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Bible Lexicons

Bullinger's Figures of Speech Used in the Bible

Heterosis; or Exchange of Accidence

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Exchange of one Voice, Mood, Tense, Person, Number, Degree, or Gender, for another

Het´-e-rô´-sis, ἕτερος (heteros), another, different. It is the name given to that form of Enallage which consists of an exchange, not of actual parts of speech, but of the accidence of a part of speech.

It includes an exchange of one Form of the Verb for another (e.g., intransitive for transitive); one Mood or Tense for another; one Person for another; one Degree of comparison for another; one Number or Gender for another.

When the exchange is of one Case for another, it has a separate name-Antiptôsis (see above), and when the exchange is of one Part of Speech for another, it is called Antimereia (see above).

The following are the various forms of Heterosis:-

HETEROSIS.

I. Of FORMS and VOICES.

1. Intransitive for Transitive.

2. Active for Passive.

3. Middle for Passive.

II. Of Moods.

1. Indicative for Subjunctive.

2. Subjunctive for Indicative.

3. Imperative for Indicative.

4. Imperative for Subjunctive.

5. Infinitive for Indicative.

6. Infinitive for Imperative.

III. Of Tenses.

1. Past for Present.

2. Past for Future.

3. Aorist (Indefinite) for Past.

4. Aorist (Indefinite) for Present.

5. Present for Past.

6. Present for Future.

7. Present for Paulo post futurum (i.e., a little after [Future).

8. Future for Past.

9. Future for Present.

10. Future for Imperative.

IV. Of Persons.

1. First Person for Third.

2. Second for Third.

3. Third for First or Second.

4. Plural for Singular.

5. Singular for Plural.

V. Of Adjectives (Degree) and Adverbs.

1. Positive for Comparative.

2. Positive for Superlative.

3. Comparative for Positive.

4. Comparative for Superlative.

5. Superlative for Comparative.

VI. Of Nouns (Number), Adjectives, and Pronouns.

1. Singular for Plural.

2. Plural for Singular.

3. Plural for Indefinite Number or one of many.

VII. Of Gender.

1. Masculine for Feminine.

2. Masculine for Neuter.

3. Feminine for Neuter.

4. Neuter for Masculine or Feminine.

Heterosis of the Verb

I. Of Forms and Voices

1. Intransitive for Transitive

Matthew 5:45.-"He maketh his sun to rise" (ἀνατέλλω, anatellô), to rise up.

1 Corinthians 2:2.-"I determined not to know anything among you": i.e., to make known, preach.

1 Corinthians 3:6.-"God gave the increase," and verse 7: "God that giveth the increase." So 2 Corinthians 9:10. In all other places the verb αὐξάνω (auxanô), to increase, is intransitive.

1 Corinthians 13:12.-"Then shall I know, even as I also am known": i.e., I shall be made to know or taught.

2 Corinthians 2:14.-"Now, thanks be to the God that always causeth us to triumph." Here the A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.] recognises the figure of exchange; as also in

2 Corinthians 9:8.-"God is able to make all grace abound in you."

Galatians 4:9.-"But now after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God": i.e., been made to know, or been instructed by God.

Ephesians 1:8.-"According to the riches (or wealth) of His grace which (grace) he hath made to overflow into us."

2. Active for Passive

1 Peter 2:6.-"Wherefore also it is contained in the Scriptures," lit., it contains: i.e., there is a passage in the Scripture.

3. Middle for Passive

Luke 2:5.-"To be taxed with Mary": lit., to enrol himself.

1 Corinthians 10:2.-"And were all baptized into Moses": lit., baptized themselves.

II. Heterosis of Moods

1. Indicative for Subjunctive

As the Hebrew language has no subjunctive mood, the indicative is often put instead of that mood; and this is done in the New Testament, as well as in the Old Testament, inasmuch as, though the language is Greek, the thoughts and idioms are Hebrew.

1 Corinthians 15:12.-"Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you," etc.: i.e., how is it that some among you say.

Verse 35. "But some men wilt say": i.e., may say.

Verse 50. "Neither doth corruption inherit incorruption": i.e., neither can corruption, etc.

2. Subjunctive for Indicative

Matthew 11:6.-"Blessed is he who may not be made to stumble": i.e., who is not made to stumble or seeth nothing to stumble at in me.

John 15:8.-"By this is my Father glorified, that ye may bear much fruit": i.e., that ye bear or when ye bear, etc.

1 Corinthians 6:4.-"If, then, ye may have matters of judgment" (cases for the judge): i.e., if ye have.

James 4:13.-"To-day or to-morrow we may go into such a city": i.e., we will go.

Verse 15: "If the Lord should will, and we should live": i.e., if He willeth, and we live.

