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Archive for the ‘Deuteronomy’ Category


the-fork-in-the-road_0

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From here, “The Story of Israel: A Biblical Theology”, by J. Scott Duvall, p 47 (but ultimately credited to Duane Christensen, Deuteronomy 21:10-34:12, Word Biblical Commentary 6B, page 680).

Here’s a quote from Scott:

… Just as obedience to Yahweh results in specific blessings, so too does disobedience yield specific curses.  There are numerous curses presented throughout the book of Deuteronomy.  Many of these curses fall under the ominous curse of Israel being defeated by her enemies and her subsequent exile into foreign lands.  Just as the blessings served to create a future for Israel, the curses threatened to dismantle all that could have been Israel’s.

In the structure of the book the curses also surround the Deuteronomic law code …

Curses – Deuteronomy 1-11 (4:9-28; 8:11-20; 11:16-17)

Deuteronomic Law Code – Deuteronomy 12-26

Curses – Deuteronomy 27-34 (27:15-26; 28:15-68; 31:16-32:51)

Duane Christensen has suggested that a chiasm appears in Deuteronomy 28, which serves to emphasize the totality of these curses in the demise of the nation of Israel.  The central point in the chiasm reverses the blessings promised earlier in Deuteronomy 28:4, 8, 11:

A  Triad of afflictions: curse, confusion, and cumbrance (Deut 28:20-22)

B  Agricultural Disaster (drought and hardening soil) (Deut 28:23-24)

C  War:  Defeat leading to Israel becoming an object lesson (Deut 28:25-26)

D  Boils of Egypt sent from Yahweh (Deut 28:27)

E  Madness and blindness (Deut 28:28-29a)

F  Oppressed and robbed all the days (Deut 28:29b)

Undoing of the blessings in 28:4, 8, 11 (Deut 28:30-31)

F’  Oppressed and crushed all the days (Deut 28:32-33)

E’  Madness from what one sees (Deut 28:34)

D’  Boils sent from Yahweh (Deut 28:35)

C’  War:  exile leading to Israel becoming an object lesson (Deut 28:36-37)

B’  Agricultural disaster (crop-destroying pests) (Deut 28:38-42)

A’  Economic collapse – impoverishment and debt (Deut 28:43-44)

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I’ve changed his center a little bit.  His F  X  F’ is now an F  G(1,2)  G'(1,2)  F (basically, I’ve created a G'(1,2) out of the first part of his F’).  I’ve also added verses 45-48 to his A’.  Verses 15-19, imo, could have been added to A as well.

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15  “But it shall come about, if you do not obey the Lord your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:  16  “Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country.  17  “Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.  18  “Cursed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock.  19  “Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out. 

A    [Me: disobedience, destruction:]  20  “The Lord will send upon you curses, confusion, and rebuke, in all you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken Me21  The Lord will make the pestilence cling to you until He has consumed you from the land where you are entering to possess it.  22  The Lord will smite you with consumption and with fever and with inflammation and with fiery heat and with the sword and with blight and with mildew, and they will pursue you until you perish

B    [Me: agricultural disaster – the cause:]  23  The heaven which is over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you, iron.  24  The Lord will make the rain of your land powder and dust; from heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed

C    [Me: War – the act itself:]  25  “The Lord shall cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you will go out one way against them, but you will flee seven ways before them, and you will be an example of terror to all the kingdoms of the earth.  26  Your carcasses will be food to all birds of the sky and to the beasts of the earth, and there will be no one to frighten them away. 

D    27  “The Lord will smite you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors and with the scab and with the itch, from which you cannot be healed

E    28  The Lord will smite you with madness and with blindness and with bewilderment of heart;  29  and you will grope at noon, as the blind man gropes in darkness,

F    and you will not prosper in your ways; but you shall only be oppressed and robbed  /  continually, with none to save you. 

G   

1    [Me: family:]  30  You shall betroth a wife, but another man will violate her; you shall build a house, but you will not live in it;

2    [Me: land and possessions:]  you shall plant a vineyard, but you will not use its fruit31  Your ox shall be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will not eat of it; your donkey shall be torn away from you, and will not be restored to you; your sheep shall be given to your enemies, and you will have none to save you. 

G’  

1′   [Me: family]  32  Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people, while your eyes look on and yearn for them continually; but there will be nothing you can do. 

