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Tissot_The_Flight_of_the_Prisoners 

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This chiasmus was inspired by the one found here, p. 139. 

I’ve changed the chiasmus a bit.  I’ve combined a couple of sections and expanded the center.  I’ve also developed a number of smaller chiasmi that I think exist within the larger one.

This particular chiasmus comes right at the end of the book of Amos.  The chiasmus ends on a positive note – a return from exile.

A nice summary of the book of Amos can be found here

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Here’s a brief outline of the chiasmus:

A/A’:  Both these sections begin with “Behold, days are coming“.  …  In A, ‘food’ is scarce.  In A’, food is plentiful. 

B/B’:  Both these sections begin with “In that day“.  In B, the people “faint” and ‘fall’ and ‘do not rise again’.  In B’, the “fallen” are ‘raised up’.  B’ reverses B.

C/C’:  Both these sections refer to God’s watching “eyes”, a “shaking”, and a coming slaying/killing by “the sword”.  A main point of C is that no one will be able to escape.  The same idea is present in C’: “As grain is shaken in a sieve, not a kernel will fall to the ground”. 

D:  “God” bookends the center section.  In-between these ‘bookends’, God’s power is highlighted. 

There’s a definite building in the first half, from A to D.  In A, God ‘voice’ goes silent.  In B, a ‘fall’ is prophesied, and is tied to the crime of idolatry (b/b’).  In C, the punishment is enacted (eg., a “shaking”; a slaying by the “sword”).  Finally, in D, God’s power is emphasized – God has the authority and power to act.  …  …  In the second half, the author matches C with C’ (a “shaking” and a “sword”), and finally ends his chiasmus with two sections, B’ and A’, foretelling a future ‘lifting up’ and return from exile. 

Interestingly, this chiasmus is full of geographical notes, which is fitting, since the chiasmus is all about the movement of a people (exile and return). 

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8:1  Thus the Lord GOD showed me, and behold, there was a basket of summer fruit.  2  And He said, “What do you see, Amos?” And I said, “A basket of summer fruit.” Then the LORD said to me, “The end has come for My people Israel. I will spare them no longer.  3  “The songs of the palace will turn to wailing in that day,” declares the Lord GOD. “Many will be the corpses; in every place they will cast them forth in silence.”  4  Hear this, you who trample the needy, to do away with the humble of the land,  5  saying, “When will the new moon be over, So that we may sell grain, And the sabbath, that we may open the wheat market, To make the bushel smaller and the shekel bigger, And to cheat with dishonest scales,  6  So as to buy the helpless for money And the needy for a pair of sandals, And that we may sell the refuse of the wheat?”  7  The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob, “Indeed, I will never forget any of their deeds.  8  “Because of this will not the land quake And everyone who dwells in it mourn? Indeed, all of it will rise up like the Nile, And it will be tossed about, And subside like the Nile of Egypt.  9  “And it will come about in that day,” declares the Lord GOD, “That I shall make the sun go down at noon And make the earth dark in broad daylight.  10  “Then I shall turn your festivals into mourning And all your songs into lamentation; And I will bring sackcloth on everyone’s loins And baldness on every head. And I will make it like a time of mourning for an only son, And the end of it will be like a bitter day.

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A    11  “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD,

*    “When I will send a famine on the land  [Me: a famine = ‘a lack of food’ – i.e., e.g., food is hard to find] 

a    – not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, but rather for hearing the words of the LORD

b    12  “And people will stagger

c    from sea to sea,

c    And from the north even to the east;

b’   They will go to and fro

a’   to seek the word of the LORD,

*’   But they will not find it.

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B    13  “In that day,

a    the beautiful virgins And the young men  /  will faint from thirst.  [Me: Literally:  a  will faint –  b  the virgins beautiful –  b’  and the young men –  a’  with thirst.]

b    14  “As for those  /  who swear by the guilt  //  of Samaria,

b’   Who say,  /  ‘As your god lives,  //  O Dan,’ And, ‘As the way of  //  Beersheba  //  lives,’

a’   They  //  will fall and not rise again.”

