Chiastic Structures
The Old Testament
Chiastic Parallels
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A

1 The righteous disappear,
and no man gives it a thought; the godly are gathered out,
but no one perceives that from impending calamity the righteous are withdrawn. 2 They who walk uprightly shall attain peace,
and rest in their beds.

B

3 As for you, come here, you children of the sorceress,
offspring of adulterer and harlot! 4 At whose expense do you amuse yourselves?
At whom do you open wide the mouth and stick out the tongue? Surely you are born of sin, a spurious brood,
5 who burn with lust among the oaks, under every burgeoning tree, slayers of children in the gullies
under the crags of rocks.

C

6 Among the slippery stones of the ravines
shall be your fate; they indeed are your lot. To them you pour out libations and make offerings.
How shall I be appeased of such things? 7 On a lofty mountain
you have made prominent your bed, and there you ascend to offer sacrifices. 8 Behind doors and facades
you have put up your emblems, and have exposed yourself to others than I:
mounting your bed, you have laid it wide open. And you bargain with those with whom you love to lie,
your hand on their nakedness. 9 You bathe with oils for the king
and increase your perfumes; you send your solicitors far abroad
and debase yourself to the depths. 10 Though wearied by your excessive ways,
you have not admitted despair; you have found livelihood,
and therefore have not slackened. 11 Yet on whose account are you uneasy and apprehensive,
that you pretend and do not mention me, nor even give me a thought? Is it because I have so long kept silent
that you no longer fear me? 12 But I will expose your fornication
and the wantonness of your exploits. 13 When you cry out in distress,
let those who flock to you save you! A wind shall carry all of them off;
a vapor shall take them away.

C'

But they who seek refuge in me shall possess the earth
and receive an inheritance in my holy mountain. 14 It will be said: Excavate, pave a road!
Prepare the way; remove the obstacles from the path of my people! 15 Thus says he who is highly exalted,
who abides forever, whose name is sacred: I dwell on high in the holy place,
and with him who is humble and lowly in spirit— refreshing the spirits of the lowly,
reviving the hearts of the humble.

B'

16 I will not contend forever, nor always be angry;
the spirits and souls I have made would faint before me. 17 By his sin of covetousness I was provoked;
I struck him and hid my face in anger when he strayed by following the ways of his heart. 18 Yet I have seen his conduct and I will heal him;
I will guide him and amply console him and those who mourn for him, 19 who partake of the fruit of the lips:
Peace, wellbeing, to those far off and to those who are near,
says Jehovah who heals him.

A'

20 But the wicked are like the raging Sea,
unable to rest, whose waters heave up mire and mud: 21 there is no peace, says my God, for the wicked.