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Posts Tagged ‘Revelation chiasmus’


DCF 1.0

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This chiasmus is part of a larger chiasmus (Revelation 1:4 – 3:22) that can be found here.

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The chiasmus below can be briefly outlined as follows:

A    God, the Father

B/C    Jesus

D/E/E’F’    The Church

C’/B’   Jesus

A’   God, the Father

The chiasmus can be read helically.  That is, it can be read in the order of it’s matches:  from A to A’, to B to B’, to C to C’, to D, E, E’, F’.  In my opinion, the passage actually becomes clearer when read this way:

(A)  “Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come – and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne.  (A’)  “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”  (B)  And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.  (B’)  Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.  (C)  To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood;  (C’)  to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.  (D/E/E’/D’)  He has made us to be a kingdom; priests to His God and Father.”

(For another example of a passage that can be read helically, see Psalm 150.)

I think the center of this chiasmus is strong, focusing on the church as a kingdom of priests.  The center offers a little ‘high churchology’, if you will.  😉

The beginning and end have a match in God, the Father.  God surrounds and centers the chiasmus – and more importantly, it’s message.

The reference to God as “Alpha and Omega” is interesting.  Alpha is the first letter in the Greek alphabet, while Omega is the last.  The phrase’s meaning is that God is the first and the last, the beginning and the end.  In other words, He is the source of everything that is.  …  For me, it’s interesting as well because the chiasmus itself begins and ends with ‘God, the Father’.  It makes me wonder whether the writer is winking at us with this little phrase – perhaps with a small smile of creative satisfaction. ;-).

I like the way the second half ends each section with strength:  C’:  “Amen”; B’:  “Amen”; A’:  “The Almighty”.

Overall, I think this is a nice little chiasmus.  I like the beautiful, strong message in the center.  We are a kingdom – a kingdom of priests.  Wow!  Nice.

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4  John to the seven churches that are in Asia:

A    [Me:  God, the Father:]  Grace to you and peace, from Him  /  who is and who was and who is to comeand from the seven Spirits who are before His throne

B    [Me:  Jesus:]  5  and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth

C    [Me: Praise for Jesus (doxology – part a):]  To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood – 

D    (6  and He has made us to be

E    a kingdom,

E’   priests

D’   to His God and Father –)

C’   [Me: Praise for Jesus (doxology – part b):]  to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 

B’  [Me:  Jesus:]  7  Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen. 

A’  [Me:  God, the Father:]  8  “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God,  /  who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

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I really like the center of this chiasmus.  It’s powerful:

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A

1    12:1  And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars;  2  and she was with child; and she cried^ out, being in labor and in pain to give birth. 

2    3  And another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. 

B    4  And his tail swept^ away a third of the stars of heaven, and threw them to the earth. 

C    And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.  5  And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.  6  And the woman fled into the wilderness where she had^ a place prepared by God, so that there she might be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

D    7  And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. And the dragon and his angels waged war,  8  and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven.  9  And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him

E    10  And I heard a loud voice / in heaven, saying,

F    “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them before our God day and night

G    11  And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death. 

F’   12  “For this reason,

E’   rejoice, / O heavens and you who dwell in them.

D’   Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”  13  And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth,

C’   he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child.  14  And the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, in order that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was^ nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.

B’   15  And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. 

A’

1    16  And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth. 

2    17  And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.

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