Habakkuk 1:5-11

Faith In God And His Character Is The Key To Living In Times
Of Violence And Perverted Justice!

I. Why Is Yahweh Unresponsive to My Prayers? 1:1-11

  1. Habakkuk’s Questions, 1:1-4
  2. Yahweh’s Responses, 1:5-11

5          
Disjunctive asyndeton (no conjunction) moving on to God’s responses. See Bullinger, E. W. (1898). Figures of speech used in the Bible. London; New York: Eyre & Spottiswoode; E. & J. B. Young & Co. [Hereafter as Bullinger, Figures of Speech]

רְא֤וּ       
QImv 2MP, Imv of Command, look (of mental observaton, BDB,  Lexicon, 907), “The verbs are plural. The message is not a private one for Habakkuk’s personal benefit. It is an oracle for public proclamation. But, apart from the plural verbs, there is no hint as to the identity of the intended audience.” (Anderson, Habakkuk, 139-140) Also, “רָאָה (not with one’s eyes): —a. to understand.” (Koehler, L., Baumgartner, W., Richardson, M. E. J., & Stamm, J. J. (1994–2000). The Hebrew and Aramaic lexicon of the Old Testament (electronic ed., p. 1159). Leiden: E.J. Brill.) [Hereafter as KB, Lexicon]
 
בַגּוֹיִם֙    
Preposition, Locative (metaphorically) + Article, Particularizing + Noun MP Absolute, at the nations.
 
וְֽהַבִּ֔יטוּ  
Paratactic Conjunction, Copulative + HiImv 2MP, Imv of Command, and observe. Disjunctive accent.
 
וְהִֽתַּמְּה֖וּ
Paratactic Conjunction, Copulative + Hit Imv 2MP, Imv of Command, and astonish one another.
 
תְּמָ֑הוּ     
QImv 2MP, Imv of Command, be horrified. Disjunctive accent. Copulative asyndeton (See Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 138).     
 
“The Hebrew text combines the Hitpael and Qal imperatival forms of the verb תָּמַה  (tamah, ‘be amazed’). A literal translation might read, ‘Shock yourselves and be shocked!’ The repetition of sounds draws attention to the statement. The imperatives here have the force of an emphatic assertion. On this use of the imperative in Hebrew, see IBHS 572–73 GKC 324 §110.c and §34.4c.” (NET, loc. cit.)

כִּי־פֹ֙עַל֙  
Hypotactic Conjunction, Causal + Noun MNS Absolute, Subject N in Noun Clause, because a deed

פֹּעֵ֣ל      
QAPtc MNS, Predicate N, [is] happening. The translations insert the pronoun “I” but this is not needed and the clause could be construed as the object of תַאֲמִ֖ינוּ. This would eliminate the need to insert a copula. See NET, loc. cit.
 
“The verb is a participle that can refer to present, continuous activity or the immediate future. The point is that God is already at work.” (Barker, K. L. (1999). Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah (Vol. 20, pp. 301–302). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.) [Hereafter as Barker, Habakkuk]
 
בִּֽימֵיכֶ֔ם  
Preposition, Temporal + Noun MGP Construct + Personal Pronoun MGP, G of Specification, Antecedent = Hearers/Readers), in your days. Disjunctive accent.
 
לֹ֥א        
Negative Adverb, not. Copulative asyndeton.
 
תַאֲמִ֖ינוּ  
HiI 2MP, Future I, you will . . . believe.
 
כִּ֥י         
Hypotactic Conjunction, Temporal, when. “In this context the force of כִּי  (ki) may be ‘when,’ ‘if,’ or ‘even though.’” (NET, loc. cit.)
 
יְסֻפָּֽר׃    
PuI 3MS, Future I, it is reported. If a real conditional clause is meant it would relate to the future. “Compare Acts 13:41, where the Apostle Paul threatens the despisers of the gospel with judgment in the words of our verse.” (K&D, loc. cit.)
 
6
 
כִּֽי־הִנְנִ֤י  
Paratactic Conjunction, Emphatic + Interjection + Personal Pronoun MNS, Subject N in a Noun Clause,  Antecedent = Yahweh), Indeed, behold I. “הִנֵּה  before the participle always refers to the future.” K&D, loc. cit.)
 
מֵקִים֙     
HiPtc MNS, Predicate N, [am] raising up.
 
