Saturday, August 6, 2011

Chiastic Structure Jonah Chapter Two

Since I am a lover of words and word structure. I had to add something I left out in the study of Jonah Chapter 2. We see a chiasmus in Jonah's Prayer. A definition of Chiamus is, "A grammatical figure by which the order of words in one of two of parallel clauses is inverted in the other" (Oxford English Dictionary).

I love this and you will find it all throughout the Bible. An example of a chiastic structure is this phrase,
We eat to live
not live to eat.
You see how these phrases are turned around from one sentence to the next? That is the structure of a chiasmus.

Jonah 2:2-6 is a chiastic structure.
 A -  2 -“In my distress I called to the LORD and he answered me. 
From depths fo the grave
I called for help,
   and you listened to my cry.
 B -3 You hurled me into the deep,
   into the heart of the seas,
   and the currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers
   swept over me.
 C- 4- I said, ‘I have been banished
   from your sight;
yet I will look again
   toward your holy temple.’
B- 5- The engulfing waters threatened me,
   the deep surrounded me;
   seaweed was wrapped around my head.
A- 6 To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
   the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you, LORD my God,
   brought my life up from the pit.

Do you see the order of things here? C represents the central point of things here. It turns things around. This is where we find hope. Also the wording for look toward in the Hebrew here is the same word used when Moses had to make a bronze snake for the Israelites to look at for healing. (Numbers 21:9). I wrote about it here in detail. Here we see the gospel again, pointing us toward Jesus who will come! Don't you love that?!  I just thought this was an interesting thing to add to the study...Sorry I left it out before. Hope you enjoy it like I do. :)

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