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Archive for September, 2012


 

 

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*****  Update:  I’ve changed the center of my original chiasmus to that suggested by Craig A. Robinson’s in Comments.  My original center looked like this:

D

a    19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these,

b    of which I forewarn you

b’    just as I have forewarned you –

a’   that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

D’ 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control;

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*****  Update 2:  Wes Coddington, in comments, suggested that E’ should really be the chiasmus’ main point – rather than F/F’.  He may very will be right.  I suggested the following possibility for the center (E/F/F’/E’ are collapsed into E (a/b/b’/a’)):

E

a    and things like these, 

b    of which I forewarn you

b’   just as I have forewarned you –

a’   [Me: final line / main point]  that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

By doing it this way, a’ becomes part of the center E.  And in fact, it becomes the final line of the center, which is an important position.

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14  …  “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

***   15  But if you bite and devour one another, take care lest you be consumed by one another.

A    16 But I say, walk by the Spirit,

B    and you / will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

(17 For  (a)  the flesh sets its desire against  (b)  the Spirit, and  (b’)  the Spirit against  (a’)  the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.)

C    18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.

D    19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing,

E    and things like these,

F    of which I forewarn you

F’    just as I have forewarned you –

E’   that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

D’   22 But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control;

C’   against such things there is no law.

B’   24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus / have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

A’   25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

***   26 Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.

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Chiasmus Pic – Harvest


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A Bing photo of the day.

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From the blogs Involuted Speculations and My Digital Seminary:

Here’s a summary of the chiasmus from the latter site:

A. Job’s righteousness asserted (1:1)
B. Job’s children (1:2)
C. Job’s wealth (1:3)
D. Job’s children feasting (1:4-5)
E. God’s dialogue with Satan (1:6-12)
D’. Job’s children feasting (1:13)
C’. The loss of Job’s wealth (1:14-17)
B’. The death of Job’s children (1:18-19)
A’. Job’s righteousness reasserted (1:20-22)

Nice chiasmus.  I like it when a book begins with a chiasmus (e.g., JoshuaColossians, 1 Thessalonians).  In this case, the chiasmus summarizes the backdrop to the book:  why Job suffers  …  Job’s righteousness in spite of suffering.

I particularly like the way the outsides (A/A’) present Job’s righteousness while the center (E) presents the ultimate source of the test.  In spite of what happens in the latter half of the chiasmus (D’ and C’), the chiasmus is surrounded by Job’s  justification.  …  Satan’s test is defeated.

The chiasmus has a nice half and half structure.  The story turns in a new direction at the center.

For more commentary, please see the links above.

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UPDATE:  In the comments section below, Scott Vanatter suggests that the center section (E) could be further subdivided chiastically:    E / F1 / F2-F3-F4-F5  /  F1′-F2′-F3′-F4′-F5′ / F1′ / E’.  Thank you Scott.  🙂

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A    1  There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job, and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God, and turning away from evil.

B    2  And seven sons and three daughters were born to him.

C    3  His possessions also were 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and very many servants; and that man was the greatest of all the men of the east.

D    4  And his sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them.  5  And it came about, when the days of feasting had completed their cycle, that Job would send and consecrate them, rising up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, “Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually.

E    6  Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.  7  And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.”  8  And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.”  9  Then Satan answered the LORD, “Does Job fear God for nothing?  10  “Hast Thou not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.  11  “But put forth Thy hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse Thee to Thy face.”  12  Then the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.” So Satan departed from the presence of the LORD.

D’   13  Now it happened on the day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house,

C’   14  that a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them,  15  and the Sabeans attacked and took them. They also slew the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”  16  While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”  17  While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three bands and made a raid on the camels and took them and slew the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you.”

B’   18  While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house,  19  and behold, a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people and they died; and I alone have escaped to tell you.”

A’   20  Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped.  21  And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.”  22  Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.

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Isaiah 56 contains two chiasmi.  In the first chiasmus notice the reversal of the terms:  foreigner – eunuch – eunuch – foreigner (B-C-C’-B’).  The second chiasmus is pretty straight forward. 

There does seem to be a contrast between the two chiasmi.  The first chiasmus is positive towards the social outsider (foreigner/eunuch) while the second is negative (hostile?) towards the social insider (watchmen/shepherds). 

A similar thing can be found, e.g., in Mark 3, regarding Jesus.  Jesus championed the social ‘outsider’ while critiquing the social ‘insider’.  Both Isaiah and Jesus used their prophetic offices as platforms for social commentary.  Both could be quite bold in both thought and language.

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Chiasmus 1:

A   

a    1  Thus says the LORD, “Preserve justice, and do righteousness, For My salvation is about to come And My righteousness to be revealed.

b    2  “How blessed is the man who does this, And the son of man who takes hold of it; Who keeps from profaning the sabbath, And keeps his hand from doing any evil.”

B    3  Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD say, “The LORD will surely separate me from His people.”

C    Neither let the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.”

C’   4  For thus says the LORD, “To the eunuchs

b’   who keep My sabbaths, And choose what pleases Me, And hold fast My covenant,

a’   5  To them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial, And a name better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name which will not be cut off.

B’   6  “Also the foreigners

b’’  who join themselves to the LORD, To minister to Him, and to love the name of the LORD, To be His servants, every one who keeps from profaning the sabbath, And holds fast My covenant;

a’’ Even those I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.”

A’   8  The Lord GOD, who gathers the dispersed of Israel, declares, “Yet others I will gather to them, to those already gathered.”

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Chiasmus 2:

A

1    9  All you beasts of the field, All you beasts in the forest,

2    Come to eat.

B    10  His watchmen are blind, All of them know nothing.

C    All of them are dumb dogs unable to bark,

D    Dreamers lying down,

D’   who love to slumber;

C’   11  And the dogs are greedy, they are not satisfied.

B’   And they are shepherds who have no understanding;

A’  

1    They have all turned to their own way, Each one to his unjust gain, to the last one.

2    12  “Come,” they say, “let us get wine, and let us drink heavily of strong drink;

And tomorrow will be like today, only more so.”

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