Some Christians say, "If the Lord should tarry;" not perceiving that He may tarry, and yet not will that we should live, or do this or that. Tarrying and willing are two very different things.

3. Imperative for Indicative

Genesis 20:7.-"For he (Abraham) is a prophet, and let him pray for thee": i.e., (as in A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.] ), he shall pray for thee.

Genesis 42:18.-"This do ye and live": i.e., and ye shall live.

Genesis 45:18.-"I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and eat ye the fat of the land": i.e., ye shall eat (as in A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.] ).

Deuteronomy 32:50.-And be gathered unto thy people": i.e., thou shalt be gathered.

Psalms 22:8 (9).-"Roll thyself on, or trust thou in the Lord."

Whatever part of the verb גֹל (gôl) may be, it must be-put for the indicative, for it is so rendered in the Septuagint ("He trusted in the Lord"), and is so quoted in the New Testament (Matthew 27:43).

Psalms 37:27.-"Depart from evil and do good: and dwell for evermore": i.e., thou shalt dwell.

Proverbs 3:4.-"So shalt thou find favour."

Here the A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.] recognizes the figure, for the Heb. is imperative, "find." But the A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.] misses it in 4:4. "Keep my commandments and live": i.e., and thou shalt live.

Romans 5:1.-"Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God."

Here the reading, according to the R.V. [Note: The Revised Version, 1881.] and the Textual critics, should be ἔχωμεν (imperative), instead of ἔχομεν (indicative), as in the T.R. and A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.] Alford, though he recognizes the reading, and puts it in the text, yet bows to the overwhelming evidence of the sense, and the context, and contends for the Indicative. The simple solution is that this is one of the instances, if the critics are right, in which the Imperative is used for the Indicative, and though the text may say "let us have," the meaning is "we have."

1 Corinthians 16:22.-"If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maran-atha": i.e., he is or will be Anathema (or accursed) when the Lord shall come.

In prophetic utterances the future indicative is very often declared by the imperative; for "Whatsoever the Lord willeth, that doeth he."

Isaiah 8:10.-"Take counsel together speak the word": i.e., ye shall take counsel together, and it will come to naught: and ye shall speak the word, but it will not stand." So also 29:9; 37:30; 54:1, etc.

John 2:19.-"Destroy this temple." This was not a command for the Jews to destroy Him, but a prophesy that they would do so. When they perverted His words, they did not do so by taking the figure literally, but by declaring that He said "I will destroy this temple."

Galatians 6:2.-"And so fulfil (i.e., so ye will fulfil) the law of Christ."

James 5:1.-"Weep and howl:" i.e., ye shall weep and howl.

4. Imperative for Subjunctive

Numbers 24:21.-"Strong be thy dwelling place, and build in the flint-rock thy nest. Nevertheless": i.e., thou mayest put, but," etc. A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.] : "Thou puttest" (Ind. [Note: The Indicative Mood.] ), but the sense is subjunctive.

Psalms 4:4 (5).-"Stand in awe, and sin not": i.e., if ye stand in awe ye will not sin.

Nahum 3:14.-Here, all the imperative commands are conditional declarations, as is shown by verse 15: i.e., the people might do all these things, nevertheless, it would be all in vain.

Luke 10:28.-"This do, and thou shalt live": i.e., if thou do this. Hence the Imperative very often implies only permission:-

2 Samuel 18:23.-"Run": i.e., thou mayest run.

1 Kings 22:22.-"Go forth, and do so": i.e., thou mayest go, and do it.

2 Kings 2:17.-"Send": i.e., ye may send.

Matthew 8:32.-"Go": i.e., ye may go.

1 Corinthians 7:15.-"Let him depart": i.e., he may depart.

1 Corinthians 11:6.-"Let her also be shorn": i.e., she may be shorn.

5. Infinitive for Indicative

Genesis 8:5.-"And the waters were in going and returning": i.e., as in A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.] , decreased continually.

Exodus 8:15 (11).-"But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, and to harden his heart, and hearkened not unto them": i.e., hardening of his heart followed, or took place.

2 Samuel 3:18.-"By the hand of my servant David to save my people Israel": i.e., I shall save.

1 Kings 22:30 and 2 Chronicles 18:29.-"And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat: To disguise myself and to enter into the battle": I will disguise myself; or as in margin [when he was] to disguise, etc.

2 Chronicles 31:10.-"Since the People began to bring the offerings into the House of the Lord, to eat, to be satisfied, and to have left plenty": i.e., we have eaten, and had enough, and have left plenty.

Psalms 8:1 (2).-"Who to set thy glory above the heavens": who hast set. The Targum and the Syriac have the Indicative (Numbers 27:20).* [Note: See the note in Dr. Ginsburgs edition of the Hebrew Bible.]

