Category:Book of Mormon/Anthropology/Language/Hebraisms/Parallelism

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Hebrew forms of parallelism in the Book of Mormon

Parent page: Book of Mormon/Anthropology/Language/Hebraisms

Synonymous Parallelism

This form consists of two lines of text: the idea or subject of the first line is either repeated directly or echoed (in what is termed a "synonymous repetition") in the second line. An example appears in 2 Nephi 9:52:

:pray unto him continually by day,  :and give thanks unto his holy name by night

In this example the verb pray in line 1 is a synonymous counterpart to give thanks in line 2, and the phrase by day corresponds to by night. A third parallel is the correspondence between the pronoun him and his holy name, both referring to God.

A second example of synonymous parallelism is found in 2 Nephi 25:2:

 :their works were works of darkness,  :and their doings were doings of abominations

Note the parallels between these two lines: the possessive pronoun their and the verb were are repeated, and the phrase works of darkness is a synonymous expression for doings of abominations.

Speaking of those who deny the works of God, the writer of 3 Nephi 29:5 crafted a synonymous parallelism by restating wo unto him and by pairing that spurneth with that shall deny, Lord with Christ, and doings with works.

 :Wo unto him that spurneth at the doings of the Lord;

 :yea, wo unto him that shall deny the Christ and his works![1]

Antithetic Parallelism

This form is characterized by an opposition or contrast of thoughts, or an antithesis between two lines. A common feature that joins the two lines is the conjunction and or the disjunction but (both and and but are represented by a single character in the Hebrew, waw). Often the second line is introduced with one of these two words and immediately follows the contrasting element. 1 Nephi 17:45 is an example:

 :Ye are swift to do iniquity  :but slow to remember the Lord your God.

The contrast is apparent, the word swift standing opposite of slow and the phrase to do iniquity counterpointing to remember the Lord.

The following antithetic parallelism from Alma 5:40 contrasts good with evil and God with the devil. The expressions whatsoever is and cometh from are featured in both lines:

 :For I say unto you that whatsoever is good cometh from God,  :and whatsoever is evil cometh from the devil.

Another example is found in Alma 22:6. When Aaron visits King Lamoni in the land of Nephi, the troubled king asks him what Ammon meant in saying

 :If ye will repent ye shall be saved,  :and if ye will not repent, ye shall be cast off at thelast day.

The opposites in this simple summation of the gospel plan are evident: repent ye contrasts with ye will not repent, and saved stands opposite to cast off.[2]

Notes

  1. Donald W. Parry, "Hebraisms and Other Ancient Peculiarities in the Book of Mormon," in Echoes and Evidences of the Book of Mormon, edited by Donald W. Parry, Daniel C. Peterson, and John W. Welch (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 2002), [:http://publications.maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/fullscreen/?pub=1082&index=7 Chapter 7], references silently removed—consult original for citations.
  2. Donald W. Parry, "Hebraisms and Other Ancient Peculiarities in the Book of Mormon," in Echoes and Evidences of the Book of Mormon, edited by Donald W. Parry, Daniel C. Peterson, and John W. Welch (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 2002), Chapter 7, references silently removed—consult original for citations.

Pages in category "Book of Mormon/Anthropology/Language/Hebraisms/Parallelism"

The following 3 pages are in this category, out of 3 total.