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C   

a    9:1  I saw the Lord standing beside the altar, and He said, “Smite the capitals so that the thresholds will shake, and break them on the heads of them all! 

b    Then I will slay the rest of them with the sword. 

c    They will not have a fugitive who will flee, Or a refugee who will escape. 

d    [Me:  Hiding low]  2  “Though they dig into Sheol,  /  From there shall My hand take them;

e    [Me:  Hiding high]  And though they ascend to heaven,  / From there will I bring them down

e’   [Me:  Hiding high]  3  “And though they hide on the top of Carmel,  /  I will search them out and take them from there;

d’   [Me:  Hiding low]  And though they conceal themselves from My eye on the floor of the sea,  /  from there I will command the serpent  [Me: sea monster?]  and it will bite them

c’   4  “And though they go into captivity before their enemies,

b’   from there I will command the sword that it slay them.

a’   And I will set My eyes against them for evil and not for good.”

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D   

a    5  And the Lord GOD of hosts,

b   

i    He who touches   a   the land   b   so that it melts;   b’   all shall mourn   a’   who dwell in it

ii    And all of it rises up like the Nile And subsides like the Nile of Egypt; 

b’  

i’   6   a   He who builds   b   in the heavens His staircase,   b’   And His vaulted dome over the earth   a’   has founded;

ii’   He who calls for the waters of the sea And pours them out on the face of the earth,

a’   The LORD is His name.

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C’  

a    7  “Are you not as the sons of Ethiopia to Me,

b    O sons of Israel?”

c    declares the LORD.

b’   “Have I not brought up Israel

a’   from the land of Egypt,

(And the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans from Kir?) 

a    8  “Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are on the sinful kingdom,  /  And I will destroy it from the face of the earth;

b    Nevertheless, I will not totally destroy the house of Jacob,”

c    Declares the LORD

b’   9  “For behold, I am commanding, And I will shake the house of Israel among all nations As grain is shaken in a sieve, but not a kernel will fall to the ground. 

a’   10  “All the sinners of My people  /  will die by the sword, those who say, ‘The calamity will not overtake or confront us.’

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B’   11  “In that day,

a    I will raise up the fallen booth of David

b    And wall up

c    it’s breaches;

c’   and it’s ruins

b’   I will raise up,

a’  And rebuild it as in the days of old

12  That they may possess the remnant of Edom And all the nations who are called by My name,” Declares the LORD who does this.

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A’   13  “Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “When the plowman will overtake the reaper And the treader of grapes him who sows seed; When the mountains will drip sweet wine, And all the hills will be dissolved.  14  “Also I will restore the captivity of My people Israel, And they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them, They will also plant vineyards and drink their wine, And make gardens and eat their fruit.  15  “I will also plant them on their land, And they will not again be rooted out from their land Which I have given them,” Says the LORD your God.

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 worship .

This chiasmus comes from two sources.

The first source is here – on p. 243.  And here’s the writer’s brief description of the book of Amos, followed by his outline of the chiasmus:

Amos opens with eight judgment speeches to the seven nations surrounding Israel before announcing punishment for Israel in the eighth (Amos 1-2).  Immediately following is a “hear this word” speech with three parts.  Part 1 (3:1-5) explores punishment as an obligation of God’s covenant with Israel.  Part 2 (4:1-17) reminds Israel that they ignored the LORD’S past warnings.  Part 3 (5:1-17) takes up their death.  The third part opens (5:1-3) and closes (5:16-17) with a funeral lament.  Sandwiched in between is a description of the behavior that leads to death and that which leads to life, distinctions between what Israel does and what God is capable of doing (5:4-15).  There is a symmetrical structure to this section:

First Lamentation (vv. 1-3)

First Admonition (vv. 4-6)

First Accusation (v. 7)

Hymn (v. 8a)

The LORD is His Name

Hymn (v. 9)

Second Accusation (vv. 10-13)

Second Admonition (vv. 14-15)

Second Lamentation (vv. 16-17)

The second source for this chiasmus can be found here

The first source for this chiasmus presents the chiasmus in 9 parts, while the second source presents the chiasmus in 7 parts.  In presenting the chiasmus below, I’ve used the 9-part chiasmus of the first source, while borrowing the 7 descriptors, or titles, of the second source.  ( … I’m trying to take the best of both ‘worlds’ 🙂 .)

Here’s my description of the various matches in the chiasmus:

A and A’ refer to potential judgment on the house of Israel.  Funeral language is used: dirge, wailing, mourning. 

B and B’ call for repentance.  The key phrases in these sections use the word “seek”:  B:  “Seek Me and live”; “Seek the LORD that you may live”; B’:  “Seek good and not evil that you may live”.  … There’s an opportunity here to avoid judgment.

C and C’ offer the reasons for God’s judgment.  C gives a general description, while C’ fills in the details. 

