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Isaiah 7:1-8:15

Note: Some strong links suggest inversion – “fear” in 7:4 and 8:12,13 and the invasion of the King of Assyria like a flood in 7:17-20 and 8:5-8. The reference to Immanuel in 8:8 is not considered structural in this proposal which may be a weakness. If this is correct the central section is the deliverance from the cause of the fear signified in the name of Isaiah’s son – Mahershalalhashbaz. 

A. Exhortation to Ahaz to “fear not”
1. And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it. 2 And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind. 3 Then said the LORD unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller’s field; 4 And say unto him, Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be fainthearted for the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah …

B. 10 The sign of Immanuel (God with us)
Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying,11 Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. 12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD. 13 And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 15 Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. 16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.

C. The invasion of the King of Assyria
17 The LORD shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father’s house, days that have not come, from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah; even the king of Assyria. 18 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria.19 And they shall come, and shall rest all of them in the desolate valleys, and in the holes of the rocks, and upon all thorns, and upon all bushes. 20 In the same day shall the Lord shave with a razor that is hired, namely, by them beyond the river, by the king of Assyria, the head, and the hair of the feet …

D. The Sign of Mahershalalhashbaz – deliverance
8:1 Moreover the LORD said unto me, Take thee a great roll, and write in it with a man’s pen concerning Mahershalalhashbaz. 2 And I took unto me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah. 3 And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the LORD to me, Call his name Mahershalalhashbaz. 4 For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria.

C’. The invasion of Immanuel’s land by the King of Assyria
5 The LORD spake also unto me again, saying, 6 Forasmuch as this people refuseth the waters of Shiloah that go softly, and rejoice in Rezin and Remaliah’s son; 7 Now therefore, behold, the LORD bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks: 8 And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel.

B’. “God is with us”
9 Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces. 10 Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us.

A’. Exhortation to Isaiah not to fear
11 For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, 12 Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. 13 Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. 14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.

Daniel 7

Note: this revised post follows the suggestion of Mark O’Grady that the chapter has four sections each running in parallel. The surprising finding is that the Ancient of Days parallels the saints taking the kingdom, and the “Son of Man”  element parallels the saints possessing the kingdom. 

Part 1 – the dream

1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.

A.The vision of the four beasts
2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. 4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. 5 And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh. 6 After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. 7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. 8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

B. The vision of the Ancient of days
9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. 10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. 11 I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. 12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.

C. the vision of the one like the Son of Man
13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

Part 2 – the explanation of the vision

15 I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. 16 I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.

A’. The four beasts
17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.

B’. The Ancient of Days
18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom,

C’. One like the Son of Man
and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.

Part 3 – Daniel’s question concerning the fourth beast and what followed.

A’’. The fourth beast
19 Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; 20 And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.

B’’. the Ancient of Days
21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;  22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High;

C’’. One like the Son of Man
and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

Part 4 – explanation of the fourth beast and what followed.

A’’’. The fourth beast
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. 24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. 25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

B’’’. The Ancient of Days
26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.

C’’’. One like the Son of Man
27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

28 Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.

Joshua 3:3-5

From Bob Schlenker

Joshua 3:3-5a (NASB)

A) 3 and they commanded the people, saying,

B) “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God with the Levitical priests carrying it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it.

C) 4 However, there shall be between you and it a distance of about 2,000 cubits by measure.

C’) Do not come near it,

B’) that you may know the way by which you shall go, for you have not passed this way before.”

A’) 5 Then Joshua said to the people …

The B) elements mark the cessation of the pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night, by which they had known which way to go for 40 years in the wilderness. As they cross the Jordan into the promised land, they will now follow the Lord’s presence that is associated with the Ark of the Covenant.

Isaiah 3:16-4:6

Note: this section contrasts the superficial  beauty of the “cat  walk” with the true beauty of holiness. Different Hebrew words for beauty are used.

A. the vanity and pride of the daughters of Zion

16 Moreover the LORD saith,
Because the daughters of Zion are haughty,
and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes,
walking and mincing as they go,
and making a tinkling with their feet:
17 Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab
the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion,
and the LORD will discover their secret parts.

B. the garish fashion parade spoiled

18 In that day the LORD will take away
the bravery (tipara) of their tinkling ornaments about their feet,
and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon,
19 The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers,
20 The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands,
and the tablets, and the earrings,
21 The rings, and nose jewels,
22 The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles,
and the wimples, and the crisping pins,
23 The glasses, and the fine linen,
and the hoods, and the vails.
24 And it shall come to pass,
that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink;
and instead of a girdle a rent;
and instead of well set hair baldness;
and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth;
and burning instead of beauty.
25 Thy men shall fall by the sword,
and thy mighty in the war.
26 And her gates shall lament and mourn;
and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground.

C. 4:1 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying,
We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel:
only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.

B’. true spiritual beauty

2 In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious,
and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely (tipara)
for them that are escaped of Israel.

