Progression as a rhetorical device in biblical literature

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The device of progression, one of the stylistic devices used by biblical authors, has not yet been examined closely or comprehensively. This article is intended not so much to fill the gap, as to point to the various kinds and functions of this rhetorical device, to show examples, and thus to open the way for a more extensive and thorough study of the subject. After describing the device, an attempt is made to define it: a rhetorical technique, or contrivance, that organizes data for the author in a multi-phased, hierarchical structure, wherein the elements are arranged in an ascending or descending order. Different examples of its use are presented, and the conclusion is reached that the progressive structure serves not only to make order in the data sequence, but also to organize it so that, as well as having an esthetic value, the text is given added meaning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-32
Number of pages30
JournalJournal for the Study of the Old Testament
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003


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