2′   [Me: refers to land and possessions:]  33  A people whom you do not know shall eat up the produce of your ground and all your labors,

F’   and you will never be anything but oppressed and crushed  /  continually

E’   34  You shall be driven mad  /  by the sight of what you see

D’   35  The Lord will strike you on the knees and legs with sore boils,  /  from which you cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to the crown of your head. 

C’   [Me: war – the aftermath:]  36  The Lord will bring you and your king, whom you set over you, to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other gods, wood and stone.  37  You shall become a horror, a proverb, and a taunt among all the people where the Lord drives you. 

B’   [Me: agricultural disaster – the result:]  38  “You shall bring out much seed to the field but you will gather in little, for the locust will consume it.  39  You shall plant and cultivate vineyards, but you will neither drink of the wine nor gather the grapes, for the worm will devour them.  40  You shall have olive trees throughout your territory but you will not anoint yourself with the oil, for your olives will drop off.  41  You shall have sons and daughters but they will not be yours, for they will go into captivity.  42  The cricket shall possess all your trees and the produce of your ground

A’   [Me: disobedience, destruction:]  43  The alien who is among you shall rise above you higher and higher, but you will go down lower and lower.  44  He shall lend to you, but you will not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you will be the tail.  45  “So all these curses shall come on you and pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you would not obey the Lord your God by keeping His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you.  46  They shall become a sign and a wonder on you and your descendants forever.  47  “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things;  48  therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in the lack of all things; and He will put an iron yoke on your neck until He has destroyed you.

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071-1

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From the book “Deuteronomy”, by Gary Harlan Hall, p. 163.  Available at Amazon.

Here’s a quote and outline from the book:

Deuteronomy 8 is one of the most carefully constructed sermons in the entire book [Me: of Deuteronomy], making the most of the rhetorical device of chiastic structure.  The sermon clearly develops a line of thought up to verse 11, which states the main idea and marks the focus of the chiasm.  The second half develops away from the focal point through a repetition of the same details as found in the first half.  …

Introduction: 1

A.  Manna to test you, so remember – 2-3

B.  God led you in the wilderness – 4-5

C.  The blessings of the land – 6-9

D. Satisfaction brings praise – 10

E.  Do not forget – 11

D’.  Satisfaction brings a warning – 12a

C’.  The blessings of the good land – 12b-14

B’.  Leading in the wilderness – 15

A’.  The manna to test you, so remember – 16-18

E’.  Do not forget – 19-20

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I’ve made a number of changes.  The center went from an E to a double G/G’.

I’ve taken the beginning introduction and matched it with the end E’, creating a brand new A/A’.  Both A1 and A’1 match the center (A1 and G’ refer to commandments, while A’1 and G’ refer to remembering).  Having the beginning and end match the center is a common chiastic technique.  A2 is a blessing, while A’2 is a curse. Whether the people are blessed or cursed depend on their obedience to God’s commandments.  The beginning, center, and end gives us the main point of the chiasmus:  obeying God’s commandments.

I’ve also created a new D/D’.  These sections reflect the people’s hearts, or minds.  They contrast.  In D, the people fear God.  In D’ the people forget God.  …  D and D’ are placed between sections on the wilderness and the promised land.

Overall, I think this is a pretty nice chiasmus.

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A   

1    1  “All the commandments that I am commanding you today you shall be careful to do,

2    that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord swore to give to your forefathers. 

B   

1    2  You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years,   a   that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.  3  He humbled you and let you be hungry,   b   and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know,

2    [Me:  ~Reliance on self vs. reliance on God; the importance of God]    that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord

C    [Me: “forty years” = wilderness.  See v. 1: “in the wilderness these forty years”]    4  Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years.  5  Thus you are to know in your heart that the Lord your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son. 

D    Therefore, you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him.

E    For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills;  8  a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey;  9  a land where you will eat food without scarcity, in which you will not lack anything; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper

F    10  When you have eaten and are satisfied,

G    [Me: Respect God]    you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you.

G’   [Me: Do not disrespect God]    11  “Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today

F’   12  otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied,

E’   and have built good houses and lived in them,  13  and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies

D’   14  then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God

C’   who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.  15  He led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water; He brought water for you out of the rock of flint. 

B’  

1    16  In the wilderness   b’   He fed you manna which your fathers did not know,   a’   that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you in the end. 

2   [Me:  ~Reliance on self vs. reliance on God; the importance of God]   17  Otherwise, you may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’  18  But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. 