A’. the daughters of Zion cleansed and Jerusalem holy

3 And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion,
and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy,
even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:
4 When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. 5 And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion,
and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence.
6 And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.

Isaiah 3:1-15

Note: this section sees the collapse of established social order because of flagrant wickedness and the abuse of power to exploit the poor. 

A. Isaiah 3:1 For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts,

B. established rulership of Jerusalem collapses and replaced by novices.

doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah
the stay and the staff,
the whole stay of bread,
and the whole stay of water,
2 The mighty man, and the man of war,
the judge, and the prophet,
and the prudent, and the ancient,
3 The captain of fifty, and the honourable man,
and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer,
and the eloquent orator.
4 And I will give children to be their princes,
and babes shall rule (masal) over them.
5 And the people shall be oppressed,
every one by another,
and every one by his neighbour:
the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient,
and the base against the honourable.
6 When a man shall take hold of his brother
of the house of his father, saying,
Thou hast clothing, be thou our ruler,
and let this ruin be under thy hand:
7 In that day shall he swear, saying,
I will not be an healer;
for in my house is neither bread nor clothing:
make me not a ruler of the people.

C. The wickedness  of Jerusalem

8 For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen:
because their tongue and their doings are against the LORD,
to provoke the eyes of his glory.
9 The shew of their countenance doth witness against them;
and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not.

C’. righteous justice to come

Woe unto their soul!
for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.
10 Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him:
for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.
11 Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him:
for the reward of his hands shall be given him.

B’. the self-serving rulers of Jerusalem judged

12 As for my people, children are their oppressors,
and women rule (masal) over them.
O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err,
and destroy the way of thy paths.
13 The LORD standeth up to plead,
and standeth to judge the people.
14 The LORD will enter into judgment
with the ancients of his people, and the princes thereof:
for ye have eaten up the vineyard;
the spoil of the poor is in your houses.
15 What mean ye that ye beat my people to pieces,
and grind the faces of the poor?

A’. saith the Lord GOD of hosts.

John 20:25 and 27

Note; I am puzzling over this passage. There is a regular parallelism between what Thomas says and the Lord’s challenge to Thomas when he sees him. However, the “see” and “finger” are switched around in order and the “print of the nails” is left out. Is this an example of Seidel’s law of reverse quotation. Any thoughts?

25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them,

A. Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails,

B. and put my finger into the print of the nails,

C. and thrust my hand into his side,

D. I will not believe.

 27 Then saith he to Thomas,

B’. Reach hither thy finger,

A’. and behold my hands;

C’. and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side:

D’. and be not faithless, but believing. 

A Jericho Cycle?

Has anyone suggested that Joshua 2-7 forms a symmetrical unit?  There is a clear symmetrical contrast between Rahab who hid the spies on the roof, and Achan who hid his Jericho treasures in the ground. Rahab the Canaanite harlot through faith finds life for herself and her family. Achan a faithless prince in Israel causes the loss of his life and the life of his family. Between the accounts of the spies and the fall of Jericho we are told of Israel at Jordan and at Gilgal. The two sets of events may seem unrelated but it is interesting that at Jordan the waters of the river were “cut off” (Josh 3:13, 16, 4:7) –  a word for cutting a covenant and also used of circumcision in Exodus 4:25 – and at Gigal the males of Israel were circumcised. The parable of the Jordan river becomes relevant here. As the water descends to the sea of death the ark of the covenant, representing Christ, causes the flow right back to a place called Adam. At Gilgal the cutting off of the flesh, representative of fleshy thinking is a necessary requirement for inheritance in the Kingdom of God.

A. Rahab finds life – Josh 2.

B.  At Jordan the water is “cut off” – Josh 3,4

B’. At Gilgal the nation is circumcised – Josh 5

A’. Rahab is saved and Achan is destroyed like Jericho – Josh 6,7

Acts 10:23-33

A. 23 And on the morrow Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him. 24 And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen and near friends.

B. 25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. 26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.

C. 27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.

D. 28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

C’. 29 Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?

B’. 30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, 31 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. 32 Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.

A’. 33 Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.

Luke 19:11-28

Note: there is a close tie between the beginning and end of this pericope and a general inversion within the parable. The central issue is the lazy servant’s estimation of his master’s character. 

A. 11 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. 12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. 13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.

B. 14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.

C. 15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.

D. 16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. 17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. 18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. 19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.

E. 20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:  

F. 21 For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.

G. 22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant.

F’. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:

E’. 23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?

D’. 24 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. 25 (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)

C’. 26 For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.

B’. 27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

A’. 28 And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.

Acts 8:1-13

A. 1 And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.

B. 2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.

B’. 3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.

A’. 4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.

A. 5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.

B. 6 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.

B’. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.

A’. 8 And there was great joy in that city.

A. 9 But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched (existemi) the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: 10 To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power (dynamis) of God.

B. 11 And to him they had regard,

C. because that of long time he had bewitched (existemi) them with sorceries.

B’. 12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

A’. 13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered (existemi), beholding the miracles (dynamis) and signs which were done.