Archive for April, 2011


Symmetry in Nature


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From here.

Though art has made many transformations throughout time the underlying symmetrical composition of the image has remained a constant. The inborn inclination of humans to be attracted to symmetry coupled with the natural desire or pursuit of happiness leads to the premise that symmetry is indeed the symbol of beauty. Symmetrical properties are significant with respect to how artists analyze the world around them, how they are influenced by other cultures or artists and what they gleam from their works. Because we visualize a symmetrical world and find happiness in the contemplation of the natural, we create symbols to describe this emotion. These symbols have been formed in a vast array of materials, techniques and cultural circumstances however their symmetrical design crosses over all these variations and bonds these images together.

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[Me:  The context for the chiasmus is the mystery of Israel’s rejection of their Messiah, Jesus:] 

1  I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He? May it never be! For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.  2  God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?  3  “Lord, THEY HAVE KILLED THY PROPHETS, THEY HAVE TORN DOWN THINE ALTARS, AND I ALONE AM LEFT, AND THEY ARE SEEKING MY LIFE.”  4  But what is the divine response to him? “I HAVE KEPT for Myself SEVEN THOUSAND MEN WHO HAVE NOT BOWED THE KNEE TO BAAL.”  5  In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.  6  But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.  7  What then? That which Israel is seeking for, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened;  8  just as it is written, “GOD GAVE THEM A SPIRIT OF STUPOR, EYES TO SEE NOT AND EARS TO HEAR NOT, DOWN TO THIS VERY DAY.”  9  And David says, “LET THEIR TABLE BECOME A SNARE AND A TRAP, AND A STUMBLING BLOCK AND A RETRIBUTION TO THEM.  10  “LET THEIR EYES BE DARKENED TO SEE NOT, AND BEND THEIR BACKS FOREVER.”  11  I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous.  12  Now if their transgression be riches for the world and their failure be riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be!  13  But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry,  14  if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow countrymen and save some of them.  15  For if their rejection be the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?  16  And if the first piece of dough be holy, the lump is also; and if the root be holy, the branches are too.  17  But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree,  18  do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.  19  You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”  20  Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear;  21  for if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will He spare you.  22  Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.  23  And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again.  24  For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more shall these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?  25  For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in;  26  and thus all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, “THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB.”  27  “AND THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS.”  28  From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers;  29  for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.  30  For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience,  31  so these also now have been disobedient, in order that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy.  32  For God has shut up all in disobedience that He might show mercy to all.

A    33  Oh, the depth of the riches

B    both of the wisdom

C    and knowledge of God!

D    How unsearchable are His judgments

D’   and unfathomable  /  His ways!




36  For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

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From the blog “Orchard Keeper“.

A    1  Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us,

B     let us also lay aside  /  every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us,

C     and let us run with endurance

D     the race that is set before us,

 E    2  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith,

 D’   who for the joy set before Him

 C’    endured the cross,

 B’   despising  /  the shame,

 A’   and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.


C/C’ and D/D’ are direct matches, using the same Greek word (endurance, set before). 

I like the resources given at the bottom of his blog entry.  🙂

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Old Testament:


1  (Creation Week)      1:27a      2:4 and 2:15-3:7  (The ‘Second’ Creation Story and The Fall)      6:5-7:1  (~Noah)      6:8-9      6:10-9:19  (The Flood Story)      8:22, 9:6a, 9:9-17, 10:1-24      9:6a      12:16      17:1-17

Exodus:      6:2-8      33:12-17

Leviticus:      14:49-53      24:17-21

Numbers:      11:4-34      12:1-16


8      9:6-13  (The Giving of the Law)      12:1-32      22:13-29      28:20-48

Joshua:      1

2 Samuel:      1:19-27     18:33

2 Kings:      22:1-23:30

2 Chronicles:      5:11-6:3      17:1-5

Job:       The entire book?      1      32:6-10


3      12      18      19:1      22      37:1-7      46      49      52:1b-5a      58      62      67      70      72:1-2      76      89:27-39      103:1      150      Robert Alden’s ‘Chiastic Psalms’


1:20-33      10:15      11:19-20      26:10-19      31:10-31  (The Virtuous Woman)

Song of Songs:      The entire book      2:8-17

Ecclesiastes:      11:1-12:2


1:18      1:21-26      2:3-5      3:1-8      5:20      6:10      28:15-18     56:1-8      56:9-12      60:1-3

Jeremiah:      5:1-31      10:1-11      17:1-3

Hosea:      13:14

Joel:      1:5-14      3:2-8

Amos:      2:11-12      5:1-17      5:24      8:11-9:15

Obadiah:      10-14


New Testament:


5:3-10  (The Beatitudes)     7:16-20      19:30      23:12      23:16-26     13:10-19


The entire book      1:1-13      1:21-28      2:1-3:6      2:27      3:20-35      3:22-30      5:1-6      8:35-38     10:17-31      10:29b, 30, 31       10:35-41      11:9b-10      12:28-34      12:35-37      12:38-40      13:4-23  (The Little Apocalypse)      13:24-27      13:4-37

Luke:      1:68-79      4:16b-20      16:13      22:42

John:      5:19-30      17:1-5  (The Beginning of “The High Priestly Prayer”)


