8.5.2c iii “How is it that you do not understand?”; Mark 1:4 “Baptism of Repentance”? The Genitive of RELATION AND OBJECT.

5. The Genitive of


Adapted from


By E. W. Bullinger, D.D.

The Genitive Case of


is perhaps the most interesting of all the usages.

It offers a great variety in the

in the manner of

expressing the peculiar relation intended;


this relation of

‘the peculiar relation intended’

can be gathered
only from the context,

and from

the general analogy of Scripture Truth.

It must be borne in mind

that it is often impossible to define

and determine the exact sense,

in which the genitive case is used.

And very frequently the genitive case

may be used in more senses than one.

For example,

The Gospel of Christ

may either refer to origin the Gospel

which has Christ for its author, or relation ,

which has Christ for its subject.

Both in Hebrew and Greek

great attention must be paid

to the presence or absence of the article,

in judging of the sense.

Each example must be interpreted by the context.

Gen. 2:9 . The tree of life:

i.e. , which preserved life.

Gen. 3:24 . The way of the tree:

i.e. , the way pertaining (or leading) to the tree of life.

Gen. 50.4. The days of his mourning:

i.e. , of mourning (lit., weeping)

with respect to him or for him.

Judges 13:12 . What shall be the manner (or ordering)

of the child, and of his work: 

i.e. , what shall be the ordering of the child,

and what shall we do with reference to him.

2 Sam. 7:19;. And is this the manner of man,

O Lord GOD?

The Heb. is: And this is a law of humanity ( ):

i.e. , the law for, or relating to,

or extending to all mankind.

Thus is indicated the fact that

the blessing given in grace to David was to
embrace the whole world in its scope.

Ps. 4:1 ( 2 ). O God of my Righteousness.

This may be, by Antimereia, my righteous God.

But it is this, and more:

because it is the God Who Justifies

and Who Defends my Righteous Cause.

All, in fact, that has relation to my righteousness is included.

Ps. 44:22 ( 23 ). As sheep of slaughter:

i.e. , destined for slaughter.

Ps. 102:20 ( 21 ). The children of death:

i.e. , persons destined to die.

Ps. 149:6 . The exaltations of God are in their throat:

i.e. , their praises, exalting God.

Prov. 1:7 . The fear of the LORD:

i.e., the fear which is felt with reference to the
Lord, as is so beautifully expressed in Ps. 5:7 ( 8 ).

Prov. 30:24 . Little of the earth:

i.e.,  the least in the earth: or, earth’s little ones.

Isa. 3:14 . The spoil of the poor:

i.e. , which they have taken from the poor.

Observe that poor is singular: the poor one.

Isa. 34:5 . The people of my curse:

i.e. , the people devoted to destruction.

Isa. 55:3 . The Sure Mercies of David:

i.e. , pertaining to David, which Jehovah
promised to him in 2 Sam. 7. Compare Acts 13:34 .

Jer. 50:28 . The Vengeance of His Temple:

i.e. , the Vengeance of God connected with His Temple,

Avenging its destruction on those who had destroyed it.

Ezek. 20:7 . The abominations of his eyes:

i.e. , pleasing in his eyes.

Joel 3 ( 4 ): 19 . On account of the violence

of the sons of Judah:

i.e. , the violence against them, as in A.V.

This is described in Hab. 2:8 .

Zech. 9:1 The eyes of man.

One sense of the Heb. may be For Jehovah hath an eye
of man: i.e. , with respect to man.

So that it may be rendered,

For the LORD hath respect to men,

and to all the tribes of Israel,

and thus we have a Periphrasis ( q.v. )

for the Divine Providence and Care.

Matt. 3:8 . Fruit meet of repentance:

i.e. , fruit worthy with respect to repentance.

Matt. 4:23 ; 24:14 . The Gospel of the Kingdom:

i.e. , the Good News connected with,

or relating to the coming Kingdom.

The Bible Defines

‘The Gospel’,


‘The Death, Burial and

Resurrection of Jesus Christ’,

in 1 Corinthians 15: 1-4;


Moreover, brethren,

I declare to you

The Gospel

which I preached to you,

which also ye have received,

and wherein ye stand;

“2 By which also you are Saved,

if you keep in memory

what I preached to you,

unless you have believed in vain.

“3 Because I delivered to you

first of all

that which I also received,


Christ Died for our sins

According to the Scriptures;

“4 And that He was Buried,

and that He Rose again

The Third Day

According to the Scriptures;”

The Gospel means good news,

in 1 Corinthians 15: 1 & 4;


The Gospel…

:4 …”Christ Died for our sins

According to the Scriptures;

“4 And that He was Buried,

and that He Rose again

The Third Day

According to the Scriptures;”

and this good news may be concerning Christ,

or the Kingdom,

or the Grace of God, or the Glory.

