An Interactive Presentation of Thematic Symmetry (Chiasm / Parallelism)
4:1 After these things I looked,
and behold, a door standing open in heaven,
and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.”
2 Immediately I was in the Spirit;
and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne.
was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance;
and there was a rainbow around the throne,
like an emerald in appearance.
4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting,
clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads.
5 Out from the throne come flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder.
And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne,
which are the seven Spirits of God;
6 and before the throne there was something like a sea of glass,
and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures
full of eyes in front and behind.
had a face like that of a man,
8 And the four living creatures,
each one of them having six wings,
are full of eyes around and within;
and day and night they do not cease to say,
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.”
9 And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks
to Him who sits on the throne,
to Him who lives forever and ever,
10 the twenty-four elders will fall down
before Him who sits on the throne,
and will worship Him who lives forever and ever,
and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
11 “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”
5:1 I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne
a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals.
2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice,
“Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?”
3 And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it.
4 Then I began to weep greatly
because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it;
5 and one of the elders said to me, “Stop weeping;
behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome
so as to open the book and its seven seals.”
6 And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth.
7 And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.
8 When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. 10 “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”
11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands,
12 saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”
13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them,
I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”
14 And the four living creatures
6:1 Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals,
and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, “Come.”
2 I looked, and behold, a white horse,
and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.
3 When He broke the second seal,
I heard the second living creature saying, “Come.”
4 And another, a red horse, went out;
and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.
5 When He broke the third seal,
I heard the third living creature saying, “Come.”
I looked, and behold, a black horse;
and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.”
7 When the Lamb broke the fourth seal,
I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come.”
8 I looked, and behold, an ashen horse;
and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.
9 When the Lamb broke the fifth seal,
I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained;
10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”
11 And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer,
until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.
12 I looked when He broke the sixth seal,
and there was a great earthquake;
and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind.
14 The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up,
and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
15 Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves
and among the rocks of the mountains;
16 and they said to the mountains and to the rocks,
“Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”
7:1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth,
holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree.
2 And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun,
having the seal of the living God;
and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, 3 saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.”
4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:
5 from the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand were sealed,
from the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand,
from the tribe of Gad twelve thousand,
6 from the tribe of Asher twelve thousand,
from the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand,
from the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand,
7 from the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand,
from the tribe of Levi twelve thousand,
from the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand,
8 from the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand,
from the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand,
from the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand were sealed.
9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands;
10 and they cry out with a loud voice, saying,
“Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures;
and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying,
“Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
13 Then one of the elders answered,
“These who are clothed in the white robes,
who are they, and where have they come from?”
14 I said to him, “My lord, you know.”
“These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation,
and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
15 For this reason, they are before the throne of God;
and they serve Him day and night in His temple;
and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them.
16 They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore;
nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat;
17 for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd,
and will guide them to springs of the water of life;
and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”
8:1 When the Lamb broke the seventh seal,
there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.
3 Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer;
and much incense was given to him,
so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne.
4 And the smoke of the incense,
with the prayers of the saints,
went up before God out of the angel’s hand.
5 Then the angel took the censer
and filled it with the fire of the altar,
and threw it to the earth;
and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.
6 And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound them.
and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth;
and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.
8 The second angel sounded,
and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea;
and a third of the sea became blood,
9 and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed.
10 The third angel sounded,
and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch,
and it fell on a third of the rivers
and on the springs of waters.
11 The name of the star is called Wormwood;
and a third of the waters became wormwood,
and many men died from the waters, because they were made bitter.
12 The fourth angel sounded,
and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were struck,
so that a third of them would be darkened and the day would not shine for a third of it, and the night in the same way.
13 Then I looked, and I heard an eagle flying in midheaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!”
9:1 Then the fifth angel sounded,
and I saw a star from heaven which had fallen to the earth;
and the key of the bottomless pit was given to him.
2 He opened the bottomless pit,
and smoke went up out of the pit,
like the smoke of a great furnace;
and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit.
3 Then out of the smoke came locusts upon the earth,
and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
4 They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree,
but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.
5 And they were not permitted to kill anyone,
but to torment for five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man.
6 And in those days men will seek death
and death flees from them.
7 The appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle;
and on their heads appeared to be crowns like gold,
and their faces were like the faces of men.
8 They had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions.
9 They had breastplates like breastplates of iron;
and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to battle.
