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Literary structure (chiasmus, chiasm) of Book of Deuteronomy

Chiasmus and Concentric Structure of divided by 4


4-1

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)
Former halfRelationLatter half
1 Events at Horeb recalled (1:1-8)
1:5Moses began to explain the law in the land of Moab beyond the Jordan, as follows:
Torah13 Transition to the second address (4:44-49)
4:44 This is the law which Moses set before the Israelites.
1 Events at Horeb recalled (1:1-8)
1:4After he had defeated Sihon, king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, and Og, king of Bashan, who lived in Ashtaroth and in Edrei
Victory against two kings13 Transition to the second address (4:44-49)
4:47 They occupied his land and the land of Og, king of Bashan, as well--the land of these two kings of the Amorites in the region east of the Jordan
2 Appointment of Tribal Leaders (1:9-18)
1:16 I charged your judges at that time, 'Listen to complaints among your kinsmen, and administer true justice to both parties even if one of them is an alien.
Judgment12 Cities of refuge East of the Jordan (4:41-43)
4:42 that a homicide might take refuge there if he unwittingly killed his neighbor to whom he had previously borne no malice, and that he might save his life by fleeing to one of these cities
3 Israel's refusal to enter the Land (1:19-33)
1:30 The LORD, your God, who goes before you, will himself fight for you, just as he took your part before your very eyes in Egypt
The God himself fight for Israel11 Mighty acts of God (4:32-40)
4:34 Or did any god venture to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, with his strong hand and outstretched arm, and by great terrors, all of which the LORD, your God, did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?
4 The penalty for Israel's rebellion (1:34-45)
1:34When the LORD heard your words, he was angry; 1:35and he swore, 'Not one man of this evil generation shall look upon the good land I swore to give to your fathers
Anger of the Lord10 Against idolatry (4:15-31)
4:21 Since the LORD was angered against me on your account and swore that I should not cross the Jordan nor enter the good land which he is giving you as a heritage
5 The desert years (1:46-2:25)
2:15 it was the LORDS hand that was against them, till he wiped them out of the camp completely (2:15)
Destruction of wicked people9 Exhortation to keep the law (4:1-14)
4:3 the LORD, your God, destroyed from your midst everyone that followed the Baal of Peor (4:3)
6 Defeat of king Sihon (2:26-37)
2:29as the descendants of Esau who dwell in Seir and the Moabites who dwell in Ar have done, until I cross the Jordan into the land which the LORD, our God, is about to give us.
Wishing to cross Jordan8 Moses views Canaan from Pisgah (3:23-29)
3:25 Ah, let me cross over and see this good land beyond the Jordan, this fine hill country, and the Lebanon!

4-1-1

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)
Former halfRelationLatter half
1 Events at Horeb recalled (1:1-8)
1:4After he had defeated Sihon, king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, and Og, king of Bashan, who lived in Ashtaroth and in Edrei,
Victory against two kings7 The land of king Sihon and Og (3:1-22)
3:8And so at that time we took from the two kings of the Amorites beyond the Jordan the territory from the Wadi Arnon to Mount Hermon
2 Appointment of Tribal Leaders (1:9-18)
1:16 I charged your judges at that time, 'Listen to complaints among your kinsmen, and administer true justice to both parties even if one of them is an alien.
Favor / refusal for alien6 Defeat of king Sihon (2:26-37)
2:30But Sihon, king of Heshbon, refused to let us pass through his land,
3 Israel's refusal to enter the Land (1:19-33)
1:21The LORD, your God, has given this land over to you.
The LORD has given this land5 The desert years (1:46-2:25)
2:12 the Israelites have done in the land of their heritage which the LORD has given them (2:12)
3 Israel's refusal to enter the Land (1:19-33)
1:28 they saw the Anakim there
Anakim5 The desert years (1:46-2:25)
2:10 a people strong and numerous and tall like the Anakim (2:10)

4-1-2

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)
Former halfRelationLatter half
7 The land of king Sihon and Og (3:1-22)
3:8And so at that time we took from the two kings of the Amorites beyond the Jordan the territory from the Wadi Arnon to Mount Hermon
Victory against two kings13 Transition to the second address (4:44-49)
4:47 They occupied his land and the land of Og, king of Bashan, as well--the land of these two kings of the Amorites in the region east of the Jordan:
8 Moses views Canaan from Pisgah (3:23-29)
3:27for you shall not cross this Jordan.
East bank of the Jordan12 Cities of refuge East of the Jordan (4:41-43)
4:41 Then Moses set apart three cities in the region east of the Jordan,
9 Exhortation to keep the law (4:1-14)
4:12 Then the LORD spoke to you from the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of the words, but saw no form; there was only a voice.
The voice of God speaking from the midst of fire11 Mighty acts of God (4:32-40)
4:33 Did a people ever hear the voice of God speaking from the midst of fire, as you did, and live?

