Figures of Speech in the Bible: Metonymy

The next figure of speech is all too common to us. We have all used the phrase, “Let me give you a hand.” We are not giving our literal hands away to people but we desire to help. This figure of speech is called Metonymy. It is the employment of one name or word for another. It is used when two things are so closely associated that one can say the name of one thing and it will cause people to think of another.



Jesus told his disciples, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.” (Luke 2:20). Jesus was talking about the contents of the cup and not the cup itself.



Jesus also said, “for where your treasure is, there will your heart be  also.” We will not find our bodily organs with our treasure but rather our thoughts and affections.

Abraham told the rich man his brothers had Moses and the prophets, clearly referring to their writings. (Luke 19:29).

To properly understand scripture we must keep in mind various        figures of speech.