D and D’ present God, the judge, in terms of ‘overwhelming’ power.  God is the one who controls all of nature.  D refers to the two constellations, the ongoing cycle of night and day, and the destructive force of the seas, while D’ refers to storms – specifically, highlighting lightning.  In this context, both the surging seas and the flashing lightning illustrate judgment and destruction.

E centers on the LORD God himself – which is fitting.

Once again, a choice is required.  Staying the course leads to judgment.  Seeking God allows for salvation. 

A warning delivered.  Humility required.  Action required.

(A nice chiasmus – imo.)

I would also like to point out that there are a number of smaller chiasmi within this larger chiasmus.  This time around, I’ve decided to display the smaller chiasmi on there own, following the larger chiasmi.  I think, in some ways, it makes for a clearer overall presentation of the varied chiasmi.  Some brief comments will be attached to the smaller chiasmi. 

But first, the larger chiasmus:

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A    Description of certain judgment:    1 Hear this word which I take up for you as a dirge, O house of Israel.  2  She has fallen, she will not rise again– The virgin Israel. She lies neglected on her land; There is none to raise her up.  3  For thus says the Lord GOD, “The city which goes forth a thousand strong Will have a hundred left, And the one which goes forth a hundred strong will have ten left to the house of Israel.”

B    Call for individual repentance:    4 For thus says the LORD to the house of Israel, “Seek Me that you may live.  5  “But do not resort to Bethel, and do not come to Gilgal, nor cross over to Beersheba; for Gilgal will certainly go into captivity, and Bethel will come to trouble.  6  “Seek the LORD that you may live, Lest He break forth like a fire, O house of Joseph, And it consume with none to quench it for Bethel,

C    Accusation of legal injustice [Me: general description]:    7 For those who turn justice into wormwood And cast righteousness down to the earth.”

D   Portrayal of a sovereign God (D, E, D’):    8 He who made the Pleiades and Orion And changes deep darkness into morning, Who also darkens day into night, Who calls for the waters of the sea And pours them out on the surface of the earth,

   The LORD is His name. 

D’   9  It is He who flashes forth with destruction upon the strong, So that destruction comes upon the fortress.

C’   Accusation of legal injustice [Me: detailed description]:   

10 They hate him who reproves in the gate, And they abhor him who speaks with integrity.  11  Therefore, because you impose heavy rent on the poor And exact a tribute of grain from them, though you have built houses of well-hewn stone, Yet you will not live in them; You have planted pleasant vineyards, yet you will not drink their wine12  For I know your transgressions are many and your sins are great, You who distress the righteous and accept bribes, And turn aside the poor in the gate.  13  Therefore, at such a time the prudent person keeps silent, for it is an evil time.

B’   Call for individual repentance:    14 Seek good and not evil, that you may live; And thus may the LORD God of hosts be with you, Just as you have said!  15  Hate evil, love good, And establish justice in the gate! Perhaps the LORD God of hosts May be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

A’   Description of certain judgment:   

16 Therefore, thus says the LORD God of hosts, the Lord, “There is wailing in all the plazas, And in all the streets they say, ‘Alas! Alas!’  They also call the farmer to mourning, and professional mourners to lamentation.  17  “And in all the vineyards there is wailing, because I shall pass through the midst of you,”says the LORD.

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And now, here are 6 smaller chiasmi that can be found within the larger chiasmus: 

From section B:    

a    “Seek Me that you may live.   

b    5  “But do not resort to Bethel,   

c    And do not come to Gilgal,   

d    Nor cross over to Beersheba;   

c’   For Gilgal will certainly go into captivity,   

b’   And Bethel will come to trouble.   

a’   6  “Seek the LORD that you may live

Comment:  There’s a contrast here between the outside (a/a’) and the inside (b/c/d/c’/b’) of this chiasmus. Do you trust the LORD, or the cities? 

From section D:  

a    8  … And changes deep darkness

b    into morning,

b’   Who also darkens day

a’   into night …

Section C’:

a    10 They hate him who reproves in the gate,

b    And they abhor him who speaks with integrity

c    11  Therefore, because you impose heavy rent on the poor and exact a tribute of grain from them,

d    i   though you have built houses of well-hewn stone,    ii   Yet you will not live in them;

d’   i’  You have planted pleasant vineyards,   ii’   yet you will not drink their wine

c’   12  For I know your transgressions are many and your sins are great,

b’   You who distress the righteous and accept bribes,

a’   And turn aside the poor in the gate

13  Therefore, at such a time the prudent person keeps silent, for it is an evil time.

Comment:  I like the parallelism in the center.  Because of their transgressions, the oppressors will not be able to enjoy their stone houses and pleasant vineyards.  Punishment is incurred.