אֶת־הַכַּשְׂדִּ֔ים       
Particle of Direct Object + Article, Particularizing + Noun MAP Absolute, the Chaldeans.
 
הַגּ֖וֹי      
Article, Pronominal Demonstrative + Noun, MAS Absolute, A in Apposition, that . . . nation.
 
הַמַּ֣ר      
Article, Abstract + Adjective MAS, Attributive, bitter. “Heb ‘bitter.’ Other translation options for this word in this context include ‘fierce’ (NASB, NRSV); ‘savage’ (NEB); or ‘grim.’” (NET, loc. cit.)
 
וְהַנִּמְהָ֑ר  
Paratactic Conjunction, Copulative + Article, Abstract + NiPtc MAS, Adjectival Attributive Ptc Absolute, impetuous. Disjunctive accent. “Heb ‘hasty, quick.’ Some translate here ‘impetuous’ (so NEB, NASB, NIV, NRSV) or ‘rash,’ but in this context greed may very well be the idea. The Babylonians move quickly and recklessly ahead in their greedy quest to expand their empire.” (NET, loc. cit.)
 
הַֽהוֹלֵךְ֙   
Article, Pronominal Relative + QAPtc MAS Absolute, Attributive Ptc , that continues to traverse.
 
לְמֶרְחֲבֵי־אֶ֔רֶץ      
Preposition, Terminative + Noun, MGP Construct + Noun FGS Absolute, Objective G, to the breadth of the earth.
 
לָרֶ֖שֶׁת   
Preposition, Purpose + QInf Construct, to seize.
 
מִשְׁכָּנ֥וֹת
Noun FAP Absolute, A Direct Object, dwellings.
 
לֹּא־לֽוֹ׃  
Negative Adverb + Preposition, Possessive + Personal Pronoun MGS, Antecedent = הַגּ֖וֹי, not belong to it. English uses “it” for the M pronoun.
 
7
 
אָיֹ֥ם       
Adjective MAS Absolute, Attributive, terrifying. Forward emphasis.
 
וְנוֹרָ֖א    
Paratactic Conjunction, Copulative + NiPtc Absolute, Adjectival Attributive Ptc, and to be feared. Forward emphasis.
 
ה֑וּא       
Personal Pronoun MNS, Subject N in Noun Clause, Antecedent = הַגּ֖וֹי, it [is]. Disjunctive accent.
 
מִמֶּ֕נּוּ     
Preposition, Source + Personal Pronoun MGS, Antecedent = הַגּ֖וֹי, from itAsyndetic clause. Disjunctive accent.
 
מִשְׁפָּט֥וֹ  
Noun MNS Construct, Subject N + Personal Pronoun MGS, Possessive G, Antecedent = הַגּ֖וֹי, its justice. Forward emphasis.
 
וּשְׂאֵת֖וֹ
Paratactic Conjunction, Copulative + Noun FNS Construct, Subject N + Personal Pronoun MGS Absolute, Possessive G, Antecedent = הַגּ֖וֹי, and its authority. Forward emphasis.
 
יֵצֵֽא׃     
QI 3MS, Progressive I, proceeds forth.
 
8      
וְקַלּ֨וּ      
Paratactic Conjunction, Relative + QPf 3CP, Persistent Pf, and they are swifter.
 
מִנְּמֵרִ֜ים
Preposition, Comparative + Noun MGP Absolute, than leopards
 
סוּסָ֗יו    
Noun MNP Construct, Subject N + Personal Pronoun MGS, Antecedent = הַגּ֖וֹי, its 
horses. Disjunctive accent.
 
וְחַדּוּ֙      
Paratactic Conjunction, Relative + QPf 3CP, Persistent Pf, and they are quicker. “Heb ‘sharper,’ in the sense of ‘keener’ or ‘more alert.’ Some translate ‘quicker’ on the basis of the parallelism with the first line” (NET, loc. cit.)
 
מִזְּאֵ֣בֵי   
Preposition, Comparative + Noun MGP Construct, than wolves of.
 
עֶ֔רֶב      
Noun MGS, Descriptive G, the evening. Disjunctive accent. Some translations emend the text with עֲרָבָה  (“desert”). “Wolves of the evening (cf. Zeph. 3:3) are wolves which go out in the evening in search of prey, after having fasted through the day.” (K&D, loc. cit.) 
 
