Chiastic Structures
The Old Testament
Chiastic Parallels
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5 Hail the Assyrian, the rod of my anger!
He is a staff —my wrath in their hand. 6 I will commission him against a godless nation,
appoint him over the people deserving of my vengeance, to pillage for plunder, to spoliate for spoil,
to tread underfoot like mud in the streets.


7 Nevertheless, it shall not seem so to him;
this shall not be what he has in mind. His purpose shall be to annihilate
and to exterminate nations not a few. 8 He will say, Are not my commanders kings,
one and all? 9 Has not Calno fared like Carchemish?
Is not Hamath as Arpad, Samaria no better than Damascus? 10 As I could do this to the pagan states,
whose statues exceeded those of Jerusalem and Samaria, 11 shall I not do to Jerusalem and its images
even as I did to Samaria and its idols?


12 But when my Lord has fully accomplished his work in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, he will punish the king of Assyria for his notorious boasting and infamous conceit,


13 because he said,
I have done it by my own ability
and shrewdness, for I am ingenious. I have done away with the borders of nations,
I have ravaged their reserves, I have vastly reduced the inhabitants. 14 I have impounded the wealth of peoples like a nest,
and I have gathered up the whole world as one gathers abandoned eggs; not one flapped its wings,
or opened its mouth to utter a peep.


15 Shall an axe exalt itself
above the one who hews with it, or a saw vaunt itself
over him who handles it? As though the rod wielded him who lifts it up!
As though the staff held up the one who is not made of wood! 16 Therefore will the Lord, Jehovah of Hosts,
send a consumption into his fertile lands, and cause a fire to flare up like a burning hearth,
to undermine his glory: 17 the Light of Israel will be the fire
and their Holy One the flame, and it shall burn up and devour
his briars and thorns in a single day. 18 His choice forests and productive fields
it will consume, both life and substance, turning them into a rotting morass. 19 And the trees left of his forest shall be so few,
a child could record them.