A’  

1    19  It shall come about if you ever forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them,

2    I testify against you today that you will surely perish20  Like the nations that the Lord makes to perish before you, so you shall perish; because you would not listen to the voice of the Lord your God.

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deuteronomy

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From the book, “Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy”, by Stephen K. Sherwood.  The book and chiasmus can be found here at Google books – p. 268.  The book can also be found here at Amazon.

Here’s a couple quotes:

Wenham and McConville (1980) call attention to structural elements that tie these verses together:  …  …  3. the six punishments are arranged in chiastic order; and 4. the six cases are arranged in two groups of three each – a triadic division that is used in both Leviticus and Deuteronomy.

Chiastic ordering of punishments:

19    A    damages of one hundred shekels to father, no divorce

21    B    woman executed

22    C    man and woman executed

24    C’   man and woman executed

25    B’   man executed

29    A’   damages of fifty shekels to father, no divorce

“The combination of parallel paneling and chiasmus give this section a notable coherence and compactness suggestive of careful drafting”

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A    13  “If any man takes a wife and goes in to her and then turns against her,  14  and charges her with shameful deeds and publicly defames her, and says, ‘I took this woman, but when I came near her, I did not find her a virgin,’  15  then the girl’s father and her mother shall take and bring out the evidence of the girl’s virginity to the elders of the city at the gate.  16  “And the girl’s father shall say to the elders, ‘I gave my daughter to this man for a wife, but he turned against her;  17  and behold, he has charged her with shameful deeds, saying, “I did not find your daughter a virgin.” But this is the evidence of my daughter’s virginity. ‘And they shall spread the garment before the elders of the city.  18  “So the elders of that city shall take the man and chastise him,  19  and they shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give it to the girl’s father, because he publicly defamed a virgin of Israel. And she shall remain his wife; he cannot divorce her all his days.

   20  “But if this charge is true, that the girl was not found a virgin,  21  then they shall bring out the girl to the doorway of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death because she has committed an act of folly in Israel, by playing the harlot in her father’s house; thus you shall purge the evil from among you.

C    22  “If a man is found lying with a married woman, then both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman; thus you shall purge the evil from Israel.

C’   23  “If there is a girl who is a virgin engaged to a man, and another man finds her in the city and lies with her,  24  then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city and you shall stone them to death; the girl, because she did not cry out in the city, and the man, because he has violated his neighbor’s wife. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you.

B’   25  “But if in the field the man finds the girl who is engaged, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lies with her shall die.  26  “But you shall do nothing to the girl; there is no sin in the girl worthy of death, for just as a man rises against his neighbor and murders him, so is this case.  27  “When he found her in the field, the engaged girl cried out, but there was no one to save her.

A’   28  “If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and they are discovered,  29  then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall become his wife because he has violated her; he cannot divorce her all his days.

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Here’s a chiasmus by Peter J. Leithart.  Here’s his break-down:

A. Observe statutes carefully in land, v. 1

B. Destroy Canaanite worship, vv. 2-4

C. Worship at central sanctuary, vv. 5-14

D. Meat and blood, vv. 15-18

E. Don’t neglect Levites, v. 19

D’. Meat and blood, vv. 20-25

C’. Worship at central sanctuary, vv. 26-28

B’. Beware Canaanite worship, vv. 29-31

A’. Be careful to do commands, v. 3

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A    1  “These are the statutes and the judgments which you shall carefully observe in the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess as long as you live on the earth.

B    2  “You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess serve their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree.  3  “And you shall tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and burn their Asherim with fire, and you shall cut down the engraved images of their gods, and you shall obliterate their name from that place.  4  “You shall not act like this toward the LORD your God.

C    5  “But you shall seek the LORD at the place which the LORD your God shall choose from all your tribes, to establish His name there for His dwelling, and there you shall come.  6  “And there you shall bring your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the contribution of your hand, your votive offerings, your freewill offerings, and the first-born of your herd and of your flock.  7  “There also you and your households shall eat before the LORD your God, and rejoice in all your undertakings in which the LORD your God has blessed you.  8  “You shall not do at all what we are doing here today, every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes;  9  for you have not as yet come to the resting place and the inheritance which the LORD your God is giving you.  10  “When you cross the Jordan and live in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to inherit, and He gives you rest from all your enemies around you so that you live in security,  11  then it shall come about that the place in which the LORD your God shall choose for His name to dwell, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution of your hand, and all your choice votive offerings which you will vow to the LORD.  12  “And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you and your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates, since he has no portion or inheritance with you.  13  “Be careful that you do not offer your burnt offerings in every cultic place you see,  14  but in the place which the LORD chooses in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I command you.

