An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 6 - Doctrinal Truth - Page 139 of 270
read, 'all the families of the earth', but after Israel were set aside in
Acts 28, we read of different families in heaven and earth.  The reader's
attention is directed to the note on Ephesians 3:15 on page 1771 of The
Companion Bible, which will round off the present article quite effectively.
Figures of Speech.  An examination of the scope of the subject.  The first
examination in Scriptural subjects taken by the writer after his conversion
was in the subject of the 'figurative language of the Bible', following a
course of lectures given by the Rev. James Neil, M.A.  His little book,
entitled Strange Figures,* consisting of only ninety -six pages, is a
treasure, and every reader is urged to secure a copy whenever the opportunity
occurs.  The larger and more complete work on the subject is, of course,
Figures of Speech Used in the Bible by Dr. E. W. Bullinger, which has become
a classic.  In that work, two hundred and seventeen figures of speech are
tabulated, explained and illustrated by Scripture, these illustrations
amounting to nearly 8,000 references.
Strange Figures can only be obtained now second -hand.
The Companion Bible, in Appendix 6, gives a list of 181 figures of
speech, arranged in alphabetical order with their classical and English
names, a short explanation, and several Scriptural references.  A patient
examination of this appendix alone would provide a very useful acquaintance
with the figures of speech used in the Bible.  The alphabetical order,
however, although suitable for easy reference, does not provide the best way
of learning or appreciating the subject.  The first figure given in
this appendix is Accismus or Apparent Refusal (Matt. 15:22 -26).  Now this is
starting the subject in the middle.  We have to learn that Accismus is a
figure of speech involving change; and further, that change affects the
meaning, the arrangement, and the application of words.  We discover,
further, that Accismus involves change of application.  In general,
application may affect sense, person, subject -matter, feeling, and
argumentation; and in this particular case of Accismus, it is a change in the
application of its argumentation.  Now this cannot be appreciated merely by
reading lists of words.  We must approach the subject, as we must approach
all other lines of study, by seeing it first as a whole, then in its primary
subdivision, and then gradually descending until we arrive at the individual
Figures of speech are a part of the subject 'Language', and 'Language'
includes grammar and rhetoric.  Grammar has to do with words in their
constructive arrangements; Rhetoric is concerned with the art of speaking
with persuasion.  Another branch of the science of language is etymology, or
a study of the derivation and pedigree of words.  These three branches of the
science of language cover the range of figures of speech.  These may be
grouped as follows:
Figures of Etymology. -- These are departures from the ordinary
spelling of words: for example, the poetic use of 'o'er' for 'over', or the
romantic use of the old-fashioned spelling 'olde' for 'old'.  With these we
shall have little to do, as they are not many in number and do not appear in
the Scriptures.
Figures of Syntax or Grammar. -- These are figures of speech that alter
the arrangement of words in a sentence, or alter the meaning of words for
emphasis or effect.