Relative Ellipsis:

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


This has been called METALEPSIS: but this is hardly correct; for Metalepsis (q.v.)
is a compound Metonomy, and a Metonomy has to do only with nouns.
It has also been called SYNTHETON, or SYNTHESIS (Latin, COMPOSITIO),
which signifies the placing of two things together.
(See under the Figure of Metonymy). It has also a Latin name: “CONCISA LOCUTIO,” i.e., a concise form of speech, or abbreviated expression.

It is also called CONSTRUCTIO PRÆGNANS, when the verb thus derives an additional force.

Gen. 12:15 —“And the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house.”

Here the figure is translated, for לָקַה (laqach) signifies to catch, or capture.
(Gen. 14:12; Num. 21:25; Deut. 3:14; 29:8; 1 Sam. 19:14, 20; Isa. 52:5; Jer.48:46).
And here the two senses are combined (take, in the sense of catch, and take,
in the sense of lead), to take possession of, and lead into, i.e.,
“The woman was taken [and brought] into Pharaoh’s house.”

See for a similar use, seized, or caught and led, or taken and brought, etc.,
Gen. 15:9,10. Ex. 18:2; 25:2; 27:20; Num. 19:2; Est. 2:16.

Gen. 43:33 —“And the men marvelled one at another.”
They did not marvel one at another, but, marvelling at what Joseph did,
they looked one at another.
The two senses are contained in the one verb, thus:—“And the men marvelled
[and looked] one at another.”

In verse 34, the two senses are translated both in A.V. and R.V.,
“and he took and sent messes unto them from before him.”
For this use of the verb נָשָּׂא ;”(nashah) to take, see also Ex. 18:12; 25:2; 28:20, etc.

Ex. 23:18, and 34:25 —Here the Hebrew זָבַח (zavach) to sacrifice, or slay,
is not literally translated, but the two senses, slay and pour out (the blood)
are combined in the one word “offer.”

The Heb. עַל (al) is also in consequence translated with, instead of upon.
The result is that there is no sense in the translation. The filling up of the Ellipsis preserves the literal signification of the other words as well as the sense of the verse, thus:—
“Thou shalt not slay [and pour out] the blood of my sacrifice upon leavened bread.”

Lev. 17:3 — “What man soever there be of the house of Israel that killeth an ox,
or lamb, or goat, in the camp, or that killeth it out of the camp, and bringeth it not unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation . . blood shall be imputed unto that man . . that man shall be cut off from among his people.”

This appears to be quite at variance with Deut. 12:15, 21, which expressly declares, “Thou mayest kill and eat flesh in all thy gates, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after.”

The difficulty is at once removed by supplying the second sense which is included in the same word, “that killeth [in sacrifice].”

Num. 25:1 —Here, through not seeing the Ellipsis, אֶל (el) which means to,
is translated with. “And the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters
of Moab,” i.e., they “ began to commit whoredom [and to join themselves] to the daughters of Moab.”

Josh. 8:29 — “Joshua commanded that they should raise thereon a great heap of stones that remaineth unto this day.”

Here, as well as in 10:27, the Ellipsis is supplied.

2 Chron. 32:1 —“And thought to win them for himself.”

Here לְכִקְעָם אֵלָיו (lkikahm eylaiv) means (as given in the margin to break them up),
but this being “for himself,” conveyed no sense; so the translation of the verb, which means “break up,” was modified to “win,” in order to agree with the preposition “for”. But the correct supply of the Ellipsis makes the meaning clear, and enables us to retain the literal sense of the verb:—He “encamped against tht fenced cities, and thought to break them up [and annex them] to himself,” or “ thought to rend them
[from the kingdom of Judah, and annex them] to himself.”

Ezra 2:62 —Here the figure is translated. The Heb., as given in the margin, reads literally, “ Therefore they were polluted from the priesthood.” This is translated,
“ Therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood.”
But a more correct translation of the figure would be:
“ Therefore they were polluted [and put] from the priesthood.”

Psa. 21:12 —We have already noted the Ellipsis of the accusative in this verse,
thine arrows.” Now we have the Ellipsis, in the same verse, of the second signification of the verb:— “When thou shalt make ready thine arrows upon thy bowstrings
[and shoot them] against their face.”

Psa. 22:21 —“ Thou hast heard me [and delivered me], from the horns of the unicorns.”
So Psa. 118:5, where the Ellipsis is correctly supplied. See also Heb. verse 7, below.

