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Literary structure (chiasm, chiasmus) of Book of Job

Chiastic Structure and Concentric Structure and Parallel of each pericope

[1]Job's fortunes and sufferings  (Job 1:1-2:10)
P(1:1-5)Circumstances of Job
  A(1:6-12)  Dialogue of the LORD and Satan
    B(1:13-19)    Misfortune of Job
Job didn't commit a sin   
  A'(2:1-6)  Dialogue of the LORD and Satan
    B'(2:7-9)    Misfortune of Job
Job didn't commit a sin   
   A: Dialogue of the LORD and Satan. B: Misfortune of Job. C: Job didn't commit a sin.

[2]Job's friends  (Job 2:11-13)
  A(2:11)  2:11 They met and journeyed together to give him sympathy and comfort.(2:11)
    B(2:12)    2:12 they began to weep aloud; they tore their cloaks and threw dust upon their heads.(2:12)
  A'(2:13)  2:13 none of them spoke a word to him; for they saw how great was his suffering.(2:13)
   A: To give a sympathy / Not to speak. B: Lamentation.

[3]Job curses the day he was born  (Job 3:1-26)
3:10 it kept not shut the doors of the womb to shield my eyes from trouble!   
    B(3:11-19)    3:11 Why did I not perish at birth, come forth from the womb and expire? (3:11)
3:20 Why is light given to the toilers   
   A: Toils. B: Why did I not perish at birth?

[4]First dialogue of Eliphaz and Job  (Job 4:1-7:21)
  A(4:1-6)  4:2 how can anyone refrain from speaking? (4:2)
"4:8 As I see it, those who plow for mischief and sow trouble, reap the same.(4:8)"   
4:17 Can a man be righteous as against God? (4:17)   
        D(5:1-16)        5:1 Call now! Will anyone respond to you? To which of the holy ones will you appeal? (5:1)
5:17 Happy is the man whom God reproves! The Almighty's chastening do not reject. (5:17)   
"6:4 For the arrows of the Almighty pierce me, and my spirit drinks in their poison; (6:4)"   
        D'(6:8-13)        6:8 Oh, that I might have my request, and that God would grant what I long for: (6:8)
6:29 Think it over; I still am right. (6:29)   
"7:3 So I have been assigned months of misery, and troubled nights have been told off for me.(7:3)"   
  A'(7:11-21)  7:11 My own utterance I will not restrain; (7:11)
   A: To speak. B: Toils. C: Rightness. D: Wishes. E: The Almighty.

[5]First dialogue of Bildad and Job  (Job 8:1-10:22)
  A(8:1-7)  8:2 The words from your mouth are like a mighty wind! (8:2)
    B(8:8-10)    8:9 As we are but of yesterday and have no knowledge (8:9)
      C(8:11-19)      8:16 He is full of sap before sunrise, and beyond his garden his shoots go forth; (8:16)
        D(8:20-22)        8:20 Behold, God will not cast away the upright; neither will he take the hand of the wicked. (8:20)
        D'(9:1-4)        9:4 God is wise in heart and mighty in strength; who has withstood him and remained unscathed? (9:4)
      C'(9:5-13)      9:7 He commands the sun, and it rises not; (9:7)
    B'(9:25-35)    9:25 My days are swifter than a runner, they flee away; they see no happiness; (9:25)
  A'(10:1-22)  10:1 I will give myself up to complaint; I will speak from the bitterness of my soul.(10:1)
   A: Lamentation of Job. B: Transience of life. C: Creation. D: Judgement of the LORD.

[6]First dialogue of Zophar and Job  (Job 11:1-14:22)
  A(11:1-3)  11:2 Should not the man of many words be answered, or must the garrulous man necessarily be right? (11:2)
    B(11:4-6)    11:4 My teaching is pure, and I am clean in your sight (11:4)
      C(11:7-11)      11:9 It is longer than the earth in measure, and broader than the sea. (11:9)
        D(11:12-20)        11:12 Will empty man then gain understanding, and the wild jackass be made docile? (11:12)
        D'(12:1-6)        12:2 No doubt you are the intelligent folk, and with you wisdom shall die! (12:2)
      C'(12:7-25)      12:8 Or the reptiles on earth to instruct you, and the fish of the sea to inform you. (12:8)
    B'(13:1-28)    13:23 What are my faults and my sins? My misdeeds and my sins make known to me! (13:23)
  A'(14:1-22)  14:3 Upon such a one will you cast your eyes so as to bring him into judgment before you,(14:3)
   A: Judgement. B: Insists of Job. C: Creatures. D: Life and death.

