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Posts Tagged ‘Chiasmus’

rest-here_esther-simpson

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The following chiasmus is from here.

I’ve made a few changes.  I’ve changed his A to an A/B and his A’ to a B’/A’.  I’ve moved the end of his B section into C (my D1).  And finally,  I’ve created a spot of paralleling in his C and C’ sections (which is now my D1/D2/D’1/D’2). D1 and D’1 are negative descriptions of destruction, while D2 and D’2 are positive descriptions of peace and healing.

Here’s a quote offering a little more explanation:

Like most psalms, Psalm 46 originated in the life of the Israelite community. It was sung and recited long before it was ever written down, it’s poetic style shaped by confidence in God’s protection from threats, whether from other nations or “Mother Nature.”  In the face of a long history of threats and set backs faced by the Jewish community, God was with them, offering his provision and protection.

Robert Alden created a chiasm of Psalm 46 which pulls out some interesting features from its verses:

1      A  God is refuge.

2              B  No fear.

3-4                         C  God rules over natural calamities.

5                                       D  God is here.

6a                                               E  Nations rage.

6b                                               E  God speaks.

7                                       D  God is here.

8-9                          C  God rules over political calamities.

10                 B  Be still.

11        A  God is refuge.

Notice (B) “No fear” and “be still” are complementary, while (E) “nations rage” and “God speaks” contrast humanity’s actions with God’s actions. Verse 7 echoes verse 5, “God is here” (D), as though it were being underscored.  In verse 10, God sends a powerful message to the nations–to be still and submit to his reign.  … …  [H]e commands us all to “be still”– a quiet reminder that our ultimate confidence and security is in the power and presence of God.  Only then can we truly rest in his presence.

 

For the choir director.  A Psalm of the sons of Korah, set to Alamoth.  A Song.

A    1  God is our refuge and strength,

B    a very present help in trouble. 

C    2  Therefore we will not fear,

D

1    though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea3  though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.  Selah. 

2    4  There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy dwelling places of the Most High. 

E    5  God is in the midst of her,  /  she will not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns

F    6  The nations made an uproar,  /  the kingdoms tottered;

F’   He raised His voice,  /  the earth melted

E’   7  The Lord of hosts is with us;  /  the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah. 

D’  

1   8  Come, behold the works of the Lord, who has wrought desolations in the earth

2   9  He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariots with fire

C’   10  Cease striving and know that I am God – I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” 

B’   11  The Lord of hosts is with us;

A’   the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.

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stock-footage-reading-the-book-of-genesis-bible

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There are quite a few chiasmi in Genesis.  I was reading through Genesis 8-10 the other day and noticed the following six:

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8:22

20  Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.  21  The Lord smelled the soothing aroma; and the Lord said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.

A   

22  While the earth remains,

B    [Me:  moving from cooler time of the year to warmer time of the year?  Seedtime to harvest?:]

a    Seedtime

b    and harvest,

C   

c    And cold

d    and heat,

C’  

d’   And summer

c’   and winter,

B’  

b’  (d”)  And day

a’   (c”)  and night

A’   Shall not cease.”

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9:6a:

A    “Whoever sheds

B    the blood

C    of man

C’   by man

B’   his blood

A’   shall be shed …”

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9:9-17:

8  Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying, 

A

a    9  “Now behold, I Myself do establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you;  

b    10  and with every living creature

c    that is with you,

d    the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth

c’   with you – of all that comes out of the ark,

b’   even every beast of the earth. 

a’   11  I establish My covenant with you;

B    and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth.” 

C    12  God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations;  13  I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth.  14  It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will be seen in the cloud,  15  and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh;

B’   and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh

A’   16 When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”  17  And God said to Noah, This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.”

[Me:  There is a match between the center and the end, a common feature in chiasmus: bow in the cloud; remembering.  At the same time, the author is able to match A’ with A via his ending comment, “… the covenant which I established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth”.]

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10:1-24

1 Now these are the records of the generations of

A    Shem,

B    Ham,

C    and Japheth, the sons of Noah; and sons were born to them after the flood. 