4-2

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)
Former halfRelationLatter half
13 Transition to the second address (4:44-49)
4:45 These are the ordinances, statutes and decrees which he proclaimed to them
Commandments25 The essence of the law (10:12-22)
10:13the commandments and statutes of the LORD which I enjoin on you today
14 The ten commandments (5:1-22)
5:22He wrote them upon two tablets of stone and gave them to me.
Ten commandments24 The second pair of tablets (10:1-11)
10:4 The LORD then wrote on them, as he had written before, the ten commandments which he spoke to you on the mountain from the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly. After the LORD had given them to me,
15 Moses the mediator of God's will (5:23-33)
5:24 We have heard his voice from the midst of the fire (5:24)
The voice from the midst of the fire23 The consequences of rebelling against God (9:7-29)
9:10 the LORD spoke to you on the mountain from the midst of the fire (9:10)
16 Don't forget the Lord (6:1-9)
6:4 Hear, O Israel! (6:4)
Hear, O Israe22 Warning about perish (9:1-6)
9:1 Hear, O Israel! (9:1)
17 Caution against disobedience (6:10-25)
6:25carefully observing all these commandments
Carefully observing commandments 21 God's care in the wilderness (8:1-20)
8:1 "Be careful to observe all the commandments I enjoin on you today,
18 Destroy them (7:1-5)
7:2 and when the LORD, your God, delivers them up to you and you defeat them, you shall doom them. Make no covenant with them and show them no mercy.
Destroying without mercy20 Don't be afraid (7:16-26)
7:16 "You shall consume all the nations which the LORD, your God, will deliver up to you. You are not to look on them with pity,

4-2-1

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)
Former halfRelationLatter half
13 Transition to the second address (4:44-49)
4:45 These are the ordinances, statutes and decrees which he proclaimed to them when they had come out of Egypt
The statutes and the decrees19 God chooses Israelites (7:6-15)
7:11 You shall therefore carefully observe the commandments, the statutes and the decrees which I enjoin on you today.
14 The ten commandments (5:1-22)
5:7 You shall not have other gods besides me.
Do not serve to other god18 Destroy them (7:1-5)
7:4 For they would turn your sons from following me to serving other gods, and then the wrath of the LORD would flare up against you and quickly destroy you.
15 Moses the mediator of God's will (5:23-33)
5:29 Would that they might always be of such a mind, to fear me and to keep all my commandments! Then they and their descendants would prosper forever.(5:29)
If you observe the law, you will become happy 17 Caution against disobedience (6:10-25)
6:24 Therefore, the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes in fear of the LORD, our God, that we may always have as prosperous and happy a life as we have today; (6:24)

4-2-2

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)
Former halfRelationLatter half
19 God chooses Israelites (7:6-15)
7:11 You shall therefore carefully observe the commandments, the statutes and the decrees which I enjoin on you today.
The law which I enjoin on you today25 The essence of the law (10:12-22)
10:13 to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD which I enjoin on you today for your own good?
20 Don't be afraid (7:16-26)
7:25 The images of their gods you shall destroy by fire.
Destroyed by / given in fire24 The second pair of tablets (10:1-11)
10:4 The LORD then wrote on them, as he had written before, the ten commandments which he spoke to you on the mountain from the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly.
21 God's care in the wilderness (8:1-20)
8:2 Remember how for forty years now the LORD, your God, has directed all your journeying in the desert (8:2)
Journeying in the desert23 The consequences of rebelling against God (9:7-29)
9:7 Bear in mind and do not forget how you angered the LORD, your God, in the desert (9:7)

4-3

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)
Former halfRelationLatter half
25 The essence of the law (10:12-22)
10:13 and to keep the commandments of the LORD your God and his decrees that I am commanding you today, for your own well-being.(10:13)
Blessing for obedience37 Blessings for obedience and warnings against disobedience (28:1-46)
28:2 all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the LORD your God:(28:2)
26 Great deeds of the Lord (11:1-9)
11:4 what he did to the Egyptian army, to their horses and chariots, how he made the water of the Red Sea flow over them as they pursued you, so that the LORD has destroyed them to this day;(11:4)
Disasters by the LORD36 Twelve curses (27:11-26)
Twelve curses
27 Blessings and curses (11:10-32)
11:21 so that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the LORD swore to your ancestors to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth.(11:21)
The land that the LORD is giving to you35 The inscribed stones and altar on Mount Ebal (27:1-10)
27:2 On the day that you cross over the Jordan into the land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall set up large stones and cover them with plaster.(27:2)
28 Correct place for worship (12:1-12)
12:4 You shall not worship the LORD your God in such ways.(12:4)
People of the LORD34 Concluding exhortation (26:16-19)
26:19 for you to be a people holy to the LORD your God, as he promised. (26:19)
29 A prescribed place of worship (12:13-28)
12:21 the place which the LORD, your God, chooses for the abode of his name (12:21)
The place which the LORD chooses33 First fruits and tithes (26:1-15)
26:2 the place which the LORD, your God, chooses for the dwelling place of his name (26:2)
30 Slaughtering animals (12:29-13:19)
12:29 When the LORD your God has cut off before you the nations whom you are about to enter to dispossess them, when you have dispossessed them and live in their land,(12:29)
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)

