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Literary structure (chiasm, chiasmus) of Epistle to the Hebrews

Chiastic Structure and Concentric Structure and Parallel of each pericope

[1]God has spoken by his son  (Heb 1:1-14)
  A(1:1-4)  1:2 in these last days, he spoke to us through a son (1:2)"   (υἱῷ)
    B(1:5-7)    1:5 For to which of the angels did God ever say (1:5)   (ἀγγέλων)
  A'(1:8-12)  1:8 but of the Son (1:8)   (υἱόν)
    B'(1:13-14)    1:13 But to which of the angels has he ever said (1:13)   (ἀγγέλων)
   A: The son. B: The angels.

[2]Warning to pay attention  (Heb 2:1-18)
  A(2:1-4)  2:3 we shall certainly not go unpunished if we neglect such a great salvation. (2:3)
    B(2:5-8)    2:5 For it was not to angels that he subjected the world to come(2:5)   (ἀγγέλοις)
      C(2:9-10)      2:9 he might taste death for everyone. (2:9)   (θανάτου)
        D(2:11-13)        2:11 He who consecrates and those who are being consecrated all have one origin. (2:11)
      C'(2:14-15)      2:15 free those who through fear of death had been subject to slavery all their life. (2:15)   (θανάτου)
    B'(2:16)    2:16 Surely he did not help angels but rather the descendants of Abraham; (2:16)   (ἀγγέλων)
  A'(2:17-18)  2:17 he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God to expiate the sins of the people. (2:17)
   A: Punishments and sins. B: Angels. C: Death. D: The holy ones.

[3]Moses a servant, Christ a son  (Heb 3:1-6)
  A(3:1)  3:1 holy brothers, sharing in a heavenly calling (3:1)
    B(3:2)    3:2 who was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in his house. (3:2)"   (Μωυσῆς)
      C(3:3-4)      3:3 he is worthy of more glory than Moses (3:3)
    B'(3:5-6a)    3:5 Moses was faithful in all his house as a servant to testify to what would be spoken (3:5)   (Μωυσῆς)
  A'(3:6b)  3:6 We are his house, if we hold fast to our confidence and pride in our hope.(3:6)
   A: Heavenly calling. B: Moses and the house. C: Jesus is greater than Moses.

[4]Warning against unbelief  (Heb 3:7-19)
  A(3:7-11)  3:7 Oh, that today you would hear his voice(3:7)"   (σήμερον ἐὰν τῆς φωνῆς αὐτοῦ οῦ ἀκούσητε)
    B(3:12-14)    3:13 Encourage yourselves daily while it is still "today," so that none of you may grow hardened by the deceit of sin. (3:13)
  A'(3:15-19)  3:15 Oh, that today you would hear his voice: (3:15)"   (σήμερον ἐὰν τῆς φωνῆς αὐτοῦ οῦ ἀκούσητε)
   A: Today you would hear his voice. B: Encourage yourselves daily.

[5]The rest that God promised  (Heb 4:1-13)
  A(4:1-2)  4:1 none of you seem to have failed. (4:1)
    B(4:3-6)    4:3 For we who believed enter into rest (4:3)   (κατάπαυσιν)
      C(4:7)      4:7 Oh, that today you would hear his voice: 'Harden not your hearts.' (4:7)
    B'(4:8-10)    4:10 whoever enters into God's rest (4:10)   (κατάπαυσιν)
  A'(4:11-13)  4:11 no one may fall after the same example of disobedience. (4:11)
   A: Avoiding disobedience. B: God's rest. C: To hear God's voice.

[6]Jusus the great high priest  (Heb 4:14-5:10)
  A(4:14)  4:14 a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God (4:14)"   (ἀρξιερέα)
    B(4:15-16)    4:15 one who has similarly been tested in every way (4:15)
      C(5:1-4)      5:1 Every high priest is taken from among men and made their representative before God (5:1)   (ἀρξιερεὺς)
      C'(5:5-6)      5:5 it was not Christ who glorified himself in becoming high priest, but rather the one who said to him: "You are my son; this day I have begotten you"; (5:5)"   (ἀρξιερέα)
    B'(5:7-8)    5:8 he learned obedience from what he suffered (5:8)
  A'(5:9-10)  5:10 declared by God high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. (5:10)   (ἀρξιερεὺς)
   A: The high priest. B: Sufferings. C: Being selected to the high priest.

