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Literary structure (chiasmus, chiasm) of Book of Deuteronomy

Chiasmus and Concentric Structure of whole text


1-1

1 Events at Horeb recalled (1:1-8)
  2 Appointment of Tribal Leaders (1:9-18)
    3 Israel's refusal to enter the Land (1:19-33)
      4 The penalty for Israel's rebellion (1:34-45)
        5 The desert years (1:46-2:25)
          6 Defeat of king Sihon (2:26-37)
            7 The land of king Sihon and Og (3:1-22)
              8 Moses views Canaan from Pisgah (3:23-29)
                9 Exhortation to keep the law (4:1-14)
                  10 Against idolatry (4:15-31)
                    11 Mighty acts of God (4:32-40)
                      12 Cities of refuge East of the Jordan (4:41-43)
                        13 Transition to the second address (4:44-49)
                          14 The ten commandments (5:1-22)
                            15 Moses the mediator of God's will (5:23-33)
                              16 Don't forget the Lord (6:1-9)
                                17 Caution against disobedience (6:10-25)
                                  18 Destroy them (7:1-5)
                                    19 God chooses Israelites (7:6-15)
                                      20 Don't be afraid (7:16-26)
                                        21 God's care in the wilderness (8:1-20)
                                          22 Warning about perish (9:1-6)
                                            23 The consequences of rebelling against God (9:7-29)
                                              24 The second pair of tablets (10:1-11)
                                                25 The essence of the law (10:12-22)
                                              26 Great deeds of the Lord (11:1-9)
                                            27 Blessings and curses (11:10-32)
                                          28 Correct place for worship (12:1-12)
                                        29 A prescribed place of worship (12:13-28)
                                      30 Slaughtering animals (12:29-13:19)
                                    31 Regulations (14:1-25:16)
                                  32 Destroy Amalek (25:17-19)
                                33 First fruits and tithes (26:1-15)
                              34 Concluding exhortation (26:16-19)
                            35 The inscribed stones and altar on Mount Ebal (27:1-10)
                          36 Twelve curses (27:11-26)
                        37 Blessings for obedience and warnings against disobedience (28:1-46)
                      38 Warning against descendants (28:47-68)
                    39 The covenant renewed in Moab (28:69-29:28)
                  40 With heart and soul (30:1-14)
                41 Life and death (30:15-20)
              42 Joshua becomes Moses' successor (31:1-8)
            43 The law to be read every seventh year (31:9-13)
          44 Introduction to Song of Moses (31:14-23)
        45 Moses prepares to recite his song (31:24-29)
      46 The song of Moses (31:30-32:44)
    47 Moses' death foretold (32:45-52)
  48 Moses' blessing on Israel (33:1-29)
49 Israel mourns the death of Moses (34:1-12)
Former halfRelationLatter half
1 Events at Horeb recalled (1:1-8)
1:1These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel
Moses shows God to Israel49 Israel mourns the death of Moses (34:1-12)
34:12 and for the might and the terrifying power that Moses exhibited in the sight of all Israel.
2 Appointment of Tribal Leaders (1:9-18)
1:13 Choose for each of your tribes individuals who are wise, discerning, and reputable to be your leaders."(1:13)
Leaders of the people48 Moses' blessing on Israel (33:1-29)
33:5 There arose a king in Jeshurun, when the leaders of the people assembled-- the united tribes of Israel.(33:5)
3 Israel's refusal to enter the Land (1:19-33)
1:26 But you were unwilling to go up. You rebelled against the command of the LORD your God;(1:26)
Rebellion against the LORD47 Moses' death foretold (32:45-52)
32:51 because both of you broke faith with me among the Israelites at the waters of Meribath-kadesh in the wilderness of Zin, by failing to maintain my holiness among the Israelites.(32:51)
4 The penalty for Israel's rebellion (1:34-45)
1:37 Even with me the LORD was angry on your account, saying, "You also shall not enter there.(1:37)
Wrath of the LORD46 The song of Moses (31:30-32:44)
32:16 They made him jealous with strange gods, with abhorrent things they provoked him. (32:16)
5 The desert years (1:46-2:25)
2:16 Just as soon as all the warriors had died off from among the people,(2:16)
After the death45 Moses prepares to recite his song (31:24-29)
31:29 For I know that after my death you will surely act corruptly, turning aside from the way that I have commanded you. (31:29)
6 Defeat of king Sihon (2:26-37)
2:36 From Aroer on the edge of the Wadi Arnonas far as Gilead, there was no citadel too high for us. The LORD our God gave everything to us.(2:36)
Entering into the promised land44 Introduction to Song of Moses (31:14-23)
31:20 For when I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, which I promised on oath to their ancestors (31:20)
7 The land of king Sihon and Og (3:1-22)
3:20 When the LORD gives rest to your kindred, as to you, and they too have occupied the land that the LORD your God is giving them beyond the Jordan (3:20)
The west bank of Jordan43 The law to be read every seventh year (31:9-13)
31:13 as long as you live in the land that you are crossing over the Jordan to possess. (31:13)
8 Moses views Canaan from Pisgah (3:23-29)
3:28 But charge Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, because it is he who shall cross over at the head of this people and who shall secure their possession of the land that you will see. (3:28)
The mission of Joshua42 Joshua becomes Moses' successor (31:1-8)
31:3 Joshua also will cross over before you, as the LORD promised.(31:3)
9 Exhortation to keep the law (4:1-14)