C’   2  The sons of Japheth were Gomer and Magog and Madai and Javan and Tubal and Meshech and Tiras.  …  …

B’   6  The sons of Ham were Cush and Mizraim and Put and Canaan.  …  …

A’   21  Also to Shem, the father of all the children of Eber, and the older brother of Japheth, children were born. 22 The sons of Shem were Elam and Asshur

a    and Arpachshad

b    and Lud and Aram.

b’   23  The sons of Aram were Uz and Hul and Gether and Mash.

a’   24  Arpachshad became the father of Shelah …

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1024px-Anastasis_at_Chora

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This particular chiasmus comes from here.  The attribution at the bottom of the page is to:  Craig S. Keener, the IVP Bible Background Commentary, New Testament, Intervarsity Press, Downes Grove, I, Illinois, 1993.

The book can be found here at Google books, and here at Amazon.

I like the theme of salvation at the center.  It makes the center strong.

I think D/D’ is interesting.  It seems one of the purposes of Jesus’ ‘making proclamation to the spirits in prison’ (D) may have been to have ‘angels, authorities, and powers’ subjected to Himself (D’).  I also like the implied match between Hades below and Heaven above.

There’s a lot of concepts packed in here: judgment, our suffering/witness, Jesus’ suffering, Hades/Heaven, ordering of power, salvation … .  Plenty to contemplate.  Nice.

Here’s the summary from the book:

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 1 Peter 3.16 4.5

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(A?)    13  Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good?  14  But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled,  15  but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;   

A    16  and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered,  /  those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. 

B    17  For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer  /  for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. 

C    18  For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death  /  in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; 

D    [Me: Jesus goes to Hades]  19  in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison

E    20  who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. 

E’   21  Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 

D’   22  who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him

C’   4:1 Therefore, since Christ has suffered  in the flesh,

B’   arm yourselves also with the same purpose – because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,  2  so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God

A’   3  or the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries.  4  In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you;  /  but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 

For the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God. 

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A painting on wood, by Julia Stankova

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This is a nice little chiasmus.  The center, v. 18-19, is likely based on Isaiah 61:1-2, a messianic passage:

1  The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners;
2  To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord

Interestingly, there’s no mention of ‘healing blindness’ in the above passage, even though it’s at the center of Luke’s chiasmus.  Nevertheless, healing blindness is used elsewhere in Isaiah, including the following messianic passage:

“I am the LORD, I have called You in righteousness, I will also hold You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations, to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon and those who dwell in darkness from the prison.”  Is 42:6-7.

I think it’s fitting to have healing of blindness at the center of this chiasmus.  Not only did Jesus heal people of their physical blindness, He also healed people of their spiritual blindness.  The center serves double duty.  The spiritual aspect of Jesus’ job was ultimately at the core of his ministry: opening peoples’ eyes to who He was and what He came to do.

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14  And Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through all the surrounding district.  15  And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all.  16  And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom,

A    He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath,

B    and stood up to read.

C    17  And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him.

D    And He opened the book and found the place where it was written, 

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18  The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,

E    Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.

F    He has sent Me to proclaim release  /  to the captives,

G    And recovery of sight to the blind,

F’   To set free  /  those who are oppressed

E’   19  To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” 

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D’   20  And He closed the book,

C’   gave it back to the attendant

B’   and sat down;

A’   and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 

21  And He began to say to them, Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

 

 

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Business colleagues shaking hands

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This chiasmus is from Grant R. Osborne’s book, “Romans”.  The chiasmus can be found here at Google books, page 366.  The book can also be found here at Amazon.

I’ve creating a new center, F.

