LEVITICUS 19 / DEUTERONOMY 5,6.

On the theme which Joe raised (see his comment on Joshua 1:5-9) of chiasms straddling books, below is a related example although it involves two separate passages within two books rather than at the end/beginning of books. See what you think – if it’s right and I have not made a mistake, this is truly amazing, and as Joe mentioned, points to evidence of inspiration.

Christ said: “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these” (Mk. 12:29-31). He combines two quotes, Leviticus 19:18 and Deuteronomy 6,4,5. Given their importance, “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Mt. 22:40), perhaps we might expect these two quotes to be at the centre of chiasms in their respective passages in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. But this does not appear to be the case. However …

If the two passages are compared, a chiasm is present covering the section before the quote in Leviticus and the section after the quote in Deuteronomy. And another chiasm is present covering the section before the quote in Deuteronomy and the section after the quote in Leviticus.

LEVITICUS 19:12-18 AND DEUTERONOMY 6:4-13:

A (Lev. 19:12,13)  And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane THE NAME of thy God: I am Yahweh. Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.

B (Lev. 19:14)  Thou shalt not curse the deaf, NOR PUT <05414> a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am Yahweh.

C (Lev. 19:15,16) Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour. THOU SHALT NOT GO UP <03212> and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am Yahweh.

D (Lev. 19:17) Thou shalt not hate thy brother IN THINE HEART: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.

E (Lev. 19:18) Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am Yahweh.

E’ (Deut. 6:4,5) Hear, O Israel: Yahweh our God is one Yahweh: And thou shalt love Yahweh thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

D’ (Deut. 6:6)  And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be IN THINE HEART:

C’ (Deut. 6:7-9) And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when THOU WALKEST <03212> by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

B’ (Deut. 6:10-12) And it shall be, when Yahweh thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, TO GIVE <05414> thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; Then beware lest thou forget Yahweh, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

A (Deut. 6:13) Thou shalt fear Yahweh thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by HIS NAME.

DEUTERONOMY 5:30-6:5 AND LEVITICUS 19:18-21:

A (Deut. 5:30) Go say to them, Get you into YOUR TENTS <0168> again.

B (Deut. 5:31-33) But as for thee, stand thou here by me, and I will speak unto thee all the commandments, and the statutes <02706>, and the judgments, which thou shalt teach them, that they may do them in the land which I GIVE THEM to possess it. Ye shall observe to do therefore as Yahweh your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. Ye shall walk in all the ways which Yahweh your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.

C (Deut. 6:1-3) Now these are the commandments, the statutes <02706>,  and the judgments, which Yahweh your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it: That thou mightest fear Yahweh thy God, to keep all HIS STATUTES <02708> and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.  Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as Yahweh God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.

D (Deut. 4, 5) Hear, O Israel: Yahweh our God is one Yahweh: And thou shalt love Yahweh thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

D’ (Lev. 19:18) Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am Yahweh.

C’ (Lev. 19:19) Ye shall keep MY STATUTES <02708>. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.

B’ (Lev. 19:20) And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom GIVEN her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.

A’ (Lev. 19:21) And he shall bring his trespass offering unto Yahweh, unto the door of THE TABERNACLE <0168> of the congregation, even a ram for a trespass offering.

One thought on “LEVITICUS 19 / DEUTERONOMY 5,6.”

  1. The speeches seem to answer one another! Also, interestingly, in the first chiasm the part from Leviticus is part of the main body of the law whereas the part from Deuteronomy is more like an introductory speech. In the second it seems to be the other way round. Perhaps this could point to a larger scale chiasm across the two books?

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