Is this a valid chiasm?

Discussion in 'Revelation & Eschatology' started by non dignus, Mar 2, 2013.

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  1. non dignus

    non dignus Puritan Board Sophomore

    Genesis 1:15
    Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day,
    and the lesser light to rule the night.
    Revelation 22:5
    There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun,
    for the Lord God gives them light.

    Genesis 2:9
    The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge
    of good and evil. Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden.
    Revelation 22:1
    And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding
    from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street,
    and on either side of the river, was the tree of life...

    Genesis 2:12
    And the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and the onyx stone are there.
    Revelation 21:18
    The construction of its wall was of Jasper, and the city was pure gold, like clear glass.
    The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones.

    Genesis 2:22
    Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man
    He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
    Revelation 21:9
    “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.”

    Genesis 3:8
    And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden
    in the spirit of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves...
    Revelation 20:11
    Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it,
    from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away.

    Genesis 3:13
    The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
    Revelation 20:2
    He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan and bound him for a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit and shut him up and set a seal on him so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished.

    Genesis 3:20
    And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
    Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.
    Revelation 19:7
    The marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.
    And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright....

    Genesis 4:17
    And he built a city and called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch. To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad begot Mehujael, and Mehujael begot Methushael, and Methushael begot Lamech. Then Lamech took for himself two wives: the name of one was Adah and the name of the second, Zillah. And Adah bore Jabal. He was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. His brother’s name was Jubal. He was the father of all those who play the harp and flute. And as for Zillah, she also bore Tubal-Cain, an instructor of every craftsman in bronze and iron. And the sister of Tubal-Cain was Naamah. Then Lamech said to his wives: “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice, Wives of Lamech, listen to my speech! For I have killed a man for wounding me, even a young man for hurting me. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, then Lamech seventy sevenfold.”
    Revelation 18:21
    “Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore. The sound of harpists, musicians, flutists and trumpeters shall not be heard in you anymore. No craftsman of any craft shall be found in you anymore and the sound of a millstone shall not be heard in you anymore. The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth.” After I heard these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.”

    Genesis 7:1
    Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen
    that you are righteous before Me in this generation.
    Revelation 18:4
    Come out of her, my people lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.
    For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.

    Genesis 7:18
    The waters prevailed and greatly increased on the earth, and the ark moved about on the surface of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered. The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered.
    Revelation 17:9
    “The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short space. The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth and is of the seven, and is going to perdition. The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind and shall give their power and authority to the beast. These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings and those with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.” Then he said to me, ‘The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues.”

    Genesis 9:4
    But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.
    Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning.
    Revelation 17:6
    I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints
    and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.

    Genesis 9:22
    And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away and they did not see their father’s nakedness.
    Revelation 16:15
    Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches,
    and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.

    Genesis 11:9
    Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD
    did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence
    did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
    Revelation 16:16*
    And he gathered them together into a place
    called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

    Genesis 19:24
    Then the LORD rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah from the Lord out of the heavens. So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. But his wife looked back and she became a pillar of salt. And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord. Then he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the plain, and he saw and behold, the smoke of the land which went up like the smoke of a furnace.
    Revelation 14:9
    If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever.

    Genesis 22:13
    Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided.” Then the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son, blessing I will bless you, and multiplying, I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
    Revelation 14:1
    Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder.


    How do chiasms work in interpreting scripture, and if this is valid how would it serve?
  2. Wayne

    Wayne Tempus faciendi, Domine.

    Generally they are nothing more than literary devices. They might be considered akin to parallelism, and in that sense might be weighed for interpretive value, generally in the realm of emphasis.

    Is this list something you've compiled on your own, or did you find it in a book somewhere? Several of these are quite interesting.

    But as you ask, what do you DO with it?
  3. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    For sure it's valid parallelism. But how far do you go to find the center of your chiasm?

    As you move out from Genesis 1-2 and Revelation 21-22, the parallels seem less obvious, harder to find and more forced. I'd be hesitant to declare the lamb/sacrifice to be the center point of a chiasm. Who's to say it doesn't stop earlier with the gold or the bride? Or, if I looked and thought long and hard enough, I bet I could go beyond the lamb/sacrifice and propose another center point. Chiasm, as I understand it, doesn't really work when you have that much Scripture separating your center points.