4:1 So now, Israel, give heed to the statutes and ordinances that I am teaching you to observe, so that you may live to enter and occupy the land that the LORD, the God of your ancestors, is giving you.(4:1)
Observing commandments of the LORD41 Life and death (30:15-20)
30:16 If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I am commanding you today, by loving the LORD your God, walking in his ways, and observing his commandments, decrees, and ordinances, then you shall live and become numerous, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to possess.(30:16)
10 Against idolatry (4:15-31)
4:27 The LORD will scatter you among the peoples; only a few of you will be left among the nations where the LORD will lead you.(4:27)
Scattered people40 With heart and soul (30:1-14)
30:1 When all these things have happened to you, the blessings and the curses that I have set before you, if you call them to mind among all the nations where the LORD your God has driven you,(30:1)
11 Mighty acts of God (4:32-40)
4:34 as the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?(4:34)
Exodus39 The covenant renewed in Moab (28:69-29:28)
29:2 You have seen all that the LORD did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land (29:2)
12 Cities of refuge East of the Jordan (4:41-43)
4:42 the homicide could flee to one of these cities and live:(4:42)
Escape / Can't escape38 Warning against descendants (28:47-68)
28:66 Your life shall hang in doubt before you; night and day you shall be in dread, with no assurance of your life.(28:66)
13 Transition to the second address (4:44-49)
4:45 These are the decrees and the statutes and ordinances that Moses spoke to the Israelites when they had come out of Egypt,(4:45)
Exodus / captivity37 Blessings for obedience and warnings against disobedience (28:1-46)
28:36 The LORD will bring you, and the king whom you set over you, to a nation that neither you nor your ancestors have known (28:36)
14 The ten commandments (5:1-22)
Ten Commandments
List of the commandments36 Twelve curses (27:11-26)
Twelve curses
15 Moses the mediator of God's will (5:23-33)
5:29 If only they had such a mind as this, to fear me and to keep all my commandments always, so that it might go well with them and with their children forever!(5:29)
Observing commandments of the LORD35 The inscribed stones and altar on Mount Ebal (27:1-10)
27:1 Keep the entire commandment that I am commanding you today.(27:1)
16 Don't forget the Lord (6:1-9)
6:5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.(6:5)
With all your heart, and with all your soul34 Concluding exhortation (26:16-19)
26:16 so observe them diligently with all your heart and with all your soul.(26:16)
17 Caution against disobedience (6:10-25)
6:21 then you shall say to your children (6:21)
Profession of faith33 First fruits and tithes (26:1-15)
26:5 you shall make this response before the LORD your God (26:5)
18 Destroy them (7:1-5)
7:1 he clears away many nations before you--the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations mightier and more numerous than you--(7:1)
Gentiles are cleared away32 Destroy Amalek (25:17-19)
25:19 you shall blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; do not forget. (25:19)
19 God chooses Israelites (7:6-15)
7:11 Therefore, observe diligently the commandment--the statutes, and the ordinances--that I am commanding you today.(7:11)
The commandment, the statutes, and the ordinances31 Regulations (14:1-25:16)
Regulations
20 Don't be afraid (7:16-26)
7:16You are not to look on them with pity, lest you be ensnared into serving their gods.
Do not serve other god30 Slaughtering animals (12:29-13:19)
12:30Do not inquire regarding their gods,
21 God's care in the wilderness (8:1-20)
8:7 For the LORD, your God, is bringing you into a good country, a land with streams of water, with springs and fountains welling up in the hills and valleys, 8:8 a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, of olive trees and of honey, 8:9 a land where you can eat bread without stint and where you will lack nothing, a land whose stones contain iron and in whose hills you can mine copper.
Getting plenty of food29 A prescribed place of worship (12:13-28)
12:21 and if the place which the LORD, your God, chooses for the abode of his name is too far, you may slaughter in the manner I have told you any of your herd or flock that the LORD has given you, and eat it to your heart's desire in your own community.
22 Warning about perish (9:1-6)
9:4 it is really because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is driving them out before you (9:4)
Warning about pagan28 Correct place for worship (12:1-12)
12:2 Destroy without fail every place on the high mountains, on the hills, and under every leafy tree where the nations you are to dispossess worship their gods. 12:3 Tear down their altars, smash their sacred pillars, destroy by fire their sacred poles, and shatter the idols of their gods, that you may stamp out the remembrance of them in any such place.
23 The consequences of rebelling against God (9:7-29)
9:8 you so provoked the LORD that he was angry enough to destroy you (9:8)
Wrath of the LORD27 Blessings and curses (11:10-32)
11:13 the wrath of the LORD will flare up against you (11:17)
24 The second pair of tablets (10:1-11)
10:11 he said to me, 'Go now and set out at the head of your people, that they may enter in and occupy the land which I swore to their fathers I would give them.'
Getting the promised land26 Great deeds of the Lord (11:1-9)
11:8 Keep all the commandments, then, which I enjoin on you today, that you may be strong enough to enter in and take possession of the land into which you are crossing, 11:9 and that you may have long life on the land which the LORD swore to your fathers he would give to them and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey.

Citations of the Bible are from New American Bible, New Revised Standard Version and New Jerusalem Bible.

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