Psalms 32:9.-"Not to understand": i.e., having no understanding.

Psalms 77:1 (2).-"Even unto God with my voice, and to hear me": i.e., and He gave ear to me, or He will hear me; or, by Ellipsis, and He [will condescend] to hear me.

Proverbs 12:6.-"The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood": i.e., lie in wait.

Isaiah 5:5.-Here, the Infinitive is correctly rendered by the Indicative future: "I will take away, and break down," etc.

Isaiah 38:16.-"So wilt thou recover me, and to make me to live": i.e., and vivify me, or preserve my life.

Isaiah 49:7.-"To him to despise in soul": i.e., to him who is despised by man.

Jeremiah 7:9.-"Will ye to steal, to murder," etc. Some interpret the letter ה (He) as interogative, but others as intensive, Will ye steal, etc. (with emphasis on the verbs).

Jeremiah 14:5.-"Yea, the hind also calved in the field, and to forsake it": i.e., and forsook it, because there was no grass; or, the sense may be supplied by Ellipsis, and [was obliged] to forsake it, etc.

Ezekiel 1:14.-"And the living creatures to run and to return": i.e., ran and returned.

Ezekiel 11:7.-"To bring you forth": i.e., I will bring you forth. "I shall bring" is actually the reading according to the Sevir, and indeed it is the Textual reading in some MSS., as well as the Editio princeps of the Hebrew Bible (Soncino, 1488), and the marginal reading of the first edition of the Rabbinic Bible by Felix Pratensis (Venice, 1517), as may be seen from the note in Dr. Ginsburgs Edition of the Hebrew Bible.

Habakkuk 2:15.-"To make him drunk": i.e., and makest him drunken also (as in A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.] ).

6. Infinitive for Imperative

Luke 9:3.-"Neither to have two coats": i.e., neither have ye.

Romans 12:15.-"To rejoice with them that rejoice": i.e., rejoice ye. See under Homœoteleuton.

Philippians 3:16.-"To walk by the same rule": i.e., let us walk, or walk ye.

III. Heterosis of the Tenses

As the Hebrew verb has only two principal tenses, the past and the future, these two with the participles supply all the other tenses. Hence, in the New Testament, where the thought and idiom are Hebrew, though the tenses are Greek they consequently have all the variety which these tenses have in Hebrew.

1. The Past for the Present

The Past not only serves to express what is finished or past, but what is present: regarding it, and also the future, as actually done. The past tense expresses what is either imperfect or perfect, or what is a gentle imperative, or a fixed determination, or a continuation of the action or state. The exact sense can be known only from the context.

Genesis 4:1.-"I have gotten a man from the Lord": i.e., I have got, or, possess.

Verse 9: "I have not known": i.e. (as in A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.] ), I know not, or, I do not know.

Genesis 23:11; Genesis 23:13.-"I have given thee the field": i.e., I give to thee the field.

Genesis 32:10 (11).-"I have been unworthy of all the mercies": i.e., I am unworthy.

2 Samuel 1:5.-"How hast thou known (i.e., how dost thou know) that Saul and Jonathan his son are dead?"

2 Kings 3:11.-"Here is Elisha, son of Shaphat, who hath poured (i.e., poureth) water on the hands of Elijah." Elijahs servant is described by part of his service (this is by the figure of Synecdoche (q.v. [Note: Which see.] ).

Psalms 1:1.-"O the happiness of that one who hath not walked (i.e., doth not (and never did) walk)," etc.

Psalms 14:1.-"The fool hath said (i.e., sayeth) in his heart, There is no God." If this Psalm refers to Nabal (a fool), we may render it: "Nabal said" or "A fool sayeth."

Psalms 25:2.-"My God, in thee I have trusted:" i.e., do I trust. So Psalms 31:1 (2). Proverbs 17:5; and in many other places: the sense being, "I have trusted, and still do trust, in Thee."

Psalms 31:6.-"Thou hast delivered (i.e., thou deliverest) me, O Jehovah."

Isaiah 9:2 (1).-"The People who walk in darkness have seen (i.e., see) a great light."

John 1:4.-"In him was (i.e., is) life, and the life was (i.e., is) the light of men."

Verse 15: "This was (i.e., is) he of whom I spake."

John 3:16.-"God so loved (i.e., loveth) the world, that he gave (i.e., giveth) his only begotten Son."

John 9:36.-"Who is he, Lord, that I shall have believed (i.e., may believe) on him."

John 20:17.-"Hold me not, for I have not yet ascended": i.e., I do not yet ascend, or am not yet ascended.

Acts 12:14.-Rhoda "told Peter to be standing before the porch": i.e., how Peter is standing.

Romans 5:2.-"This grace wherein ye have stood": i.e., and continue to stand.

1 Corinthians 1:10.-"In whom we have hoped (and continue to hope)."

Hebrews 10:11.-"And every high priest stood (i.e., standeth) daily" (as in A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.] ).

James 1:24.-"He beheld himself, and has gone away": i.e., he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way.

1 John 3:6.-"Whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him": i.e., seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him.

2. The Past for the Future

This is put when the speaker views the action as being as good as done. This is very common in the Divine prophetic utterances: where, though the sense is literally future, it is regarded and spoken of as though it were already accomplished in the Divine purpose and determination: the figure is to show the absolute certainty of the things spoken of.

Genesis 45:9-10.-"Haste ye and go up to my father, then ye have said (i.e., will say) to him and thou hast dwelt (i.e., wilt dwell) in the land of Goshen."

Exodus 17:4.-"They have stoned me": i.e., they will stone me.

1 Samuel 2:31.-"Lo, the days are coming, and I have cut off thine arm": i.e., shall cut off, etc.

1 Samuel 10:2.-"Thou hast found": i.e., wilt find.

1 Samuel 6:7-8.-"And ye have bound (i.e., will bind)," etc.

Job 19:27.-"And mine eyes have beheld" (i.e., will have seen).

Psalms 23:5.-"Thou hast anointed": i.e., wilt anoint.

Psalms 107:42.-"And all iniquity hath shut (i.e., will have shut) her mouth."

Proverbs 1:22.-"The scorners have delighted (i.e., will delight) in their scorning."

Proverbs 11:7; Proverbs 11:21.-"The hope of the unjust men hath perished": i.e., will perish: but just ones seed hath escaped: i.e., will escape.

Proverbs 12:21.-"And the wicked have been (i.e., will be) full of evil."

Jeremiah 21:9.-"Whosoever goeth forth and hath fallen unto the Chaldeans": i.e., shall fall, etc.

As we have said above, nearly all the prophecies are thus written. See Isaiah 11:1-16 : "And a rod hath come out of the stock of Jesse," and often through the chapter.

John 3:13.-"No man hath ascended up into the heaven": i.e. ascend up, or can ascend.

John 4:38.-"Other men laboured, and ye have entered (i.e. shall enter, or are entered) into their labours."

Romans 8:30.-The called are spoken of as already (in the Divine purpose) in Christ, justified, yea, even glorified.

Ephesians 2:6.-Believers are regarded as already raised from the dead and seated in the heavenly places.

Hebrews 2:7.-"Thou hast made (i.e., Thou wilt make) Him for a little while less than the angels." For this was a prophecy spoken of Christ long before, in Psalms 8:1-9

Hebrews 3:14.-"We have been made (i.e., we shall become) partakers of Christ, if we hold," etc.

Hebrews 12:22.-"But ye have come (i.e., shall come) unto Mount Zion," etc.

3. The Aorist for the Past

The Aorist, or indefinite past tense, is used to denote an action definitely past and completed some time ago.

Matthew 14:3.-"Now Herod, having laid hold of John, bound him": i.e., had bound him.

John 18:24.-"New Annas sent him (i.e., had sent him) bound unto Caiaphas."

4. The Aorist for the Present

The Aorist is sometimes put for a past action or state continued up to the present time.

Matthew 23:2.-"The Scribes and Pharisees sat (i.e., and continue to sit) in Moses seat."

Mark 16:19.-"Was taken up into heaven, and sat (i.e., sat and continues to sit) on the right hand of God."

Luke 1:47.-"My spirit rejoiced": i.e., hath rejoiced and doth rejoice. A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.] , "hath rejoiced."

Luke 15:16.-"And he was longing to have filled": i.e., to fill.

John 1:12.-"To them gave he authority to have become (i.e., to become, or that they might be) sons of God."

1 John 4:8.-"He that loveth not, knew not (i.e., knoweth not, or never knew) God."

John 11:56.-"What think ye, that he will not have come (i.e., there is no hope of his coming) to the feast?"

John 15:6.-"Except anyone abide in me he was cast out (i.e., will be cast out), and was (i.e., will be) burned." See under Ellipsis.

5. The Present for the Past

Matthew 2:13.-"And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth (i.e., appeared)."

John 3:13.-"No man hath ascended into heaven, but the Son of man who is (i.e., who was) in heaven." Note that the perfect of the first verb is used for the future, as already observed above.

Acts 9:26.-"They were all afraid of him, not believing (or refusing to believe) that he is (i.e., was. So the A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.] ) a disciple."

Galatians 2:14.-"But when I saw that they do (i.e., did) not walk uprightly."

Hebrews 2:16.-"For not, indeed, of angels nature He taketh (i.e., took) hold, but of Abrahams seed He taketh (i.e., took) hold."

Hebrews 7:3.-"He remaineth (i.e., remained) a priest all his life."

Hebrews 7:8.-"One testified of that he liveth" (i.e., that he lived, viz., a priest) all his life. See above.

6. The Present for the Future

This is put when the design is to show that some thing will certainly come to pass, and is spoken of as though it were already present.

Matthew 2:4.-"Demanded of then where Christ should be (i.e., is to be) born."

Matthew 3:10.-"Every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down": i.e., will be hewn down.

Matthew 5:46.-"What reward have ye?" i.e., will ye have?

Matthew 17:11.-"Elias indeed cometh (i.e., will come) first."

Matthew 26:29.-"Until the day when I drink (i.e., shall be drinking) it with you new," etc.

Mark 9:31.-"The Son of man is delivered (i.e., will be delivered) unto the hands of men."

Luke 13:32.-"And the third day I am (i.e., shall be) perfected."

1 Corinthians 15:2.-"By which also ye are (i.e., will be) saved."

1 Corinthians 15:12.-"How say some among you that there is (i.e., will or can be) no resurrection of the dead?"

2 Peter 3:11.-"Seeing that all these things are (i.e., shall be) dissolved."

2 Peter 3:12.-"And the elements are (i.e., shall be) melted."

Other examples may be seen in Matthew 11:3. John 7:27; John 7:33-34; John 8:58; John 10:17-18; John 12:26; John 12:34; John 13:6; John 13:27; John 16:16. Acts 1:6. 1 Corinthians 15:35; 1 Corinthians 16:5. Revelation 11:5, etc., etc.

7. The Present for the Paulo post futurum*
[Note: This tense differs from the simple or perfect future by denoting and referring to something which will soon be past.]

Matthew 26:24.-"The Son of man indeed goeth (i.e., will soon be gone, or given over), as it is written of Him."

So verse 45. Mark 14:41. Luke 22:22; Luke 22:37. John 13:3; John 14:3; John 14:18-19; John 17:11, etc.

Luke 22:19.-"Which is given (i.e., which will soon have been given) for you."

2 Timothy 4:6.-"For I already am being poured (or offered)": i.e., I shall soon have been offered up.

8. The Future for the Past

The future is used for the past when it is understood that the thing or matter was future at the time of writing or speaking.

Exodus 15:5.-"The depths will cover (i.e., have covered and will continue to cover) them."

Judges 2:1.-"I shall make (i.e., I made) you to go up out of Egypt and shall bring (i.e., have brought) you into the land which I sware unto your fathers." When the angel spake this it was past: when Jehovah said it, it was future.

Judges 5:8.-"He (i.e., Israel) will choose (i.e., he chose) new Gods." For Deborah is speaking of the cause of the affliction which had fallen upon the People: viz., idolatry.

Judges 21:25.-"Each man will do (i.e., did) what was right in his own eyes."

2 Samuel 3:33.-"And the king lamented over Abner, and said, Will Abner die as a fool dieth?" (i.e., as in A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.] , Died Abner, etc.).

2 Samuel 12:3.-"She will (i.e., did) eat of his own meat, and will drink (i.e., drank) of his own cup, and will lie (i.e., lay) in his bosom, and so she became unto him as a daughter."

Isaiah 63:3.-"I shall tread (i.e., I have trodden) " as in the rest of the verse.

9. The Future for the Present

This is a case in which what was then future at the time of speaking, remained, or remains, as a present fact. The present in this case is often in the subjunctive or reflexive mood.

Genesis 2:10.-"And thence it will part (i.e., gets parted, or parts itself) and becomes four heads."

Numbers 18:7.-"I shall give (i.e., I do give) your priests office unto you as a service of gift": i.e., the gift at the time of speaking was future; but, ministry remains an ever present gift.

Job 3:20.-"Wherefore will light be given to him that is in misery?" (i.e., is light given).

Psalms 1:2.-"And in His Law he will (i.e., doth) meditate." So Psalms 3:5 (6); 22:2 (3); 25:1; 31:5 (6). Hosea 1:2, etc.

Matthew 12:31.-"Every sin and blasphemy will be (i.e., may be) forgiven to men.

Luke 6:7.-"Whether he will heal (i.e., whether he does heal) on the sabbath day." Here the Critical Texts actually read the present tense, as in the next passage (Luke 23:46).

Luke 23:46.-"Father, into thy hands I shall commend (i.e., I commend) my spirit."

Romans 3:30.-"Seeing it is one God which shall (i.e., doth) justify."

10. The Future for the Imperative

The Future of the Indicative is by Hebrew idiom frequently used for the Imperative. When this is the case, the Imperative is very forcible and emphatic; not being so much a mere command as the assertion of a fact which could hardly be otherwise. All the ten commandments are in this form.

"Thou wilt not" not merely "shalt not."

Judges 5:21.-"O my soul, thou wilt tread down strength": i.e., tread thou down (not, as in A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.] , "hast trodden down"); or, R.V. [Note: The Revised Version, 1881.] : "march on."

So Psalms 5:11 (12).

1 Corinthians 5:13.-"Ye will put away (i.e., put away) from among yourselves that wicked person.

1 Timothy 6:8.-"We shall be content": i.e., let us be content.

IV. Heterosis of Person and Number (Verbs)

In order to make what is said more emphatic, Hebrew idiom sometimes changes the number and person of the verb. In most of these cases the figure is correctly rendered in the A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.] , so that we need only give a few examples which are there passed over.

1. The First Person for the Third

Ecclesiastes 3:18.-"I said in my heart according to the reasoning of the sons of men": i.e., according to the reasoning of man, or human reasoning: i.e., man says in his heart.

In Romans 7:1-25, Paul, though speaking in the first person, is saying what is true of all who share his experience: and not merely speaking of his own case as being peculiar or different from others.

Romans 10:18.-"But I say." Who says it? David! But by the Holy Spirit what David said is now repeated by Paul in the first person.

2. The Second Person for the Third

Isaiah 1:29.-"They shall be ashamed for the oaks which ye (i.e., they) have desired," etc.

For they desired them, of course: yet the persons addressed were equally guilty and are thus by the sudden change of persons charged with the same sin.

Isaiah 42:20.-"Seeing many things, but thou observest not": (i.e., he observes not) as in the rest of the verse.

Jeremiah 29:19.-"But ye (i.e., they) would not hear."

Galatians 6:1.-"Ye that are spiritual restore such an one, in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself (instead of yourselves)." This is in order to emphasize the fact that those who are thus addressed stand each in the same individual danger.

3. The Third person for the First or Second

Genesis 49:4.-"Because thou wentest up to thy fathers bed; then defiledst thou it: he went (i.e., thou wentest) up to my couch."

Isaiah 54:1.-Here the third person is rendered correctly in A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.] by the second.

Lamentations 3:1.-"I am the man, he hath (i.e., I have) seen affliction."

Micah 7:18.-Here we have "his" inheritance, after the address "like thee."

4. The Plural for the Singular

Genesis 29:27.-"Fulfil her week, and we (i.e., I) will give thee this also for thy service."

Numbers 22:6.-"Peradventure I shall prevail, that we (i.e., I) may smite them."

2 Samuel 16:20.-"Then said Absalom to Ahithophel, Give counsel among you What shall we (i.e., I) do?"

Job 18:2.-"How long will it be ere ye (i.e., thou) make an end of words? mark, and afterwards we (i.e., I) will speak."

Daniel 2:36.-"This is the dream; and we (i.e., I) will tell the interpretation thereof."

Mark 4:30.-"Whereunto shall we (i.e., I) liken the kingdom of God?"

John 3:11.-"We (i.e., I) speak that we (i.e., I) know, and testify that we (i.e., I) have seen; and ye receive not our (i.e., my) witness."

John 21:24.-"And we (i.e., I) know that his testimony is true."

Romans 1:5.-"By whom we (i.e., I, Paul) have received grace and apostleship." (See also Hendiadys).

1 Timothy 2:15.-"She will be saved through the child-bearing if they (i.e., Eve and all her daughters) abide in faith," etc.

5. The Singular for the Plural

Numbers 32:25.-"Spake" is (sing) "he spake": i.e., the tribe as composed of the children of Gad," etc. It is put for the plural, "they spake"; and it should really be "they spake" (viz., the children of Gad and the children of Reuben), according to the Sevir. This extra-official reading is the Textual reading in several MSS.; in the Samaritan Text, in the Targums of Jonathan and Onkelos, the Septuagint, the Syriac, and the Vulgate. See the note in Dr. Ginsburgs Hebrew Bible. So 1 Samuel 16:4 : i.e., one particular elder spoke for all. But the sing. [Note: The Singular Number.] is put for the plural: for here, again, according to the note in Dr. Ginsburgs Text, the verb should be in the plural. This is not only the reading according to the Sevir, but it is in the Text of many MSS., the Editio princeps of the Prophets (Soncino, 1485-6), the first edition of the Hebrew Bible (1488), the Targum, the LXX. [Note: The Septuagint Version (325 b.c.).] Syriac, and the Vulgate.

V. Heterosis of Degree

The Hebrew has no degrees of comparison in the Adjective: hence other methods are adopted to express them.

In the New Testament, while the language is Greek, the thoughts and idioms are Hebrew; so that the Hebrew methods of comparison are frequently adopted; and thus we have, by the use of Enallage, several examples of exchange in the expression of Degree. (See under Idiom).

1. The Positive for the Comparative

Where the positive is used with the comparative particle (ee), than, it implies that, though there may be in one sense a comparison, yet, in another and true sense, there is really no comparison at all; for the use of the positive declares that the one case is so, rather than the other, which is not so.

Psalms 118:8-9.-"It is good to trust in the Lord, rather than to put confidence in man": i.e., the one is good, the other is not; yea, it is accursed (see Jeremiah 17:5; Jeremiah 17:7).

Matthew 12:7.-"I will have mercy, and not sacrifice": i.e., rather than sacrifice.

Matthew 18:8.-"It is good for thee": i.e., (as in A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.] ) it is better for thee, etc. But the meaning is that the one condition is good, and not the other. Hence it is expressed "rather than the other."

Mark 3:4.-"Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath-days or to do evil?": i.e., more lawful to do good than to do evil. The evil His enemies did on the sabbath was in watching Him.

Luke 18:14.-"I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other."

Here, the A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.] has translated it not as a comparative, but as positive; supplying the word "rather," which is quite correct. The thought being that, while there must be a comparison between the two men, the one was justified and the other was not.

The whole parable is concerning justification and not about prayer. See verse 9.

John 6:27.-"Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for the meat that endureth to eternal life": i.e., labour more for the latter than for the former, or rather than.

John 15:22.-"If I had not come and spoken to them, they had not had sin": i.e., so much sin.

1 Corinthians 3:7.-"So neither is the planter anything, nor the waterer; but God that maketh grow": i.e., they were nothing in comparison with God.

2. The Positive for the Superlative

1 Samuel 17:14.-"And David was the small one (i.e., the smallest): and the three great ones (i.e., the greater or greatest three) followed Saul."

2 Chronicles 21:17.-"The small one (i.e., the smallest) of his sons."

Jonah 3:5.-"From their great one (i.e., the greatest one among them) to their small (i.e., smallest) one."

Matthew 5:19.-"Whosoever therefore shall break one of these shortest commandments and shall teach men so, he shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." See under Synœceiosis.

3. The Comparative for the Positive

1 Timothy 3:14.-"Hoping to come unto thee more quickly": i.e., soon; or, as in A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.] , shortly.

2 Timothy 1:18.-"And in how many things he ministered to me in Ephesus thou knowest better": i.e., well; or (as in A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.] ), very well: i.e., to well to need reminding of.

4. The Comparative for the Superlative

Matthew 13:32.-"Which indeed is less than (or least of) all the seeds (which men sow in the fields)."

Matthew 18:1.-"Who then is greater in the kingdom of heaven": or (as in A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.] ), greatest.

John 10:29.-"My Father, which gave them me, is greater than (i.e., greatest of) all."

1 Corinthians 13:13.-"But the greater (i.e., the greatest) of these is charity."

1 Corinthians 15:19.-"If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men more (i.e., most, as in A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.] ) miserable."

5. The Superlative for the Comparative

2 Thessalonians 2:3.-"Except there come the apostacy first": i.e., before it.

1 John 4:19.-"We love Him because He first loved us": i.e., before we loved Him.

VI. Heterosis of Number

1. The Singular for the Plural

Genesis 3:8.-"Hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the tree (i.e., trees) of the garden"; or, perhaps, tree in the sense of tree-growth or "a wood" as we speak of a collection of trees.

Genesis 49:6.-"In their anger they slew a man (i.e., men) and in their self-will they houghed an ox (i.e., oxen)."

Exodus 14:17.-Here, the A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.] has taken the singular "chariot" as though put for the plural. But it is a question whether it be so in this case, owing to the alternate structure.

a Pharaoh.

b His host.

a Pharaohs chariot.

b His horsemen.

Exodus 15:1; Exodus 15:21.-"The horse and his rider": i.e., horses and their riders."

Exodus 23:28.-"I shall send the hornet before thee": i.e., hornets (without the article).

Leviticus 11:2.-"This is the beast which ye shall eat": i.e., these are the beasts, as in A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.]

2 Corinthians 11:26.-"Dangers in the city (i.e., cities, or city-dangers), dangers in the wilderness (i.e., wildernesses, or wilderness-dangers)."

1 Corinthians 6:5.-"One who shall be able to judge between his brother": i.e., his brethren.

2. The Plural for the Singular

This is so put when great excellence or magnitude is denoted.

Our attention is thus called to the importance of the thing or matter concerning which the statement is made.

Genesis 4:10.-"Bloods": i.e., much blood.

Leviticus 19:24.-"It shall be holy to praise the Lord withal." Heb. (margin), it shall be "holiness of praises to the Lord": i.e., the fruit of a young tree was not to be eaten for three years, but in the fourth year it was to be counted as holy to the great praise and glory of Jehovah. See under Prosopopœia.

Genesis 19:11.-"And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with the blindnesses": i.e., with intense blindness (as in 2 Kings 6:18, the only occurrences of this word).

2 Samuel 3:28.-"Bloods": i.e., much blood.

1 Chronicles 28:3.-"Bloods": i.e., much blood.

Psalms 22:3 (4).-"O Thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel": i.e., the loud or perfect praise.

Psalms 28:8.-"The Lord is their strength, and he is the strength of salvations": i.e., great saving strength or strength of great and mighty salvation. The margin has "his strength," but למו stands for לעמו written defective for plene, as is shown and preserved in some ancient versions and noted in R.V. [Note: The Revised Version, 1881.] margin.* [Note: See Dr. Ginsburgs edition of the Hebrew Bible.] The meaning thus is:-

"Jehovah is the strength of his people,

And He is the strength of great salvation of His anointed."

Psalms 42:5 (6), 11 (12); 43:5.-"I shall yet praise him for the helps or healths": i.e., the wonderful help, great deliverance, or great salvation.

Psalms 45:15 (16).-"With gladnesses and rejoicing shall they be brought": i.e., with great gladness and rejoicing.

Psalms 47:6 (7).-"Praises": i.e., great or loudest praise.

Psalms 49:3 (4).-"My mouth shall speak wise things": i.e., great wisdom.

Psalms 51:17 (19).-"The sacrifices of God": the great sacrifice of God is a broken spirit.

Psalms 90:10.-"And if by reason of strengths (or excellencies)": i.e., of great strength.

Psalms 139:14.-"I will confess thee, because that (with) wonders (i.e., with great wonder) I have been distinguished, and wonderful are thy works."

Psalms 144:7.-"Send thine hands from above; rid me and deliver me": i.e., send thy gracious protection and great delivering power.

The singular is actually the Textual reading, not only in some Manuscripts, but in the Editio princeps of the Hagiographa (Naples, 1486-7), the Targum, the LXX [Note: XX The Septuagint Version (325 b.c.).] , the Syriac, and the Vulgate. See Dr. Ginsburgs note on this passage in his edition of the Hebrew Bible.

See under Anthropopatheia.

Ecclesiastes 5:6 (7).-"Vanities": i.e., great vanity.

Isaiah 26:2.-"Which keepeth truths": i.e., the great and important truth of God.

Isaiah 58:11.-"In droughts": i.e., in great drought.

Jeremiah 22:21.-"I spake unto thee in thy prosperities (i.e., in thy great prosperity), but thou saidst, I will not hear."

Lamentations 1:9.-"Wonders": i.e., a great wonder.

Lamentations 3:22.-"It is of the Lords mercies": i.e., great mercy.

Ezekiel 22:2.-"The city of the bloods": i.e., the city where so much blood has been shed.

Ezekiel 28:10.-"Deaths": i.e., the awful death.

Daniel 2:18.-"Mercies": i.e., great mercy.

Matthew 26:65.-"Then the High Priest rent his clothes": i.e., his great robe of office.

John 1:13.-"Not of bloods": i.e., not of the best or purest blood; or not of the very best of human parents.

Romans 12:1.-"Mercies": i.e., great mercy.

1 Corinthians 15:29.-It has been suggested that in this passage we have the plural for the singular. "What shall they do which are baptized for the dead?" (plural) i.e., for Christ, who was put to death.

But see this passage under Ellipsis (page 41).

2 Corinthians 1:3.-"Mercies": i.e., great mercy.

Hebrews 9:12.-"Into the holies": i.e., the most holy place.

Hebrews 9:23.-"With better sacrifices than these": i.e., one better and greater sacrifice; for Christ offered only one sacrifice.

Hebrews 10:28.-"Without mercies": i.e., without the least mercy.

James 1:17.-"Father of lights": i.e., true light. Hence, the Father who is the source of all true light (being the genitive of origin).

The R.V. [Note: The Revised Version, 1881.] is a gloss and not a translation:-"Neither as lording it over the charge allotted to you." The great point is that Gods People are His great inheritance; and that no man has a right to assume lordship or headship over it. It is Peter who says this by the Holy Spirit. The Greek is τῶν κλήρων (tôn kleerôn), the word from which we have the term "clergy." So that mans thought is just the opposite of God


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, E. W., D.D. Entry for 'Heterosis; or Exchange of Accidence'. Bullinger's Figures of Speech Used in the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/lexicons/bullinger/108.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, September 18th, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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