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John 5:24-29*

Note: In The Bible Translator (July 1975) Kenneth Bailey quotes this passage as a five stanza poem, first noted by John Forbes in 1885.

A. 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me,
hath everlasting life,
and shall not come into condemnation;
but is passed from death unto life.

B. 25 Verily, verily, I say unto you,
The hour is coming, and now is,
when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God:
and they that hear shall live.

C. 26 For as the Father hath life in himself;
so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also,
because he is the Son of man.

B’. 28 Marvel not at this:
for the hour is coming,
in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29 And shall come forth;

A’. they that have done good,
unto the resurrection of life;
and they that have done evil,
unto the resurrection of damnation.

Ecclesiastes 7:24-29

From Nicholas White

A. 24 That which is far off, and exceeding deep, who can find it out ?

B. 25 I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out  wisdom,

C. and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness:

D. 26 And I find more bitter than death the woman,

E. whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands.

E’. Whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her;

D’. but the sinner shall be taken by her.

C’. 27 Behold, this have I found, saith the preacher, counting one by one, to find out the account

B’. 28 Which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found.

A’. 29 Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

1 Kings 1:24-35*

Based on N Klaus, Pivot Patterns in the Former Prophets,  Sheffield Academic Press, 1999

(Klaus has divided up some of these sections into smaller units)

A.  24 And Nathan said, My lord, O king, hast thou said, Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne?

B’. 25 For he is gone down this day, and hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the king’s sons, and the captains of the host, and Abiathar the priest; and, behold, they eat and drink before him, and say, God save king Adonijah.

C. 26 But me, even me thy servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and thy servant Solomon, hath he not called.  27 Is this thing done by my lord the king, and thou hast not shewed it unto thy servant, who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?

D. 28 Then king David answered and said, Call me Bathsheba.

E. And she came into the king’s presence, and stood before the king.

F. a. 29 And the king sware, and said, As the LORD liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress,

b. 30 Even as I sware unto thee by the LORD God of Israel, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne in my stead;

a’. even so will I certainly do this day.

E. 31 Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the earth, and did reverence to the king, and said, Let my lord king David live for ever.

D’. 32 And king David said, Call me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. And they came before the king.

C’. 33 The king also said unto them, Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon:

B’. 34 And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel: and blow ye with the trumpet, and say, God save king Solomon. 35 Then ye shall come up after him, that he may come and sit upon my throne; for he shall be king in my stead:

A’. and I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah.

1 Kings 2:31-34*

Taken from Nathan Klaus inPivot Patterns in the Former Prophets, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series 247, Sheffield, 1999

A. 31 And the king said unto him, Do as he hath said, and fall upon him, and bury him;

B. that thou mayest take away the innocent blood, which Joab shed, from me, and from the house of my father.

C. 32 And the LORD shall return his blood upon his own head,

D. who fell upon two men more righteous and better than he, and slew them with the sword,

E. my father David not knowing thereof,

D’. to wit, Abner the son of Ner, captain of the host of Israel,
and Amasa the son of Jether, captain of the host of Judah.

C’. 33 Their blood shall therefore return upon the head of Joab, and upon the head of his seed for ever:

B’. but upon David, and upon his seed, and upon his house, and upon his throne, shall there be peace for ever from the LORD.

A’. 34 So Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up, and fell upon him, and slew him: and he was buried in his own house in the wilderness

Note: the record of the execution of Job highlights the innocence of David in the death of Abner and Amasa. 

Isaiah 51:17-23

A . 17 Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem,
which hast drunk at the hand of the LORD the cup of his fury;
thou hast drunken the dregs of the
cup of trembling,
and wrung them out.

B. 18 There is none to guide her
among all the sons whom she hath brought forth;
neither is there any that taketh her by the hand
of all the sons that she hath brought up.

C. 19 These two things are come unto thee;

D. who shall be sorry for thee?

C’. desolation, and destruction,
and {even?] the famine, and the sword:

D’. by whom shall I comfort thee?

B’. 20 Thy sons have fainted,
they lie at the head of all the streets,
as a wild bull in a net:
they are full of the fury of the LORD,
the rebuke of thy God.

A’. 21 Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted,
and drunken, but not with wine:
22 Thus saith thy Lord the LORD,
and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people,
Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling,
even the dregs of the cup of my fury;
thou shalt no more drink it again:
23 But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee;
which have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over:
and thou hast laid thy body as the ground,
and as the street, to them that went over.