[7]Warning against falling away  (Heb 5:11-6:12)
  A(5:11-6:3)  5:14 But solid food is for the mature, for those whose faculties are trained by practice to discern good and evil.(5:14)
    B(6:4-6)    6:6 and then have fallen away, to bring them to repentance again (6:6)
    B'(6:7-8)    6:8 But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is rejected; it will soon be cursed and finally burned. (6:8)
  A'(6:9-12)  6:12 so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who, through faith and patience, are inheriting the promises. (6:12)
   A: Wish for growth. B: Person who cannot be saved.

[8]The certainty of God's promise  (Heb 6:13-7:10)
  A(6:13-17)  6:16 Human beings swear by someone greater than themselves (6:16)
    B(6:18-20)    6:20 becoming high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek (6:20)   (αἰῶνα)
    B'(7:1-4)    7:3 thus made to resemble the Son of God, he remains a priest forever (7:3)"   (διηνεκές)
  A'(7:5-10)  7:7 Unquestionably, a lesser person is blessed by a greater (7:7)
   A: Lesser one and greater one. B: Becoming high priest forever.

[9]The priestly order of Melchizedek  (Heb 7:11-28)
  A(7:11-12)  7:12 When there is a change of priesthood, there is necessarily a change of law as well. (7:12)"   (νόμου)
    B(7:13-17)    7:17 You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek (7:17)   (αἰῶνα)
      C(7:18-22)      7:19 a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God (7:19)
    B'(7:23-25)    7:24 he, because he remains forever, has a priesthood that does not pass away (7:24)"   (αἰῶνα)
  A'(7:26-28)  7:28 For the law appoints men subject to weakness to be high priests, but the word of the oath, which was taken after the law, appoints a son, who has been made perfect forever.(7:28)"   (νόμος)
   A: The law and priesthood. B: Eternal priesthood. C: A better hope.

[10]Mediator of a better covenant  (Heb 8:1-13)
  A(8:1-5)  8:2 a minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle that the Lord, not man, set up.(8:2)
    B(8:6-7)    8:7 if that first covenant had been faultless, no place would have been sought for a second one (8:7)"   (πρώτη)
  A'(8:8-12)  8:8 I will conclude a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah (8:8)
    B'(8:13)    8:13 When he speaks of a "new" covenant, he declares the first one obsolete (8:13)"   (πρώτην)
   A: The new covenant. B: The first covenant.

[11]The earthly and the heavenly sanctuaries  (Heb 9:1-22)
  A(9:1-5)  9:4 in which were the gold altar of incense and the ark of the covenant entirely covered with gold. In it were the gold jar containing the manna, the staff of Aaron that had sprouted, and the tablets of the covenant.(9:4)
    B(9:6-10)    9:7 but the high priest alone goes into the inner one once a year, not without blood that he offers for himself and for the sins of the people.(9:7)"   (αἱματος)
      C(9:11-12)      9:12 he entered once for all into the sanctuary with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. (9:12)"   (λύπτρωσιν)
        D(9:13-14)        9:14 cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God.(9:14)
      C'(9:15-17)      9:15 since a death has taken place for deliverance from transgressions under the first covenant (9:15)   (ἀπολύτρωσιν)
    B'(9:18-20)    9:18 Thus not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. (9:18)   (αἱματος)
  A'(9:21-22)  9:21 In the same way, he sprinkled also the tabernacle and all the vessels of worship with blood.(9:21)
   A: The vessels of worship. B: The blood. C: Redemption. D: Cleansing our consciences from dead works.

[12]Christ's sacrifice takes away sin  (Heb 9:23-28)
  A(9:23-24)  9:24 he might now appear before God on our behalf. (9:24)   (ἐφανισθῆναι)
    B(9:25)    9:25 Not that he might offer himself repeatedly (9:25)
  A'(9:26-28)  9:26 now once for all he has appeared at the end of the ages to take away sin by his sacrifice (9:26)   (πεφανέρωται)
   A: Appearance. B: Sacrifice.

[13]Christ's sacrifice once for all  (Heb 10:1-18)
  A(10:1-4)  10:4 for it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats take away sins. (10:4)   (ἀφαιρεν ἁμαρτίας)
    B(10:5-10)    10:10 By this will we have been consecrated through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (10:10)   (ἡγιασμένοι)
  A'(10:11-13)  10:11 Every priest stands daily at his ministry, offering frequently those same sacrifices that can never take away sins.(10:11)"   (περιελεῖν ἁμαρτίας)
    B'(10:14-18)    10:14 For by one offering he has made perfect forever those who are being consecrated. (10:14)   (ἁγιαζομένους)
   A: It is impossible to take away sins. B: Consecration.