And, if words are used to reveal God’s Mind and Thoughts,

we must not confuse or join together things

which he has separated.

The Gospel (or good news) of the Kingdom

was preached when the King Appeared; 

The Gospel…

:4 …”Christ Died for our sins

According to the Scriptures;

“4 And that He was Buried,

and that He Rose again

The Third Day

According to the Scriptures;”

and after His rejection, that Good News

is necessarily preached to sinners,

both of Jews and Gentiles,


The Time of the King’s Second Appearing Will Come,

The Gospel…

:4 …”Christ Died for our sins

According to the Scriptures;

“4 And that He was Buried,

and that He Rose again

The Third Day

According to the Scriptures;”

( Br. Bullinger has some talk here about

‘The Gospel’ and Matthew 24:14

that needs to be returned to its context,

14 And this Gospel of the Kingdom

i.e., The Good News of The Promised Messiah

which would come to be known as; 

“Christ Died for our sins

According to the Scriptures;

“4 And that He was Buried,

and that He Rose again

The Third Day”

Matthew 24:14b;

shall be preached in all the World

for a witness unto all Nations;

and then Will the end come.”

This ‘end’ being of Jerusalem and The Temple,

which He was

Answering the Apostles question,


His Statement to them


The Destruction of Jerusalem

and The Temple,

here in Mattew 24:1,2 & 3a; 

“1 And Jesus went out,

and departed from the temple: 

and his disciples came to him

for to shew him the buildings of the temple.

“2 And Jesus said unto them,

See ye, not all these things?

verily I say unto you,

There shall not be left here  

one stone upon another,

 that shall not be thrown down.

And as He sat upon the mount of Olives,

 the disciples came unto Him privately,


Tell us, when shall these things be?

and what shall be the sign of thy coming,”




as The Abomination of Desolation), 

i.e., Jesus

Does Not begin to answer the Apostles question


‘what shall be the sign of …

The End of The World’,

in Matthew 24:3b

until Matthew 24:35-37;

 when Jesus Answers the Apostles

with regard to,

‘when will The End of The World be’

and Jesus Answers them,


“35 Heaven and Earth shall pass away,

but my words shall not pass away.

Be Ready at Any Hour

“36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man,

 no, not the angels of heaven,

but my Father only.

“37 But as the days of Noe were,

so shall also

the Coming of the Son of man be.

“Please see:


I Can Tell You Exactly

When The END of The WORLD

Will Be: “as the days of Noah were”.

Matt. 6:26 . Fowls of the air:

i.e. , which fly in the heaven or sky.

Matt. 6:28 . Lilies of the field:

i.e. , which grow in the field.

Matt. 10:1 . Power of unclean spirits:

i.e. , with reference to or over them.

Matt. 14:1 . The fame of Jesus:

i.e. , in connection with, or concerning Jesus.

Mark 1:4 . Baptism of repentance:

i.e. , Baptism which had reference to repentance,

or Baptism stood in connection with repentance.

Mark 11:22 . Have faith of God:

i.e. , with respect to God, toward Him,

such faith as his faithfulness demands and warrants.

Compare Col. 2:12 .

Luke 21:4 . The gifts of God:

i.e. , pertaining to God, and which He accepts.

This is quite different from Eph. 2:8 ,

which is the genitive of origin .

John 2:17 . The zeal of thy house:

i.e. , with respect to it, for or concerning it.

John 5:29 . Resurrection of life:

i.e. , with a view to life.

Resurrection of damnation:

i.e. , for the purpose of judgment.

John 7:35 . The dispersion of the Gentiles:

i.e. , among. The dispersed people (of the Jews)

among the Greeks (Gentiles).

John 17:2 . Power of all flesh:

i.e. ( exousia ), power:

Matt. 10:1 . Mark 6:7 . 1 Cor. 9:12 .

Acts 4:9 . A good work of an impotent man:

i.e. , as in the A.V. , the good deed done to him.

Acts 23:6 and all other passages

where we have the expression

resurrection of (the) dead,

it means the resurrection of dead bodies:

i.e. , the resurrection

connected with dead bodies as such.

Acts 24:15 , 21 . Rom. 1:4 . 1 Cor. 15:13 . Heb. 6:2 .

1 Pet. 1:3 . But when the resurrection of Christ,

or that of ( ek ), out of or from among , is always used.

See Acts 4:2 . 1 Cor. 15:8 , etc.

With regard to Phil. 3:11 : The resurrection of the dead,

there is more than one thing to remark.

First, note that the word resurrection here

is not the ordinary word.

It ( exanastasis ), out-resurrection.

Secondly , that the reading (teen ek ),

which is from or out of , must be inserted in the Text,

according to the R.V. and all the Critical Greek Texts.

So that the words read:

If by any means I may arrive at the out-resurrection,

that which is from among the dead.

