The Conventions of Biblical Poetry
A brief introduction to the devices and characteristics of in this biblical genre.
B O one whom my soul loves,
C Where will you feed your flock;
Where will you have us recline at noon?
D For why should I be like one who goes astray
E Beside the droves of your comrades?
A' If you don't know, you,
B' O fairest of women,
C' Get yourself out at the heels of the flock;
And shepherd your nanny-kids...
(There is a verset missing here)
E' Beside the tents of those companions! (Song of Songs 1:7-8)
6. Chiastic patterning of lines, stanzas, poems, sections, or an entire work. When a passage is organized as a chiasm, elements in the second half correspond to those in the first half, but in reverse order (a, b, c; c', b', a'). A chiasm is a rhetorical device that sets up comparisons and contrasts. An unpaired element in the middle indicates what is central, as shown below:
A For behold, the winter has passed over,
The rain gone by and departed,
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