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Tuesday
Feb252014

Theological Term of the Week 

As you can see by my link to Wikipedia in the Learn more section of this post, I didn’t find many good links for more information on this term. If you can help me out with a link suggestion or two, please do.

inclusio
A  phrase, line, or concept used at both the beginning and end of a section of biblical text, forming a frame or envelope around what lies between, and giving a sense of start and finish; also known as envelope stucture or bracketing

  • An inclusio found in scripture:

    “Your glory, O Israel, is slain on your high places!

    How the mighty have fallen!

    Tell it not in Gath,

    publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon,

    lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice,

    lest the daughters of the uncircumcised exult.

    “You mountains of Gilboa,

    let there be no dew or rain upon you,

    nor fields of offerings!

    For there the shield of the mighty was defiled,

    the shield of Saul, not anointed with oil.

    “From the blood of the slain,

    from the fat of the mighty,

    the bow of Jonathan turned not back,

    and the sword of Saul returned not empty.

    “Saul and Jonathan, beloved and lovely!

    In life and in death they were not divided;

    they were swifter than eagles;

    they were stronger than lions.

    “You daughters of Israel, weep over Saul,

    who clothed you luxuriously in scarlet,

    who put ornaments of gold on your apparel.

    “How the mighty have fallen

    in the midst of the battle!

    “Jonathan lies slain on your high places.” (2 Samuel 1:19-25 ESV)

    1. Genesis begins with the creation of the “heavens and earth” (1:1ff.); Revelation ends with re-creation of the “heaven and earth” (21:1).
    2. Genesis begins with the theme of paradise in the garden (2:8ff.); Revelation ends with the paradise of heaven (21:4).
    3. Genesis begins with the theme of marriage (2:8); Revelation ends with the great wedding of the Lamb (21:9).
    4. Genesis begins with a focus on the serpent’s deception (3:1ff.); Revelation ends with the serpent’s destruction (20:10).
    5. Genesis begins with the curse being put upon the world (3:14ff.): Revelation ends with the curse being lifted (22:3).
    6. Genesis begins by describing the creation of day, night, and the oceans (1:3, 10, 14); Revelation ends with no more need for day (sun), or night, or oceans (21:1; 22:5).
    7. Genesis begins with the “tree of life” among the people of God (2:9); Revelation ends with the “tree of life” among the people of God (22:2).
    8. Genesis begins with God dwelling with his people (2:8; 3:8); Revelation ends with God finally dwelling with his people again (21:3). 

Learn more:

  1. Wikipedia: Inclusio
  2. ESV Study Notes: Thirteen examples of inclusio(s?) in scripture

Related terms:

Filed under Scripture

Do you have a a theological term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it, giving you credit for the suggestion and linking back to your blog when I do.

Clicking on Theological Terms in the navigation bar above will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms in alphabetical order.

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Reader Comments (1)

In Dan Phillips' book about Proverbs, he mentions that the theme of the fear of the Lord in 1:7 and 31:30 is an inclusio.

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKim Shay

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