We must note, further,

that Paul’s standpoint here is that of a Jew.

He has been showing all through the chapter

what was his standing in the flesh,

and what his gains were as a Jew.

He is willing, he says,

to give up all that he once counted gain as a Jew,

that he might attain to this blessed

and new revelation of a resurrection from among the dead,

which was a secret not before revealed

brought to light by Christ and His Gospel

(see 1 Cor. 15:51 ).

It is not that he,
as a Christian, having this hope,

desired to attain to something higher,

which other Christians (or all of them)

would not enjoy;

but that he, as a Jew,

counted his gains but loss,

that he might enjoy this blessed hope

of the out-resurrection at Christ’s appearing.

Rom. 3:22 . By Faith of Jesus Christ:

i.e. , faith which has respect to,

or which embraces or rests on Him.

Some take it as the genitive of Origin ,

Faith which is the Gift of Jesus Christ,

according to Eph. 2:8 .

Compare Gal. 3:22 and Rev. 14:12 .

Rom. 8:17 . Joint-heirs of Christ:

i.e. , in relation to Christ,

and hence partaking with Christ.

Rom. 8:36 . Sheep of slaughter:

i.e. , sheep devoted to slaughter.

See Ps. 44:22 ( 23 ) above.

Rom. 9:9 . For, of promise is this word:

i.e. , this word is relating to the promise

i.e. , the promise made to Sarah).

Lit, For, of promise, the word is this.

Rom. 10:2 . They have a zeal of God:

i.e. , a zeal for God, or with respect to Him.

A person may have this;

and yet be destitute of God’s Righteousness,

which He has Provided for us,

and which is in Christ only,

apart from all our Zeal

and all our works of Righteousness

which we have done.

Rom. 13:3 . Not a terror of good works:

i.e. , in respect to them.

Rom. 16:2 . Worthily of the saints:

i.e. , in connection with,

or in a manner becoming to the saints.

A.V. : As becometh saints.

2 Cor. 10:5 . Obedience of Christ:

i.e. , rendered to the Christ:

i.e. , loyalty to Him.

Eph. 4:16 . Every joint of the supply:

i.e. , every joint or sensation for the purpose of supply,

or with a view to supplying.

Col. 1:24 . The afflictions of Christ:

i.e. , the afflictions pertaining to Christ Mystical,

the apostle having an abundant measure of them

as a member of that Body of Christ.

So that, if other members had fewer afflictions,

Paul made up any deficiency by
having more than the average share.

Col. 2:18 . Worship of angels.

Here, the word rendered worship is (threeskeia )

which never means worship ,

but always religion , or religious ritual. See

Acts 26:5 . Jas. 1:26 , 27

(its only occurrences in the New Testament),

and Wisd. 14:16 ,
18 , 27 in the Septuagint.

Then, the Greek reads: Humility and religion,

which, by Hendiadys ( q.v. ), means
religious humility (with emphasis on religious).

So that the genitive, here, means
pertaining to:

  i.e. , the religious humility pertaining to,

Or entertained by angels in their
access to God.

The context teaches

that this is not proper Christian standing,

which is that of sons,
not of servants

(which angels are.

See Heb. 1:14 ; 2:5 ; and 1 Cor. 6:3 ).
Verses 18 , 19  may thus be rendered:

Let no one defraud you of your prize,

having endered:

Let no one defraud you of your prize,

having pleasure in the religious humility

entertained by angels,

taking his stand on the things
which he hath seen,

vainly puffed up by the mind of his flesh

( i.e. , his Old nature), and
not holding fast the Head, etc.

Tit. 2:14 . Zealous of good works:

i.e. , with respect to good works.

Heb. 3:12 . An evil heart of unbelief:

i.e. , an evil heart in respect to unbelief.

Heb. 5:13 . Unskilled of

the word of righteousness:

i.e. , in respect of

the word of righteousness.

Heb. 9:21 . Vessels of the ministry:

i.e. , pertaining to the ministering.

Heb. 11:26 . The reproach of Christ:

i.e. , reproach in connection with Christ.

Jas. 1:13 . Cannot be tempted of evil ( marg. , evils ):

i.e. , is not to be tempted with
respect to evil things.

1 Pet. 2:19 . Conscience of God:

i.e. , conscience toward God.

1 John 2:5 . The love of God:

i.e. , either our love which goes out to God;

or, His love with regard to us

( cf. especially John 14:23 ).

Rev. 3:10 . The word of my patience:

i.e. , My word, which enjoins a patient waiting.

Rev. 19:10 . The testimony of Jesus:

i.e. , the testimony concerning Jesus.
marg. Margin.
cf. Compare (for Latin, confer ).

Figures of Speech in the Bible

– Biblical Research Journal


By E. W. Bullinger, D.D.
“How is it that you
do not understand?”



BULLINGER _figures_of_speech.pdf




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