Matthew 10:5-42

Any thoughts – perhaps this is too broad to be considered as a definite chiastic pattern. We saw it doing the daily Bible readings. What caught the eye was C and C’ which link to the prophecy of Micah. A and A’ both use the same word “receive” to describe reception of the apostles. B and B’ relate to suffering for the gospel. D and D’ speak of the disciples’ identification with their master. The centre focuses on whom should we “fear”. 

A. 5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not : 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. 9 Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, 10 Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. 11 And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. 12 And when ye come into an house, salute it. 13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it:but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. 15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

B. 16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves:be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men:for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. 20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

C. 21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child:and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. 22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake:but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. 23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another:for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.

D. 24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. 25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?

E. 26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. 27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light:and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.

F. 28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul:

F’. but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

E’. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

D’. 32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

C’. 34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth:I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me:and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

B’. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

A’. 40 He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. 41 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

One thought on “Matthew 10:5-42”

  1. I was coming up with a very similar outline. Mine was not so detailed as yours, however:
    A1 (9-15): Stay with people who welcome you, and they’ll be blessed
    B1 (16-23) You’ll have strife, even from your own family
    C1 (24-25) People will judge you because you’re mine
    D (26-31) Proclaim the message of the Kingdom boldly, even if it costs you your life, because that won’t happen unless your Father allows it.
    C2 (32-33) I will acknowledge you because you’re mine.
    B2 (34-39) You’ll have strife, even from your own family
    A2 (40-42) Anyone who welcomes you will be blessed

    Broadly speaking, I think it’s the same as yours. I begin at verse nine, but that probably has more to do with the paragraph breaks in my NIV Bible than anything else. You’ve broken apart verses 16-23 and 34-39 so that familial strife is distinct from more general strife, which seems reasonable. You’ve also dissected the center of the chiasm further than I. That gives you a bicola construct in the very center that urges fear of God rather than fear of men. Given the time telling the disciples about all the sufferings they would face, this seems a very reasonable focal point for the chiasm.

    Thank you for posting your thoughts. It was nice to see that I am not the only one perceiving a potential chiasm in these verses.

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