Dī’-al-o-gis-mos. Greek, διαλογισμός, conversation, arguing, from διαλογίζεσθαι (dialogizesthai), to converse, argue.


This figure is used when we represent one or more persons as speaking about a thing, instead of saying it ourselves: Dialogue.


The persons speak in a manner suitable to their character or condition.


When there are not two persons represented, but the objecting and answering is done by the one speaker, the figure is called LOGISMUS, and what is stated is said to be in dialogismo, or in logismo.


Sometimes the speaker brings forward another as speaking, and uses his words, adapting them to the object in view. The Latins called this figure SERMOCINATIO, which means the same thing.


Isa. 14:16-19—“ They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying. Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms?” etc.,


But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch,” etc.

Isa. 63:1-6—“ Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? This that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me; for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.” etc.


Thus, vividly and powerfully, is the day of vengeance, and of judgment, described. And yet there are persons who take this passage as treating of Christ’s past work of grace on Calvary!


Micah 2:4— “ In that day shall one take up a parable against you, and lament with a doleful lamentation, and say, We be utterly spoiled:” etc. (See under Polyptoton).


Zech. 8:20-23—“ It shall yet come to pass that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying. Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts: I will go also. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come,” etc. See Polyptoton.


Some think that Paul, when he says, in 1 Cor. 9:24, “ So run, that ye may obtain,” does not directly exhort the Corinthians himself; but by a Sermocinatio, brings forward and uses that incitement which the trainers and spectators in the public contests usually employed.


Other examples may be found under Antimetathesis, and in;

Mat 25:37  – Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?


v38  – When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?


v39 – Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

Luke 13:6  – He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.


v7  – Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?


v8  – And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:


v9  – And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.


Luke 15:20 – And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.


v21  – And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.


v22  – But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:


v23  – And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:


v24  – For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.


v25  – Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.


v26  – And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.


v27  – And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.


v28  – And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.


v29  – And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:


v30  – But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.


v31  – And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.


v32  – It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.


From “Figures Of Speech Used In The Bible” by E. W. Bullinger,
(Public Domain) pages 957-958. Adapted for website compatibility.
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