Bible Teaching Notes
Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Omar C. Garcia

Chiastic Type of Outline or Analysis

Notes by Jerry Perrill, Missionary to Laos and Thailand (Retired)

This is the kind of outline that I put in the study of Zechariah and Haggai. I thought that for your personal study I might share some of the clear examples that excite me when I find them. Some may be only a line or two, or perhaps a few verses; sometimes they cover several chapters.
They are called ‘chiastic’ because in making of the Greek letter X (chi), you draw lines from right to left and left to right. Those ancient Hebrew writers were masters at this as well as inspired! 
Genesis 9:6, first line reads: “whoever (1) sheds the (2) blood of (3) man
                    Second line:    “by (3) man shall his (2) blood be (1) shed
Putting this in a chiastic form of outline:
            (1)   Whoever sheds
                        (2)   the blood
                                    (3)   of man,
                                    (3’) by man
                        (2’) shall his blood
            (1’)   be shed;
Psalm 56:3-4, in chiastic form looks like this
            a.   When I am afraid,
                        b.   I will trust in you.
                                    c.   In God
                                                d.   Whose word I praise, (the center is often important)
                                    c’. In God
                        b’. I trust;
            a’.   I will not be afraid.
See the movement from ‘when I am afraid’ in to the center and back out to ‘I will not be afraid”? And you also see the path from fear to fearlessness, right? So the writer comes to the conclusion of this path and we rejoice in confidence with him:
            “What can mortal man do to me?” He fears God, not man and his doings!
Psalm 12:6:
            a.   The words of the Lord are flawless,
                        b.   like silver refined in a furnace of clay,
            a’   purified seven times.
Sometimes this form is used for the beginning and ending (like bookends) as in Psalm 8:1, 9.
Isaiah 2:1-4:6
            a.         Isaiah begins with a utopian picture of Zion, the focal point of the earth and
                        the Temple at the center (Isa. 2:1-5)
                        b.         Sinful Jerusalem reduced to dust by the righteous majesty of the Lord
                                    (Isa. 2:6-22)
                        b’.         The downfall of those especially responsible (Isa. 3:1-4:1)
            a’.         The assurance of God’s presence in Zion will follow cleansing by God’s ‘Branch’
                        (Messiah) so that what remains will be called holy. Utopia becomes actuality!

Source:Jerry Perrill

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