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Literary structure (chiasmus, chiasm) of Ecclesiastes

Chiasmus and Concentric Structure of whole text


1-1

(1:1-11)
   (1:12-18)
     (2:1-11)
       (2:12-26)
         (3:1-15)
           (3:16-22)
             (4:1-6)
               (4:7-14)
                 (4:15-5:11)
              10  (5:12-19)
            11  (6:1-12)
          12  (7:1-29)
        13  (8:1-17)
      14  (9:1-12)
    15  (9:13-10:20)
  16  (11:1-12:7)
17  (12:8-14)
Former halfRelationLatter half
(1:1-11)
1:2 Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth(1:2)
Words of Qoheleth17  (12:8-14)
12:8 Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth (12:8)
(1:12-18)
1:18 he who stores up knowledge stores up grief.(1:18)
Grief16  (11:1-12:7)
11:10 Ward off grief from your heart (11:10)
(2:1-11)
2:3 taking up folly, until I should understand what is best for men to do (2:3)
Folly15  (9:13-10:20)
10:1 More weighty than wisdom or wealth is a little folly! (10:1)
(2:12-26)
2:14 I knew that one lot befalls both of them. (2:14)
Alike14  (9:1-12)
9:3 things turn out the same for all (9:3)
(3:1-15)
3:1 There is an appointed time for everything (3:1)
An appointed time for everything13  (8:1-17)
8:6 for there is a time and a judgment for everything (8:6)
(3:16-22)
3:19 For the lot of man and of beast is one lot; the one dies as well as the other. (3:19)
Death12  (7:1-29)
7:2 It is better to go to the house of mourning than to the house of feasting, For that is the end of every man, and the living should take it to heart. (7:2)
(4:1-6)
4:3 And better off than both is the yet unborn, who has not seen the wicked work that is done under the sun. (4:3)
Unborn11  (6:1-12)
6:3 of this man I proclaim that the child born dead is more fortunate than he.(6:3)
(4:7-14)
4:8 Yet there is no end to all his toil, and riches do not satisfy his greed. (4:8)
Riches10  (5:12-19)
5:12 riches kept by their owner to his hurt. (5:12)

1-1-1

(1:1-11)
   (1:12-18)
     (2:1-11)
       (2:12-26)
         (3:1-15)
       (3:16-22)
     (4:1-6)
   (4:7-14)
(4:15-5:11)
Former halfRelationLatter half
(1:1-11)
1:11 There is no remembrance of the men of old; nor of those to come will there be any remembrance among those who come after them.(1:11)
Past and future (4:15-5:11)
4:16 There is no end to all these people, to all over whom he takes precedence; yet the later generations will not applaud him. (4:16)
(1:12-18)
1:12 I, Qoheleth, was king over Israel in Jerusalem, (1:12)
King (4:7-14)
4:14 for from a prison house one comes forth to rule, since even in his royalty he was poor at birth.(4:14)
(2:1-11)
2:11 But when I turned to all the works that my hands had wrought, and to the toil at which I had taken such pains, (2:11)
Toil (4:1-6)
4:6 Better is one handful with tranquility than two with toil and a chase after wind! (4:6)
(2:12-26)
2:16 How is it that the wise man dies as well as the fool! (2:16)
Death (3:16-22)
3:19 For the lot of man and of beast is one lot; the one dies as well as the other. (3:19)

1-1-2

(4:15-5:11)
  10  (5:12-19)
    11  (6:1-12)
      12  (7:1-29)
        13  (8:1-17)
      14  (9:1-12)
    15  (9:13-10:20)
  16  (11:1-12:7)
17  (12:8-14)
Former halfRelationLatter half
(4:15-5:11)
5:6 Rather, fear God! (5:6)
Fear God17  (12:8-14)
12:13 Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is man's all;(12:13)
10  (5:12-19)
5:14 As he came forth from his mothers womb, so again shall he depart, naked as he came, having nothing from his labor that he can carry in his hand. (5:14)
Return to God16  (11:1-12:7)
12:7 And the dust returns to the earth as it once was, and the life breath returns to God who gave it. (12:7)
11  (6:1-12)
6:8 For what advantage has the wise man over the fool, or what advantage has the poor man in knowing how to conduct himself in life? (6:8)
The wise and the poor15  (9:13-10:20)
9:15 But in the city lived a man who, though poor, was wise, and he delivered it through his wisdom. Yet no one remembered this poor man. (9:15)
12  (7:1-29)
7:2 It is better to go to the house of mourning than to the house of feasting, For that is the end of every man, and the living should take it to heart. (7:2)
The living14  (9:1-12)
9:4 Indeed, for any among the living there is hope; a live dog is better off than a dead lion. (9:4)

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

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Literary Structure of the Bible by Hajime Murai is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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