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Hebrew Poetry. B. Hebrew Poetry 1. General Characteristics. Hebrew Poetry 1. General Characteristics. a. The Difference between Poetry and Prose (1) Basic Differences. Hebrew Poetry: General Characteristics. The Difference between Poetry and Prose (1) Basic Differences

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B hebrew poetry 1 general characteristics
B. Hebrew Poetry1. General Characteristics


Hebrew poetry 1 general characteristics
Hebrew Poetry1. General Characteristics

a. The Difference between Poetry and Prose

(1) Basic Differences


Hebrew poetry general characteristics
Hebrew Poetry: General Characteristics

  • The Difference between Poetry and Prose

    (1) Basic Differences

    (a) Use of Language


Hebrew poetry general characteristics1
Hebrew Poetry: General Characteristics

a. The Difference between Poetry and Prose

(1) Basic Differences

(a) Use of Language

(b) Purposes


Hebrew poetry general characteristics2
Hebrew Poetry: General Characteristics

a. The Difference between Poetry and Prose

(1) Basic Differences

(a) Use of Language

(b) Purposes

(2) Example: Lam 2; 2 Kings 25:1-21


2 Kings 25:9

And Nebuzaradan burned the house of the Lord, the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem; even every great house he burned with fire.


Lamentations 2:5-6

The Lord has become like an enemy,

He has swallowed up all its palaces,

He has destroyed its strongholds

And multiplied in the daughter of Judah mourning and moaning.

And he has violently treated his tabernacle like a garden booth

He has destroyed his appointed meeting place.


B hebrew poetry nature and structure
b. Hebrew Poetry:Nature and Structure


B hebrew poetry nature and structure1
b. Hebrew Poetry:Nature and Structure

(1) Rhythm and Sound


B hebrew poetry nature and structure2
b. Hebrew Poetry:Nature and Structure

(1) Rhythm and Sound

*Alliteration (beginning sounds)


B hebrew poetry nature and structure3
b. Hebrew Poetry:Nature and Structure

(1) Rhythm and Sound

*Alliteration (beginning sounds)

*Assonance (vowel sounds)


B hebrew poetry nature and structure4
b. Hebrew Poetry:Nature and Structure

(1) Rhythm and Sound

*Alliteration (beginning sounds)

*Assonance (vowel sounds)

* Play on Words

Example: Gamla (camel)

Galma (gnat) [Mt 23:24]


B hebrew poetry nature and structure5
b. Hebrew Poetry:Nature and Structure

(1) Rhythm and Sound

*Alliteration (beginning sounds)

*Assonance (vowel sounds)

* Play on Words

* Rhythm (meter)


B hebrew poetry nature and structure6
b. Hebrew Poetry:Nature and Structure

(1) Rhythm and Sound

*Alliteration (beginning sounds)

*Assonance (vowel sounds)

* Play on Words

* Rhythm (meter)

Hermeneutical Significance:

Relationship of word choice to form


B hebrew poetry nature and structure7
b. Hebrew Poetry:Nature and Structure

(2) A Key Structural Feature: Parallelism


B hebrew poetry nature and structure8
b. Hebrew Poetry:Nature and Structure

(2) A Key Feature: Parallelism

The balancing of adjacent lines


B hebrew poetry nature and structure9
b. Hebrew Poetry:Nature and Structure

(2) A Key Feature: Parallelism

The balancing of adjacent lines

But he was pierced for our trangressions,

he was crushed for our iniquities;

The punishment that brought us peace was upon him,

And by his wounds we are healed. [Is 53:5]


B hebrew poetry nature and structure10
b. Hebrew Poetry:Nature and Structure

(3) Other Structural Features

(a) Chiasm: An ABBA pattern in the structure of a verse or section of Hebrew poetry


B hebrew poetry nature and structure11
b. Hebrew Poetry:Nature and Structure

(3) Other Structural Features

(a) Chiasm

If I forget you, O Jerusalem, A

May my right hand forget its skill, B

May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth, B1

If I do not remember you… A1

[Ps 137:4-5]


B hebrew poetry nature and structure12
b. Hebrew Poetry:Nature and Structure

(3) Other Structural Features

(a) Chiasm

Do not give dogs what is sacred;

Do not throw your pearls to pigs.

If you do, they may trample them under your feet,

And then turn and tear you to pieces.

[Matt 7:6]


B hebrew poetry nature and structure13
b. Hebrew Poetry:Nature and Structure

(3) Other Structural Features

(a) Chiasm

(b) Acrostic

The use of the Hebrew alphabet to structure sections of poetry


B hebrew poetry nature and structure14
b. Hebrew Poetry:Nature and Structure

(3) Other Structural Features

(a) Chiasm

(b) Acrostic

e.g., Psalm 34—Its lines are organized according to the Hebrew alphabet


B hebrew poetry nature and structure15
b. Hebrew Poetry:Nature and Structure

(4) Metaphorical Language and Imagery

Figures of Speech

E.g., simile; metaphor

Simile: Comparison often using “like/as”

“As the deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God.” Ps 42:1

Metaphor: Indirect comparison

“You are my rock and my fortress.” Ps 71:3


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