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Literary structure (chiasmus, chiasm) of Book of Ezra and Nehemiah

Chiasmus and Concentric Structure of whole text


1-1

1 End of the Babylonian captivity (Ezr1:1-11)
  2 List of the returned exiles (Ezr2:1-70)
    3 Worship restored at Jerusalem (Ezr3:1-7)
      4 Resistance to rebuilding the Temple (Ezr4:1-24)
        5 Restoration of the Temple resumed (Ezr5:1-Ezr6:14)
          6 Completion of the temple (Ezr6:14-18)
            7 Passover (Ezr6:19-22)
              8 Heads of families who returned with Ezra (Ezr7:1-Ezr8:14)
                9 The return to Jerusalem (Ezr8:15-36)
                  10 Denunciation of mixed marriages (Ezr9:1-Ezr10:4)
                    11 Foreign wives and their children rejected (Ezr10:5-17)
                      12 List of the sinned people (Ezr10:18-44)
                        13 Nehemiah prays for his people (Ne1:1-Ne2:20)
                      14 Organization of the work (Ne3:1-32)
                    15 Hostile plots thwarted (Ne3:33-Ne4:17)
                  16 Nehemiah deals with oppression (Ne5:1-19)
                17 Intrigues of enemies foiled (Ne6:1-19)
              18 List of the returned exiles (Ne7:1-72a)
            19 Ezra summons the people to obey the law (Ne7:72b-Ne8:18)
          20 National confession (Ne9:1-37)
        21 List of covenant (Ne10:1-30)
      22 Covenant (Ne10:31-40)
    23 People live inside and outside Jerusalem (Ne11:1-36)
  24 Dedication of the city wall (Ne12:1-47)
25 The reforms of Nehemiah (Ne13:1-31)
Former halfRelationLatter half
1 End of the Babylonian captivity (Ezr1:1-11)
Ezr1:1the LORD inspired King Cyrus of Persia to issue this proclamation throughout his kingdom, both by word of mouth and in writing:
Reading a book25 The reforms of Nehemiah (Ne13:1-31)
Ne13:1At that time, when there was reading from the book of Moses in the hearing of the people, it was found written there that "no Ammonite or Moabite may ever be admitted into the assembly of God;
2 List of the returned exiles (Ezr2:1-70)
Ezr2:1These are the inhabitants of the province who returned from the captivity of the exiles,
List of people who returned24 Dedication of the city wall (Ne12:1-47)
Ne12:1The following are the priests and Levites who returned with Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua:
3 Worship restored at Jerusalem (Ezr3:1-7)
Ezr3:1Now when the seventh month came, after the Israelites had settled in their cities, the people gathered at Jerusalem as one man.
People in Jerusalem23 People live inside and outside Jerusalem (Ne11:1-36)
Ne11:1The leaders of the people took up residence in Jerusalem, and the rest of the people cast lots to bring one man in ten to reside in Jerusalem, the holy city, while the other nine would remain in the other cities.
4 Resistance to rebuilding the Temple (Ezr4:1-24)
Ezr4:3 It is not your responsibility to build with us a house for our God, but we alone must build it for the LORD, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus of Persia has commanded us. (Ezr4:3)
Exclusion of foreigners22 Covenant (Ne10:31-40)
Ne10:31 Agreed, that we will not marry our daughters to the peoples of the land, and that we will not take their daughters for our sons. (Ne10:31)
5 Restoration of the Temple resumed (Ezr5:1-Ezr6:14)
Ezr6:12 I, Darius, have issued this decree; let it be carefully executed. (Ezr6:12)
Observance of a command21 List of covenant (Ne10:1-30)
Ne10:30 to observe carefully all the commandments of the LORD, our LORD, his ordinances and his statutes. (Ne10:30)
6 Completion of the temple (Ezr6:14-18)
Ezr6:17 For the dedication of this house of God, they offered one hundred bulls, two hundred rams, and four hundred lambs, together with twelve he-goats as a sin-offering for all Israel, in keeping with the number of the tribes of Israel. (Ezr6:17)
Forgiveness of sins20 National confession (Ne9:1-37)
Ne9:2 Those of Israelite descent separated themselves from all who were of foreign extraction, then stood forward and confessed their sins and the guilty deeds of their fathers. (Ne9:2)
7 Passover (Ezr6:19-22)
The Israelites who had returned from the exile partook of it together with all those who had separated themselves from the uncleanness of the peoples of the land to join them in seeking the LORD, the God of Israel. (Ezr6:21)
Joining to the festival19 Ezra summons the people to obey the law (Ne7:72b-Ne8:18)
Then all the people went to eat and drink, to distribute portions, and to celebrate with great joy, for they understood the words that had been expounded to them (Neh8:12)
8 Heads of families who returned with Ezra (Ezr7:1-Ezr8:14)
Ezr8:1This is the list of the family heads who returned with me from Babylon during the reign of King Artaxerxes:
Return of people18 List of the returned exiles (Ne7:1-72a)
Ne7:5I came upon the family list of those who had returned in the earliest period. There I found the following written:
9 The return to Jerusalem (Ezr8:15-36)
Ezr8:31 The hand of our God remained upon us, and he protected us from enemies and bandits along the way
Protect from enemies17 Intrigues of enemies foiled (Ne6:1-19)
Ne6:16 When all our enemies had heard of this, and all the nations round about had taken note of it, our enemies lost much face in the eyes of the nations, for they knew that it was with our God's help that this work had been completed.
10 Denunciation of mixed marriages (Ezr9:1-Ezr10:4)
for they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, and thus they have desecrated the holy race with the peoples of the land. (Ezr9:2)
Sin of the people16 Nehemiah deals with oppression (Ne5:1-19)
After some deliberation, I called the nobles and magistrates to account, saying to them, "You are exacting interest from your own kinsmen!" I then rebuked them severely (Neh5:7)
11 Foreign wives and their children rejected (Ezr10:5-17)
Only Jonathan, son of Asahel, and Jahzeiah, son of Tikvah, were against this proposal, with Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite supporting them (Ezr10:15)
Interference15 Hostile plots thwarted (Ne3:33-Ne4:17)
Thereupon they all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and thus to throw us into confusion (Neh4:2)
12 List of the sinned people (Ezr10:18-44)
Ezr10:18Among the priests, the following were found to have taken foreign women for wives: Of the sons of Jeshua, son of Jozadak, and his brethren: Maaseiah, Eliezer, Jarib, and Gedaliah.
List of people14 Organization of the work (Ne3:1-32)
list of people who restored the wall

