CHIASM: DEUTERONOMY 31:7-26
Explaining the Chiasm
What attracted me to this chiasm was the repetition of phrases and words in letters A through D, first toward the beginning of the chapter initiated by Moses’ calling of Joshua, and then toward the end, initiated by Moses’ commissioning of Joshua as the prophet who would ultimately lead the people of Israel into the promised land. In both verses pertaining directly to Joshua, there is a repeating phrase, “Be strong and courageous (chazaq v-ehmatz).” Following that, there is a correspondence of references to the “law” (Torah) in verses 9b and 24. Then, the priests “carry” (nasah) the ark of the covenant in verses 9b and 25. This is followed by the reading of the Torah to all Israel in verse 11 so they might observe its teaching, contrasted with the Torah as a witness against a disobedient Israel in verse 26.
The trajectory of these parallel verses point to a repeated prophecy inside them in verses 16 and 20, whereby it is written that Israel would one day turn to other gods, forsake the God of Israel, and break their covenant with YHVH. We will come back to this later. Continue reading Toward an Unfiltered Understanding of Scripture