Parallelism in hebrew poetry chart adapted from john b. Synonymous parallelism is a poetic literary device which involves the repetition of one idea in successive lines. First, there is what is known as a straight line parallelism or an aa, bb, pattern of parallelism in which consecutive lines parallel each other and help interpret one another. This is essentially what parallelism in poetry is, but i have found that it goes much further than that much further. Alonso schokel, a manual of hebrew poetics subbi 11. By shamir y ona pobox 653, beersheva 84105, israel. In the last post, we entered into the realm of hebrew poetry, and specifically into parallelism. English poems usually have rhyme and meter, but hebrew poetry does not.
The following discuss the different types of parallelisms within the book of proverbs. We see parallelism when two or more lines of a hebrew poem correspond closely with one another in order to make a point. This feature can be found in any poetic passage, and sometimes even in narrative, although it is more common in the psalms and proverbs. Pdf aspects of the principle of parallelism in hebrew. Emblematic parallelism is constructed with a symbol. He described parallelism across the members of a verse as the chief hallmark of ancient hebrew poetry. Hebrew poetry has flexible meter, with a similar number of stressed syllables per line. At the end of the last blog posting, we ended discussing the characteristics of hebrew poetry. Parallel structure simply means that the halfverses of the verse basically. Bible poetrys greatest technique is not to rhyme sounds, as in much english poetry, but to rhyme ideasthat is, to put two or more lines together that somehow match each other. Ancient hebrew styles of writing mechanical translation. This video introduces robert lowths simple system for classifying types of parallelis.
Ever since robert lowths 1753 study, lectures on the sacred poetry of the hebrews, biblical scholars have known that ancient hebrew writers relied on. Hebrew poetry relies on other characteristics for its impact. In the dynamics of biblical parallelism, american biblical scholar adele berlin seeks to thoroughly analyze the form and function of parallelism in the hebrew scriptures and to better articulate its relationship to hebrew poetry. Jakobsons poetic function, comprising both poetry and. A t ype of expanded repetition in biblical parallelism. But hebrew poetry is quite different from english poetry. The goal of this manual, therefore, is to help translators evaluate the need for. Principles for interpreting psalms biblical expositor. Parallelism the basic principle of hebrew poetry is the repetition, elaboration, or variation on the sense of a line this parallelism may be semantic andor grammatical. It is advantageous to identify the different types of parallelism in hebrew poetry but it is not essential to interpretation because by itself parallelism rarely affects the meaning of a statement or idea. Parallelism defines the relationship between ideas contained within the poem. The first half of a verse will make a statement, and the second half will essentially say the same thing in different words. It is basically thoughtbased in balanced, parallel lines.
Parallelism remains a popular technique in poetry, prose, and plays. One of the biggest aspects of hebrew poetry, and the one thats easiest to recognize in translation. Press, 1985, idem, parallelism in abd 5 1992 15562. Publication date 19181923 topics bible publisher berkeley, university of california press. Emblematic parallelism is a poetic device often used in the book of proverbs.
The archaeological discovery north of israel at ugarit ras shamra has helped scholars understand ot poetry. Parallelism in hebrew poetry demonstrates a major error in. It is sufficient here to refer to such prayers as leel baruk, ahabah rabbah, ezrat abotenu, and the shemoneh esreh. Like these others books, proverbs is written in a poetic style. There are several reasons the hebrews used poetry, much of the torah was sung and was easier to sing too, poetry and songs are easier to memorize than straight texts, parallel poetry as in genesis 1 emphasizes something of great importance, as the. What constitutes the formal relationship between the lines of a couplet is difficult to specify. Hebrew poetry does not have rhythm and meter in the same sense as, for example, iambic pentameter verse in western poetry.
Hebrew poetry is not so much based upon similarity of sound but upon similarity of ideas. For discussions of parallelism and bibliography, see adele berlin, the dynamics of biblical parallelism bloomington. I state that one of the characteristics of hebrew poetry is parallelism. Hebrew poetry has much in common with canaanite poetry.
By far the most common organizing pattern in hebrew poetry is parallelism. The phenomenon of building the thought in successive poetic lines is certainly in hebrew poetry synthetic or formal parallelism the relationship here is that of analogy that is metaphor or simile. Kugel best makes this observation in the idea of biblical poetry. Bible poetry rarely relies on devices such as rhyme or meter, but often on a device called parallelism defined in chamberss dictionary as a balanced construction of a verse or sentence, where one part repeats the form or meaning of the. There are three major types of parallelism in hebrew poetry. This method has two basic components parallelism and meter which are combined to analyze the structure of a poem, ie versification, stanzas, etc. In the oldest postbiblical hebrew poetic productions extant, that is, the liturgy, the principle of parallelism is existent, though not exhibiting the regularity and symmetry of the biblical poetry. Poetic language in the psalms is set within the structure of biblical poetry. The most common and repeated structure is parallelism. But parallel lines can also affect poetry differently, giving them a childlike. Over a question of nomenclature, whether parallelism should be. For it was he who founded it and planted it firm upon the sea upon the waters beneath. A little understanding of how the hebrew poetry works will help us better appreciate these bible books.