4-3-1

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)
Former halfRelationLatter half
25 The essence of the law (10:12-22)
10:13 to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD which I enjoin on you today
The commandments and statutes31 Regulations (14:1-25:16)
The book of regulations
26 Great deeds of the Lord (11:1-9)
11:1 "Love the LORD, your God, therefore, and always heed his charge: his statutes, decrees and commandments.
Love the Lord30 Slaughtering animals (12:29-13:19)
13:4for the LORD, your God, is testing you to learn whether you really love him with all your heart and with all your soul.
27 Blessings and curses (11:10-32)
11:14that you may have your grain, wine and oil to gather in;
Grain, wine and oil29 A prescribed place of worship (12:13-28)
12:17partake of your tithe of grain or wine or oil,

4-3-2

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)
Former halfRelationLatter half
31 Regulations (14:1-25:16)
Regulations
Commandments of the LORD37 Blessings for obedience and warnings against disobedience (28:1-46)
28:1 If you will only obey the LORD your God, by diligently observing all his commandments that I am commanding you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth;(28:1)
32 Destroy Amalek (25:17-19)
25:19 you shall blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; do not forget. (25:19)
Cursed person36 Twelve curses (27:11-26)
Twelve curses
33 First fruits and tithes (26:1-15)
26:9 and he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.(26:9)
A land flowing with milk and honey35 The inscribed stones and altar on Mount Ebal (27:1-10)
27:3 the LORD your God is giving you, a land flowing with milk and honey, as the LORD, the God of your ancestors, promised you.(27:3)

4-4

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
37 Blessings for obedience and warnings against disobedience (28:1-46)
28:1 If you will only obey the LORD your God, by diligently observing all his commandments that I am commanding you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth;(28:1)
Obedience to the LORD49 Israel mourns the death of Moses (34:1-12)
34:9 the Israelites obeyed him, doing as the LORD had commanded Moses.(34:9)
38 Warning against descendants (28:47-68)
28:62 Although once you were as numerous as the stars in heaven, you shall be left few in number, because you did not obey the LORD your God.(28:62)
The population decreases48 Moses' blessing on Israel (33:1-29)
33:6 May Reuben live, and not die out, even though his numbers are few.(33:6)
39 The covenant renewed in Moab (28:69-29:28)
29:28 Both what is still hidden and what has already been revealed concern us and our descendants forever, that we may carry out all the words of this law. (29:28)
The law and children47 Moses' death foretold (32:45-52)
32:46 Take to heart all the words that I am giving in witness against you today; give them as a command to your children, so that they may diligently observe all the words of this law.(32:46)
40 With heart and soul (30:1-14)
30:7 The LORD your God will put all these curses on your enemies and on the adversaries who took advantage of you.(30:7)
Disaster of enemies46 The song of Moses (31:30-32:44)
32:43 he will repay those who hate him, and cleanse the land for his people.(32:43)
41 Life and death (30:15-20)
30:15 See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity.(30:15)
Disaster of the people45 Moses prepares to recite his song (31:24-29)
31:29 In time to come trouble will befall you, because you will do what is evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger through the work of your hands. (31:29)
42 Joshua becomes Moses' successor (31:1-8)
31:3 Joshua also will cross over before you, as the LORD promised.(31:3)
Mission of Joshua44 Introduction to Song of Moses (31:14-23)
31:14 call Joshua and present yourselves in the tent of meeting, so that I may commission him. (31:14)

4-4-1

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)
Former halfRelationLatter half
37 Blessings for obedience and warnings against disobedience (28:1-46)
28:1 If you will only obey the LORD your God, by diligently observing all his commandments that I am commanding you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth;(28:1)
Diligently observing all the commandments43 The law to be read every seventh year (31:9-13)
31:12 they may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God and to observe diligently all the words of this law,(31:12)
38 Warning against descendants (28:47-68)
28:63 the LORD will take delight in bringing you to ruin and destruction; you shall be plucked off the land that you are entering to possess.(28:63)
Ruin of Israel / ruin of gentiles42 Joshua becomes Moses' successor (31:1-8)
31:4 The LORD will do to them as he did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land, when he destroyed them.(31:4)
39 The covenant renewed in Moab (28:69-29:28)
29:13But it is not with you alone that I am making this covenant, under this sanction of a curse (29:13)
Blessings and curses41 Life and death (30:15-20)
30:19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live,(30:19)

4-4-2

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
43 The law to be read every seventh year (31:9-13)
31:13 and so that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as you live in the land that you are crossing over the Jordan to possess. (31:13)
Fear to the LORD49 Israel mourns the death of Moses (34:1-12)
34:9 the Israelites obeyed him, doing as the LORD had commanded Moses.(34:9)
44 Introduction to Song of Moses (31:14-23)
31:19 Now therefore write this song, and teach it to the Israelites; put it in their mouths, in order that this song may be a witness for me against the Israelites.(31:19)
Giving words48 Moses' blessing on Israel (33:1-29)
33:1 This is the blessing with which Moses, the man of God, blessed the Israelites before his death.(33:1)
45 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)
Death of Moses47 Moses' death foretold (32:45-52)
32:50 you shall die there on the mountain that you ascend and shall be gathered to your kin (32:50)

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

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