2:1-21  (Pentecost)      2:22-36  (Peter Preaches on Jesus’ Resurrection at Pentecost)

Romans:      2:5b-11      8:38-39a      10:9-10      11:33-35      14:13-23

1 Corinthians:

1:19-29      7: 20-24      11:3-7 and 8-11      13:8-13  (Paul on Love)      15:1-20      15:35-44

2 Corinthians:      8:9      12:1-5

Galatians:     2:16     3:5-14      4:1-7      5:16-26  (The Fruit of the Spirit)

Ephesians:      1:2; 6:23-24      2:8-9      2:11-22      3:1-13      3:14-21

Philippians:      1:15-17

Colossians:      1:3-9      1:9-23

1 Thessalonians:      1-2  (Paul’s earliest writing)     5:23

2 Thessalonians:      3:6-12

1 Timothy:      3:16

2 Timothy:      1:15-18      2:8-10

Titus:      The entire book

Philemon:      The entire book

Hebrews:      12:1-2

James:      The entire book

1 Peter:      2:17      3:16-4:5

1 John:      3:9

2 John:      The entire book

Jude:      The entire book


1:4b-8      1:4-3:22      3:7      12:1-17     14:9-11     21:1-5a


Examples of Small Chiasmi:

Tiny Chiasmi – ‘Here a Chiasmus, There a Chiasmus …’

Chiasmus Excerpt – “Narrative Criticism of the New Testament”


Additional Materials:

Recommended Readings and Sites

Chiasmus Verification Criteria


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1  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  2  And the earth was  (1)  formless and  (2)  void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.

B    (1′)

1    3  Then God said, “Let there be light“; and there was light.  4  And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.  5  And God called the light day, and the darkness He called night.     And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

2    6  Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.”  7  And God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so.  8  And God called the expanse heaven.     And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.


   9  Then God said, “Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear“; and it was so.  10  And God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good. 

ii    11  Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind, with seed in them, on the earth”; and it was so.  12  And the earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit, with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. 13      And there was evening and there was morning, a third day.

B’    (2′)

1    14  Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years;  15  and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so.  16  And God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also.  17  And God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth,  18  and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good.  19      And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

2    20  Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.”  21  And God created the great sea monsters, and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good.  22  And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”  23      And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.


i’    24  Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so.  25  And God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.  26  Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  27  And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  28  And God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 

ii’    29  Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;  30  and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food“; and it was so.  31  And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.     And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.


2:1  Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts.  2  And by the seventh day God completed His work which He had done; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.  3  Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.


A = a world formless and void.  A’ = a world completed / task completed.  It has form and the void has been eliminated.

B = a world given form.  B’ = void eliminated / filled in.

B and B’ parallel each other:  1 = light/darkness, 2 = space above and below, 3 = land and food. 

It seeems only B3/B’3 can be cleanly divided into 2 sub-sections.

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1  (For the choir director. A Psalm of David the servant of the LORD, who) (spoke to the LORD the words of this song in the day that the LORD) (delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. And) (he said,)

A    “I love Thee, O LORD, my strength.” 

B    2  The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  3  I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, And I am saved from my enemies.

C    4  The cords of death encompassed me, And the torrents of ungodliness terrified me.  5  The cords of Sheol surrounded me; The snares of death confronted me.

D    6  In my distress I called upon the LORD, And cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, And my cry for help before Him came into His ears.  7  Then the earth shook and quaked; And the foundations of the mountains were trembling And were shaken, because He was angry.  8  Smoke went up out of His nostrils, And fire from His mouth devoured; Coals were kindled by it.

E    9  He bowed the heavens also, and came down, with thick darkness  /  under His feet.

F    10  And He rode upon a cherub and flew; And He sped upon the wings of the wind.

E’   11  He made darkness  /  His hiding place, His canopy around Him, Darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies.  12  From the *brightness* before Him passed His thick clouds,

D’   Hailstones and coals of fire.  13  The LORD also thundered in the heavens, And the Most High uttered His voice, Hailstones and coals of fire.  14  And He sent out His arrows, and scattered them, And lightning flashes in abundance, and routed them.

C’   15  Then the channels of water appeared, And the foundations of the world were laid bare At Thy rebuke, O LORD, At the blast of the breath of Thy nostrils.  16  He sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters.

B’   17  He delivered me from my strong enemy, And from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me.  18  They confronted me in the day of my calamity, But the LORD was my stay.  19  He brought me forth also into a broad place; He rescued me,

A’  because He delighted in me.

[Me:  The reason God rescued ‘David’:  righteousness, cleanness of hands, blamelessness, etc. :]  20  The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness; According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me.  21  For I have kept the ways of the LORD, And have not wickedly departed from my God.  22  For all His ordinances were before me, And I did not put away His statutes from me.  23  I was also blameless with Him, And I kept myself from my iniquity.  24  Therefore the LORD has recompensed me according to my righteousness, According to the cleanness of my hands in His eyes.  25  With the kind Thou dost show Thyself kind; With the blameless Thou dost show Thyself blameless;  26  With the pure Thou dost show Thyself pure; And with the crooked Thou dost show Thyself astute.  27  For Thou dost save an afflicted people;

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