וּפָ֖שׁוּ     
Paratactic, Conjunction, Relative + QPf 3CP, Persistent Pf, and they gallop. “Spring about” (Brown, F., Driver, S. R., & Briggs, C. A. (1977). Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (p. 807). Oxford: Clarendon Press) [Hereafter as BDB, Lexicon]
 
פָּֽרָשָׁ֑יו   
Noun MNP Construct, Subject N + Personal Pronoun MGS, Antecedent = הַגּ֖וֹי, its cavalry. Disjunctive accent.
 
וּפָֽרָשָׁיו֙  
Paratactic Conjunction, Relative + Noun MNP Construct, Subject N + Personal Pronoun MGS, Antecedent = הַגּ֖וֹי), its cavalry. Repetition for effect. Forward emphasis.
 
מֵרָח֣וֹק   
Preposition, Source + Adjective MGS, from afar.
 
יָבֹ֔אוּ      
QI 3MP Absolute, Progressive I, they come. Disjunctive accent.
 
יָעֻ֕פוּ      
QI 3MP Absolute, Progressive I, they fly. Disjunctive accent. Asyndeton.
 
כְּנֶ֖שֶׁר    
Preposition Comparative + Noun MGS Absolute, like an eagle.
 
חָ֥שׁ       
QAPtc MGS, Adjectival Attributive, hurrying. The form for the Ptc and Pf 3MS are the same but the 3CP is distinct.
 
לֶאֱכֽוֹל׃  
Preposition, Purpose + QInf Construct, Complement of חָ֥שׁ to devour. KB, Lexicon, 300.
 
9
 
כֻּלֹּה֙      
Noun MNS Construct, Subject N + Personal Pronoun MGS, Partitive G, Antecedent = וּפָֽרָשָׁיו֙), every one of them. Collective S. Forward emphasis.
 
לְחָמָ֣ס    
Preposition, Purpose + Noun MGS Absolute, for violence.
 
יָב֔וֹא      
QI 3MS, Progressive I, comes. Disjunctive accent.
 
מְגַמַּ֥ת    
Noun FNS Construct, Subject N in Noun Clause, the totality of. Forward emphasis. Asyndetic.
 
פְּנֵיהֶ֖ם    
Noun MGP Construct, Partitive G + Personal Pronoun MGP, Possessive G, Collective P, Antecedent = כֻּלֹּה֙, their faces. See Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 640, Synecdoche of the part standing for the whole.
 
קָדִ֑ימָה   
Noun MNS Absolute, Predicate N + Directional ה, [are] facing towards the east. Disjunctive accent.
 
וַיֶּאֱסֹ֥ף   
Paratactic Conjunction, Relative + QI 3MS, Progressive I, Countable S, and he gathers. The 3MS refers here to the leader of the Babylonians.
 
כַּח֖וֹל     
Preposition, Comparative + Article, Generic + Noun MGS Absolute, like the sand. Forward emphasis.
 
שֶֽׁבִי׃     
Noun MAS Absolute, A Direct Object, captives.
 
10
 
וְהוּא֙     
Paratactic Conjunction, Copulative + Personal Pronoun MNS, Emphasis, Antecedent = Subject of וַיֶּאֱסֹ֥ף  above, and himself.
 
בַּמְּלָכִ֣ים
Preposition, Specifying + Article, Particularizing + Noun MGP Absolute, regarding kings. Forward emphasis.
 
יִתְקַלָּ֔ס   
HitI 3MS, Iterative I, he makes fun. Disjunctive accent.
 
וְרֹזְנִ֖ים   
Paratactic Conjunction, Copulative + QAPtc MNP Absolute, Subject N in Noun Clause, and rulers. Forward emphasis.
 
מִשְׂחָ֣ק   
Noun MNS Absolute, Predicate N, [are] a laughing matter.
 
ל֑וֹ         
Preposition, Reference + Personal Pronoun MGS, Antecedent = הוּא֙), to him. Disjunctive accent.
 
ה֚וּא       
Personal Pronoun MNS, Emphatic, Antecedent = ל֑וֹ), himself. Explanatory asyndeton. Forward emphasis.
 
לְכָל־מִבְצָ֣ר         
Preposition, Reference + Noun MGS Construct, Adjectival Use (See KB, Lexicon, 474) + Noun MGS Absolute, at every fortified city. Forward emphasis.
 
יִשְׂחָ֔ק    
QI 3MS, Progressive I, he laughs. Disjunctive accent.
                        
וַיִּצְבֹּ֥ר    
Paratactic Conjunction, Relative + QI 3MS, Progressive I, and pours . . . into a heap.
 