1-1-1

1 End of the Babylonian captivity (Ezr1:1-11)
  2 List of the returned exiles (Ezr2:1-70)
    3 Worship restored at Jerusalem (Ezr3:1-7)
      4 Resistance to rebuilding the Temple (Ezr4:1-24)
        5 Restoration of the Temple resumed (Ezr5:1-Ezr6:14)
          6 Completion of the temple (Ezr6:14-18)
            7 Passover (Ezr6:19-22)
          8 Heads of families who returned with Ezra (Ezr7:1-Ezr8:14)
        9 The return to Jerusalem (Ezr8:15-36)
      10 Denunciation of mixed marriages (Ezr9:1-Ezr10:4)
    11 Foreign wives and their children rejected (Ezr10:5-17)
  12 List of the sinned people (Ezr10:18-44)
13 Nehemiah prays for his people (Ne1:1-Ne2:20)
Former halfRelationLatter half
1 End of the Babylonian captivity (Ezr1:1-11)
Ezr1:3Whoever, therefore, among you belongs to any part of his people, let him go up, and may his God be with him!
Permission by king and plan to restoration13 Nehemiah prays for his people (Ne1:1-Ne2:20)
Ne2:8 The king granted my requests, for the favoring hand of my God was upon me.
2 List of the returned exiles (Ezr2:1-70)
list of people who returned (Ezr2:2-58)
List of people12 List of the sinned people (Ezr10:18-44)
list of people who married with foreigners (Ezr10:20-43)
3 Worship restored at Jerusalem (Ezr3:1-7)
the people gathered at Jerusalem as one man (Ezr3:1)
The people gather11 Foreign wives and their children rejected (Ezr10:5-17)
Ezr10:7 A proclamation was made throughout Judah and Jerusalem that all the exiles should gather together in Jerusalem
4 Resistance to rebuilding the Temple (Ezr4:1-24)
Ezr4:3 But Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the rest of the family heads of Israel answered them, "It is not your responsibility to build with us a house for our God, but we alone must build it for the LORD, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus of Persia has commanded us." (Ezr4:3)
Exclusion of foreigners10 Denunciation of mixed marriages (Ezr9:1-Ezr10:4)
Ezr9:12 Do not, then, give your daughters to their sons in marriage, and do not take their daughters for your sons. Never promote their peace and prosperity; thus you will grow strong, enjoy the produce of the land, and leave it as an inheritance to your children forever. (Ezr9:12)
5 Restoration of the Temple resumed (Ezr5:1-Ezr6:14)
Ezr6:13 Then Tattenai, the governor of West-of-Euphrates, and Shethar-bozenai, and their fellow officials carried out fully the instructions King Darius had sent them. (Ezr6:13)
Commands of a king9 The return to Jerusalem (Ezr8:15-36)
Ezr8:36 Finally, the orders of the king were presented to the king's satraps and to the governors in West-of-Euphrates, who gave their support to the people and to the house of God.(Ezr8:36)
6 Completion of the temple (Ezr6:14-18)
Ezr6:18 Finally, they set up the priests in their classes and the Levites in their divisions for the service of God in Jerusalem, as is prescribed in the book of Moses. (Ezr6:18)
The book of Moses8 Heads of families who returned with Ezra (Ezr7:1-Ezr8:14)
Ezr7:6 this Ezra came up from Babylon. He was a scribe, well-versed in the law of Moses which was given by the LORD, the God of Israel. Because the hand of the LORD, his God, was upon him, the king granted him all that he requested. (Ezr7:6)

