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Bible Lexicons

Bullinger's Figures of Speech Used in the Bible

Paeanismos; or Exultation

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An Expression of Feeling by calling on Others to Rejoice

Pœ-an´-is´-mos. Greek, παιανισμός, the chanting of the pœan. The παιάν (pœan) was a term first applied to a physician, then generally of any saviour, or deliverer. Then it was used of a song of deliverance, or of triumph after victory, and even before it, as a war-song. Then it was used of any solemn song of triumph.* [Note: This is also written παιωνισμός; as the name from which it is derived is also written παιών. Indeed, according to the 1890 edition of Liddell and Scott, the "ω" in these words and their derivatives would seem to have been the Attic form. Moreover, according to L. and S., παιάν, παιήων (whence perhaps the Attic form) was, originally, the name of "the physician of the gods"!! In this character, they tell us, "he cures the wounded Hades and Ares" (see Hom. Il. 5:401 and 899). From him, it seems, the name came to be applied to human physicians. After Homer, L. and S. tell us, "the name and office of healing were transferred to Apollo." And from his son, Esculapius (Asclepius, in its more Greek form), physicians got another of their titles. So, then, παιάν meant a choral song, of which the main burden was ἰή (contracted from ἰήϊε, apparently, which would seem to be connected with ἰάομαι, "I heal") or ἰώ, παιάν, sung in commemoration of deliverance from some evil-[a pestilence, perhaps, originally]-and hence a song of triumph generally. Such a song would be sung before as well as after battle. Thence, again, any solemn song or chant; often sung, as an omen of success, before an undertaking.]

So that the figure consists of a calling on others to rejoice over something, instead of merely stating the thing as a matter of fact; thus emphasizing and calling attention to it.

Deuteronomy 32:43.-The song of Moses, having commenced with an Apostrophe (q.v. [Note: Which see.] ), and carried us through the whole history of Israel (see under Correspondence, page 375), ends with a glorious and triumphant Pœanismos, in which Jehovah calls on all the nations to rejoice with His People for His judgment on their enemies, and the cleansing of His People and His land: thus carrying us right on to the glory of millennial days.

The fourth book of the Psalms anticipates this time of rest and peace for the earth. Hence all are called on to rejoice now (by Prolepsis) in view of that glorious time.

A 95. Exhortation for His People and sheep (verse 1), "to come before His presence with thanksgiving" (verse 2). For the Lord is "great" (verse 3).

B a xcvi. A summons to sing the "New Song," "for he cometh."

b xcvii. The New Song, "The Lord Reigneth."

B a xcviii. A summons to sing the "New Song" "for he cometh."

b xcix. The New Song, "The Lord Reigneth."

A c. Exhortation for His People and sheep (verse 3), to "come before his presence with singing" (verse 2), for the Lord is "good" (verse 5).

Isaiah 44:23.-"Sing, O ye heavens; for the Lord hath done it, Shout," etc.

Zephaniah 3:14.-"Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem."

Then follows the reason to the end of the prophecy.

Zechariah 9:9.-"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold thy King cometh unto thee:" etc.

Luke 10:21.-"In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes."

See under Catachresis.

Philippians 4:4.-"Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice."

See under Epanadiplosis.

James 1:9.-"Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted."

The Scriptures abound with beautiful examples. See Psalms 57:8 (9), Isaiah 42:10; Isaiah 49:13. Jeremiah 51:48. Revelation 18:20, etc.


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, E. W., D.D. Entry for 'Paeanismos; or Exultation'. Bullinger's Figures of Speech Used in the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/lexicons/bullinger/141.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, November 15th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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