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Noah and the Vineyard
Video 14 of 21
How will that help us? Well just to review, we'll just go back to how intertextuality and chiastic structure can work together. We talked about this before when we were talking about Sabbath and rainbow and really we're going to be going through kind of the same thing over here. When you have an intertextual pattern such as the whole world of creation paralleling the world of Noah in all of these different kinds of ways and all these parallels remember have all these sub-parallels. We say the world develops in six days is parallel to Noah's world developing, we really mean that there's a whole mass of a dozen textual parallels over here that connect them. Same thing over here with rainbow and same thing over here.
So when you have these intertextual patterns and you want to understand what it is that they mean, so how do we do that? So we said, okay so how is it for example that the Sabbath over here, what does it mean that that would parallel the rainbow? Well we got a hint in the fact that when we looked at the rainbow we noticed that the rainbow was built in the sort of chiastic structure. What - the nice thing about a chiastic structure is that it defines a center for you. We also found that the Sabbath was also structured in that sort of chiastic kind of way. So together intertextuality and chiastic structure, as powerful and explanatory tool that each of these is on their own, when you put them together they're extremely powerful. Because what this chiasm does is identifies a point that this narrative revolves around and a point that this narrative revolves around and if you can figure out how the centers of gravity of these two kinds of narratives relate to each other, then maybe you can figure out what kind of relationship these two stories really have.
So we're going to try to work on something like that right now over here. This whole story of Eden, the story of the tree of knowledge, as we've seen is intertextually parallel to this story of the vineyard over here. Well, we've now also found that this story of the vineyard is structured chiastically, which means we can identify a center. So now, like a couple of questions come to mind. One tantalizing question is, well one second, if - when we have these stories if we found that this was chiastic and we found that well, lo and behold its mirror in the world of Noah was also chiastic, when it came with the rainbow and Sabbath, so enquiring minds want to know, might want to know, if you just fill out the picture, is this chiastic too? Is there a center here? But let's even leave that question in abeyance for now.
For the meantime we do know for starters that this story is chiastic, so we do know there's a center here, so let's at least ask, what piece of the Eden story does this center playoff of? In other words if there are intertextual parallels between Eden and the vineyard and we found a center to the vineyard, so which piece of the garden story does that center playoff of? We might look at that as a clue to understanding maybe how these stories fit together. I think actually that's an extremely important clue. So what is the corresponding piece of the Eden story to this center which we've identified in the vineyard? What center was that? Well it was right over here. Noah awoke from his wine - Vayiketz Noach miyaino vayeida et asher asah lo beno hakatan - and he knew what it was that his little son had done to him. Okay, so what does that remind you of among all of the very intertextual parallels going back over here to the Eden story? What piece of Eden does that remind you of? The idea of someone waking up, opening their eyes, realizing something, what does it remind you of? So what does it remind you of?
Look at these kind of correspondences between these two. Vayiketz Noach miyaino - Noach woke up. Well when you wake up what do you do? Well you open your eyes. The eyes of both of them were opened; it's as if Adam and Eve are waking up too. Not that - they were conscious before, but they see things in a different way now, so their eyes are open, they can see things in a new way. That's kind of what happens when you're drunk. When you're drunk also you don't always fall asleep, actually it's not even the case that we hear that Noah fell asleep. We just heard that Noah got drunk, he drank of the wine and was drunken. We don't know that he fell asleep. But look at this word over here, Noah awoke from his wine, same kind of thing, almost exactly the same kind of thing with Adam and Eve. Not that you awoke from literal sleep but your eyes are open, you become aware, you change your perception, you see things differently now.
Okay, so that's one piece of the connection, the idea of Noah waking up. What about the rest of the sentence? Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his younger son did to him. In Hebrew; Vayeida et asher asah lo beno hakatan. Same thing over here; Vayeidu - Adam and Eve knew something, they knew - now the question is, what did they know? Here we get to a very fascinating contrast. What's the contrast between these two stories?
Now I want to argue the devil is really in the details, the contrasts are really important here, because the contrast is really what tells us a story. Let's just go back for a moment to the other time we had intertextuality and chiastic structure working together, which was over here when we were looking at the interplay between the rainbow covenant and G-d's seventh day, the Sabbath. So we saw that these were both structured in a chiastic kind of way, but when we looked for how the centers played off of each other, if you remember, the centers were not exactly the same, there was actually a twist that happened. There was a change that happened in these centers.
If you remember when we were talking about the center of the seventh day, we were talking about the notion of creating and creating and creating and then being tempted to continue to create but have to stop at the sign of the covenant. When we were looking at the center over here, we were talking about what G-d had been doing which was destroying and destroying and destroying, destroying the world and then in the future if He would be tempted to destroy again, He says He will stop at the sign of the covenant. Well these are virtual mirror images of each other. It's not the same, there's a contrast between the two.
What I want to argue is that something exactly like that is happening over here. Here too we've got chiastic structure over here, intertextual parallels between this story and that story. But now that we've identified a chiastic center to this story and now that we've identified the little piece of this story that that plays off of, I think we'll find that for all their similarities there's a fascinating contrast between the two stories as well. So I want you think about that, what's the contrast between these two types of knowing? What's the difference between what it is that Adam and Eve know, and what it is that Noah comes to know? I think in that contrast lies the key to understanding the remaining mysteries in our story.
1. The Generations of Heaven and Earth
2. Before the Rain and After the Flood
3. Splitting the Garden
4. Generations of What?
5. Of Rivers and Nations
6. The Vineyard, Introduced
7. God Begins; Noah Begins
8. The Vineyard and the Garden
9. Conflict of Interest
10. Two Hands at the Piano
11. What Cham Did
12. Why Cham Did It
13. The Vineyard's Center
14. What You Know Might Hurt You
15. Why the Drunk Walks the Line
16. The Big Picture
17. Chiasm in the Garden?
18. Chiasm in the Garden II
19. The Center of the Garden
20. The Mysteries of Imperfect Chiasms
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