1-1-2

13 Nehemiah prays for his people (Ne1:1-Ne2:20)
  14 Organization of the work (Ne3:1-32)
    15 Hostile plots thwarted (Ne3:33-Ne4:17)
      16 Nehemiah deals with oppression (Ne5:1-19)
        17 Intrigues of enemies foiled (Ne6:1-19)
          18 List of the returned exiles (Ne7:1-72a)
            19 Ezra summons the people to obey the law (Ne7:72b-Ne8:18)
          20 National confession (Ne9:1-37)
        21 List of covenant (Ne10:1-30)
      22 Covenant (Ne10:31-40)
    23 People live inside and outside Jerusalem (Ne11:1-36)
  24 Dedication of the city wall (Ne12:1-47)
25 The reforms of Nehemiah (Ne13:1-31)
Former halfRelationLatter half
13 Nehemiah prays for his people (Ne1:1-Ne2:20)
Ne1:8But remember, I pray, the promise which you gave through Moses, your servant, when you said: 'Should you prove faithless, I will scatter you among the nations; 1:9 but should you return to me and carefully keep my commandments, even though your outcasts have been driven to the farthest corner of the world, I will gather them from there, and bring them back to the place which I have chosen as the dwelling place for my name.'
Covenant and wrath25 The reforms of Nehemiah (Ne13:1-31)
Ne13:18Did not your fathers act in this same way, with the result that our God has brought all this evil upon us and upon this city? Would you add to the wrath against Israel by once more profaning the sabbath?"
13 Nehemiah prays for his people (Ne1:1-Ne2:20)
Ne1:8But remember, I pray, the promise which you gave through Moses, your servant, when you said: Should you prove faithless, I will scatter you among the nations; 1:9 but should you return to me and carefully keep my commandments, even though your outcasts have been driven to the farthest corner of the world, I will gather them from there, and bring them back to the place which I have chosen as the dwelling place for my name.
The law of Moses25 The reforms of Nehemiah (Ne13:1-31)
Ne13:1At that time, when there was reading from the book of Moses in the hearing of the people, it was found written there that "no Ammonite or Moabite may ever be admitted into the assembly of God;
14 Organization of the work (Ne3:1-32)
Ne3:1Eliashib the high priest and his priestly brethren took up the task of rebuilding the Sheep Gate. They timbered it and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars, then continued the rebuilding to the Tower of Hananel.
Dedication of the wall24 Dedication of the city wall (Ne12:1-47)
Ne12:27At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, the Levites were sought out wherever they lived and were brought to Jerusalem to celebrate a joyful dedication with thanksgiving hymns and the music of cymbals, harps, and lyres.
15 Hostile plots thwarted (Ne3:33-Ne4:17)
Ne4:16At the same time I told the people to spend the nights inside Jerusalem, each man with his own attendant, so that they might serve as a guard by night and a working force by day.
People in Jerusalem23 People live inside and outside Jerusalem (Ne11:1-36)
Ne11:1The leaders of the people took up residence in Jerusalem, and the rest of the people cast lots to bring one man in ten to reside in Jerusalem, the holy city, while the other nine would remain in the other cities.
16 Nehemiah deals with oppression (Ne5:1-19)
Ne5:10I myself, my kinsmen, and my attendants have lent the people money and grain without charge. Let us put an end to this usury! 5:11 I ask that you return to them this very day their fields, their vineyards, their olive groves, and their houses, together with the interest on the money, the grain, the wine, and the oil that you have lent them."
Exemption from debt22 Covenant (Ne10:31-40)
Ne10:32When the peoples of the land bring in merchandise or any kind of grain for sale on the sabbath day, we will not buy from them on the sabbath or on any other holyday. We will forgo the seventh year, as well as every kind of debt.
17 Intrigues of enemies foiled (Ne6:1-19)
Ne6:18 for many in Judah were in league with him, since he was the son-in-law of Shecaniah, son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam, son of Berechiah. (Ne6:18)
Oath21 List of covenant (Ne10:1-30)
Ne10:30 join with their brethren who are their princes, and with the sanction of a curse take this oath to follow the law of God which was given through Moses, the servant of God, and to observe carefully all the commandments of the LORD, our LORD, his ordinances and his statutes. (Ne10:30)
18 List of the returned exiles (Ne7:1-72a)
List of the returned exiles
People of Israel20 National confession (Ne9:1-37)
Ne9:1 On the twenty-fourth day of this month, the Israelites gathered together fasting and in sackcloth, their heads covered with dust.(Ne9:1)

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