[7]Second dialogue of Eliphaz and Job  (Job 15:1-17:16)
"15:2 Should a wise man answer with airy opinions, or puff himself up with wind? (15:2)"   
    B(15:7-13)    15:7 Are you indeed the first-born of mankind, or were you brought forth before the hills? (15:7)
15:35 They conceive malice and bring forth emptiness; they give birth to failure.(15:35)   
16:2 Wearisome comforters are you all! (16:2)   
    B'(17:1-7)    17:1 My spirit is broken, my lamp of life extinguished; my burial is at hand. (17:1)
17:10 I shall not find a wise man among you! (17:10)   
   A: Wisdom. B: Life and death. C: Heaven. D: Toils.

[8]Second dialogue of Bildad and Job  (Job 18:1-19:29)
18:2 When will you put an end to words? (18:2)   
"18:18 He is driven from light into darkness, and banished out of the world. (18:18)"   
"19:2 How long will you vex my soul, grind me down with words? (19:2)"   
19:8 He has barred my way and I cannot pass; he has veiled my path in darkness; (19:8)   
   A: Words. B: Darkness.

[9]Second dialogue of Zophar and Job  (Job 20:1-21:34)
  A(20:1-3)  20:3 A rebuke which puts me to shame I hear, (20:3)
    B(20:4-9)    20:5 That the triumph of the wicked is short and the joy of the impious but for a moment? (20:5)
      C(21:10-19)      20:10 his hands shall yield up his riches
        D(20:20-23)        20:20 Though he has known no quiet in his greed, his treasures shall not save him
          E(20:24-29)          20:28 The flood shall sweep away his house with the waters that run off in the day of God's anger. (20:28)
  A'(21:1-6)  21:2 At least listen to my words, and let that be the consolation you offer. (21:2)
    B'(21:7-15)    21:7 Why do the wicked survive, grow old, become mighty in power? (21:7)
      C'(21:16-21)      21:16 Surely they have won their own prosperity
        D'(21:22-26)        21:24 thighs padded with fat and the marrow in the bones good and moist
          E'(21:27-34)          21:30 Nay, the evil man is spared calamity when it comes; (21:30)
   A: Words of Job. B: Life of the wicked. C: Properties. D: Desires. E: The day of God's anger.

[10]Third dialogue of Eliphaz and Job  (Job 22:1-24:25)
  A(22:1-4)  22:4 Is it because of your piety that he reproves you-- that he enters with you into judgment? (22:4)
    B(22:5-9)    22:9 You have sent widows away empty-handed, and the resources of orphans you have destroyed. (22:9)
"22:11 Or darkness, in which you cannot see; a deluge of waters covers you. (22:11)"   
"22:22 Receive instruction from his mouth, and lay up his words in your heart. (22:22)"   
23:12 From the commands of his lips I have not departed; the words of his mouth I have treasured in my heart   
"23:17 Yes, would that I had vanished in darkness, and that thick gloom were before me to conceal me.(23:17)"   
    B'(24:1-17)    24:3 The asses of orphans they drive away; they take the widow's ox for a pledge. (24:3)
  A'(24:18-25)  24:19 Drought and heat snatch away the snow waters; so does Sheol those who have sinned (24:19)
   A: Judgement. B: Widows and orphans. C: Darkness. D: Teachings.

[11]Third dialogue of Bildad and Job  (Job 25:1-26:14)
  A(25:1-3)  25:2 Dominion and awesomeness are his who brings about harmony in his heavens. (25:2)
    B(25:4-6)    25:4 How can a man be just in God's sight, or how can any woman's child be innocent? (25:4)
    B'(26:1-4)    26:2 What help you give to the powerless, what strength to the feeble arm! (26:2)
  A'(26:5-14)  26:5 The shades beneath writhe in terror, the waters, and their inhabitants.(26:5)
   A: Power of God. B: Rightness of the human.

[12]Words of Job  (Job 27:1-23)
  A(27:1-6)  27:4 My lips shall not speak falsehood, nor my tongue utter deceit! (27:4)
    B(27:7-10)    27:7 Let my enemy be as the wicked and my adversary as the unjust! (27:7)
  A'(27:11-12)  27:11 I will teach you the manner of God's dealings, and the way of the Almighty I will not conceal. (27:11)
    B'(27:13-23)    27:13 This is the portion of a wicked man from God, the inheritance an oppressor receives from the Almighty:(27:13)
   A: Words of Job. B: Judgement against the wicked.

[13]Where wisdom is found  (Job 28:1-28)
  A(28:1-11)  28:3 He has set a boundary for the darkness; to the farthest confines he penetrates. (28:3)
"28:12 But whence can wisdom be obtained, and where is the place of understanding? (28:12)"   
  A(28:15-19)  28:15 Solid gold cannot purchase it, nor can its price be paid with silver. (28:15)
"28:20 Whence, then, comes wisdom, and where is the place of understanding? (28:20)"   
   A: Jems. B: Whence comes wisdom?

