Top  >  Literary Structures of the Bible  >  Book of Job  >  Pericope

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
      C(1:20-22)      
Job didn't commit a sin   
(חטא)
  A'(2:1-6)  Dialogue of the LORD and Satan
    B'(2:7-9)    Misfortune of Job
      C'(2:10)      
Job didn't commit a sin   
(חטא)
 
   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)
 
  A(3:1-10)  
3:10 it kept not shut the doors of the womb to shield my eyes from trouble!   
(עמל)
    B(3:11-19)    3:11 Why did I not perish at birth, come forth from the womb and expire? (3:11)
  A'(3:20-26)  
3:20 Why is light given to the toilers   
(לעמל)
 
   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)
    B(4:7-11)    
"4:8 As I see it, those who plow for mischief and sow trouble, reap the same.(4:8)"   
(עמל)
      C(4:12-21)      
4:17 Can a man be righteous as against God? (4:17)   
(יצדק)
        D(5:1-16)        5:1 Call now! Will anyone respond to you? To which of the holy ones will you appeal? (5:1)
          E(5:17-27)          
5:17 Happy is the man whom God reproves! The Almighty's chastening do not reject. (5:17)   
(שׁדי)
          E'(6:1-7)          
"6:4 For the arrows of the Almighty pierce me, and my spirit drinks in their poison; (6:4)"   
(שׁדי)
        D'(6:8-13)        6:8 Oh, that I might have my request, and that God would grant what I long for: (6:8)
      C'(6:14-30)      
6:29 Think it over; I still am right. (6:29)   
(צדק)
    B'(7:1-10)    
"7:3 So I have been assigned months of misery, and troubled nights have been told off for me.(7:3)"   
(עמל)
  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)
 
  A(15:1-6)  
"15:2 Should a wise man answer with airy opinions, or puff himself up with wind? (15:2)"   
(החכם)
    B(15:7-13)    15:7 Are you indeed the first-born of mankind, or were you brought forth before the hills? (15:7)
      C(15:14-16)      
   
(ושׁמים)
        D(15:17-35)        
15:35 They conceive malice and bring forth emptiness; they give birth to failure.(15:35)   
(עמל)
        D'(16:1-17)        
16:2 Wearisome comforters are you all! (16:2)   
(עמל)
      C'(16:18-22)      
   
(בשׁמים)
    B'(17:1-7)    17:1 My spirit is broken, my lamp of life extinguished; my burial is at hand. (17:1)
  A'(17:8-16)  
17:10 I shall not find a wise man among you! (17:10)   
(חכם)
 
   A: Wisdom. B: Life and death. C: Heaven. D: Toils.

[8]Second dialogue of Bildad and Job  (Job 18:1-19:29)
 
  A(18:1-4)  
18:2 When will you put an end to words? (18:2)   
(למלין)
    B(18:5-21)    
"18:18 He is driven from light into darkness, and banished out of the world. (18:18)"   
(חשׁך)
  A(19:1-5)  
"19:2 How long will you vex my soul, grind me down with words? (19:2)"   
(במלים)
    B'(19:6-29)    
19:8 He has barred my way and I cannot pass; he has veiled my path in darkness; (19:8)   
(חשׁך)
 
   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)
      C(22:10-18)      
"22:11 Or darkness, in which you cannot see; a deluge of waters covers you. (22:11)"   
(חשׁך)
        D(22:19-30)        
"22:22 Receive instruction from his mouth, and lay up his words in your heart. (22:22)"   
(מפיו)
        D'(23:1-14)        
23:12 From the commands of his lips I have not departed; the words of his mouth I have treasured in my heart   
(פיו)
      C'(23:15-17)      
"23:17 Yes, would that I had vanished in darkness, and that thick gloom were before me to conceal me.(23:17)"   
(חשׁך)
    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)
    B(28:12-14)    
"28:12 But whence can wisdom be obtained, and where is the place of understanding? (28:12)"   
(והחכמהמאין)
  A(28:15-19)  28:15 Solid gold cannot purchase it, nor can its price be paid with silver. (28:15)
    B'(28:20-28)    
"28:20 Whence, then, comes wisdom, and where is the place of understanding? (28:20)"   
(והחכמהמאין)
 
   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
  A(32:6-10)  
"32:8 But it is a spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding. (32:8)"   
(רוח)
    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)
  A'(33:1-7)  
"33:4 For the spirit of God has made me, the breath of the Almighty keeps me alive. (33:4)"   
(רוח)
    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)
 
  A(34:1-4)  
"34:2 Hear, O wise men, my discourse, and you that have knowledge, hear me! (34:2)"   
(חכמים)
    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)
  A'(34:34-37)  
"34:34 Men of understanding will say to me, every wise man who hears my views:(34:34)"   
(חכם)
 
   A: Wise man. B: Words towards God. C: Judgement of God.

[17]Elifu condemns self-righteousness  (Job 35:1-16)
 
  A(35:1-3)  
35:3 What does it profit me; what advantage have I more than if I had sinned?   
(מחטאתי)
    B(35:4-5)    
35:5 Look up to the skies and behold; regard the heavens high above you.(35:5)   
(שׁמים)
  A(35:6-8)  
"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)"   
(חטאת)
    B'(35:9-16)    
"35:11 Taught us rather than the beasts of the earth, and made us wise rather than the birds of the heavens? (35:11)"   
(השׁמים)
 
   A: Sins. B: Heaven.

[18]Elifu proclaims God's majesty  (Job 36:1-37:24)
 
  A(36:1-21)  
36:4 the one perfect in knowledge I set before you   
(תמיםדעות)
    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
  A'(37:14-24)  
"37:16 Do you know how the clouds are banked, the wondrous work of him who is perfect in knowledge? "   
(תמיםדעים)
 
   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)
 
  A(42:7)  
"42:7 you have not spoken rightly concerning me, as has my servant Job. (42:7)"   
(דברתםאלינכונה)
    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)
  A'(42:8b)  
"42:8 For you have not spoken rightly concerning me, as has my servant Job. (42:8)"   
(דברתםאלינכונה)
    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.

Creative Commons License
Literary Structure of the Bible by Hajime Murai is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Caution: The copyright of the cited Bible verses belongs to each translator and publisher.