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heart

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This chiasmus was found here.   I’ve changed it a bit. 

The ancient chiastic writer had quite a few options available to her.  One of those options was to create his chiasmus so that it could be read ‘helically’ – a modern term – perhaps attributable to Fr. John Breck, in his book “The Shape of Biblical Language”.  A helical read of a chiasmus ‘reads’ the various matches of a chiasmus in the order of their appearance.  That is, a helical read would move from section A to section A’ (the first match), to B to B’ (the second match), to C to C’ (the third match), etc.  A helical read ends at the center of the chiasmus, where something of significance is typically found. 

Imo, a nice example of a helical read can be found in Psalm 150

Here is Psalm 37:1-7 presented helically: 

Do not fret because of evildoers; do not be envious toward wrongdoers (A).  Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way; because of the man who carries out wicked schemes (A’).  …  For they will wither quickly like the grass, and fade like the green herb (B).  [The Lord] will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your judgment as the noonday.  Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him (B’).  … Trust in the Lord, and do good (C).  Trust [ ] in Him, and He will do it (C’).  … Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness (D).  Commit your way to the Lord (D’).  … Delight yourself in the Lord – and He will give you the desires of your Heart (E) !

To my way of thinking, a helical read of Psalm 37:1-7 produces a ‘smoother’ flow.  The chiasm’s ideas moves from a focus on the ‘evildoer’ to a focus on the ‘righteous’.  The concluding instructions for the righteous include … resting, waiting, trusting, cultivating faithfulness, committing, and delighting.  Overall, the chiasmus, in a helical read, moves from “do not fret” (the opening) to “delight yourself in the Lord – and He will give you the desires of your heart!” (the ending).  The emotional movement is from abandoning ‘worry’ (distress, concern) to ’embracing’ the faithfulness and goodness of God.  …  Rather than fret, we should delight ourselves in the Lord!

In a helical read, it’s perhaps possible to see that it’s not simply ‘delighting yourself in the Lord’ that results in the believer receiving ‘the desires of his or her own heart’ (the center, E).  The entire list of positive instructions may be necessary.  That is, when we rest (B’), wait (B’), trust (C/C’), are faithful (D), commit our way (D’), and delight ourselves in the Lord (E)  …  then, He will give us the desires of our heart.  It’s an entire way of faithful and committed living that comes before the ‘gift’ is given.   … …  The helical read helps bring this out.

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1  (A Psalm of David.)

A    Do not fret because of evildoers, Be not be envious toward wrongdoers.

B    [Me: a ‘negative’ result for wrongdoers:]    2  For they will wither quickly like the grass, And fade like the green herb.

C    3  Trust in the LORD, and do good; 

D    Dwell in the land  /  and cultivate faithfulness.

E   4  Delight yourself in the LORD  –  And He will give you the desires of your heart!

D’   Commit your way to the LORD, 

C’   Trust also in Him, and He will do it.

B’   [Me: a ‘positive’ result for the righteous:]    6  And He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your judgment as the noonday.  7  Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; 

A’    Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.

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