Chiastic Structures
The Old Testament
Chiastic Parallels
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9 All who manufacture idols are deranged;
the things they cherish profit nothing.


Those who promote them are themselves
sightless and mindless, to their own dismay.


10 Who would fashion a god or cast an idol
that cannot benefit them? 11 Their whole society is confused;
their fabricators are mere mortals. Were they all to assemble
and take their stand before me, they would at once cringe in fear.


12 The smith with his tools works the iron over the coals
and gives it shape by hammering; he forges his god by the strength of his arm:
when he becomes hungry, he no longer has strength; if he fails to drink water, he begins to grow faint.


13 The woodworker draws a diagram,
sketching his idol with a marker. He creates it by chiseling to the outline of the dividers;
he gives it a human likeness, resembling man’s beauty, fit to lodge in a house.


14 He is required to cut down cedars;
he must select holms and oaks and care for them among the trees of the forest.
He plants firs, which the rain makes grow: 15 that which serves men as fuel,
which they use to warm themselves or light fire with to bake bread, of that they create gods which they adore,
from it they make idols to which they stoop. 16 Half of it they burn in the fire.
Over it they broil a roast; they eat the meat and are satisfied.
They also warm themselves and say, Ah, it is warm in front of the fire! 17 From the rest they make a god, their idol,
to which they bow in adoration and pray, Save us; you are our god!


18 They have become unaware and insensible;
their eyes are glazed so they cannot see, their minds are incapable of discernment. 19 They reflect not,
nor have the sense or comprehension to say, A part of this I burned in the fire;
I also baked bread in its embers, roasted meat and ate it. Am I not making an abomination of what is left?
Do I not stoop to a mere lump of wood?


20 They are followers of ashes;
their deluded minds have distracted them. They cannot liberate themselves from them or say,
Surely this thing in my hand is a fraud.