B. Relative Ellipsis:

Where the omitted word must be supplied from the words actually related to it
and employed in the context itself.

II. Where the omitted word is to be  supplied from a Contrary word.

Gen. 33:10 —“And Jacob [refused and] said, etc.”
This word is latent in the contrary words which follow.

Gen. 33:15 —“And Esau said, Let me now leave with thee some of the folk that
are with me. And he [Jacob] said, What needeth it? [Thou shalt not leave any],” etc.

Gen. 49:4 —“Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel.”
R.V. marg., “Bubbling over as water, thou shalt not have the excellency.”

The word rendered “unstable” is פַּחַז (pachaz), to bubble up and overflow, to flow down like water. (So Sam. and Syr.). The Ellipsis is supplied from the contrary words,
“ Flowing down like water [it shall pass away] , thou shalt not have the excellency.”

This follows on verse 3. “Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might; and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power, with rapidity, like water, [all this shall pass away], thou shalt not have the excellency!”
And so it came to pass. See 1 Chron. 5:1.

Judges 5:6 —Here, because the Ellipsis has not been observed,
liberties have been taken in the translation.
The Heb. is literally “In the days of Jael the highways ceased” (as in verse 7).

The A.V. and R.V. both render, “The highways were unoccupied.” The R.V. tries to preserve the correctness of translation by giving in the margin “the caravans ceased.”

But the Ellipsis when supplied by the contrary words which follow makes all clear:—“In the days of Jael, the highways ceased [to be safe], and the travellers walked through by-ways.”

Psa. 7:11 —“God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.”

Psa. 65:8 —“Thou makest the outgoings of the morning and of the evening to rejoice.”

This does not mean the outgoings of the evening as well as the morning.
The contrary word must be supplied, viz., “[ the incomings or return] of the evening.”

Psa. 66:20 —“Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer,
nor his mercy from me.”
This is not “my prayer from me,” but “my prayer [from himself].”

Psa. 84:10 —“For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand
[elsewhere, or in any other place].”

Prov. 19:1 —“Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than [the rich, that is] perverse in his lips, and is a fool.”

Here the A.V. has supplied “he that is”. It is necessary merely to define the person as rich to complete the contrast which is clearly implied.

Prov. 24:17, 18 —“Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: lest the Lord see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him [to thee] .”

Without the supply of this Ellipsisto thee,” there is no sense in the words.

Prov. 28:16 —“The prince that lacketh understanding [and] also a great oppressor [shall cut off his days], but he that hateth covetousness, shall prolong his days”

Jer. 18:15 —“My people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity,
and they have caused them to stumble in their ways [so that they forsake] the
ancient paths,” etc.

Dan. 3:15 —Here the Ellipsis is so patent that it is supplied.

“Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship
the image which I have made; [well and good].”
Compare Luke 13:9.
Luke 13:9 —“And if it bear fruit, well; and if not, then, after that thou shalt cut it down.”

Here the omitted verb is suggested by the contrary verb that is given.
Thus: “If it bear fruit [thou shalt leave it to stand, or shalt not cut it down], and if not, after that, thou shalt cut it down.”
See further under the figure of Aposiopesis.

Rom. 6:17 —“But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin,
but ye have obeyed,” etc.

Here the word δέ ( de), but, in the latter clause implies and points us to the word μέν (men) which is omitted in the former clause. The two go together in a sentence of this character, and the employment of the one reveals the omission of the other. It should be rendered:—“But God be thanked that [although] ye were the servants of sin, yet ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered unto you.”
This is clearly the sense, for we are not to thank God that we were the servants of sin, but that, though we were, we are so no longer.*
* For the importance of this word μέν (men), although, compare 1 Pet. 4:6, where both the A.V. and R.V. ignore it, though it is there in the Greek, thus translating the words:—“For this cause was the gospel preached to them that are dead also, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.” Surely, it cannot be that the gospel was preached in order that men might be judged! And it is unaccountable why the A.V. and R.V. should both altogether ignore the important word μέν (men), although, and leave it untranslated!

They have both created an Ellipsis in the English, though there is none in the Greek, which reads ἵνα κριθῶσι μέν (hina krithosi men), “ in order that, though they might be condemned according to the will of men** as to the flesh, yet they might live ζῶσι δὲ, (zōsi de) according to the will of God, as to the spirit.” That is to say, the gospel was preached to those who had since died, not “that they might be judged” thus, but
“that THOUGH they might be judged.”
(See a pamphlet on The Spirits in Prison by the same author and publisher.)
** Greek
κατὰ ἀνθρώπους (kataanthrōpous), just like Rom. 8:27, where the A.V. and R.V. both supply the wordsthe will of ” in italics: — κατὰ θεόν (katatheon) according to the will of God.

1 Cor. 7:19 —“Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing,
but the keeping of the commandments of God [is everything],” i.e., alone avails.

2 Cor. 8:14 —“But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that [at another time] their abundance also may be a supply
for your want, that there may be equality.”

1 Tim. 4:3 —“Forbidding to marry [and commanding] to abstain from meats.”
(See under Zeugma )

From “Figures Of Speech Used In The Bible” by E. W. Bullinger,
(Public Domain) pages 58-61. Adapted for website compatibility.
See original at link.      Stream           Download.

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