one are set in contrast. We must note that the word “mystery” means a secret, a secret plan or purpose, secret counsel*
*See “The Mystery“, by the same author and publisher.

Thus we have here two subjects:
. (1) “The Man of Sin” (the beast from the sea, Rev. 13:1-10), and the open apostasy which precedes and marks his revelation;
..(2) “The Lawless one” (the beast from the earth. Rev. 13:11-18), and the working of his secret counsels which precedes his revelation, and the ejection of the Devil from the heavens which brings it about.

An attempt has been made to translate the words,
ἐκ μέσουγένηται
(ek mesougeneetai) be taken out of the way, as meaning, “arise out of the midst.”
But this translates an idiomatic expression literally; which cannot be done without introducing error.
ἐκ μέσουγένηται is an idiom,† for being gone away, or being absent or away.
† See under the figure Idioma.

From “Figures Of Speech Used In The Bible” by E. W. Bullinger,
(Public Domain) pages 8-17. Adapted for website compatibility.
See original at link.      Stream

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