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Bible Lexicons

Bullinger's Figures of Speech Used in the Bible

Prolepsis (Occupatio); or Anticipation

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The answering of an Argument by anticipating it before it is used

Pro-leep´-sis. Greek, πρόληψις, a taking beforehand, from πρό (pro), beforehand, and λαμβάνειν (lambanein), to take or receive.

This is a beautiful figure; by which we anticipate objections to what we are stating.

The other general names of this figure are:

PROCATALEPSIS (Pro´-cat-a-leep´-sis). Greek, προκατάληψις, a seizing beforehand, pre-occupation.

APANTESIS (Ap´-an-tee´-sis). Greek, ἀπάντησις, a meeting; hence a meeting of an objection by anticipation.

The Latins called it:

OCCUPATIO, anticipation.

ANTEOCCUPATIO, anticipation beforehand.

PRAEMONITIO, a defending beforehand, obviating objections.

All these different names show us the importance of the figure in argumentation.

There is another kind of Prolepsis, which has to do only with time. It is distinguished from our present figure in that while it anticipates and speaks of future things as present it really adjourns the application of the words, and is called AMPLIATIO, or adjournment. (See pages 689 and 914).

The form of Prolepsis which we are considering is an anticipation which has to do with Argumentation; and hence is distinguished from the other by the word OCCUPATIO: i.e., we not only anticipate what is coming, but occupy and deal with it, instead of adjourning or Putting it off. See Section 4, above.

Prolepsis, as relating to Argumentation is of two kinds: (i.) Tecta, or, closed; and (ii.) Aperta, or, open.

I. Tecta, or Closed Prolepsis, is where the anticipated objection is merely stated or implied, not answered; or answered, but not plainly stated.

II. Aperta, or Open Prolepsis, is where the anticipated objection is both answered and stated.

We will consider these in order with the different names which have been given to them.

I. Tecta:

From the Latin tego, to roof or cover. The Prolepsis is so called when it anticipates the objection, but confines itself merely to stating it. It is called HYPOPHORA, hy-poph´-o-ra. Greek, ὑποφόρα, a holding under, putting forward; then, that which is held forth, an objection.

Sometimes the objection is not stated, but is implied by the answer which is given.

Romans 9:6.-"Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel which are of Israel."

The objection which is met is this: If Israel be rejected and cast off for a time (as is going to be shown), then the Word of God has failed, and is ineffectual. No! For they are not all Israel which are of Israel. And there is to be a People taken out from among the Gentiles for His name, as well as a remnant of Israel, according to the election of grace.

Romans 10:18.-"But I say, Have they not heard? (Anticipating the objection that they have not heard.) Yes verily," etc.

Romans 11:1.-"I say then, Hath God cast away his people?" (Anticipating the objection, which many make even until to-day.) To which he replies, "God forbid," etc.

Romans 11:11.-"I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall [for ever]?" (Thus anticipating the objection that they had done so, and meeting it in the words that follow), or, "Their falling away was not the object (or purpose) of their stumbling, was it?"

II. Aperta

Latin, aperta, open. This use of the figure is so called, because not only is the objection anticipated; but it is stated, and the answer also is given.

The names for this variation are ANTHYPOPHORA, an´-thy-poph´-o-ra. Greek, ἀνθυποθὁρα, a reply to an objection; from ἀντί (anti), against, ὑπό (hypo), under, and φορέω (phoreô), to bring or put under. Hence, a substitution by stealth. The figure being so called because, by stealth, we take our opponents objection, and substitute it for our own.

It was also called

SCHESIS, schee´-sis. Greek, αχῆσις, a checking; because, by anticipating the objection, we check the opponent, and keep him from speaking or replying.

ANASCHESIS, an-a´-sche-sis´. Greek, ἀνάσχεσις, a taking on ones self.

PROSAPODOTON, pros-a-pod´-o-ton. Greek, προσαπόδοτον, a giving back to or besides.

HYPOBOLE, hy-pob´-o-lee. Greek, ὑποβολή, a throwing under.

Isaiah 49:14.-Zions objection is not merely anticipated in this verse, but is answered in the next.

"But Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me."

"Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee."

Matthew 3:9.-"Think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able even of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham." See under Parechesis.

Romans 3:1-10.-Under the figure Antimetathesis, we have shown how the objections of an imaginary Jewish opponent are here stated and met. See section 2, above: "As to persons."

Romans 4:1-3.-The objection is met, that Abraham was justified by works-his faith being a work. This is shewn in verse 4 and the following verses to be impossible, as denying the very first principles of grace.

Romans 6:1-2.-"What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, who have died to sin, live any longer therein?"

That is to say: If those who are "in Christ" died in Gods purpose when Christ died, how can they live in sin?

Romans 7:7.-"What shall we say then? that the Law is sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the Law."

Romans 9:14-15.-"What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For," etc.

Romans 9:19.-See above under Anteisagoge.

Romans 11:20-21.-See above under Epitrope.

1 Corinthians 15:35-36.-"But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou foolish man! that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die."

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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, E. W., D.D. Entry for 'Prolepsis (Occupatio); or Anticipation'. Bullinger's Figures of Speech Used in the Bible.

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Wednesday, November 13th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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