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Literary structure (chiasm, chiasmus) of Ecclesiastes

Chiastic Structure and Concentric Structure and Parallel of each pericope

[1]  (Eccles 1:1-11)
 
P(1:1)1:1 The words of David's son, Qoheleth, king in Jerusalem:(1:1)
  A(1:2-3)  
1:3 What profit has man from all the labor which he toils at under the sun?   
(תחתהשׁמשׁ)
    B(1:4-7)    
1:4 the world forever stays   
(לעולם)
  A'(1:8-9)  
1:9 Nothing is new under the sun.    
(תחתהשׁמשׁ)
    B'(1:10-11)    
"1:10 Even the thing of which we say, "See, this is new!" has already existed in the ages that preceded us. "   
(לעלמים)
 
   A: Under the sun. B: Forever.

[2]  (Eccles 1:12-18)
 
  A(1:12-14)  1:14 all is vanity and a chase after wind
    B(1:15)    1:15 What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is missing cannot be supplied. (1:15)
  A'(1:16-17)  1:17 this also is a chase after wind
    B'(1:18)    1:18 For in much wisdom there is much sorrow, and he who stores up knowledge stores up grief.(1:18)
 
   A: A chase after wind. B: Proverbs.

[3]  (Eccles 2:1-11)
 
  A(2:1-2)  2:1 behold, this too was vanity
    B(2:3-10)    Joy and toil
  A'(2:11)  2:11 behold! all was vanity and a chase after wind
 
   A: Vanity. B: Joy and toil.

[4]  (Eccles 2:12-26)
 
  A(2:12-16)  2:13 wisdom has the advantage over folly as much as light has the advantage over darkness.
    B(2:17-18)    2:18 I detested all the fruits of my labor under the sun, because I must leave them to a man who is to come after me.
      C(2:19)      2:19 who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool
    B'(2:20-21)    2:21 For here is a man who has labored with wisdom and knowledge and skill, and to another, who has not labored over it, he must leave his property.
  A'(2:22-26)  2:26 to the sinner he gives the task of gathering possessions to be given to whatever man God sees fit
 
   A: Good and evil. B: To leave for those who have not labored over it. C: A wise man or a fool.

[5]  (Eccles 3:1-15)
 
  A(3:1)  3:1 There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens. (3:1)
    B(3:2-9)    
3:9 What advantage has the worker from his toil?   
(עמל)
      C(3:10)      
3:10 the task which God has appointed   
(נתן)
      C'(3:11)      
3:11 He has put the timeless into their hearts   
(נתן)
    B'(3:12-13)    
3:13 enjoy the fruit of all his labor   
(עמלו)
  A'(3:14-15)  3:14 there is no adding to it, or taking from it
 
   A: To be appointed. B: Labors. C: To be given.

[6]  (Eccles 3:16-22)
 
  A(3:16-17)  3:17 both the just and the wicked God will judge
    B(3:18-19)    
"3:19 Both have the same life-breath, and man has no advantage over the beast; but all is vanity"   
(הבהמה)
      C(3:20)      3:20 to the dust they both return
    B'(3:21)    
3:21 Who knows if the life-breath of the children of men goes upward and the life-breath of beasts goes earthward?   
(הבהמה)
  A'(3:22)  3:22 Who will let him see what is to come after him?
 
   A: Judgement. B: Human and animal. C: Dust.

[7]  (Eccles 4:1-6)
 
  A(4:1)  
4:1 the hand of their oppressors   
(ומיד)
    B(4:2)    
4:2 I declared more fortunate in death   
(אשׁר)
    B'(4:3)    
4:3 better off than both is the yet unborn   
(אשׁר)
  A'(4:4-6)  
4:5 The fool folds his arms   
(ידיו)
 
   A: Hands. B: Happiness.

[8]  (Eccles 4:7-14)
 
  A(4:7-8)  4:8 riches do not satisfy his greed
    B(4:9-10)    
4:9 Two are better than one   
(השׁנים)
    B'(4:11-12)    
4:12 two together can resist   
(השׁנים)
  A'(4:13-14)  4:13 a poor but wise youth
 
   A: Rich and poor. B:

[9]  (Eccles 4:15-5:11)
 
  A(4:15-16)  
4:16 This also is vanity   
(הבל)
    B(4:17-5:1)    4:17 they know not how to keep from doing evil
      C(5:2)      
5:2 For nightmares come with many cares   
(החלום)
        D(5:3-5)        5:3 When you make a vow to God, delay not its fulfillment
      C'(5:6)      
5:6 With many dreams come vanities and a multitude of words   
(חלמות)
    B'(5:7-8)    5:7 violation of rights and justice in the realm
  A'(5:9-11)  
5:9 so this too is vanity   
(הבל)
 
   A: Vanity. B: Evils. C: Dreams. D: A vow to God.