This post furthers the investigation, delving into two more forms that are a bit more complicated and identifying them will take a little extra effort. Hebrew parallelism generally presents itself in one of the following three formats. Vetus testamentum 69 2019 617648 vetus testamentum vt hebrew poetry and the appositive style. It is basically thought based in balanced, parallel lines. A common literary feature of hebrew poetry in the old testament is called parallelism, in which the words of two or more lines of text are directly related in some way. The nature of hebrew poetry hebrew poetry, so characteristic of the wisdom literature of the old testament job, psalms, proverbs, ecclesiastes, and song of solomon, is unlike english poetry which emphasizes rhyme and meter. There are seven main types of poetic parallelism used in the book of psalms. The first variety, synonymous parallelism, reproduces the same thought in successive stichoi, and is the least complex form of parallelism in heb. Poetic parallelism the dominant feature in hebrew poetry is poetic parallelism in which one line of the poem corresponds with another line, or sometimes with several others.
Considered with special reference to the criticism and. Hebrew poetry uses all the figures of speech of english poetry. An analysis of parallelism in stichographic, hymnic and sapiential. Watch for parallelism and imagery well talk more about imagery in the class on the song of songs. Hebrew poetry biblical studies oxford bibliographies. In hebrew poetry two ideas are placed together in certain ways. When you think of parallelism think of the word parallel. By contrast, biblical poetry is characterized by the presence of parallel structure 7. Visual representations of biblical poetic parallelism. Let us analyze a few examples of parallelism in literature. Types of parallelism in hebrew poetry sermon preparation. This content on parallelism and poetry in the bible is from the believers bible commentary what is parallelism. Pdf 2009 vertical grammar of parallelism in hebrew. Poets use parallelism for a variety of reasons, perhaps the main one being for emphasis.
Berlins succinct article is a good starting place for the state of the discussion, as she offers a clear outline of scholarly history and the forms and features of biblical hebrew poetry. This is poetry based on similarity of sound words that rhyme and sound alike. The book of proverbs is listed among the poetical books of the old testament along with job, psalms, ecclesiastes, and song of solomon. Job, psalms, proverbs, ecclesiastes, song of solomon, and lamentations. A fundamental feature of hebrew poetry is parallelism, the matching structure of lines within a couplet. Translatable poetry parallelism in old testament hebrew.
Biblical hebrew poetry often features parallel couplets or triplets. Lets look back at some of our examples from last week. The meter of the line is superimposed on the grammar and takes priority over the sentence structure used in prose. In other words, biblical poetry consists of a distinctive type of sentence structure and it is called parallelism. The term parallel refers to two things that are analogous to each other. This parallelism occurs in the portions of the hebrew bible that are at the same time marked frequently by the socalled dialectus poetica. I believe michael oconnor coined the standard description of hebrew poetry as a label for the basic framework by which most contemporary scholars analyze hebrew poetry.
Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Biblical poetry is predominately written in this verse form. We learned about the two easiest forms, synthetic and antithetic, and how to recognize them. The term parallelism comes from an eighteenthcentury scholar of hebrew poetry, while the russian literary theorist roman jakobson pioneered the study of parallelism in nonreligious texts. Parallelism in isaiah by popper, william, 18741963.
Hebrew poetry encyclopedia of the bible bible gateway. So want is the function of parallelism in hebrew poetry. The stronger the poetic qualities, the higher the line falls on the poetry arm of the 2. It is one of several types of parallelism used in hebrew poetry the other types being synonymous parallelism, synthetic parallelism, and antithetical parallelism. This parallelism may be semantic andor grammatical. Seven types of parallelism in hebrew poetry more free. Toward the end of the eighteenth century lowth made his contribution to the study in his lectures at oxford. Retaining and transcending the classical description of. Pdf a type of expanded repetition in biblical parallelism. Synonymous parallelism synonymous parallelism consists of the repetition of the same. Before lowth, christian schoettgen described hebrew poetry. Parallelism in hebrew poetry and the psalms in particular.893 361 1025 990 996 520 360 670 753 751 262 998 1353 67 410 1306 1432 258 1380 633 663 758 1387 831 1258 223 1386 443 815 1282 70