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Bullinger's Figures of Speech Used in the Bible

Hypallage; or Interchange

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Interchange of Construction

Hy-pal´-la-gee, ὑπαλλαγή, from ὑπό (hypo), under, and ἀλλάσσειν (allassein), to change. An underchange or interchange.

Hypallage differs from Antiptosis in that it relates to an interchange of construction whereby an adjective or other word, which logically belongs to one connexion, is grammatically united with another, so that what is said of or attributed to one thing ought to be said of or attributed to the other.

In the case of two nouns (the latter in regimen), they are interchanged in sense, not as in Antiptosis (where the former becomes an adjective instead of the latter), but they are reversed in order or construction without regard to the purely adjectival sense.

Shakespeare makes Cassius say of Julius CAEsar:

"His coward lips did from their colour fly."

Instead of "the colour did fly from his coward lips."

This interchange attracts attraction to what is said, and thus emphasizes the true and real meaning.

Genesis 10:9.-"A strong man of hunting": i.e., a mighty hunter, as in A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.] and R.V. [Note: The Revised Version, 1881.]

Here, according to the ordinary usage, the word "hunting" would be (by Enallage) the qualifying word: a hunting man of strength; but, by Hypallage, there is an Interchange, by which the noun becomes the adjective: a mighty hunter.

Genesis 29:14.-"And he abode with him a month of days": i.e., the days of a month; a calendar month. A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.] : "The space of a month."

Leviticus 12:4.-"The blood of her purifying" or "purgation": i.e., in the purgation or cleansing from her blood.

Deuteronomy 12:3.-"The graven images of their gods": i.e., their gods consisting of graven images.

Joshua 2:6.-"She hid them with the flax of stalks": i.e., with the stalks of flax (as in A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.] ), or flax-stalks.

2 Samuel 12:27.-"I have fought against Rabbah and have taken the city of waters": i.e., taken or cut off the waters of the city. 2 Samuel 12:28 shows he had not taken the city, for Joab says to David, come "lest I take the city."

When, therefore, in verse 26, it is said he "took the royal city," it must mean the royal part of the city, where the king resided.

1 Kings 17:14.-"Thus saith the Lord God of Israel: The barrel of meal (i.e., the meal in the barrel) shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil (i.e., the oil in the cruse) fail."

Nehemiah 10:34.-"For the offering of wood": i.e., the wood for the offering, unless it mean the free supply of wood.

Esther 9:19.-"That dwelt in the cities of the villages": i.e., in the villages belonging to the cities.

Job 31:27.-"Or my hand hath kissed my mouth": i.e. (as A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.] renders it), my mouth hath kissed my hand.

Psalms 19:13 (14).-"Keep back also thy servant from presumptious sins": i.e., keep back presumptuous sins from thy servant, "let them not," etc.

Psalms 139:23-24.-"Search me, O God (El) and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting": i.e., see if I be in any wicked way. The Heb. is "a way of grief:" where grief (the effect of a wicked way) is put (by Metonymy) for the wicked way which causes it. See Metonymy.

Proverbs 26:23.-"Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver of dross": i.e., dross of silver.

Jeremiah 11:19.-"I knew not that they had devised devices against me, saying, Let us destroy his dish in his-food": i.e., the food in his dish.

Ezekiel 21:29 (34).-"In the time of the iniquity of the end": i.e., in the time of the end of their iniquity; or, as in A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.] , "when their iniquity shall have an end."

Matthew 8:3.-"His leprosy was cleansed": i.e., he was cleansed from his leprosy. Or perhaps leprosy is put (by Metonymy of the adjunct) for the person diseased with it. See under Metonymy.

Acts 5:20.-"All the words of this life": i.e., all these words of life.

Romans 5:17.-"Abundance of grace": i.e., abounding grace (not gracious abounding).

Romans 7:24.-"Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" i.e., this body of death (as in A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.] margin); or, this mortal, dying body. Not until this mortal body shall die, or be changed and glorified, shall the saints be delivered from their conflict between the old and the new natures. It cannot be accomplished by vows or resolutions, or by discipline, which is the fond idea and aim of all who are ignorant of this teaching, from Rome to Keswick.

Romans 9:31.-"But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness": i.e., to the righteousness of the law.

Romans 15:19.-"So that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ": i.e., I have filled, with the gospel of Christ, Jerusalem and round about, etc.

2 Corinthians 3:7.-"If the ministration (or ministry) of death written and engraven in stones." It was the letters, not the ministry, which were engraven on stones.

Galatians 6:1.-"The spirit of meekness": i.e., meekness of spirit.

Ephesians 1:9.-"The mystery of His will."

The word μυστήριον (musteerion) rendered mystery always means a secret. And here it is the Secret pertaining to Gods purpose: i.e., the Secret which He hath purposed; or, by the figure Hypallage, His Secret purpose, because the noun in regimen is the word qualified instead of the word which qualifies.

In Judith 2:2 we have the remarkable expression: Nebuchadnezzar "called together all his servants, and all his great men, and communicated with them his secret counsel": i.e., the secret of his will. The word μυστήριον is the same in each case, but in the case of Nebuchadnezzar it was the secret of his βουλή (boulee): i.e., his will, because he had determined it: while in Ephesians 1:9, it is the secret of God’s θέλημα (theleema): i.e., His will, because He desired it. Hence the meaning is "Gods secret purpose or counsel."

Hebrews 9:15.-"That they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance": i.e., the eternal inheritance which had been promised.

Hebrews 9:23.-Here, the purification attributed to the heavenly things really applies to those who shall enter; as is clear from the former part of the verse.

James 2:17.-"Faith is dead": i.e., the man who says he has such faith is dead.

James 3:4.-"Wherever the impulse of the steersman may will": i.e., as in A.V. [Note: The Authorized Version, or current Text of our English Bible, 1611.] , whithersoever the governor (i.e., pilot) listeth.

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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, E. W., D.D. Entry for 'Hypallage; or Interchange'. Bullinger's Figures of Speech Used in the Bible.

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