Cataloging the Gospels’ Hebraisms: Part Four (Parallelism)

Articles 1 Comment

Doubling, or repeating, is a characteristic feature of Hebrew. Hebrew loves to say things twice (or more!) by adding equivalents. Words, phrases, sentences, and even stories, are doubled (or tripled).

Revised: 20-Dec-2012

Doubling, or repeating, is a characteristic feature of Hebrew. Hebrew loves to say things twice (or more!) by adding equivalents. Words, phrases, sentences, and even stories, are doubled (or tripled). Sometimes, this doubling is quite complex, for example:

The men of Nineveh will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. The queen of Teman will arise at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. (Luke 11:31-32; Matt. 12:41-42) [See my, “The Queen of Teman.”]

One important Hebrew form of doubling is known as “parallelism,” expressing the same thought in two or more different, though synonymous, ways. “Parallelism” is the hallmark of Hebrew poetry.

Rather than invest energy in refining a definition of “parallelism,” let’s gain a feeling for this feature of Hebrew by looking at a few examples from the Hebrew Scriptures.

The Book of Psalms is full of parallelism. The book’s first verse contains a 3-part parallelism:

Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
or stand in the way of sinners,
or sit in the seat of mockers. (Ps. 1:1; NIV)

Premium Members
If you are not a Premium Member, please consider becoming one starting at $10/month (paid monthly) or only $5/month (paid annually):

One Time Purchase Rather Than Membership
Rather than a membership, you may also purchase access to this entire page for $1.99 USD. (If you do not have an account select "Register & Purchase.")

Login & Purchase
To read the next article in this series, click here.

Search Engine Improvement Fund

RAISED: $5028 of $4500

More Info About our search engine improvement fund

We are excited that our search engine fund goal has been reached and exceeded. We are thankful to all who have chosen to join with us in this endeavor. Programming has begun and we hope to have the new search engine released in early 2019.

Online Hebrew Course

Do you want to learn Hebrew? Check out our online Hebrew course Aleph-Bet: Hebrew Reading and Writing for Christians in 17 Easy Lessons.

Most Recent LOY Articles