The case of separation

The Ablative of Separation

The basic idea of the Ablative is that of separation. It is that from which something departs or is separated.

The Ablative of Source

The word in the Ablative is source of the noun that it modifies. The noun modified by the Ablative in some way owes its existence to that which is described by the Ablative.

The Ablative of Means

The idea of origin or source is implied when a word in the Ablative implies the personal agent or means performing the action that is expressed by a verb, usually in the passive voice, or by the verbal adjective. Some refer to this as “the Ablative of Agency.” (Direct agency or ultimate source is usually expressed by ὑπό with the Ablative, intermediate agency by διά with the Genitive and means by the Instrumental with or without ἐν). The Ablative usually is used to express personal agency or means, while the Instrumental usually expressed impersonal means.

The Ablative of Comparison

Comparison implied difference, distinction or separation in degree. The Ablative may also be used with the superlative degree.

The Partitive Ablative

The Ablative is used to indicate the removal of a part from the whole. It is often used with ἐκ or ἀπό. The emphasis is on separation, while the Genitive emphasizes kind.

The Ablative with Prepositions

The Ablative with prepositions is very common in the N.T. in every occurrence the idea of separation is prevalent. The comparative idea is involved in the use with ύπἐρ, πρό and πρός", which implies separation. The ablative with prepositions usually expresses the agent as the source of the action, cf. with ὑπό. ἀπό, ἐκ and πρό always take the Ablative, expressing separation. This is true in compound verbs also.

The Ablative with Verbs

The Ablative occurs with verbs, especially with compound verbs. The idea of separation is still emphasized. It is the natural case to be used with verbs expressing comparison. Some in their root idea are related to the Ablative case.

The Ablative with Verbs of Departure and Removal

ἀπό, ἐκ and παρά are found with the idea of departure.

The Ablative with Verbs Missing, Lacking, Despairing

The Ablative idea of separation lends itself to such verbs.

The Ablative with Verbs of Differing and Excelling

The comparative idea is dominant with these verbs.

The Ablative with Verbs of Asking and Hearing

The idea of separation is seen in asking or hearing from.

The Ablative with Verbs having the Partitive Idea

The ablative is used with verbs having Partitive ideas, especially with ἀπό and ἐκ. The word in the ablative indicates that whole of which the word it modifies is a part. Cf. the “Partitive Ablative” and the “Partitive Genitive”.