Yesterday I showed you how I use structural markers and literary relationships to increase the quantity of observations. The reason we can do this is because when the Holy Spirit inspired the writers of the Old and New Testaments they used language. While that is obvious to express thought in language requires vocabulary, grammar, and structure. Those elements are intentionally used by both the human and ultimate author for the purpose of communicating about who God is and what He is doing. The point is that all of the elements in the text are intentionally placed so that we can learn much from observing them.
One of the things I always look for is repetition. In the scripture it is like the teacher at the front of the class stomping their foot to tell you something is going to be on the test. It is emphasis. In part 2 of the walk through I highlighted some of the repetition in Psalm 107.
The first thing I noticed was “lovingkindness,” six times the Psalmist refers to God’s lovingkindness. Then I noted that verses 8, 15, 21, and 31 were identical. Also verses 6, 13, 19, and 28 are identical but for the changing of one word in 28. There is more but the last one I will point out is the thread of thanksgiving in verses 1, 2, 8, 21, and 31, the construction “Let them give…” is also repeated in 43 with some significant changes. That is one of the things for which I look as well, differences in things that are repeated.
Do you see the patterns that are emerging?
Tomorrow I will spell out what I am seeing in the structure and repetition.
Posts in this series: