SYLLOGISMUS; or, OMISSION OF THE CONCLUSION.

Syl’-lo-gis’-mus. Greek, συλλογισμός a reckoning altogether, a bringing of all the premisses; and, the conclusion before the mind. From σύν (sun), together, and λογίζεσθαι (logizesthai), to reckon.
(Hence the word logic ).

The regular form of every argument consists of three propositions of which the first two are called premisses (the first being the major, and the latter the minor), while the last, which necessarily follows from them, is called the conclusion”.

But the term Syllogismus is given to this figure because it is a departure from this rule, the law of logic being legitimately broken for the sake of emphasis.

It falls into this division because it is a figure of Rhetoric, in which something is ornitted for the sake of emphasis. It is not the omission of words, as such, as in Ellipsis; or of sense, as in Meiosis or Tapeinosis; but it is a figure in which the premisses are stated, but the conclusion is omitted, and left to the imagination to enhance and heighten the effect; as when we say, it can be better imagined than described. Indeed, so great is the emphasis which is thus acquired that the Latins gave it other names.

They called it SIGNIFICATIO, because something is signified which is not expressed:

RATIOCINATIO, or Reasoning, because only the Reasons (and not the conclusion) are stated; or, special importance is given to the reasons, even though the conclusion may be given (See Rom. 3.)

And it is called- EMPHASIS, because of the emphasis thus given to the argument which is omitted.

1 Sam. 17:4-7 —The description of Goliath’s armour and weapons is given; and it is left for us to conclude how great his strength must have been.

Isa. 2:3, 4 — Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks.

Here the facts, or premisses, are stated, but it is left for us to draw the conclusion as to the marvellous results of this wonder working word, which going out of Zion shall bring them about. That Word of the Lord by which the heavens and earth were created shall presently be spoken and bring peace and prosperity to the nations.

Isa. 4:1 — And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying. We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel; only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach”.

This is the continuation and conclusion of chap. 3.: in which, from verse 18, the punishment of the pride of the daughters of Zion is set forth: but it is left for us to draw the solemn conclusion, How great must be the desolation:—the gates, where the husbands of the daughters of Zion used to assemble, now mourn and are deserted; (Isa. 3:26; Jer. 14:2; Lam. 1:4)—and the women whom many men did woo now come and offer themselves to one man, renouncing the legal claim of the wife
(Ex. 21:10).

Isa. 49:20 — Here the greatness of Zion’s blessing and prosperity is shown by the statement of the facts in verses 18-21. It is left for us to draw this conclusion which is left unstated.

Matt. 10:30 — But the very hairs of your head are all numbered, i.e., therefore how infinite must be the knowledge of our Father! how should I not therefore fear Him!

Matt. 24:20 — But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day. The conclusion is implied:—for then would your troubles and distress be increased and intensified beyond the power of tongue to tell.

Luke 7:44 — Thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. What is implied is—How much greater therefore is her love than yours! So verses 45 and 46.

1 Cor. 11:6 — If the woman be not covered, let her be shorn

also. But she is not shorn, therefore the conclusion is, let her be covered.

2 Thess. 3:10 — If any would not work, neither should he eat. Here the conclusion is to be supplied: Every man must eat; therefore every man must work: for it is not meant that a man’s food is to be withdrawn from him.


From “Figures Of Speech Used In The Bible” by E. W. Bullinger,
(Public Domain) page 165-166. Adapted for website compatibility.
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