10 They have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months.
11 They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon.
12 The first woe is past; behold, two woes are still coming after these things.
13 Then the sixth angel sounded,
from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,
to the sixth angel who had the trumpet,
“Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.”
15 And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released,
so that they would kill a third of mankind.
16 The number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred million;
I heard the number of them.
17 And this is how I saw in the vision
and those who sat on them:
the riders had breastplates the color of fire and of hyacinth and of brimstone;
and the heads of the horses are like the heads of lions;
and out of their mouths proceed fire and smoke and brimstone.
18 A third of mankind was killed
by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which proceeded out of their mouths.
19 For the power of the horses is in their mouths
for their tails are like serpents and have heads,
and with them they do harm.
20 The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues,
did not repent of the works of their hands,
so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk;
21 and they did not repent of their murders
nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts.
10:1 I saw another strong angel coming down out of heaven,
clothed with a cloud; and the rainbow was upon his head,
and his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire;
2 and he had in his hand a little book which was open.
He placed his right foot on the sea and his left on the land;
3 and he cried out with a loud voice, as when a lion roars;
and when he had cried out,
the seven peals of thunder uttered their voices.
4 When the seven peals of thunder had spoken,
and I heard a voice from heaven saying,
“Seal up the things which the seven peals of thunder have spoken and do not write them.”
5 Then the angel whom I saw
standing on the sea and on the land
lifted up his right hand to heaven,
6 and swore by Him who lives forever and ever,
that there will be delay no longer,
7 but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound,
then the mystery of God is finished, as He preached to His servants the prophets.
8 Then the voice which I heard from heaven, I heard again speaking with me, and saying,
“Go, take the book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the land.”
9 So I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little book.
it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.”
10 I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it,
and in my mouth it was sweet as honey;
my stomach was made bitter.
“You must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings.”
11:1 Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff;
“Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar,
and those who worship in it.
2 Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it,
for it has been given to the nations;
and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.
3 And I will grant authority to my two witnesses,
and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.”
4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth.
5 And if anyone wants to harm them,
fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies;
so if anyone wants to harm them,
he must be killed in this way.
6 These have the power to shut up the sky,
so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying;
and they have power over the waters
and to strike the earth with every plague,
7 When they have finished their testimony,
the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them.
8 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city
which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.
9 Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days,
and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb.
10 And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them
and they will send gifts to one another,
because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.
11 But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them,
and they stood on their feet;
and great fear fell upon those who were watching them.
12 And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.”
Then they went up into heaven in the cloud,
and their enemies watched them.
there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell;
seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake,
and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.
14 The second woe is past; behold, the third woe is coming quickly.
15 Then the seventh angel sounded;
and there were loud voices in heaven, saying,
“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” ,
16 And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God 17 saying,
“We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign.
18 And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came,
and the time came for the dead to be judged,
and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets
and those who fear Your name,
and to destroy those who destroy the earth.”
19 And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple,
and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm.
Generated with the Chiasmatron 2000
Attribution: Bob Schlenker
Pass your mouse cursor over the passage. Hovering over a line of text will cause it to be highlighted along with matching elements. Hovering over a bar will produce the same result.
If a line of text is underlined, click on it. Commentary will appear in a window and the highlighting will remain. If you see a bar that looks different, click on it to produce the same result.
What are you looking at? This is an exhibit of the thematic symmetry that appears throughout the Bible. The passage of scripture is straight from the Bible. Nothing has been added or removed or shifted out of sequence.
What's the point? Be inspired by the awesomeness of the Author's Word. Meditate prayerfully on what you see, seeking insight about each thematic pairing. How are the elements alike? How do they differ. Why are they paired? If questions are raised that would not otherwise be raised, ask them. May the Author Himself grant you insight.
Tip: If this presentation is too big to fit on screen, (and if this one isn't, you must have really good eyes or some massive screen real estate!) you can make your browser "full screen." Try F11. You can also adjust the zoom (ctrl-minus to zoom out). If you have a monitor that rotates into a portrait display, the vertical real estate can be very useful. You might also launch this presentation in two different browser windows, arranging them side-by-side. Scroll one down to where you can see the sections that compare so you can look back and forth to compare them in the same view. If it helps you see what you want to see, you can drag the pop-up commentary window around the screen.
For more explanation, see: About These Thematic Patterns
For more examples, see: Interactive Content