    I agree that there are several interesting parallels, a few of which I hadn't noticed before. And it's quite possible that in the last few chapters of Revelation these are intentionally presented in reverse order from the opening of Genesis. Perhaps, though, the intent of this is merely to highlight how the effects of the fall are undone and the garden restored rather than to create a full chiasm complete with a center.
  4. CharlieJ

    CharlieJ Puritan Board Junior

    That's not chiasm; it's inclusio. Chiasm requires a central element that holds the interpretive key, for instance:


    Inclusio is a literary way of establishing two bookends (A -> A'). So, basically, a chiasm is a multi-layered set of inclusios.

    Where one does find legitimate inclusio, it has the effect of creating a thematic unity ACROSS the intervening space. So, if John the Revelator is intentionally creating inclusios with Genesis, he is making a statement that the WHOLE of biblical revelation (at least as he knew it) ought to be understood as carrying the thematic unity implied by the inclusio passages.

    However, it is debatable whether there can be an inclusio across separate documents. It is generally reserved for a single contiguous argument or narrative. Normally, one refers to the suggestive use of a prior document as an ALLUSION. Revelation has many allusions to Ezekiel, for instance, but I doubt one would say that the material intervening between Ezekiel and Revelation has a distinct literary unity.

    Yet, I think there is something to the Genesis-Revelation inclusio. John seems to be using it in a consistent way to make the point that new creation must be understood in reference to original paradise.
  5. non dignus

    non dignus Puritan Board Sophomore

    I don't think I'm the only one who discovered it, but I haven't seen it anywhere else.
    Yes, it is interesting, some of them. We're all sort of familiar with the first two pairings, which got me started, but as
    I continued, I was surprised.

    For one thing, the term, many waters, didn't make a lot of sense in Revelation,
    but I think it takes on a more macabre cast here perhaps.

    What do we DO with it? Well, I would like to propose something later.
  6. non dignus

    non dignus Puritan Board Sophomore

    Thank you. I noticed some of these things also. It does fade as it goes to the center. Wistfully I imagined Isaiah53 as the focus. Also after it breaks out of Gen 11 it goes soft except for the finish. I put an asterisk at the obvious distortion of the Babel verse. What if the manuscript was tampered with?
    ha ha

    It is subjective and I hope someone can really lend some talent to this.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2013
  7. non dignus

    non dignus Puritan Board Sophomore

    Your critique heartens me! I can stop calling it a chiasm and term it properly now. Thank you too, Jack.

    Do you see the Rev 17:9 pair half as a valid inclusio? It didn't really work any other way. And I didn't know what that was, technically.
    But seriously, someone with know-how might be able to open this up more.

    (I see you indented the B in the diagram. The auto-edit is frustrating, isn't it?)

    Do you see an association between Noah's Ark, or that epoch, and the symbol Babylon/Babel?
    I think the Babel/Armageddon pair was interesting. And that one was a little out of order.

    I will make a proposition after more unbiased reflection.....
  8. CharlieJ

    CharlieJ Puritan Board Junior

    I wonder if Greg Beale would be of some help here? He has that commentary on the NT use of the OT, as well as a gigantic Revelation commentary. In general, I'm not that impressed with some of the inclusios. Certainly the ones at the end of Revelation evoking garden imagery are clear and intentional, but I would have a (somewhat) hard time believing that there were ordered inclusios running throughout the whole book. Generally, you need both verbal (or close to verbal) parallels and thematic parallels to make a case even for an allusion.

    Given that Revelation alludes freely to many books of the Bible, as well as general Jewish apocalyptic themes (or so I've been told), my first instinct would be to see most of these allusions as drawing together various themes that occur throughout the Bible and that would be significant to the author and his audience, not as a desire to establish a clear TEXTUAL relationship between Revelation and a single other source.

    For example, a book that occasionally quotes Hamlet, a book that has some themes in common with Hamlet, a novel deliberately structured after Hamlet, a play written as a "sequel" to Hamlet, and a scholarly commentary on Hamlet are all making use of Hamlet, in a way scholars call "intertextuality," but in very different ways. So, which one if any of these is most appropriate to describe the Revelation/Genesis connection? I think it would be important to identify ALL the OT allusions in Revelation, or we run the risk of making the ones we notice first more central than perhaps they really are.
  9. non dignus

    non dignus Puritan Board Sophomore

    Thanks for recommending Beale. I find his lecture on the temple/city/garden enthralling.
    Yes, the first two pairings are actually chiastic as pairs. The third begins a parallel trend.
    The first major one alludes to Jer. 25 and has a contrary dynamic.
    It really faded after Gen 11 but there was something interesting. Before the Sodom and Gomorrah pairing there were two very faded pairings that alluded to the exodus, or at least to Egypt.

