Understanding Psalms as a Chiasm

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Christian Alexander | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Jan 9 2022 6:59 PM

How does one understand this psalm set as a chiasm?

·        Ps 15 - Who shall sojourn in your tent? - The Blameless

o   Ps 16 - Eternal Pleasures

§  Ps 17 - When I awake (arise from the dead), I will be satisfied with your likeness.

§  Ps 18 - David celebrates his deliverance

§  Ps 19 - Gory of Yahweh filling the earth through Creation and his Word (Christ and Torah) such that the people of God experience, “The good life.” 

§  Ps 20-21 - Save the King (20) and You Have Saved the King (21).

§  Ps 22 - A desperate cry for resurrection, “Why forsaken…”

o   Ps 23 - Lord is my shepherd - presence

·        Ps 24 - Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? Clean hands and pure heart  (blameless).

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 9 2022 7:55 PM

I wouldn't know - I require very strong evidence of any chiasm that extends beyond a single literary work.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Gregory Lawhorn | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 10 2022 5:25 AM

I agree with MJ. Even if you find an author who believes those Psalms form a chiasm, you should verify it through other scholars. I "force" the text itself to convince me of its own structure, and in the original languages, not in a translation. A poetic translator may introduce a structure that doesn't exist in the original text. 

In addition, beware of any author who says "No one has ever noticed this before, but I see it." It's not reasonable to think that a significant doctrine or form was unnoticed for 2000 years. 

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Dave Couch | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 10 2022 7:31 AM

James Hamilton sees that as a chiasm too (in his latest commentary on the Psalms). Here's an extract:

We have seen that Pss 1–2 introduce the Psalter, followed by Pss 3–9 responding to Absalom’s revolt, then 10–14 contemplating the ways of the wicked. Psalms 15–24 turn to consider the ways of the righteous king. The character that enables him to enter Yahweh’s presence is described in Pss 15 and 24, the way that Yahweh satisfies him in 16 and 23, the confidence in and need for resurrection life in 17 and 22, the way the Lord delivers in 18 and 20–21, and the glory of Yahweh’s general and special revelation is celebrated in Ps 19. 

 Hamilton, J.M., Jr. (2021) Psalms. Edited by T.D. Alexander, T.R. Schreiner, and A.J. Köstenberger. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Academic (Evangelical Biblical Theology Commentary), p. 204.

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David Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 10 2022 7:42 AM

Christian Alexander:
How does one understand

What Logos Resources have you already consulted to form your proposition that these are chiastic?

If you expose that you have already started researching this, other users may be able to suggest searches or resources that confirm or challenge the assertion. 

Making Disciples!  Logos Ecosystem = Logos8 on Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (Win10), Android app on tablet, FSB on iPhone, [deprecated] Windows App, Proclaim, Faithlife.com, FaithlifeTV via Connect subscription.

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