[10]  (Eccles 5:12-19)
 
  A(5:12-13)  
5:12 riches kept by their owner to his hurt   
(עשׁר)
    B(5:14-16)    
5:16 all their days they eat in darkness   
(יאכל)
    B'(5:17)    
5:17 true happiness lies in eating and drinking   
(לאכול)
  A'(5:18-19)  
5:18 Any man to whom God gives riches and property   
(עשׁר)
 
   A: Days of life. B: God gives.

[11]  (Eccles 6:1-12)
 
  A(6:1-2)  6:2 This is vanity and a dire plague
    B(6:3-5)    6:4 its name is enveloped in darkness
      C(6:6)      
6:6 who would never have known the good things of life   
(שׁמו)
  A'(6:7-9)  6:9 This also is vanity and a chase after wind
    B'(6:10-11)    
"6:10 Whatever is, was long ago given its name"   
(שׁמו)
      C'(6:12)      6:12 For who knows what is good for a man in life
 
   A: Vanity. B: Names. C: The good things of life.

[12]  (Eccles 7:1-29)
 
  A(7:1-3)  
7:1 the day of death than the day of birth.(7:1)   
(המות)
    B(7:4-10)    7:5 It is better to hearken to the wise man's rebuke than to hearken to the song of fools
      C(7:11-14)      
7:14 God has made the one as well as the other   
(עשׂה)
  A'(7:15-18)  
7:17 why should you die before your time?   
(תמות)
    B'(7:19-22)    7:19 Wisdom gives strength to the wise
      C'(7:23-29)      
7:29 God made human beings straightforward   
(עשׂה)
 
   A: Death. B:A wise man. C: God made.

[13]  (Eccles 8:1-17)
 
  A(8:1-8)  8:7 he is ignorant of what is to come
    B(8:9-11)    The wicked is not punished
      C(8:11-13)      8:13 he shall not prolong his shadowy days, for his lack of reverence toward God
    B'(8:14-15)    The wicked is not punished
  A'(8:16-17)  8:17 man is unable to find out all God's work
 
   A: Ignorance. B: The wicked is not punished. C: Reverence.

[14]  (Eccles 9:1-12)
 
  A(9:1)  9:1 Love from hatred man cannot tell
    B(9:2-3)    9:3 things turn out the same for all
  A'(9:4-10)  9:6 love and hatred and rivalry have long since perished
    B'(9:11-12)    9:11 a time of calamity comes to all alike
 
   A:Llove and hatred. B: Alike.

[15]  (Eccles 9:13-10:20)
 
  A(9:13-16)  9:13 under the sun
    B(9:17-10:3)    A wise and a fool
      C(10:4)      10:4 Should the anger of the ruler burst upon you
  A'(10:5-7)  10:5 under the sun
    B'(10:8-15)    A wise and a fool
      C'(10:16-20)      10:16 O land, whose king was a servant, and whose princes dine in the morning
 
   A: Under the sunl. B: A wise man and a fool. C: Authority.

[16]  (Eccles 11:1-12:7)
 
  A(11:1-6)  
11:5 Just as you know not how the breath of life fashions the human frame in the mother's womb    
(הרוח)
    B(11:7-8)    
11:8 All that is to come is vanity   
(הבל)
    B'(11:9-10)    
11:10 the dawn of youth is fleeting   
(הבל)
  A'(12:1-7)  
12:7 the life breath returns to God who gave it   
(והרוח)
 
   A: Breath. B: Vanity.

[17]  (Eccles 12:8-14)
 
  A(12:8)  
12:8 all things are vanity   
(הכל)
    B(12:9-11)    12:10 to write down true sayings with precision
    B'(12:12)    12:12 Of the making of many books there is no end
  A'(12:13-14)  
12:13 for this is man's all   
(כל)
 
   A: To write down. B: All.


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