    Thanks for the note of caution and good advice. A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.
  10. non dignus

    non dignus Puritan Board Sophomore

    Mr. Moderator,

    I do not wish to sneak anything into this forum that is considered out of bounds.
    I would like to propose an argument using the gospel of John and other circumstantial evidence for the following:

    Seeing that midway through the book of Revelation John describes several characters
    who seem to have real-life antecedents in the book of Genesis, chapters 1-4; and,
    these same symbols walk on stage in Revelation in the same order their counterparts are introduced in Genesis, and further,
    in chiastic form they walk off stage in reverse order; I wish to submit,

    The Lamb pertains to Adam.
    The bride pertains to Eve.
    The dragon pertains to the serpent.
    The beast pertains to the city of Enoch.
    The false prophet pertains to Lamech.
    The harlot pertains to Naamah.

    If nothing else, it ought to be entertaining.
  11. non dignus

    non dignus Puritan Board Sophomore

    Genesis 4 and Revelation 18 reflect one another. Similarly, the early chapters of the gospel of John track with Genesis and may be illuminated by it.
    (The chapter divisions are not inspired but serve as rough segmentation for comparing the two books.)

    Genesis 1
    In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.

    John 1
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

    Genesis 2
    And (God) rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.
    Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

    John 1 and 2
    (On the first day) when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem…
    The next day (second day) John saw Jesus coming toward him…
    Again, the next day (third day), John stood with two of his disciples
    The following day (fourth day) Jesus wanted to go to Galilee…
    On the third day (the seventh day) there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee…

    Do we see a trend where the apostle John is associating his gospel with the book of Genesis? Jesus' first miracle was at a wedding feast on the seventh day of John's reckoning. I won't try and decipher all that it means but we've read the end of the story and learn of the great sabbath wedding feast of the Lamb.

    Genesis 3
    Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made….
    You will not surely die.

    …And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the (cool) wind of the day…

    John 3
    This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him,
    Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God.

    (…but you do not receive our witness…if I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?)
    The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes.”
    …and as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness….

    In the third parallelism we see Nicodemus assume the role of the serpent who cunningly comes to visit at night. Jesus knew what was in man...there was a man. Apparently Nicodemus is hedging his bets by his timing. Then he tells a fib. He says that they know Jesus has come from God. But Jesus sets him straight, telling him that they do not receive his testimony. In the beautiful language that Jesus employs to tell of the wonders of regeneration He chooses the imagery of Adam and Eve in the garden after they have sinned. He even mentions the golden serpent in which He self-identifies. A coincidence? I think not. The self identification might pop up later with the woman at the well.

    And after Jn 3:16, we hear a theme reminding us of the fall in Genesis 3:

    "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed."

    Prior to Nicodemus visiting Jesus, we find Jesus in the temple over-turning the money-changer's tables in a curse-reverse motif. Identifying with Adam, Jesus faithfully guards the temple area in contra distinction to the first man, who failed in guarding the temple/garden.
  12. non dignus

    non dignus Puritan Board Sophomore

    Now that I'm up a tree, prudence would dictate that I sit tight and wait for help.
    All help is appreciated but before we examine chapters four, I must go out on a limb.

    The limb of which I speak is the conundrum of Noah's 'fall.'

    It seems according the coincidences of the inclusio that the harlot of Rev 17 and 18 is associated with Noah and the seven Ark passengers. That group restarted the human race and ended up in the plain of Shinar as the city Babel. They were banished according to the pattern so far.

    But we know the head of the serpent will be crushed by the Seed of the woman.

    In Genesis 5, the telos of the line of the woman is Noah and his three sons. And in Genesis 4 the telos of the line of the serpent is Naamah. Or, more broadly speaking, the goals of both genealogies are the houses of the Lamechs.

    Lamech had a son, Noah. The other Lamech's two wives, Adah and Zillah, bore him three sons. (We know the names of Lamech's wives, but Noah's wife's name is not mentioned. It’s also interesting that when Rebekah is the goal of Gen 22:20-23, Laban isn’t mentioned. Yet Naamah, of the ungodly line, for no easily seen purpose, is listed even though her father has the requisite three sons listed per the Genesis pattern.)

    Adam had 3 sons with Seth chosen.
    Noah had 3 sons with Shem chosen.
    Terah had 3 sons with Abram chosen.
    Lamech had Jabal, Jubal, and Tubal-Cain, and a daughter.