F focuses on peace with both God and man.  The new center reminds me of Jesus’ words in Mark 12:29-31, where the two social spheres of God and man (‘the vertical and the horizontal’) are emphasized:

28  And one of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?”  29  Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD;  30  AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’  31  “The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

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A    Judging (v. 13a)

B    Stumbling block (v.13b)

C    Clean/unclean (v.14)

D    Destroying (v. 15)

E    Peace and unity (vv 16-18)

E’   Peace and unity (v. 19)

D’   Destroying (v. 20a)

C’   Clean/unclean (v. 20b)

B’   Stumbling block (v. 21)

A’   Judging (vv. 22-23)

… Several have noted a chiastic pattern here.  Perhaps the most comprehensive is Dunn (1988b:816 …

This section addresses the strong, who should be leading the way to establishing unity in the church by opening themselves up to the “weaker” brothers and sisters.  Neither side should stand in judgment over the other, for God alone is the judge of all, and he has accepted both groups (vv. 3, 10).  In a terrific play on words, Paul tells the strong that instead of “judging” (krino) the weak, they must “decide” (krino) not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in … [the] way of the “weak” Christians.  Rather than negative judgment, they must be characterized by positive discernment.  The two words are virtually synonymous.  A stumbling block is that which causes someone to fall into sin.  Similarly,an obstacle derives from the concept of “trapping something in a snare” and therefore is used in the LXX of falling into sin.  So it came to mean “an obstacle in coming to faith and a cause of going astray,” a transgression that leads to destruction, thus something that destroys faith and causes apostasy.

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A    13  Therefore let us not judge one another anymore,

B    but rather determine this– not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block  /  in a brother’s way.

C    14  I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

D    15  For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died.

E    16  Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil;  17  for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

F    18  For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men.

E’   19  So then let us pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.

D’   20  Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of food.

C’   All things indeed are clean,  /  but they are evil for the man who eats and gives offense.

B’   21  It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother  /  stumbles.

A’   22  The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God.  Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.  23  But he who doubts is condemned if he eats – because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.

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crucifixion

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I think this is a chiasmus.  It requires some commentary, but for now I thought I would just post it.  🙂

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1  (For the choir director. A Psalm of David; for a memorial.)

A    a  O Godb  hasten to deliver me!

B    a  O LORD,  /  b  hasten to my help!

C    2  Let those be ashamed and humiliated

D    Who seek my life;

E    Let those be turned back and dishonored Who delight in my hurt.

E’   3  Let those be turned back because of their shame Who say, “Aha, aha!

D’   4  Let all who seek Thee

C’   rejoice and be glad in Thee – And let those who love Thy salvation say continually, “Let God be magnified.”

B’   5  But I am afflicted and needyb’  Hasten to me,  /  a’  O God!

A’   b’  Thou art my help and my deliverera’  O LORDdo not delay.

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The end of the chiasmus also appears to be a small chiasmus:

a    5b  Hasten to me,

b    O God!

c    Thou art my help and my deliverer;

b’   O LORD,

a’   do not delay.

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Empty Tomb Resurrection

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A   [Me: a positive beginning assertion:]    15:1  Now I make known to you, brethren,

a    the gospel  /  which I preached to you,  /  which also you received,

b    in which also you stand,

b’   2  by which also you are saved,

a’   the word  /  which I preached to you,  /  if you hold fast

B    [Me: a negative alternative:]   unless  [!!!]  in vain  [Me: Greek -‘eikay’]  you believed!

C    3  For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

D    4  and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,  5  and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.  6  After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;  7  then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles;  8  and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.

E

1    9  For I am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.   10  But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain  [Me: Greek = ‘kenos’].

2    But I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.  11  Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

F

a    12  Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead,

b    how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?

b’   13  But if there is no resurrection of the dead,

a’   not even Christ has been raised;

E’

14  and if Christ has not been raised,

1′    then vain  [Me: Greek = ‘kenos’]  is    2′    our preaching

1′    and vain  [Me: Greek = ‘kenos’]  is    2′    your faith.

D’

a    15  Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we witnessed against God :

b    that He raised Christ,

c    whom He did not raise,

d    if in fact the dead are not raised.

d’   16  For if the dead are not raised,

c’   not even Christ has been raised;

b’   17  and if Christ has not been raised,

a’    your faith is worthless;

C’   [Me: D’ a’ continued:]  you are still in your sins.

B’   [Me: a negative possibility:]  18  Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  19  If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

A’   [Me: a positive ending assertion:]  20  But  [!!!]  now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep !!!

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