Jeremiah 5:1-8*

Note: as we learn more about Hebrew rhetorical structures it is becoming clear that some of the chiastic structures we think we have seen are hazy outlines of more complex structures. Here is an example. J R Lundbom [Biblical Rhetoric and Rhetorical Criticism, 2015, HBM, Sheffield]]  has pointed out the following poem which I have tried to follow in the AV. I have divided the centre stanza to emphasis the contrast which is the turning point of the passage. The chiasm we thought we had found is included at the end for comparison. 

A. Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem,
and see now, and know,
and seek in the broad places thereof,
if ye can find a man,
if there be any that executeth judgment,
that seeketh the truth;
and I will pardon it.
2 And though they say, The LORD liveth;
surely they swear falsely.

B. 3 O LORD, are not thine eyes
upon the truth?
thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved;
thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction:
they have made their faces harder than a rock;
they have refused to return.

C. 4 Therefore I said, Surely these are poor;
they are foolish:
for they know not the way of the LORD,
nor the judgment of their God.

C’. 5 I will get me unto the great men,
and will speak unto them;
for they have known the way of the LORD,
and the judgment of their God:

B’. but these have altogether broken the yoke,
and burst the bonds.
6 Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them,
and a wolf of the evenings shall spoil them,
a leopard shall watch over their cities:
every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces:
because their transgressions are many,
and their backslidings are increased.

A’. 7 How shall I pardon thee for this?
thy children have forsaken me,
and sworn by them that are no gods:
when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery,
and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses.
8 They were as fed horses in the morning:
every one neighed after his neighbour’s wife.

earlier post

A.(1) Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man,

B. if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it. (2) And though they say, The LORD liveth; surely they swear falsely. (3) O LORD, are not thine eyes upon the truth? thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them,

C. but they have refused to receive correction:

D. they have made their faces harder than a rock;

C’. they have refused to return.

B’.(4) Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish: for they know not the way of the LORD, nor the judgment of their God.

A’.(5) I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they have known the way of the LORD, and the judgment of their God: but these have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds.

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