    If Cain's line was cut-off at Naamah for the same reason Seth's line was cut-off at Noah, maybe what we are seeing at the end of each genealogy is a partial passenger list of the Ark. And maybe that's one reason why we are given detailed information about the household in the line of Cain.

    Noah’s wife is mentioned five times:

    Gen 6:18
    "But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark,
    A you,
    B your sons,
    C your wife,
    B and your sons’ wives
    A with you."

    Gen 7:7
    A "So Noah,
    B with his sons,
    C his wife,
    B and his sons’ wives,
    A with him
    went into the ark because of the waters of the flood. "

    Gen 7:13
    "On the very same day Noah and Noah’s sons,
    Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and Noah’s wife, ( ? )
    and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark..."

    Gen 8:16
    "Go out of the ark,
    A you
    B and your wife,
    C and your sons,
    B and the wives of your sons
    A with you. "

    Gen 8:18
    " So went out
    A Noah,
    B and his sons
    C and his wife
    B and his sons’ wives
    A with him. "

    Notice Noah's wife is the focus of three chiasms and Noah's sons are the focus of one.
    How will they interact in the narrative after the flood?

    I don't get the impression from these references that Noah's wife is the mother of his three sons. Her name is not given in 7:13 when proper names are listed. Of course we should assume she is the mother of Shem, Ham, and Japheth but the contrast between the detailed account of Lamech’s household and the lack of information on Noah’s household is interesting. We are given complete family data in the ungodly house that perished. (Or did they all?) We know the name of Tubal-cain’s sister but we don’t know the name of our common mom. Why? And why is she bracketed in 3 chiastic structures?

    What if five hundred year-old Noah remarried in obedience to the Lord’s command to go into the Ark two by two? How could Noah marry a woman from the line of Cain? Either she had deceived him or had had a false conversion. His choice for a mate would have been limited given the widespread apostasy. Perhaps she was young and attractive. Naamah, means pleasant, and is possibly inserted into the name, caNAAn.
  13. non dignus

    non dignus Puritan Board Sophomore

    Genesis 4
    Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.

    John 4
    Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, He left Judea and departed again to Galilee.

    I think the Good Shepherd is identifying with Abel. Knowing that one day the Pharisees would arrest Him, He delays the inevitable outcome of their jealousy by leaving Judea.

    Genesis 4
    Cain built a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch.

    John 4
    So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar.

    Jesus journeys to the city of man, Sychar, on a mountain of Samaria outside of Israel. Sychar corresponds to the city of Enoch, wherein a dynasty lasted for six generations and is the progenitor of the beast which depicts seven great world empires.

    Genesis 4
    And the sister of Tubal-Cain was Naamah.

    John 4
    A woman of Samaria came to draw water….Jesus said to her, “…He would have given you living water….whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst . But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life…
    “...our fathers worshiped on this mountain…, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father.”

    The woman at the well is nameless as is Noah’s wife. Water and mountains are mentioned in the flood narrative and also pertain to the harlot of Revelation. In a curse reverse motif water is depicted as an agent for blessing rather than as an agent for cursing.

    Genesis 4
    Cain begot Enoch, Irad, Mehujael, Methushael, and Lamech. (six; or seven, counting Adam)

    John 4
    Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.

    Jesus brings the gospel to Sychar through the most improbable figure living there. The woman at the well corresponds to Naamah, daughter of the bigamist Lamech, sixth dynast of Enoch. Multiple marriages are in view with the Samaritan woman who “has had five husbands and the one she has is not her husband.” She also pertains to the harlot who rides the scarlet beast with seven heads, “Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come...” The ten horns may allude to the apostate line of Seth in Genesis 5.

    Lamech is reflected in the inclusio as the false prophet who deceives the nations. He prefigures the man of sin who serves the beast which is the State deified. Jesus, the true Prophet, (according to the Samaritan woman); is sitting on or by the well preaching living water. Exodus 17:6.

    The disciples marveled (Rev 17:6) when they saw the Samaritan woman talking alone with Jesus (He had told her to call her husband). It is likely that Jesus didn’t often speak to women alone. In dealing with members of the opposite sex on a one to one basis, prudence keeps us from situations where misunderstanding intentions may arise. Thus, in Genesis 9, the reason it took two men to cover Noah’s nakedness is that they were covering a woman.

    It doesn't take two to cover Dad. Shem and Japheth used the two-man rule to verify Ham's boast, to guard against falling into the same sin, and to protect their own reputations. They covered the ‘nakedness of their father’, that is, their stepmother. Leviticus 18:8
  14. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    The "Mary had a Little Lamb" chiasm...

    Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow.
    —(Mary's devotion to the lamb)—

    And everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go.
    —(The lamb's devotion to Mary)—

    It followed her to school one day which was against the rules.
    —(The lamb at school)—

    It made the children laugh and play, to see a lamb at school.
    —(The lamb ACCEPTED)—

    And so the teacher turned it out, but still it lingered near.
    —(The lamb REJECTED)—

    And waited patiently about, till Mary did appear.
    —(The lamb at school, AGAIN)—

    "Why does the lamb love Mary so?" the eager children cry.
    —(The lamb's devotion to Mary, AGAIN)—

    "Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know," the teacher did reply.
    —(Mary's devotion to the lamb, AGAIN)—

    My point is this: If you look hard enough, you can find a chiasm or other pattern of connections in just about anything. In this case, I just picked the first simple poem that came to mind and decided to see if I could find a chiasm in it. And what do you know.... it's there!

    Now, I have no doubt that the end of Revelation is meant to mirror the start of Genesis. And I have no doubt that the start of John is meant to draw upon the start of Genesis. But it's possible to take the examination too far and start seeing "connections" or chiasms that were never intended.

    I like some of what you've observed. In particular, I'm intrigued by the placement of the bride at the end of Revelation and its possible connection with the creation of Eve. I'd never considered that before. But for much of your exercise, I fail to see how it adds understanding to the passages and I wonder if it's reading too much into things, so that the plain meaning of the text actually becomes obscured as we look for connections that aren't really there.
  15. non dignus

    non dignus Puritan Board Sophomore

    Thanks Jack,

    Yes, I am struggling with all these things as well. Don't think I'm not. It worries me that only a handful of Jewish thinkers believe Naamah is the missing link. Caution is the watch word when handling the holy word of God.

    My error is first not showing Christ being front and center, but also in making some pretty hard stretches. What keeps me going on the other hand, is there are so many gaps in the account of Noah. If I am barking up the wrong tree I want to know it, and I'm hoping someone will direct me to the right one.
    If I may beg your indulgence I just have one or two more arguments........
  16. non dignus

    non dignus Puritan Board Sophomore

    Genesis is written by Moses when the children of Israel were on their journey to the Promised Land. He is preparing them for the conquest and the long term habitation of the land. In Genesis 1 he clears the air of Egyptian superstitions and myths about how the world came to be.

    Because they were shepherds, despised by Egyptian farmers, they naturally identified with Abel over Cain in Gen 4.
    They witnessed the drowning of the Egyptians and thought of the great flood and deliverance.
    A keen mind would sense that Moses and Israel were on a similar quest as that of Noah and the Ark.

    They had been chained to brick making, so they also perked up when they heard how the Babel men had said, “Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly.”

    In chapter six right after Noah is introduced, Moses begins to set the stage for whom they will encounter in the Promised Land. First, we are informed that the sons of God took beautiful wives from among the daughters of men. The widespread apostasy and violence in the earth was due to foreign gods being introduced into believing families through the influence of mixed marriages. Strong continuity in the order of the dramatic flow could tactfully link Noah to this charge. This is an oblique reference to Noah, a son of God marrying Naamah, a daughter of men.

    The sons of God were not fallen angels.

    (Adam, the son of God, had a son, Seth, begotten in his own likeness, and after his own image. After Seth’s son was born, men began to call on the name of the Lord. This was the tripartite household of God, and these were the sons of God. But later, instead of marrying godly women, the sons of God chose women indiscriminately for their beauty. We see afterward, Sampson and Solomon, sons of God, mighty men of old, men of renown, who fell into the same snare as in Genesis 6 when the household of God was reduced to eight souls.)

    Second, they knew they would encounter mighty men in Canaan. Perhaps recessive DNA prone to large stature, or gigantism, survived the flood. Moses is relating to us, discreetly, how a son of God took a daughter of men onto the ark which eventually produced, by incest, the Canaanites who manifested gigantism on the occasion of further incest. Leviticus 18 is a list of sins common to the Egyptians and Canaanites who happen to be the sons of Ham.