D    15  “However, you may slaughter and eat meat within any of your gates, whatever you desire, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you; the unclean and the clean may eat of it, as of the gazelle and the deer.  16  “Only you shall not eat the blood; you are to pour it out on the ground like water.  17  “You are not allowed to eat within your gates the tithe of your grain, or new wine, or oil, or the first-born of your herd or flock, or any of your votive offerings which you vow, or your freewill offerings, or the contribution of your hand.  18  “But you shall eat them before the LORD your God in the place which the LORD your God will choose, you and your son and daughter, and your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God in all your undertakings.

E    19  “Be careful that you do not forsake the Levite as long as you live in your land.

D’   20  “When the LORD your God extends your border as He has promised you, and you say, ‘I will eat meat,’ because you desire to eat meat, then you may eat meat, whatever you desire.  21  “If the place which the LORD your God chooses to put His name is too far from you, then you may slaughter of your herd and flock which the LORD has given you, as I have commanded you; and you may eat within your gates whatever you desire.  22  “Just as a gazelle or a deer is eaten, so you shall eat it; the unclean and the clean alike may eat of it.  23  “Only be sure not to eat the blood, for the blood is the life, and you shall not eat the life with the flesh.  24  “You shall not eat it; you shall pour it out on the ground like water.  25  “You shall not eat it, in order that it may be well with you and your sons after you, for you will be doing what is right in the sight of the LORD.

C ‘   26  “Only your holy things which you may have and your votive offerings, you shall take and go to the place which the LORD chooses.  27  “And you shall offer your burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, on the altar of the LORD your God; and the blood of your sacrifices shall be poured out on the altar of the LORD your God, and you shall eat the flesh.  28  “Be careful to listen to all these words which I command you, in order that it may be well with you and your sons after you forever, for you will be doing what is good and right in the sight of the LORD your God.

B’   29  “When the LORD your God cuts off before you the nations which you are going in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land,  30  beware that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations serve their gods, that I also may do likewise?’  31  “You shall not behave thus toward the LORD your God, for every abominable act which the LORD hates they have done for their gods; for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.

A’   32  “Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it.

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The center emphasizes Moses’ sacrifice (a fast) as well as a description of the two tablets given by God to Moses, written by the finger of God – a holy relationship.  In contrast to the strong center, the outside sections focus on the peoples’ stubbornness and rebelliousness.  God’s good actions are surrounded by ‘the peoples” bad actions.  ‘Holiness’ is surrounded by ‘evil’.

Is this a picture of God’s grace?  …  In spite of the peoples’ failings before and after, God nevertheless holds fast and gives the Law. 

Or, perhaps it demonstrate exactly why the people need the Law (E) – they have a tendency to wander without it (act rebelliously (B) and corruptly (B’)). 

…  They’re a stubborn people (A/A’).

Like us. 

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It’s also possible I suppose that the author chose to put this story in the shape of a chiasmus because a chiasmus in a way reflects the georaphy of the story.  The people at the base of the mountain rebelling  (the outsides of the chiasmus)…  The law being given at the top of the mountain (the center – peak – of the chiasmus). 

???

Hmmm.  Maybe.

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A    6  “Know, then, it is not because of your righteousness that the LORD your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stubborn people.

B    7  “Remember, do not forget how you provoked the LORD your God to wrath in the wilderness; from the day that you left the land of Egypt until you arrived at this place, you have been rebellious against the LORD.  8  “Even at Horeb you provoked the LORD to wrath, and the LORD was so angry with you that He would have destroyed you.

C    9  “When I went up to the mountain to receive the tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant which the LORD had made with you,

D    then I remained on the mountain forty days and nights;

E    I neither ate bread nor drank water.  —  10  “And the LORD gave me the two tablets of stone written by the finger of God; and on them were all the words which the LORD had spoken with you at the mountain from the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly.

D’   11  “And it came about at the end of forty days and nights

C’   that the LORD gave me the two tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant.

B’   12  “Then the LORD said to me, ‘Arise, go down from here quickly, for your people whom you brought out of Egypt have acted corruptly. They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them; they have made a molten image for themselves.’

A’   13  “The LORD spoke further to me, saying, ‘I have seen this people, and indeed, it is a stubborn people.

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