עָפָ֖ר      
Noun MAS Absolute, A Direct Object, earth.
 
וַֽיִּלְכְּדָֽהּ׃
Paratactic Conjunction, Relative + QI 3MS, Progressive I + Personal Pronoun FAS, A Direct Object, Antecedent = city (עיר  feminine, sense agreement with מִבְצָ֣ר), and captures it.
 
11
 
אָ֣ז         
Adverb of Time, then.
 
חָלַ֥ף      
QPf 3MS, Iterative Pf, he passes through. “The subject to châlaph is not rūăch, but the Chaldaean (הוּא, v. 10); and rūăch is used appositionally, to denote the manner in which it passes along.” (K&D, loc. cit.)
 
ר֛וּחַ       
Noun FNS Appositional N to previous subject, wind. See above.
 
וַֽיַּעֲבֹ֖ר    
Paratactic Conjunction, Relative + QI 3MS, Progressive I, and continues on.
 
וְאָשֵׁ֑ם    
Paratactic Conjunction, Resultative + QPf 3MS, Predicate N in Noun Clause, and [he is] a guilty person.  Disjunctive accent. “The omission [ellipsis] arises not from want of thought, or lack of care, or from accident, but from design, in order that we may not stop to think of, or lay stress on, the word omitted, but may dwell on the other words which are thus emphasised by the omission.” (Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 1)
 
ז֥וּ          
Demonstrative Pronoun MNS, Cataphoric, this. Explanatory Asyndeton. 
 
כֹח֖וֹ       
Noun MNS, Subject N in Noun Clause + Personal Pronoun MGS, Possessive G, Antecedent = ה֚וּא, his strength. Perhaps “this strength of his.”
 
לֵאלֹהֽוֹ׃  
Preposition, Possessive + Noun MGS Construct + Personal Pronoun MGS, G of Relationship, Antecedent = ה֚וּא), [he attributes] to his god.  “Imputing this his power unto his god; more literally, this his power is his god; Revised Version, even he whose might is his god. He defies the Lord, and makes his might his god.” (Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Habakkuk (p. 3). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company) [Hereafter as Spence-Jones, Habakkuk]

_______________

Verse 5

(A) “Look among the nations! Observe!
(B) Be astonished! Wonder!
(A) Because I am doing something in your days—
(B) You would not believe if you were told.

  • ABAB parallelism in lines 1-2 and 3-4.
  • Cp. verse 3—same words for “seeing.” 
  • Repetitions—same sounds; different forms (lines 2 & 3).

Verse 6

(A) For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans,
(B) That fierce and impetuous people
(A) Who march throughout the earth
(B) To seize dwelling places which are not theirs.

  • ABAB Pattern.
  • Sound parallels with “fierce” and “impetuous” (hamar/hanmehar).
  • Verse 6 is explanatory of verse 5.

Verse 7

They are dreaded and feared;
Their justice and authority originate with themselves.

  • Line 1 = Expansion of verse 6 line 2
  • Line 2 = Expansion of verse 6 line 4

Verse 8

(A) Their horses are swifter than leopards
        And keener than wolves in the evening.
(B) Their horsemen come galloping,
(B) Their horsemen come from afar;
(A) They fly like an eagle swooping down to devour.

  • Chiastic pattern where lines 1 and 4 correlate as do lines 2 and 3.
  • “Keener” parallels “swifter” and means “quicker.”
  • Lines 2 & 3 = Repetition of sounds and words (pashu//parshy//parshy).
  • “Swooping” means “hurrying” and parallels line 1.

Verse 9

(A) All of them come for violence.
(B) Their horde of faces moves forward.
(A) They collect captives like sand.

  • This verse expands verse 8.
  • ABA Pattern where line 3 parallels line 1.

Verse 10

(A) They mock at kings
(B) And rulers are a laughing matter to them.
(B) They laugh at every fortress
(A) And heap up rubble to capture it.

  • Chiastic Pattern.
  • Similar sounds in “fortress” and “heap up” (mivtsar/yitsbor).
  • Mockery/laughing = Repetitions.

Verse 11

Then they will sweep through like the wind and pass on.
But they will be held guilty,
They whose strength is their god.”

  • Near synonyms in line 1.
  • One word powerful conclusion in line 2 without translator additions.
  • Line 2 represents an effect whereas line 3 is the cause.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s