From section B’:

a    14 Seek good

b    and not evil  … …

b’   … …  15  Hate evil,

a’   love good

Comment:  This is a nice example of a ‘delayed’ chiasmus.  There’s actually some words between b and b’, which I’ve left out here.

Section A’:  

a    16 Therefore, thus the LORD God of hosts, the Lord,

b    says

c    There is wailing   [Me: Hebrew: mispedin all the plazas, and in all the streets they say, ‘Alas! Alas!’

d    They also call the farmer  /  to mourning   [Me: Hebrew: ebel],

d’   and professional mourners  /  to lamentation   [Me: Hebrew: nehi]. 

c’   17  “And in all the vineyards there is wailing   [Me: Hebrew: misped]    because I shall pass through the midst of you,” 

b’   says

a’   the LORD.

Comment:  The distinction between c/c’ and d/d’ is location (c = plazas and streets / c’ = vineyards) versus people (d = farmers / d’ = professional mourners).    c/c, d/d’ is also a nice example of how an author can choose between matching words directly (c/c’ = Hebrew:  ‘misped’) or indirectly, (using synonyms; d/d’ = Hebrew:  ‘ebel’ / ‘nehi’).  The use of synonym sometimes offers variety to a text, spicing it up.  (I love cinnamon.  It’s a nice spice.  …  Sorry, couldn’t help myself.)

From section A’:

a    16 …  “There is wailing   

b    in all the plazas,   

b’   And in all the streets   

a’   they say, ‘Alas! Alas!’

Comment:  The wailing in a is given voice in  a’: ‘Alas! Alas!’.

Overall, I think there’s some very nice chiastic work done here by the author.  Seven chiasmi in all!!!  (In some ways it reminds me of the numerous chiasmi found in Mark 3:20-35.)  Nice!

The main message in the overall chiasmus is “Seek God, that you may live.”  It’s matching section adds, “Seek good and not evil, that you may live”.

Repentance and change of course is required.

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In this entry I’ll be placing lots of small chiasmi.  Small chiasmi are not my primary focus so it may take some time to ‘fill this up’.

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Old Testament:

Genesis:

1:27a

A    God created man

B    in His own image,

B’   in the image of God

A’   He created him

2:4

A    This is the account of the heavens

B    and the earth

C    when they were created,

C’   in the day that the LORD God made

B’   earth

A’   and heaven.

6:8-9

A    8  But Noah  /  found favor

B    in the eyes of the Lord

C    9  These are the records of the generations of Noah.

D    Noah was a righteous man,

D’   blameless

C’   in his time  [Me: ‘among his peers’];

B’   with God

A’   Noah  / walked

9:6a

A    “Whoever sheds

B    the blood

C    of man

C’   by man

B’   his blood

A’   shall be shed …”

12:16

Therefore he  [Me: Pharoah]  treated Abram well for her  [Me: Sarai’s]  sake; and gave him

A    sheep and oxen

B    and  [Me: male]  donkeys

C    and male  [Me: servants]

C’   and female servants

B’   and female donkeys

A’   and camels.

 Job

32:6-10

6  So Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite spoke out and said,

A    “I am young in years and you are old; Therefore I was shy and afraid to tell you what I think.

B    7  “I thought age should speak, And increased years should teach wisdom.

C    8  “But it is a spirit in man, And the breath of the Almighty gives them understanding.

B’   9  “The abundant in years may not be wise, Nor may elders understand justice.

A’   10  “So I say, ‘Listen to me, I too will tell what I think.’

Psalms

19:1

A    The heavens

B    declare

C    the glory of God

C’   the work of his hands

B’   proclaim

A’   the sky.

 72:1-2

A    1  Give the king Your justice, O God,

B    and Your righteousness to the king’s son. 

B’   2  May he judge Your people with righteousness

A’   and Your afflicted with justice.

103:1

A    Bless, O my soul,

B    the Lord

C    And all that is within me,

B’   the name of His holiness,

A’   bless, O my soul.

