Marking Closure

in Vetus Testamentum
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The literary device of stylistic change to indicate closure is barely recognized by biblical scholars. Apart from Aharon Mirsky, who wrote the seminal article and monograph on the subject, very few scholars have paid attention to this technique. The present article summarizes the work of Mirsky and two others (with six examples total), and then proceeds to present an additional nineteen examples of this literary device.

Vetus Testamentum

A Quarterly Published by the International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament




Aharon Mirsky, “Stylistic Device for Conclusion in Hebrew”, Semitics 5 (1977), pp. 5-23. See also in his monograph, Aharon Mirsky, Signon ʿIvri (Jerusalem, 1999), pp. 11-69, with many more examples. In a few places (nos. 5, 11, and 20), I will cite examples treated by Mirsky, though I present them anew, usually in greater detail and with some fresh information.


Mirsky, “Stylistic Device for Conclusion in Hebrew”, p. 22.


Though see also Mirsky, Signon ʿIvri, pp. 23-24.


See similarly Mirsky, Signon ʿIvri, pp. 26-27.


See similarly Mirsky, Signon ʿIvri, p. 21.


Rendsburg, “Variation in Biblical Hebrew Prose and Poetry”, pp. 212-213.


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