christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

deuteronomy 6:4-11:25, first commandment chiastic structure

Read Deuteronomy 6:4-11:25 at Bible Gateway.

Previously: deuteronomy 10:12-11:25, love and obedience

Please review the teaching tools of scripture, especially the Hebrew paragraph divisions and chiastic structures. The paragraphs marked by an “s” at their close are weak paragraphs, which indicate a change of facet but not a change of theme or topic. The paragraphs marked by a “p” at their close are strong paragraphs, which indicate the completion of a theme or topic. The paragraph divisions reveal the chiastic structures: narratives which zero in on the main point of the narrative at its center, like a bull’s eye at the center of a target. The main point is revealed, because the narrative elements before the main point (or central axis) are repeated after the central axis, in reverse order, while the central axis itself is not repeated.

Deu 6:4-11:25 is the section explaining the first commandment, Worship YHVH only, which we discovered was THE commandment. (This is my summary of it.) It turns out this entire section forms a single complex chiastic structure with smaller structures within it:

Deu 6:4-11:25, The first commandment: worship YHVH only
1a) Deu 6:4-7:26 sx4+p+s+p, Israel: The Lord alone is God/ Love Him wholly/ treasure His word/ He casts out nations before you:
– 1a.1) Deu 6:4-5, Hear, O Israel: The LORD alone is God/ You shall love Him with all your heart + soul + might;
– 1a.2) Deu 6:6-25, Treasure His word: teach + beware + obey + remember:
— 1a.2a) Deu 6:6-9 s, Put My word in your heart/ Teach them to your children: talk + bind + write them;
— 1a.2b) Deu 6:10-15 s, When the LORD has given the good land + you are full/ beware/ lest His anger be kindled against you;
— 1a.2c) Deu 6:16-19 s, Keep His commandments, that you may be well + possess the land which the LORD swore to give;
— 1a.2d) Deu 6:20-25 s, When your son asks you, Why these commandments, you shall tell him of the LORD’s mighty hand;
– 1a.3) Deu 7:1-26 p+s+p, He casts out greater + mightier nations before you/ He loves + cleaves to you/ keep His commandments;
1b) Deu 8:1, Do the commandments that you may live and go in to possess the land which the LORD swore to your fathers;
1c) Deu 8:2-16, The manna in the wilderness: the bread from heaven that a man may live (Deu 8:3);
1d) Deu 8:17-18 p, Do not say in your heart: my power has gotten me wealth/ it is from the LORD who performs His word;
1e) Deu 8:19-20 p, If you forget the LORD, you shall surely perish as the nations which the LORD destroys before your face;
central axis) Deu 9:1-2, Hear, O Israel: you will go in to possess nations greater + mightier than yourself, even the Anakim;
2e) Deu 9:3, Remember that the LORD goes before you to destroy the nations before your face;
2d) Deu 9:4-7, Do not say in your heart: my righteousness has brought me in/ it is the LORD who performs His word;
2c) Deu 9:8-10:10, Ten Commandments at Sinai: word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD that a man may live (Deu 8:3);
2b) Deu 10:11, Take your journey that you may go in and possess the land which I swore to your fathers to give them.
2a) Deu 10:12-11:25 s+s+s, Israel: Love Him wholly/ He is God/ treasure His word/ He drives out nations before you:
– 2a.1) Deu 10:12-11:1, What the LORD requires of Israel: fear + walk + love + serve Him for He is God;
– 2a.2) Deu 11:2-21, Treasure His word: remember + obey + take heed + teach:
— 2a.2d) Deu 11:2-7, I do not speak to your children who have not seen the mighty hand of the LORD;
— 2a.2c) Deu 11:8-9 s, Keep His commandments, that you may possess the land the LORD swore to give + prolong your days;
— 2a.2b) Deu 11:10-17, The land is good so that you may be full/ take heed/ lest the LORD’s wrath be kindled;
— 2a.2a) Deu 11:18-21 s, Lay up My word in your heart/ bind them/ teach them to your children: talk + write (for your good);
– 2a.3) Deu 11:22-25 s, If you do His commandments/ love + cleave to Him/ He drives out greater + mightier nations before you.

There is so much gold to be gleaned. For today, I will just comment on the central axis. The central axis of the entire section explaining Worship YHVH only, is Deu 9:1-2, Hear, O Israel: you will go in to possess nations greater + mightier than yourself, even the Anakim. Wow, a surprising central axis, and not what I thought it would be (which is usually the case, as God is smarter than we are!) Who are the Anakim? I will write a post explaining their history more thoroughly, but for now, my belief is that the Anakim are the giants who were on the earth in those days. The original giants were the Nephilim:

There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. Gen 6:4

Nephilim in Hebrew means “fallen ones,” and Enoch wrote a long book of prophecy concerning the fallen angels who left their habitation, whose purpose was to so thoroughly corrupt the seed of man, that the prophecy of the Promised Seed could not come to pass (Gen 3:15). We do not have Enoch’s book any longer, but one of the apostles quoted from it in the New Testament:

And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; Jude 1:6

Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” Jude 1:14-15

These two sections of Jude’s letter are matching pairs of a chiastic structure. Enoch’s book of prophecy was about the coming judgments on those who have rebelled against the Lord, on angels and men. He prophesied that two judgments would come, the first by water and the second by fire. The water judgment was fulfilled in Noah’s Flood, and we are still awaiting the second by fire.

