Examples of Synonymous Parallelism in Scripture

* * *

After writing about Genesis 1:27 being an example of Hebrew parallelism and providing the examples below, I discovered that a number of Bible versions print this verse as poetry and that Donald M. Lake writes of this verse, “Following the structure of heb. [Hebrew] poetic parallelism, both male and female are necessary for the realization of the image of God.” He says that Genesis 1:26-27 “seems to imply that woman as the female counterpart to man is essential to the image of God.” (Emphasis mine.)

Thomas Whitelaw also refers to this verse as parallelism.

Other biblical examples of parallelism:

    Psalm 49:1  . . .
    Hear this, all you peoples.
    Listen, all you inhabitants of the world

    Proverbs 6:20
    My son, keep your father’s commandment,
    and don’t forsake your mother’s teaching.

    Proverbs 19:5
    A false witness shall not be unpunished.
    He who pours out lies shall not go free.

    Isaiah 1:10
    Hear the Lord’s word, you rulers of Sodom!
    Listen to the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah!

    Amos 8:10
    I will turn your feasts into mourning,
    and all your songs into lamentation

Many more equally precise examples of synonymous parallelism could be cited. Parallelism, however, need not be so exact, and often isn’t.



Bible Versions Used
(Unless otherwise specified)

King James Version

Place mouse or equivalent over a Bible reference on-line

World English Bible
(Slightly Modified)

Appears in the text

For more information, see Bible Version Dilemmas