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Bible Lexicons

Bullinger's Figures of Speech Used in the Bible

Epibole; or Overlaid Repetition

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The Repetition of the same Phrase at irregular Intervals

E-pi´-bo-lee is from ἐπιβάλλειν (epiballein), to cast upon. The figure is so named, because the same sentence or phrase is cast upon or laid upon (like layers or courses of bricks) several successive paragraphs.

It thus differs from Anaphora (q.v. [Note: Which see.] ) in that it consists of the repetition of several words, whereas in Anaphora only one word is repeated.

Exodus 16:35.-"And the children of Israel did eat manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan."

Numbers 9:18.-"At the commandment of the Lord the children of Israel journeyed, and at the commandment of the Lord they pitched."

Judges 5:27.-

"At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay down:

At her feet he bowed, he fell: where he bowed, there he fell down dead."

See under Anaphora, and Asyndeton.

Psalms 29:3-4 (twice), 5, 7, 8, 9.-Where seven times, we have the words, "The voice of the Lord," commencing seven successive clauses. The number of spiritual perfection.

Isaiah 2:7-8.-"Their land also is full of silver and gold Their land also is full of idols."

Isaiah 5:8; Isaiah 5:11; Isaiah 5:18; Isaiah 5:20-22.-Six times we have paragraphs beginning "Woe unto them."

Matthew 6:19-20.-We cannot forbear to quote these verses according to their structure.

A Lay not up for yourselves

B Treasures upon earth,

C Where moth and rust doth corrupt,

D And where thieves break through and steal:

A But lay up for yourselves

B Treasures in heaven,

C Where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt,

D And where thieves do not break through nor steal.

It will be seen how in each member there is the Correspondence (q.v. [Note: Which see.] ) of the same words, or thought, by way of comparison or contrast.

Acts 20:22; Acts 25:1-27.-Where two solemn statements are emphasized by commencing

"And now, behold, I go

And now, behold, I know."


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, E. W., D.D. Entry for 'Epibole; or Overlaid Repetition'. Bullinger's Figures of Speech Used in the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/lexicons/bullinger/83.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, November 14th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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