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Literary structure (chiasm, chiasmus) of Song of Songs

Chiastic Structure and Concentric Structure and Parallel of each pericope

[1]1  (Sg1:1-8)
 
P(1:1)1:1 The Song of Songs by Solomon (1:1)
  A(1:2-3)  1:3 Your name spoken is a spreading perfume
    B(1:4)    1:4 Draw me!
  A'(1:5-6)  1:5 B I am as dark-but lovely
    B'(1:7-8)    1:8 Follow the tracks of the flock and pasture the young ones near the shepherds' camps
 
   A: Beauty. B: Invitation.

[2]2  (Sg1:9-17)
 
  A(1:9-11)  Metaphor of female
    B(1:12-14)    Metaphor of male
  A'(1:15-17)  Metaphor of female
 
   A: Metaphor of female. B: Metaphor of male.

[3]3  (Sg2:1-7)
 
  A(2:1-4)  Daughters
    B(2:5-6)    Wish of the woman
  A'(2:7)  Daughters of Jerusalem
 
   A: Daughters. B: Wish of the woman.

[4]4  (Sg2:8-17)
 
  A(2:8-9)  
2:9 a gazelle or a young stag   
(לצבי)
    B(2:10-14)    Words of the lover
  A'(2:15-17)  
2:17 Like a gazelle or a young stag   
(לצבי)
 
   A: Animals. B: Words of the lover.

[5]5  (Sg3:1-5)
 
  A(3:1-2)  To seek the lover
  A'(3:3-4)  To find the lover
P(3:5)Daughters of Jerusalem
 
   A: To seek the lover.

[6]6  (Sg3:6-11)
 
  A(3:6)  
3:6 What is this coming up from the desert   
(בלילות)
    B(3:7-10)    King Solomon
  A'(3:11)  3:11 Daughters of Jerusalem, come forth
 
   A: To come. B: King Solomon.

[7]7  (Sg4:1-7)
 
  A(4:1)  
"4:1 Ah, you are beautiful, my beloved"   
(יפה)
    B(4:2-6)    Metaphor of female
  A'(4:7)  4:7 You are all-beautiful, my beloved
 
   A: Beauty. B: Metaphor of female.

[8]8  (Sg4:8-5:1)
 
  A(4:8-15)  Calling of male
    B(4:16)    Calling of female
  A'(5:1)  Calling of male
 
   A: Calling of male. B: Calling of female.

[9]9  (Sg5:2-8)
 
  A(5:2)  
5:2 I heard my lover knocking   
(פתחי)
    B(5:3)    5:3 I have taken off my robe, am I then to put it on?
  A'(5:4-6)  
5:6 I opened to my lover-- but my lover had departed   
(פתחתי)
    B'(5:7-8)    5:7 took my mantle from me, the guardians of the walls
 
   A: A Door. B: A robe.

[10]10  (Sg5:9-6:3)
 
  A(5:9)  Dialogue with daughters
    B(5:10-16a)    Metaphor of the lover
  A'(5:16b-6:3)  Dialogue with daughters
 
   A: Dialogue with daughters. B: Metaphor of the lover.

[11]11  (Sg6:4-10)
 
  A(6:4)  6:4 as awe-inspiring as bannered troops
    B(6:4-9)    Metaphor of the lover
  A'(6:10)  6:10 as awe-inspiring as bannered troops
 
   A: As awe-inspiring as bannered troops. B: Metaphor of the lover.

[12]12  (Sg6:11-7:14)
 
  A(6:11-12)  Words of female
    B(7:1-11)    Metaphor of female
  A'(7:12-14)  Words of female
 
   A: Words of female. B: Metaphor of female.

[13]13  (Sg8:1-4)
 
  A(8:1-2)  Wish of the woman
  A'(8:3)  Wish of the woman
P(8:4)Daughters of Jerusalem
 
   A: Wish of the woman.

[14]14  (Sg8:6-7)
 
P(8:5)8:5 Who is this coming up from the desert
  A(8:6a)  8:6 Set me as a seal
    B(8:6b)    8:6 For stern as death is love
  A'(8:7a)  8:7 Deep waters cannot quench love
    B'(8:7b)    8:7 Were one to offer all he owns to purchase love, he would be roundly mocked
 
   A: Indelible. B: Power of love.

[15]15  (Sg8:8-10)
 
  A(8:8)  8:8 Our sister is little
    B(8:9)    
8:9 If she is a wall   
(חומה)
    B'(8:10a)    
8:10 I am a wall   
(חומה)
  A'(8:10b)  8:10 So now in his eyes I have become one to be welcomed
 
   A: Little. B: A wall.

[16]16  (Sg8:11-12)
 
  A(8:11)  8:11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon
  A'(8:12)  8:12 My vineyard is at my own disposal; the thousand pieces are for you, O Solomon
 
   A: Solomon's vineyard.

[17]17  (Sg8:13-14)
 
  A(8:13)  Calling of male
  A'(8:14)  Calling of female
 
   A: Callings.


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

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