[14]Words of Job  (Job 29:1-31:40)
  A(29:1-25)  Past actions of Job
    B(30:1-31)    Current sufferings of Job
  A'(31:1-40)  Past actions of Job
   A: Past actions of Job. B: Current sufferings of Job.

[15]Elifu rebukes Job and Job's friend  (Job 32:1-33:33)
P(32:1-5)32:2 But the anger of Elihu
"32:8 But it is a spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding. (32:8)"   
    B(32:11-16)    32:11 Behold, I have waited for your discourses, and have given ear to your arguments. (32:11)
      C(32:17-22)      32:17 I too will speak my part; I also will show my knowledge! (32:17)
"33:4 For the spirit of God has made me, the breath of the Almighty keeps me alive. (33:4)"   
    B'(33:8-30)    33:8 But you have said in my hearing, as I listened to the sound of your words: (33:8)
      C'(33:31-33)      33:31 Be attentive, O Job; listen to me! Be silent and I will speak. (33:31)
   A: The spirit of God. B: Listening to Job. C: Listening to Elihu.

[16]Elifu proclaims God's justice  (Job 34:1-37)
"34:2 Hear, O wise men, my discourse, and you that have knowledge, hear me! (34:2)"   
    B(34:5-9)    34:5 For Job has said, "I am innocent, but God has taken what is my due. (34:5)
      C(34:10-15)      34:11 Rather, he requites men for their conduct, and brings home to a man his way of life. (34:11)
      C'(34:16-30)      34:28 But caused the cries of the poor to reach him, so that he heard the plea of the afflicted. (34:28)
    B'(34:31-33)    34:31 When anyone says to God, "I was misguided; I will offend no more.(34:31)
"34:34 Men of understanding will say to me, every wise man who hears my views:(34:34)"   
   A: Wise man. B: Words towards God. C: Judgement of God.

[17]Elifu condemns self-righteousness  (Job 35:1-16)
35:3 What does it profit me; what advantage have I more than if I had sinned?   
35:5 Look up to the skies and behold; regard the heavens high above you.(35:5)   
"35:6 If you sin, what injury do you do to God? Even if your offenses are many, how do you hurt him? (35:6)"   
"35:11 Taught us rather than the beasts of the earth, and made us wise rather than the birds of the heavens? (35:11)"   
   A: Sins. B: Heaven.

[18]Elifu proclaims God's majesty  (Job 36:1-37:24)
36:4 the one perfect in knowledge I set before you   
    B(36:22-33)    36:29 Can anyone understand the spreading of the clouds, the thunderings of his pavilion? (36:29)
    B'(37:1-13)    37:4 Again his voice roars-- the majestic sound of his thunder
"37:16 Do you know how the clouds are banked, the wondrous work of him who is perfect in knowledge? "   
   A: The one perfect in knowledge. B: Works of the creation.

[19]The LORD answers Job  (Job 38:1-39:30)
   List of the questions about the creatures

[20]Words of the LORD  (Job 40:1-2)
   The words of the LORD

[21]Words of Job  (Job 40:3-5)
   Words of Job

[22]Words of the LORD  (Job 40:6-41:26)
P(40:6-14)40:7 I am going to ask the questions, and you are to inform me!
  A(40:15-24)  Behemoth
  A'(40:25-41:24)  Leviathan

[23]Words of Job  (Job 42:1-6)
  A(42:1-2)  42:2 I know that you are all-powerful
    B(42:3a)    The words of the LORD
      C(42:3b)      42:3 I cannot understand
    B'(42:4-5)    The words of the LORD
  A'(42:6)  42:6 I retract what I have said, and repent in dust and ashes
   A: Repentance. B: The words of the LORD. C: To understand that Job cannot understand.

[24]Job's friends are humiliated  (Job 42:7-10)
"42:7 you have not spoken rightly concerning me, as has my servant Job. (42:7)"   
    B(42:8a)    42:8 Now, therefore, take seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up a holocaust for yourselves; (42:8)
"42:8 For you have not spoken rightly concerning me, as has my servant Job. (42:8)"   
    B'(42:9-10)    42:9 Then Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite, went and did as the LORD had commanded them. (42:9)
   A: Not to speak rightly. B: Offerings.

[25]Job's fortunes  (Job 42:11-17)
  A(42:11-12)  42:12 For he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she-asses. (42:12)
    B(42:13-15a)    42:13 And he had seven sons and three daughters, (42:13)
  A'(42:15b)  42:15 their father gave them an inheritance among their brethren. (42:15)
    B'(42:16-17)    42:16 After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; and he saw his children, his grandchildren, and even his great-grandchildren. (42:16)
   A: Properties. B: Descendants.

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

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