Psa. 55:18 —“He hath delivered my soul in peace.” R.V.:
“He hath redeemed my soul in peace.”
The sense is obtained by supplying the Ellipsis
“He hath redeemed my soul [and set it] in peace.”

Psa. 63:8 —“ My soul followeth hard after thee.”
Here to get the sense, the Heb.דָּבְקָה (dahvqah), which means to cleave, to stick
(see Gen. 2:24; Deut. 28:60; Psa. 119:31; Lam. 4:4), is translated followeth hard,
in order to combine it with חֲרֶיךָ (achareyach) after thee. “ My soul followeth hard after thee.” The supply of the Ellipsis makes the sense clear and retains the literal meaning of the words, thus;— “ My soul cleaveth to [and followeth] after thee.”

Psa. 66:14 —The Heb. is:— “ Which my lips have opened.” See margin.
The A.V. translates freely, “ Which my lips have uttered.”
But the sense is: —“ Which (vows) my lips have opened [and vowed].”

Psa. 68:18 — “ Thou hast received gifts for men.”
The Heb. is:—“ Thou hast received gifts among men,” i.e.,
“Thou hast received [and given] gifts among men”; compare Eph. 4:8.

Psa. 73:27 — “ Thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee.”.

To make sense we must read:— “ Thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring, [departing] from thee,” i.e.,
“ Thou hast destroyed all them that practise idolatry, departing from thee.”

Psa. 89:39 —Here the Ellipsis is supplied.
“ Thou hast profaned his crown [by casting it] to the ground.”

Psa. 104:22 —“ The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens.”
The Heb. is:— “And unto their dens (וְאֶל־מְעוֹנֹתָם) they lie down,” i.e., “ The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, [depart, and] lay themselves down in their dens.”

Prov. 25:22 —The Heb. reads:— “ For coals of fire thou shalt receive upon his head,” i.e., “for coals of fire thou shalt receive [and place] upon his head.”

The verb חָתָה (chathah) means to take hold of, to seize, spoken once of a person,
Psa. 52:5 (7), and elsewhere always of taking up fire or burning coals.
See  Isa. 30:14. Prov. 6:27. i.e., the coals of fire which thine enemy casts at thee,
thou shalt take them and put them upon his head: he will thus get what he intended for thee.

The “ burning coals” are put by Metonymy q.v.) for cruel words and hard speeches (see Prov. 16:27; 26:23).

Psa. 140:9, 10  But if thou doest good to him who uses cruel words of you, that will burn him as coals of fire.

Matt. 4:5 —“ Then the Devil taketh him up into the holy city.”
Παραλαμβάνω (paralambanō) means to take and bring with one’s self,
to join one’s self. There is no equivalent for “up”. The double sense of the verse must be supplied in the Ellipsis:— “ Then the Devil taketh him with himself [and leadeth] him,” etc. So verse 8 and 27:27. The sense is sometimes completed by a second verb, Matt. 2:13, 20; John 19:16; Acts 23:18.

Matt. 5:23 —“Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee”; i.e., “ if thou bring thy gift [even thy sacrifice]
to the altar.” An offering was the only gift that could be brought to an altar.
In Lev. 2:1, 2, the Septuagint translates, “ If a soul bring a gift, a sacrifice, to the Lord, his gift shall be,” etc., and thus supplies the explanatory words. To apply these words to the placing money on the Lord’s Table is a perverse use of language.

Luke 4:1, 2 —“And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan,
and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil.”

The A.V. connects the forty days with the temptation: but we learn from Matt. 4:3
that it was not till after the forty days that the tempter came to Him, when He was hungry. The words are elliptical, and are a concisa locutio, i.e., an abbreviated expression, in order that our thought may dwell on the fact of the leading,
rather than on the fact of His being there.

The Greek is:—“He was being led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
[and was in the wilderness] forty days.”

Luke 4:38 —“And he arose out of the synagogue,” i.e., “And rising up [he departed] out* of the synagogue, and entered into the house of Simon.” By this figure our attention is directed to the fact which is important, viz., His rising up, and thus preventing any comment on the miracle; rather than to the mere act of going out of the synagogue.

