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Redundant Bible Verse

April 15, 2011

Yesterday, in my daily Bible reading, I came upon this quirky verse, and the writer/editor inside me cringed. But what can I say? It’s the Bible, the most powerful book of all time. On the other hand, this verse is part of a song, so that might explain the repetition. Regardless, this one made me chuckle. What do you think?

At her feet he sank, he fell; there he lay.

At her feet he sank, he fell;

where he sank, there he fell–dead.

Judges 5:27 NIV

Used with permission of Maurice Pullin

16 Comments leave one →
  1. April 15, 2011 6:02 am

    Wow! I think the Author wants to make it entirely clear, he sank, he fell…he died…How funny! I’m glad you found joy in His Word this morning.

  2. April 15, 2011 6:45 am

    I chuckle with you, knowing all the while that there is purpose in all of His Word.
    I can only hope for higher understanding through grace. =)
    Cool post. TY, V.V. (how did u ever find that pic? That’s a talent!)

    • April 15, 2011 2:25 pm

      At first I felt guilty when my internal editor automatically kicked in. It’s interesting how writing changes throughout the centuries.

      The picture is from Wikimedia, my favorite source.

  3. April 15, 2011 7:38 am

    It is humorous to read! Maybe I’m overthinking here, but I wonder if the writer was using the repetition as a literary device — sometimes used as a way to bring comfort/familiarity to the reader–since this is about Arthur’s death? Or maybe repeating so the writer internalizes the fact that it’s true?

    • April 15, 2011 2:33 pm

      I agree, Julia. I believe it’s repetitive because it’s part of a song. The preceding chapter that documents the action doesn’t read like this, only the Song of Deborah.

  4. April 15, 2011 12:50 pm

    It could be for emphasis, or poetical. It’s fairly common, I think, in Biblical Hebrew writings to have a kind of repetition for emphasis.

    I’m reading Ezekiel, and I’m noticing some repetition, sometimes nearby, sometimes several chapters later. I think it is possible that at one point there were separate texts. At some point, it was decided to combine the texts, but the writers didn’t want to lose any of the text, so they just put it all in, even if it meant repeating.

    • April 15, 2011 2:38 pm

      Yes, I think you’re right. Much of the repetition in scripture is for emphasis. (So many of us don’t catch it the first time, anyway.) This verse just tickled me. You don’t often come across repetition quite like this in the Bible. I wonder what people will think of our modern song lyrics 2000 years from now.

  5. April 15, 2011 2:08 pm

    Well, I don’t usually laugh out loud at Scripture . . . but that was the exception.

    • April 15, 2011 2:15 pm

      Really? I do all the time, especially when reading the Message translation…God can be pretty funny.

  6. Patti Mallett permalink
    April 15, 2011 11:02 pm

    Could you hum a few bars of the tune??

    • April 16, 2011 6:31 am

      *Can be sung to the tune of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” or chanted while beating a hand drum. 🙂

  7. April 16, 2011 10:10 am

    LOL! I sometimes cringe over those redundant verses too. But I figure God must have put them in there that way for a reason. A lot of the time I think it was meant as poetic variation.

    • April 17, 2011 6:22 am

      Yes, I agree. It definitely got my attention. My teenagers didn’t see the humor in the verse, though. Go figure.

  8. Leah permalink
    April 16, 2011 9:42 pm

    My first instinct when I read it romantic actually. It seems like he died with this love, falling to her. I don’t know. That’s just the first thing that came to my mind.

    • April 17, 2011 6:25 am

      I thought it sounded that way too, Leah! But actually, they were just family friends . . . and she killed him by driving a tent peg through his head while he slept. Eww!

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