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Hebrew Poetry


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When two or more lines are grouped together to express an idea poignantly
Complete Parallelism
Each and every element or grammatical unit of the FIRST line has corresponding element in the second line
Incomplete Parallelism
When One or more elements of grammatical units from the first lines are omitted in the second line
Synonymous Parallelism
When Two or more lines of poetry express the same idea in different words
Chiastic Parallelism
When parallel elements or grammatical units from the first line are arranged in an inverted or transposed position on the second line
Emblematic Parallelism
A simile or metaphor is used in one line to express a literal thought in the other line
Antithetic Parallelism
When two lines of a verse expressing contrasting ideas are arranged in parallel

They have bowed down and fallen
But we have risen and stood upright.

"But" is a key
Synthetic Parallelism
The second line adds a thought not present in the first line
A series of lines (or bicola) in parallel structure combined into one grouping
A regularly recurring line (or bicola) that normally stands at the end of a stanza. The main point.
A problematic Hebrew particle of indeterminate meaning that may indicate poetic or musical structure
A poem in which each successive line/verse/stanza begins with each successive letter of the alphabet
Sometimes called an envelope figure, is a form of repetition used at the beginning and end of a stanza or poem. Main point but no refrain
Figure of Speech
A method of vibration in which words are used in ways out of the ordinary
The deviation from the ordinary arrangement or pattern of words
The deviation from the ordinary meaning of words
Figure of Comparison
Occurs when the biblical author brings together two or more items in order to note their resemblance
An explicitly stated comparison often using "Like" or "as"

Works by Comparison

All flesh is like grass
A comparison by direct assertion

Works by representation

God was their rock
(Literally, hidden down under) The literal subject is implied, not stated.

Works by implication

For dogs have surrounded me (Dogs=enemies)
Human characteristics are attributed to inanimate objects.

Let the rivers clap their hands
Human characteristics are attributed to God

And yet this was insignificant in YOUR EYES, o Lord GOD.
Figures of Substitution
When one word is substituted for another because of a relationship between the two things.

The use of a part of the whole to denote the whole.

Our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem. (Feet=whole human)
The substitution of an attribute or characteristic, rather than a part.

They flatter with their tounge (Tounge =speech)
Dramatic Irony
When a person's actions/words result in the opposite of what was intended.

The pit which they have made, their own foot has been caught
A rhetorical figure in which the statement is an exaggeration

When we heard it, our hearts melted
(Literally, one by means of two)
The expression of a single concept using two similar terms joined by AND.
This funcitons similarly to an appositive in which one noun clarifies the other.
(My daughter, Natalie)

My voice and my supplicaions (my supplicating voice)
The expression of totality using two contrasting parts often joined by AND

Seedtime and Harvest
Cold and Heat
Summer and winter
Day and night
The figure of speech in which an offensive or indelicate expression is replaced by an inoffensive or modest one.

The manner of women is upon me.
An event/person/thing in the OT that intentionally pre-figures or foreshadows something greater in the NT
The NT fulfillment of the OT Type
Begin with a call to worship

Expands on the reasons why God should be praised

Often include and sometimes conclude with further calls to praise
Upset with himself

Upset about the action of others (enemies)

Upset with God
7 elements of a Lament
Invocation, Plea to God for help, Complaints, Confess sin or assert innonence, Curse enemies (Imprecation), Confidence in God's response, Hymn or blessing
Easily identified by restating the lament
Same psalms are bound together

Feeling of trust dominate God is Refuge, Shephard, Light, Rock, Help
Wisdom Psalms
Emphasize a contrast in ways of living with each bringing about different consequences

The law is adored
Kingship Psalms
Human king of Israel

God is King

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