* The ancient reading was (ἀπὸ, from, supported by the Critical Texts of Tischendorf, Tregelles, Alford, and Westcott and Hort.
It was altered later by some copyist who did not see the force of the figure,
so as to make it agree better with the single verb employed. (Download)

Luke 18:14 —“I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other.”
The Greek reads, “ This man went down to his house justified than the other,”
but the A.V. correctly supplies the disjunction contained in the comparative
(ee), when following a positive assertion. The thought lies in the Heb. use of the word מִן
(min), Psa. 118:8,9 —“It is better to trust in the Lord than [i.e., and not] to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than [i.e., and not] to put confidence in princes.” So Jonah 4:3 — “Now, O Lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than [i.e., and not] to live.”

So in the N.T., Heb. 11:25 —“Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the People of God, than [i.e., and not] to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.”

So here the doctrine is that the Publican was justified and not the Pharisee.
Not that the Pharisee was justified a little, and the Publican was justified a little more! The parable is wholly concerning justification (verse 9), and not a parable about the nature of prayer. The manner of the prayer is merely the vehicle for the illustration of the truth.*
Ignorance of the doctine of justification, it may have been, or oversight as to
the point of the parable, that gave rise to the difficulties presented by the Text,
which was altered and glossed in various ways in order to make sense. The Textus Receptus has ἢ ἐκεῖνος , the MSS. APQ, &c. have ἢ γὰρ ἐκεῖνος, with T.Tr. marg.
(i.e., “ This man went down to his house justified … or was it then the other, &c.”).
The MSS. BLא have πὰρ̕ ἐκεῖνος, with L.Tr.WH.Alf. (i.e., passing over the other).

Luke 19:44 —“And shall lay thee even with the ground.”
ἐδαφίζειν (edaphizein) signifies both to level to the ground, and to dash to the ground. In this last sense it occurs in Psa. 137:9; Hos. 10:14; LXX.

Luke 20:9 —“A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen,
and went into a far country for a long time,” i.e., “ he went into a far country,
[and remained there] a long time”; or, we may supply, “and was absent for a long time.”

Luke 21:38 —“And all the people came early in the morning to him in the temple,
for to hear him.”

But ὀρθρίζω (orthrizo) does not mean to come early, but to rise up early, and the sense is:— “And all the people rising early in the morning, [came] to him in the temple.”

John 1:23 —“He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness,” etc.: i.e.,
“I [am he of whom it is written] the voice of one crying in the wilderness.”

John 6:21 —“ Then they willingly received him into the ship.”
Here the figure is hidden by a free translation.
The Greek is:—“They were willing, then, to receive him into the ship,
[and they did receive him].”

Acts 7:9 —“And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt,” i.e.,
“And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph [and sent him away] into Egypt.”

Ἀροδίδωμι (apodidōmi) does not mean merely to sell, but to put away by giving over, whether for money or for any other return.

Acts 20:30 —“Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things,
to draw away disciples after them,” i.e., “speaking perverse things [and seeking]
to draw away.”

Acts 23:24 —“And provide them beasts, that they may set Paul on,
and bring him safe unto Felix the governor.”
The Greek is, lit.,:—“ διασώζω (diasōzō ) to save through,” i.e., “and keep him in safety [and bring him] unto Felix.”

Here, by the omission of the verb to bring, which is required by the preposition, our attention is called to the fact which is of greater importance, viz., the preservation of Paul from his enemies.

Gal. 5:4 —“Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”

The Greek is: — κατηργήθητε ἀπὸ τοῦ χριστοῦ
(kateergeetheete apo tou Christou); and the R.V. translates it:—
“Ye are severed from Christ,” and puts in the margin, Greek “ brought to nought.”
But we may take the Greek literally, if we put the margin in the Text and supply the Ellipsis correctly: — “Ye are made void [and cut off] from Christ.”

Eph. 4:8 —“ When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive and, [receiving] gifts, gave them to men.”
See Psa. 68:18 above.

2 Tim. 1:10 — “And hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”

Here, following the order of the Greek, we may read:—“And brought to light,
[and procured for us] life and immortality through the gospel.” By the Figure of Hendiadys (q.v.), that which is procured is immortal life, showing us that the emphasis is on the word “immortal.”

