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Climax: Repeated Elements at the End and Beginning

TitleClimax: Repeated Elements at the End and Beginning
Publication TypeIcon
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsPinnock, Hugh W., and Fernando Vazquez

When ancient authors wanted to build their message to a high point of great emphasis, they often depended on the climactic form. "Climax occurs when, in successive clauses or sentences, the same word or words are found at the end of one expression and at the beginning of the next." This form helps the reader climb high enough to see the author’s main point with sufficient understanding.

Prophets in ancient Israel would often vocally address their listeners, building to a forceful conclusion or subpoint that they wanted the people to understand in its full importance. As students of the scriptures, we can never forget that widespread distribution and use of printed scriptures is a comparatively recent development in history. Before the time of Ezra, written copies of the sacred texts were not widely available to the general populace. Therefore, most who wanted to discuss the scriptures had to commit the text largely to memory. Furthermore, the prophets delivered most of their original messages orally, and they delivered their words with primarily a vocal emphasis. The climactic form aided the prophets in clearly communicating the word of God to eager listeners who had at best only limited access to the scriptural scrolls.


An extract from Hugh W. Pinnock, Finding Biblical Hebrew and Other Ancient Literary Forms in the Book of Mormon (Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1999), 83.

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Citation Key1144