Proverbs

10:15

A    The wealth

B    of a rich man

C    is his fortress;

C’   the ruin

B’   of the poor

A’   is their poverty

11:19-20

A    19  He who is steadfast in righteousness will attain to life,

B    And he who pursues evil will bring about his own death.

B’   20  The perverse in heart are an abomination to the LORD,

A’   But the blameless in their walk are His delight.

Isaiah

5:20

A    Woe to those who call evil

B    good,

B’   and good

A    evil;

A    Who substitute darkness

B    for light

B’   and light

A’   for darkness;

A    Who substitute bitter

B    for sweet,

B’    and sweet

A’    for bitter!

6:10

A    “Render the hearts of this people insensitive,

B    Their ears dull,

C    And their eyes dim,

C’   Lest they see with their eyes,

B’   Hear with their ears,

A’   Understand with their hearts,

And return and be healed.”

Jeremiah

17:1-3

A    1  The sin of Judah

B    is written down

C    with an iron stylus;

C’   with a diamond point

B’   it is engraved upon the tablet of their heart, and on the horns of their altars,

A’   2  As they remember their children, So they remember their altars and their Asherim By green trees on the high hills … 3 … your high places for sin

Joel

2:28-29

A    28  It will come about after this

B    That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind;

C    And your sons and daughters will prophesy,

D    Your old men  /  will dream dreams,

D’   Your young men  /  will see visions.

C’   29  Even on the male and female servants

B’   I will pour out My Spirit

A’   in those days.

Hosea

13:14

A    Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol?

B    Shall I redeem them from death?

B’   O Death, where are your thorns?

A’   O Sheol, where is your sting?

Amos

2:11-12

A    11  “Then I raised up some of your sons to be prophets

B    And some of your young men to be Nazirites.

C    Is this not so, O sons of Israel?” declares the LORD.

B’   12  “But you made the Nazirites drink wine,

A’   And you commanded the prophets saying, ‘You shall not prophesy!’

5:24

A    Let roll down

B    like waters

C    justice

C’   and righteousness

B’   like a stream

A’   ever flowing

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New Testament:

 Matthew

19:30

A    “But many who are first

B    will be last;

B’   and the last,

A’   first.”

23:12

A    “And whoever exalts himself

B    shall be humbled;

B’   and whoever humbles himself

A’   shall be exalted.

Mark

8:35-38

34  And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 

A    35  For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 

B    [Me: question:]  36  For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul  /  ? 

B’   [Me: question:]  37  For what will a man give in exchange for his soul  /  ? 

A’   38  For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

10:29b, 30, 31

28  Peter began to say to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You.”  29  Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left

A    house

B    or brothers or sisters

C    or mother

C’   or father

B’   or children

A’   or farms,

for My sake and for the gospel’s sake,  30  but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age,

A   houses

B    and brothers and sisters

C    and mothers

B’   and children

A’   and farms,

along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.  31  But many

A    who are first

B    will be last,

B’   and the last,

A’   first.”

11:9b-10

And many spread their coats in the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields.  9  Those who went in front and those who followed were shouting:

A    “Hosanna!

B    Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord

B’   10  Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David;

A’   Hosanna in the highest!”

Luke

16:13

A    “No servant can serve two masters;

B    for either he will hate the one,

C    and love the other,

C’   or else he will hold to one,

B’   and despise the other.

A’   You cannot serve God and mammon.”

Romans

8:38-39a

38  For I am convinced that

A    neither death,

B    nor life,

C    nor angels, nor rulers,

D    nor things present,

D’   nor things to come,

C’   nor powers

B’   39  nor height,

A’   nor depth,

nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

2 Corinthians

8:9

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

A    that though He was rich,

B    yet for your sake He became poor,

B’   that you through His poverty

A’   might become rich.

Ephesians

2:8-9

A    8  For by grace you have been saved through faith;

B    and that not of yourselves,

C    it is the gift of God;

B’   9  not as a result of works,

A’   that no one should boast.

Philippians

1:15-17

A    15  Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife,

B    but some also from good will;

B’   16  the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel;

A’    17  the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment.

1 Thessalonians

5:23

A    Now the God of peace Himself,

B    sanctify you completely

C    and entirely your spirit and soul and body

B’   without blame

A’    at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 John

3:9

A    No one who is born of God

B    practices sin,

C    because His seed abides in him;

B’   and he cannot sin,

A’   because he is born of God.

Revelation

3:7

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David,

A    who opens

B    and no one will shut,

B’   and who shuts

A’   and no one opens,

says this …

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