Recently David Musgrave of Amridge University and Gordon Rugg of Keele University presented research that suggests the entire book of Genesis contains an inclusio on the words "life" and "death". Their method seems to consist of searching for the location of those two words in the text of the King James (though they claim to have similar results using the Hebrew text) and running the results through a patented visualization tool.
Clearly, the Hebrew Scriptures did make use of bracketing, so the question isn't whether we should be surprised by the find. Rather, I'm curious if:
- the pattern really does hold in the Hebrew,
- it's legitimate to use just the noun forms of these words, and
- the pattern has been previously noted.
My initial reaction was to scoff at the story since the verb forms ("live" and "die") show no such pattern. Other patterns are far more noticeable, such as God creating life in Genesis 1-2 followed by sin bringing death in Genesis 3-4. However, if there is a sandwich structure that covers the entire first book of the Torah, how would that change our understanding of the text?