2 Tim. 2:26 —“And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil,
who are taken captive by him at his will.”

Here both the figure and the sense are lost by defective translation.
The margin tells us that the words “recover themselves” are used to render the Greek “awake,” i.e., “lest they may awake [and be delivered] out of the snare of the devil.” The structure of this Scripture makes the whole passage clear: —


…….A / 14 The aim of the enemy “Subversion” (καταστροφῇ).
…………….B / 15 The workman (ἐργάτος).
………………….C / 16 Exhortation. “Shun.”
………………….D / 17, 18- Illustration. “Canker.”
…………………………….E / -18 Effect on others. “Overthrown.”
…………………………….E / 19 Effect on Foundation. “Standeth sure.”
………………………..D / 20, 21 Illustration. “Vessels.”
………………….C / 22, 23 Exhortation. “Flee . . Avoid.”
………….B / 24, 25- The Servant (δοῦλος).
…….A / -25,26 The aim of the enemy. “Opposition” (ἀντιδιατιθεμένοι).

Then by expanding this last member A, we see the meaning of verses -25, 26: —

………………………….A   The aim of the enemy.
……….A a / -25- “Lest God should give them repentance”
…………………..b / -25 “Unto (εἰς) the knowledge of the truth,”
……………..a / 26- “And lest, being taken alive by him, [by God, as in “a”]
…………….. ……they may awake [and be delivered] from the devil’s snare”
…………………..b / -26 “Unto (εἰς) his [God’s] will (i.e., to do the will of God)”.
.Here in “a” and “a” we have the action of God in delivering, while in “b” and “b” we have the object for which the captive is delivered.

.2 Tim. 4:18 —“And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom:” i.e., “preserve me, [and bring me].” Thus fixing our thought rather on the wondrous preservation than on the act of bringing.

Heb. 5:3 —“And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself,
to offer [sacrifices] for sins.”

Heb. 5:7 —“And was heard [and delivered] from his fear.”
ἀπὸ τῆς εὐλαβείας (apo tees eulabeias).
(Only here and Heb. 12:28. See Psa. 22:21, above.).

Heb. 9:16, 17 —“For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death
of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all whilst the testator liveth.”

It is clear that it is a “covenant” to which these words refer, and not a testamentary document. The reference to the “first” covenant at Sinai mentioned in the verses which immediately follow, decides this for us. See Ex. 24:5-8.

And the mention also of the sprinkling of the blood shows that sacrifices are referred to.

The word translated “testator” is the participle: — διαθέμενος (diathemenos),
and means appointed* Its use shows that the sacrifice by which the covenant was made is really contained in the word.

* Participle of διατίθημι (diatitheemi), to appoint (see Luke 22:29).
“And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me.”
Acts 3:25 —“The covenant which God made with our fathers.”
Heb. 8:10 “This is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel
after those days, saith the Lord.”
So also Heb. 10:16. These are the only places where the verb occurs, except this passage

And the word διαθήκη (diatheekee) everywhere means covenant.
So that, in accordance with these Scriptures and facts, we may translate verses 16-18, as follows: —
“For where a covenant is, there must also of necessity be the death of him (or that) which makes [the sacrifice].
For a covenant is of force over* dead [victims or sacrifices]; otherwise it is never held to be of force while he who is the appointed [sacrifice] is alive. Where upon neither the first [covenant] was dedicated without blood,” etc.
* ἐπί means over, as marking the ground or foundation of the action.
See Matt. 24:47; Luke 12:44; 15:7 (7), 10; 19:41; 23:38; Acts 8:2;
1 Thess. 3:7; Rev. 11:10; 18:11. It is translated, “upon” and “on,” etc., many times;
but  “after ” only here and Luke 1:59.

Heb. 10:22 —“Having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience,” i.e.,
“Having our hearts sprinkled [and so being delivered] from an evil conscience.”

1 Pet. 3:20 —“Were saved by water,” i.e., “Were preserved [and delivered] by water.”

Rev. 13:3 —“And all the world wondered after the beast.” (ὀπίσω) (opisō) is an adverb of place or time, and means back, behind, after (see Rev. 1:10; 12:15). It cannot, therefore, be taken in connection simply with wondered. But the following is the sense: — “And all the world wondered [and followed] after the beast.”

Rev. 20:2 —“And bound him a thousand years,” i.e., “And bound him
[and kept him bound] a thousand years.”

From “ Figures Of Speech Used In The Bible” by E. W. Bullinger,
(Public Domain) pages 62-70. Adapted for website compatibility.
See original at link.  Stream           Download.

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