Chiastic Structures
The Old Testament
Chiastic Parallels
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A

15 O look down from heaven,
from your holy and glorious celestial abode, and behold!
Where now are your zeal and your might? The yearnings of your bosom and your compassion
are withheld from us!

B

16 Surely you are our Father!
Though Abraham does not know us or Israel recognize us, you, O Jehovah, are our Father;
Our Redeemer from Eternity is your name.

C

17 Why, O Jehovah, have you made us stray from your ways,
hardening our hearts so that we do not fear you? Relent, for the sake of your servants,
the tribes that are your inheritance.

D

18 But a little while had your people possessed the holy place
when our enemies trod down your sanctuary.

E

19 We have become as those
whom you have never ruled and who have not been known by your name

F

1 O that you would rend the heavens and descend,
the mountains melting at your presence 2 as when fire is lit for boiling water,
which bubbles over from the heat— to make yourself known to your adversaries,
the nations trembling at your presence

G

3 as when you performed awesome things
unexpected by us: your descent of old, when the mountains quaked before you!

G'

4 Never has it been heard or perceived by the ear,
nor has any eye seen a God besides you, who acts thus on behalf of those who wait for him.

C'

5 But you wound those of us
who joyfully perform righteousness, who remember you by following your ways
that in them we might ever be saved. Alas, you were roused to anger when we sinned,

D'

6 and now we have altogether become as those defiled,
the sum of our righteousness as a menstruous rag. We are decaying like leaves, all of us;
our sins, like a wind, sweep us away.

E'

7 Yet none calls upon your name,
or rouses himself to take hold of you.

F'

For you have hidden your face from us
and enfeebled us at the hand of our iniquities.

B'

8 Nevertheless, you are our Father, O Jehovah;
we are the clay and you are the potter, and we are all alike the work of your hands. 9 Be not exceedingly angry, O Jehovah;
remember not iniquity forever.

A'

See, consider that we are all your people!
10 Your holy cities have become a wilderness;
Zion is a desert, Jerusalem a desolation. 11 Our glorious holy temple
where our fathers praised you has been burned with fire,
and all places dear to us lie in ruins. 12 At all this, O Jehovah, will you restrain yourself,
in silence letting us suffer so exceedingly?