Chiastic Structure in Judges

This is the place to discuss anything to do with scriptural doctrine. It is the primary purpose of this site, and most discussions will be here.
Forum rules
Matt 18:6; Eccl 7:9; 1 Pet 4:8 (If you're not sure what they say then please hover over them with your mouse or look them up in your own Bible before posting)
Post Reply
Message
Author
Bobcat
Posts: 3810
Joined: 7 years ago

Chiastic Structure in Judges

#1 Post by Bobcat » 2 years ago

Here is an example of chiastic structure of the entire book of Judges. The quote also shows the originator. Interestingly, he is a Hebrew. (Copied from here.)

Here is the introductory information of the Hebrew man who first published this in 1982:
Gooding, D., & גודינג, ד. (1982). אופן חיבורו של ספר שופטים / THE COMPOSITION OF THE BOOK OF JUDGES. Eretz-Israel: Archaeological, Historical and Geographical Studies / ארץ-ישראל: מחקרים בידיעת הארץ ועתיקותיה, טז, 70*-79*. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/23619563

What follows is an abbreviated form of the chiasm, without the notes that he includes:

A. Introduction 1 (Jdg 1:1-2:5)

. . . B. Introduction 2 (Jdg 2:6-3:6)

. . . . . . C. Othniel (Jdg 3:7-11)

. . . . . . . . . D. Ehud (plus Shamgar) (Jdg 3:12-31)

. . . . . . . . . . . . E. Deborah, Barak, Jael (Jdg 4:1-5:31)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F. Gideon (Jdg 6:1-8:32) (This serves as the central or pivot point. - Bobcat)

. . . . . . . . . . . . E^ Abimelech, Tola, Jair (Jdg 8:33-10:5)

. . . . . . . . . D^ Jephthah (plus Ibzan, Elon, Abdon) (Jdg 10:6-12:15)

. . . . . . C^ Samson (Jdg 13:1-16:31)

. . . B^ Epilogue 1. (Jdg 17:1-18:31)

A^ Epilogue 2. (Jdg 19:1-20:29)

At this point the chiasm appears to be little more than an arbitrarily structured list of names. It is after you add in the action involved that the complementary quality of the inverted parallelism begins to appear. Or, as Apollos might say, 'now God's fingerprints begin to show.'

So here is the complete form with all of Mr. Gooding's notes. (I tried to format it as best I can to still show the main chiastic structure.):

A. Introduction 1 (Jdg 1:1-2:5)
. . . a. ‘Israelites ask the LORD who shall go up for us first against the Canaanites to fight?
. . . . And the LORD said, Judah shall go up’ (Jdg 1:1-2)

. . . b. Story of how Othniel got his wife (Jdg 1:11-15)

. . . c. Benjaminites fail to drive out the Jebusites from Jebus (Jdg 1:21)

. . . d. Bochim; God’s covenant; Israel’s unlawful covenants with Canaanities;
. . . . Israel weeping before the angel of the LORD (Jdg 2:1-5)

. . . B. Introduction 2 (Jdg 2:6-3:6)
. . . . . .Degeneration of generations after Joshua (Jdg 2:6-19);
. . . . . .God leaves certain nations ‘to prove Israel … whether they would obey …' (Jdg 2:20-3:4)

. . . . . . C. Othniel (Jdg 3:7-11)
. . . . . . . . .Set in contrast to Israelites who took Gentiles’ daughters for wives (Jdg 3:6);
. . . . . . . . .Wife was incentive for capturing Kiriath-Sepher, and she pressed him to ask of father a field (Jdg 1:11-15).

. . . . . . . . . D. Ehud (plus Shamgar) (Jdg 3:12-31)
. . . . . . . . . . . .Announces ‘a message from the LORD to king (Jdg 3:19-20);
. . . . . . . . . . . .With the Ephraimites takes the fords of Jordan and kills the enemy.

. . . . . . . . . . . . E. Deborah, Barak, Jael (Jdg 4:1-5:31)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .A woman pierces enemy commander’s skull with tent peg, ends the war.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F. Gideon (Note sub-chiastic structure to Gideon account - Bobcat.)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . a. His stand against idolatry (Jdg 6:1-32)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . b. His fight against the enemy (Jdg 6:33-7:25)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . b^ His fight against his own nationals (Jdg 8:1-21)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . a^ His lapse into idolatry (Jdg 8:22-32)

. . . . . . . . . . . . E^ Abimelech (plus Tola, Jair) (Jdg 8:33-10:5)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Woman smashes enemy commander’s skull with mill-stone; ends war.

. . . . . . . . . D^ Jephthah (plus Ibzan, Elon, Abdon) (Jdg 10:6-12:15)
. . . . . . . . . . . .Sends messengers to king (Jdg 11:12-14);
. . . . . . . . . . . .Takes the fords of Jordan and kills his fellow nationals.

. . . . . . C^ Samson (Jdg 13:1-16:31)
. . . . . . . . .Takes Gentile wives; his wives press him to tell his secret and cause his undoing.

. . . B^ Epilogue 1. (Jdg 17:1-18:31)
. . . . . .Mother dedicates silver to the LORD for son to make idol.
. . . . . .The son makes one of his own sons a priest in his idolatrous shrine;
. . . . . .Moses’ grandson and his sons become priests at Dan’s shrine.

A^ Epilogue 2. (Jdg 19:1-20:29)
. . .a. “Israelites … asked … of God … Who shall go up for us first to battle against Benjaminites?
. . . . . And the LORD said, Judah …’ (Jdg 20:18)

. . .b. Story of how the remainder of Benjamin got their wives (Jdg 21:1-25)

. . .c. Levite carefully avoiding the Jebusites in Jebus, suffers terrible outrage in Gibeah of Benjamin (Jdg 19:1-30)

. . .d. Bethel: ark of the covenant of God: Israel weeps and fasts before LORD (Jdg 20:26-29

Here are some links of interest regarding chiasm in the book of Judges:

The Biblical Chiasm Exchange page of Judges

Literary Structure in Judges


Bobcat

Return to Main Index

Bobcat
Posts: 3810
Joined: 7 years ago

Re: Chiastic Structure in Judges

#2 Post by Bobcat » 1 month ago

The chiastic literary structure of Judges chapter 9 and the account about Abimelech (as found here):


The Downfall of Abimelech (Judg 9:1-57)

A. "Slew his brothers, the seventy sons of Jerubbaal" (Jdg 9:1-5)

. . . B. "All the citizens of Shechem and all Beth-millo came together and proceeded to make Abimelech king" (Jdg 9:6)

. . . . . . C. Curse of Jotham (Jdg 9:7-21)

. . . . . . . . . D. "This was to repay the violence done to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal" (Jdg 9:22-25)

. . . . . . C^ Fulfillment of curse of Jotham (Jdg 9:26-49)

. . . B^ "When the Israelites saw that Abimelech was dead, they all left for their homes" (Jdg 9:50-55)

A^ "God repaid the evil Abimelech did to his father in killing his seventy half brothers" (Jdg 9:56-57)

Legend: A: Killing 70 brothers B: Enthroning Abimelech C: Jotham's Parable D: Repaying the violence


Just as an aside, see this web page on chiasmus in Biblical homicide accounts: Here. It is the work of someone at BYU.


Bobcat

Return to Main Index

Bobcat
Posts: 3810
Joined: 7 years ago

Re: Chiastic Structure in Judges

#3 Post by Bobcat » 3 weeks ago

A PDF with someone's research on chronology in the book of Judges: Here.

I was parking it here for later analysis.


Bobcat

Return to Main Index

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bobcat and 15 guests