Isaiah 51:9-16

A. 9 Awake, awake,
put on strength, O arm of the LORD;
awake, as in the ancient days,
in the generations of old.
Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab,
and wounded the dragon?
10 Art thou not it which hath dried the sea,
the waters of the great deep;
that hath made the depths of the sea
a way for the ransomed to pass over?

B. 11 Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return,
and come with singing unto Zion;
and everlasting joy shall be upon their head:
they shall obtain gladness and joy;
and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.

C. 12 I, even I, am he that comforteth you:
who art thou,that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die,
and of the son of man which shall be made as grass;

D. 13 And forgettest the LORD thy maker,
that hath stretched forth the heavens,
and laid the foundations of the earth;

C’. and hast feared continually every day
because of the fury of the oppressor,
as if he were ready to destroy?
and where is the fury of the oppressor?

B’. 14 The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed,
and that he should not die in the pit,
nor that his bread should fail.

a’. 15 But I am the LORD thy God,
that divided the sea, whose waves roared:
The LORD of hosts is his name.
16 And I have put my words in thy mouth,
and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand,
that I may plant the heavens,
and lay the foundations of the earth,
and say unto Zion, Thou art my people.

Isaiah 51:9-52:12

Note: In this section of Isaiah there are three units beginning “awake, awake” that form an ABA’ pattern.  Each unit has reference to “comfort”.

A. Isaiah 51:9-16 YHWH to rise to deliver Jerusalem

9 Awake, awake,
put on strength,
O arm of the LORD …

12 I, even I, am he that comforteth you:

B. Isaiah 51:17-23  Jerusalem to rise from desolation

17 Awake, awake,
stand up, O Jerusalem …

19 These two things are come unto thee;
who shall be sorry for thee?
desolation, and destruction,
and the famine, and the sword:
by whom shall I comfort thee?

A’. Isaiah 52:1-12 Zion to put on wedding garments

1 Awake, awake;
put on thy strength
, O Zion;
put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city …

9 Break forth into joy,
sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem:
for the LORD hath comforted his people,
he hath redeemed Jerusalem.

Hebrews 8:3-12:29

Note: I have previously posted a pattern for the first part of Hebrews which concludes in 8:1-2 with a summary statement. Here is a proposal for a large symmetrical structure  for  chapters 8-12. At the centre are the examples of faith in action,  but this list is set within a set of references back to Habakkuk 2.
A and A’ are not balanced in size but they do correspond in general import, both comparing the New Covenant with the Old.

Comments welcome.

A. 8:3-10:17 The Old versus the New Covenant
key linking words mediator (8:6 and 9:15), new covenant (8:8,13 and 9:15), earth/heaven (8:4,5), mount (8:5).

a. 8:3-13 Old Covenant to be replaced by a better New Covenant
… 13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

b.  9:1-28 The Law, especially the day of Atonement,  was a shadowy pattern of the work of Christ
  24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us … 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

a’. 10:1-17 Old Covenant sacrifices to be replaced by the sacrifice of Christ
… 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. 5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me … He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

B. 10:18-37 Exhortation to endure
key linking word – endure (10:32)
32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions

C. 10:38-39 Live by Faith
Key link – reference back to Habakkuk 2:2-4
38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

D. 11:1-40 Faith in Action
… 4 By faith … 

C’. 12:1-2a Look to Jesus
Key link – reference back to Habakkuk 2:2-4
12:1 …  and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith … 

B’. 12:2b-17 Exhortation to Endure
3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds … 

A’. 12:18-29 The Old Covenant about to be removed
Key linking words – – mediator (12:24), new covenant (12:24), earth/heaven (12:25,26), mount (12:18,22).
 … 26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

Genesis 22 as “Ring composition”

In her book “Thinking in Circles” (Yale University Press, 2007, pg 21) the late Mary Douglas proposed that Genesis 22 is a ring composition, a form of chiasmus but with  a subtle difference in the way she sets it out:

B.          B’
C           C’
D          D’
E           E’
F           F’

I have presented the symmetries in the usual way below but this does not capture the concept fully. The pivot point is the second call to Abraham to stop his actions. 

A . 1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.

B. 2  And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

C. 3  And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. 4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.  5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.

D.  6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.

E. 7   And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? 8 And Abraham said, My son,  God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

F. 9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.

A’. And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.

F’.  12  And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

E’. 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns:

D’. and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.

C’. (14) And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.

 B’.  15 And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, 16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

19 So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.