At the time of the Flood, the angels who did not keep their proper domain, whom Gen 6:4 terms the sons of God, were confined in chains to await the judgment of the Last Day, so in this age of the world’s history, we do not have commerce between fallen angels and men, resulting in Nephilim. But Moses writes, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that the giants were also on the earth afterward – after Noah’s Flood. How did that happen, if all flesh but for Noah’s family was destroyed in the Flood?

Because of the etymology of the name “Anakim” which I will get into in a separate post, I believe it happened at the Tower of Babel rebellion against God (Gen 11:1-9). At the Tower of Babel, all the nations of the earth joined together to once again reject God from being God over them, and their king and leader, Nimrod, established paganism on the earth (the union of mother earth and father heaven as creators, instead of Almighty God), and opened up again occult knowledge that had been lost in the Flood. The Anakim are one result of that rebellion, rejection of God, and embracing of paganism and the occult, in the same manner as the Nephilim which were before them.

In Gen 11, the section immediately following the history of the Tower of Babel rebellion, concerns the seed of Shem, to Abram. Abram, please remember, is the father of all who believe (Rom 4:11). Who believe what? Who believe that YHVH alone is God, and there are no other gods before Him. Until Abram, there was no person in the earth who believed in or worshiped God, the Creator of heaven and earth.

God’s covenant is with His people, who are Abraham’s seed, his children (not only the children of the flesh, but the children of faith as Galatians teaches us), who like him, keep the charge, statutes, commandments, and torah, or teaching and instruction, of YHVH, and worship and serve Him only (Gen 26:5).

The central axis, then, is a prophecy of the victory the children of God will obtain over the children of darkness, unbelief and rebellion. I believe the way God is doing this, is by so increasing His light and truth in the earth (Pro 4:18), that the children of darkness are being transformed by the new birth, into His own children. In Abraham, remember, all the families of the earth will be blessed (Gen 12:1-3). This is the proclamation of God, immediately following the Tower of Babel incident. All the families that had just rebelled against Him and rejected Him from being God over them? Yes, precisely all those families. *smile*

Continued: deuteronomy 6:4-11:25 central axis, the anakim

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One response to “deuteronomy 6:4-11:25, first commandment chiastic structure

  1. Camilla Anderson Wednesday 5 December 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Wonderful to read! Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to share how God is teaching you, to share what He shows you, and to be an effective teacher. I had just finished sharing with my oldest son last night about chiastic structures, and felt ready to begin looking for some and practicing identifying these. Now I have your example to show him, and have finished my first official “lesson” here with this message you just posted.

    My last lesson was going through Genesis as well as some of the NT and looking for some of the “plain” meaning of the texts, and was really blessed by some of the things God revealed. In Genesis, I “heard” God’s “plain” words to Avram with fresh ears, and saw clearly the purity of his faith, and how it was set as an example and contrast to all other people. I began praying instantly with deep longing to have the same faith as Abraham, because I learned more about why God chose Him and what was truly special about Him and his faith. I have been realizing the difference between “keeping” God’s commandments (treasuring them close to my heart as a dearest most valued possession) vs. merely measuring shallow obedience or disobedience (where obey and disobey simply equals “keep” and “not keep”). I have been praying for God to help me become one who truly KEEPS His commandments. I have been reading watching the Hebrew paragraph divisions, but have not pursued a particular “lesson” on that point yet. God’s timing and His leading will prevail, of course.

    Not too long ago I complained a bit to God with envy as I sat across from a visiting friend as she shared how she was getting her master’s degree in theology through an online program. I was jealous. I have longed to go to “seminary” all my life and study to know God. I whined to God, and said, “Why does she get to do this! Why can’t I do this? You know my heart’s desire is to be an “official” student of your word and study!

    And my flesh tried to look up online programs and to see if I could start studying something. And God, in His great love and mercy, overruled me, and showed me how HE wanted me to be a student of His word. And I can’t believe I ever complained that I wanted to go waste time studying man’s way, learning man’s theology and man’s teachings on scripture–which is what any seminary degree will get you.

    And now, don’t you see? God heard my prayer and saw that I was ready (finally), and has since put me in “school.” At his leading. I have never been one to leave tabs open on my internet browser, or leave any software open (I am a “closer”), but now I have three tabs that are always open on my computer: Your “Teaching Tools of Scripture,” the Mechon-Mamre Hebrew Bible in English with Hebrew paragraph divisions, and Ancient-Hebrew.org, where I am getting my feet wet and starting the pre-K process to learning Hebrew.

    On another note, I wanted to encourage you. I printed your 4-part testimony that was published on HSBA, and mailed a copy to a friend in another state whose oldest had just left home and denounced his faith. She had shared in a letter that God had been leading her, she thought, to keep the Saturday Sabbath, and asked me what I thought of that. It was not a coincidence that I had recently read your testimony. She does not have internet, so I mailed her a copy of your family’s story. I also printed it for my mother, who has prayed desperately for over 30 years for my two brothers, both sheep gone astray. I know it will give her encouragement and hope.

    May God bless you abundantly for your love of Him,
    –Camilla

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