[14]A call to persevere  (Heb 10:19-39)
  A(10:19-22)  10:19 Therefore, brothers, since through the blood of Jesus we have confidence of entrance into the sanctuary(10:19)"   (παρρησίαν)
    B(10:23-25)    10:23 Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope, for he who made the promise is trustworthy. (10:23)
      C(10:26-31)      10:26 If we sin deliberately after receiving knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains sacrifice for sins(10:26)
    B'(10:32-34)    10:32 Remember the days past when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a great contest of suffering.(10:32)
  A'(10:35-39)  10:35 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence; it will have great recompense. (10:35)"   (παρρησίαν)
   A: Confidence. B: Patience. C: Sin deliberately after receiving knowledge of the truth.

[15]Faith  (Heb 11:1-40)
  A(11:1-3)  11:2 Because of it the ancients were well attested (11:2)   (ἐμαρτυρήθησαν)
    B(11:4)    11:4 Through this he was attested to be righteous (11:4)   (δίκαιος)
      C(11:5-6)      11:5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death (11:5)
        D(11:7)        Noah's ark
          E(11:8-10)          Abraham's travel
            F(11:11-16)            11:11 By faith he received power to generate, even though he was past the normal age (11:11)
              G(11:17-19)              11:17 Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac (11:17)
                H(11:20)                11:20 Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau.(11:20)
                  I(11:21)                  11:21 blessed each of the sons of Joseph (11:21)
                H'(11:22)                11:22 spoke of the Exodus of the Israelites (11:22)
              G'(11:23)              11:23 Moses was hidden by his parents for three months (11:23)
            F'(11:24-26)            11:24 refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter;(11:24)
          E'(11:27-28)          Exodus
        D'(11:29)        The miracle in the red sea
      C'(11:30)      11:30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell after being encircled for seven days. (11:30)
    B'(11:31-38)    11:33 who by faith conquered kingdoms, did what was righteous (11:33)"   (δικαιοσύνην)
  A'(11:39-40)  11:39 Yet all these, though approved because of their faith, did not receive what had been promised. (11:39)"   (μαρτυρηθέντες)
   A: Approved because of their faith. B: Righteous. C: Disappearance. D: Miracles about water. E: Travels. F: Receiving a child. G: Trial about a child. H: Children of Israel. I: Blessing.

[16]Warning against rejecting God's grace  (Heb 12:1-29)
  A(12:1-2)  12:1 let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us (12:1)
    B(12:3-4)    12:4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood (12:4)   (αἵματος)
      C(12:5-11)      12:7 Endure your trials as discipline (12:7)
        D(12:12-15)        12:14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for that holiness (12:14)
      C'(12:16-17)      12:16 that no one be an immoral or profane person (12:16)
    B'(12:18-24)    12:24 and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and the sprinkled blood that speaks more eloquently than that of Abel.(12:24)"   (αἵματι)
  A'(12:25-29)  12:28 we should offer worship pleasing to God in reverence and awe (12:28)
   A: Exhortation. B: Blood. C: Patience. D: Holiness.

[17]Service well-pleasing to God  (Heb 13:1-25)
  A(13:1-5a)  13:3 Be mindful of prisoners as if sharing their imprisonment (13:3)
    B(13:5b-6)    13:5I will never forsake you or abandon you (13:5)
      C(13:7-9)      13:7 Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you (13:7)   (ἡγουμένων)
        D(13:10-12)        13:12 Jesus also suffered outside the gate (13:12)   (ἔχω τῆς πύλης)
        D'(13:13-15)        13:13 Let us then go to him outside the camp (13:13)   (ἔχω τῆς παρεμβολῆς)
      C'(13:16-17)      13:17 Obey your leaders and defer to them (13:17)   (ἡγουμένοις)
    B'(13:18-21)    13:19 I especially ask for your prayers that I may be restored to you very soon. (13:19)
  A'(13:22-25)  13:23 I must let you know that our brother Timothy has been set free (13:23)
   A: Prisoners. B: Paul is be with you. C: Leaders. D: Going outside.

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

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Literary Structure of the Bible by Hajime Murai is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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