Chiastic Structures
The Old Testament
Chiastic Parallels
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A

1 When Ahaz son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, was king of Judah, Rezin king of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to wage war against it, but could not overpower it.
2 And when the house of David was informed that Aram was leading Ephraim on, the king’s mind and the minds of his people were shaken, as trees in a forest are shaken by a gale.
3 Then Jehovah said to Isaiah, Go out and meet Ahaz, you and your son Shear-Jashub, at the end of the aqueduct of the Upper Reservoir, on the road to the Laundry Plaza. 4 Say to him, See to it that you remain calm and unafraid. Be not intimidated by these two smoking tail ends of kindling, by the burning anger of Rezin and Aram and the son of Remaliah, 5 even though Aram has conceived an evil plot against you, as has Ephraim and the son of Remaliah, who say, 6 Let us invade Judah and stir up trouble there. We will take it for ourselves by force and set a ruler over it—the son of Tabeal.

7 Thus says my Lord Jehovah: It shall not occur or transpire. 8 For as surely as Damascus is the capital of Aram and Rezin the head of Damascus, within sixty-five years shall Ephraim be shattered as a nation. 9 But as surely as Samaria is the capital of Ephraim and the son of Remaliah the head of Samaria, you will not believe it, because you are not loyal.

B

10 Again Jehovah addressed Ahaz, and said, 11 Ask a sign for yourself from Jehovah your God, whether in the depths below or in the heights above. 12 But Ahaz said, I will not. I will not put Jehovah to the test.
13 Then Isaiah said, Take heed, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to try the patience of men? Must you also try the patience of my God?
14 Therefore will my Lord of himself give you a sign: the young woman with child shall give birth to a son and name him Immanuel. 15 Cream and honey will he eat by the time he has learned to reject what is evil and choose what is good. 16 But before the child learns to reject the evil and choose the good, the land whose two rulers you loathe shall lie forsaken.

C

17 Jehovah will bring upon you and your people and your father’s house a day unlike any since Ephraim broke away from Judah—the day of the king of Assyria.
18 In that day Jehovah will signal for the flies from the far rivers of Egypt and for the bees in the land of Assyria. 19 And they will come and settle with one accord in the river beds of the prairie and in rocky ravines, and by all ditches and water holes. 20 In that day my Lord will use a razor hired at the River—the king of Assyria—to shave your head and the hair of your legs, and to cut off even your beard.
21 In that day a man will keep alive a young cow and a pair of sheep. 22 And because of their plentiful milk, men will eat the cream. All who remain in the land will feed on cream and honey.
23 In that day every plot of ground with a thousand vines worth a thousand pieces of currency shall be briars and thorns. 24 Men will go there with bows and arrows, for the whole land shall revert to wilderness. 25 And on all hillsides cultivated by the hoe you will no longer go for fear of the briars and thorns, but they shall serve as a cattle range, a terrain for sheep to tread down.

D

1 Jehovah said to me, Take a large scroll and write on it in common script: Hasten the plunder, hurry the spoil. 2 And I called in reliable witnesses, Uriah the priest and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah, to witness for me.
3 And when I had been with the prophetess, she conceived and gave birth to a son. And Jehovah said to me, Name him Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz. 4 For before the child knows how to say, Father, or Mother, the wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria will be brought before the king of Assyria.

C'

5 Jehovah addressed me again, and said,

6 Because these people have rejected the Waters of Shiloah, which flow gently, and rejoice in Rezin and the son of Remaliah, 7 therefore will my Lord cause to come up over them the great and mighty waters of the River— the king of Assyria in all his glory. He will rise up over all his channels and overflow all his banks. 8 He will sweep into Judea like a flood and, passing through, reach the very neck;

B'

his outspread wings will span the breadth of your land, O Immanuel. 9 Though nations form pacts, they shall be routed. Give heed, all you distant lands! You may take courage in one another, but shall be in fear; you may arm yourselves, but shall be terrorized. 10 Though you hold consultations, they shall come to nought; though you make proposals, they shall not prove firm: God is with us!

A'

11 Jehovah spoke to me, clasping my hand, and admonished me not to follow the ways of these people. For he said,

12 Do not call a conspiracy all that these people call a conspiracy; be not afraid or awed by the thing they fear. 13 But sanctify Jehovah of Hosts, making him your fear, him your awe. 14 And to you he will be a sanctuary, but to the two houses of Israel a stumbling block or obstructing rock, and a snare, catching unawares the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 Many will stumble into them, and when they fall shall be broken, and when they become ensnared shall be taken captive.