[Milton-L] Milton on the Sacred and the Profane?

carl bellinger bcarlb at comcast.net
Tue Aug 22 13:14:34 EDT 2006

Jeffery, if I read your query right [forgive me if not] you are reading the 
Leviticus as presenting a parallel equation, A-B/A-B, rather than a chiastic 
equation. So that

>" between the holy and the common and between the impure
> and the pure."

is parsed as matching "holy" with "impure" and "common" with "pure." But I 
suspect here an inverted equation --chiasm, hysteron/proteron-- A-B/B-A, 
which would match "holy" with "pure" and "common" with "impure."

Deut 32:16
They stirred him to jealousy with strange gods,/
with abominable practices they provoked him to anger

PL 4
323: ADAM the goodliest man of men since borne
324: His Sons, the fairest of her Daughters EVE.



PS: Speaking of the pure and impure, and if you will pardon a bland 
reminiscence, I used to think the NT caution about casting pearls to swine a 
puzzling formulation  --sure, a pig will trample pearls underfoot, but will 
a pig then "turn and rend" you?-- The solution which one Sunday-school 
teacher provided me for Mt. 7:6 was that, yes indeed, a pig is a vicious 
thing --if a kid falls into a pig pen he's in serious trouble and may never 
come out. But dear Mr. Williams was stuck with the RSV and wasn't reading, 
it turns out, the hysteron-proteron of the Greek. This is just the frequent 
OT and NT structure of chiasmus; so, yes indeed, :-) it's the Rottweilers 
and pit bulls a kid has to watch out for:

Mt. 7:6  "Do not give what is holy to dogs... lest... they turn and tear you 
to pieces".

On holy-to-dogs/pearls-to-swine see John Breck, "The Shape of Biblical 
Language." 29.  Breck's rather loosely argued book is primarily about 
chiasmus in the NT, but it begins with examples in Hebrew texts and also 
claims [citing, among others, A. Stock "Chiastic Awareness and Aducation in 
Antiquity," Biblical Theology Bulletin 14:1 (1984),23-27] it was normative 
in Greek and Latin education to practice reading chiastically, "from the 
center outward, and from the extremities towards the center."

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Horace Jeffery Hodges" <jefferyhodges at yahoo.com>
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, August 22, 2006 3:06 AM
Subject: [Milton-L] Milton on the Sacred and the Profane?

> Has much been written on Milton's concept of what is
> usually called "the sacred and the profane"?
> I'm curious as to how Milton understands Leviticus
> 10:10, which requires that the Israelites "distinguish
> between the holy and the common and between the impure
> and the pure."
> Does Milton anywhere discuss this verse or present the
> holy and the impure as 'contagious' dynamic forces?
> Does he understand the "common" (the profane) as
> intrinsically pure but capable of being 'contaminated'
> by the holy or the impure?
> Does he distinguish between the two conceptions of the
> holy? On the one hand as a divine dynamic force but on
> the other hand as a purified object set apart in
> dedication to God?
> I've been looking but so far haven't found much
> written on this topic. I imagine Jason Rosenblatt or
> Jeffrey Shoulson might have written something...
> Jeffery Hodges
> University Degrees:
> Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
> (Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic Texts")
> M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
> B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University
> Email Address:
> jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
> Blog:
> http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/
> Office Address:
> Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
> Department of English Language and Literature
> Korea University
> 136-701 Anam-dong, Seongbuk-gu
> Seoul
> South Korea
> Home Address:
> Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
> Sehan Apt. 102-2302
> Sinnae-dong 795
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> Seoul 131-770
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