    The “inscrutable” Genesis chapter six functions as a toledot. The book of beginnings is informing us that these are the generations of the Canaanites. We later learn the origin of the Moabites and Ammonites from the account of a similarly besotted scene which took place after the fire and brimstone rain storm. Lot's wife, probably a native of the plain, is similarly shown to be an outsider and unbeliever.

    Moses warns the children of Israel there will be beautiful daughters of men in Canaan. But he will tell them repeatedly not to marry the local inhabitants. He is teaching them in Gen 6 that there are severe consequences for allowing foreigners with their foreign gods into their families. He will give them strict dietary laws to inhibit fellowship with outsiders.

    But there is a slight problem. It would be counter-productive to his warning if he told them explicitly that Noah married a heathen woman. The problem manifests itself when Noah gets into trouble again and the bizarre account of it seems to be missing some parts.
  17. non dignus

    non dignus Puritan Board Sophomore

    What happens when the last eight people alive settle down to replenish the earth, it appears that one of the women can't get pregnant?

    They take matters into their own hands, of course!

    We don’t know the circumstances that precipitated events after the flood, and there is great discretion in the account of Noah’s fall. The force of the account seems to bend toward the language of the fall of Adam rather than to inform us of the lurid details.

    It is the mystery of iniquity.

    For emphasis, we are told twice that Ham is the father of Canaan. The forceful second mention is with the statement of Ham’s sin, and is a divulgence of what Ham did. The first time Canaan is mentioned he is grouped with Noah’s sons, whom are likewise emphasized in repetition. In other words, “Canaan was not fathered by Noah.” We don’t exclude the narrow definition of ‘brothers’ in Noah’s oracle since Canaan is brother to Shem and Japheth by law.

    The common explanation of why Canaan was cursed for Ham’s sin has no precedent nor does it have any occurrence afterward to warrant its use. You have no idea why Canaan was cursed. We see generations cursed, but not separate individual offspring cursed.

    That Canaan alone was cursed speaks to the whole illicit household set up by Ham.

    In other words, Ham’s wife would have suffered greatly the cursing of her son. But if Ham’s wife were not the mother of Canaan, she would not have suffered the shame of it. The curse naturally extends to the mother and father of Canaan.

    Like Adam, Noah let down his guard allowing the usurper to abuse his wife. It’s not necessary to assume that righteous Noah got extremely drunk and lost control of himself. He was in his tent. The sodomy theory demands that Noah drank so much wine that he became nearly comatose and could not wake up under that kind of physical abuse.

    But rather than impugn our forefathers with more debauchery than is necessary, it is more likely Noah turned his eye toward his wife. The blood of the grape takes away inhibitions, and the cultural mandate is the “800 lb. gorilla” in the foreground. Old Noah just passed out before finishing what he started. He never fathered any more children so his new wife would have been desperate for a son. (the evil perpetrated by the whore of Revelation is characterized by the symbols of wine and fornication)

    Eve saw the fruit…....then she ate.
    The sons of God saw that the daughters of men…..then they took.
    Ham saw the nakedness....
    ....However....."a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." Gen 2:24

    The one flesh concept is even more forcefully annunciated in Leviticus 18: “The nakedness of your father’s wife you shall not uncover; it is your father’s nakedness.”

    Pride seems to be in play here. It may have been that Ham was boasting to the brothers about his conquest of the Alpha Female. Similarly today, some guy in high school might boast about the home-coming queen. If Ham was making a power play against his father, his sin would anticipate Absalom's gross display on the rooftop. Even the Corinthian church was puffed up with pride concerning a man having his father's wife.

    Perhaps the good brothers covered them with Ham’s garment. If this fig leaf was used, it explains how Noah’s eyes were opened. And it would have avoided a difficult conversation later. It’s not plainly certain that the couple actually needed to be covered. Presumably they were covered by the privacy of the tent.

    Years transpire between verses.
    Noah planted a vineyard then drank wine years later.
    Noah awoke from his wine then cursed Canaan months later.

    Finally, the details of what happened early in Genesis are not needed in order to advance the drama, and we would be wise in not peering into every question. The flourish of the Artist’s brush invokes the memory of the original fall, and to say that Noah was righteous by faith alone shouldn’t detract from the honor due him.

    We are not mere spectators (or heaven forbid, voyeurs) in the audience. We are players who are no less warned of being unequally yoked, and in guarding our sons it might be ill conceived to tally for them all of the sins of our fathers who took to themselves heathen women.

    Anyway, isn’t it we who are the Canaanites saved by His rich mercy in Christ Jesus??
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