Habakkuk 1:12-17

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
A. Habakkuk’s Questions, 1:1-4
    B. Yahweh’s Responses,1:5-11
     C. Habakkuk’s Theological Questions, 1:12-17


Interrogative Particle + Negative Adverb, [are] . . . not? The rhetorical question expects the answer “Yes!”
Personal Pronoun MNS, Subject N in Noun Clause, Antecedent = Yahweh, you.
Preposition, Source + Noun MGS Absolute, from prehistoric time. Disjunctive accent.
Noun MVS, V Direct Address, O Yahweh. Conjunctive accent connecting the three divine descriptions.
Noun MVP Construct, V Direct Address, Honorific P + Personal Pronoun MGS, G of Relationship, Antecedent = Habakkuk, O My God. Disjunctive accent.
Adjective MVS Construct, Substantival, V of Direct Address, Antecedent = Habakkuk, O My Holy One. See the note below. Disjunctive accent.

“The three predicates applied to God have equal weight in the question. The God to whom the prophet prays is Jehovah, the absolutely constant One, who is always the same in word and work (see at Gen. 2:4); He is also Elohai, my, i.e., Israel’s, God, who from time immemorial has proved to the people whom He had chosen as His possession that He is their God; and קְדֹשִׁי, the Holy One of Israel, the absolutely Pure One, who cannot look upon evil, and therefore cannot endure that the wicked should devour the righteous (v. 13).” (K&D, loc. cit.)

Negative Adverb, not. Disjunctive asyndeton.
QI 1CP, Future I, we will . . . die. NET Note, loc. cit,: “The MT reads, ‘we will not die,’ but an ancient scribal tradition has ‘you [i.e., God] will not die.’ This is preferred as a more difficult reading that can explain the rise of the other variant. Later scribes who copied the manuscripts did not want to associate the idea of death with God in any way, so they softened the statement to refer to humanity.” Also, “. . . the immutable and everlasting Lord (cf. 3:6) who will not break His covenant with Israel.” (BKC, loc. cit.) Disjunctive accent.
Noun MVS, V Direct Address, O Yahweh.
Preposition, Purpose + Noun MGS Construct, for judgment.  Forward emphasis.
QPf 2MS, Constative Pf + Personal Pronoun MAS, A Direct Object, Antecedent = Babylonian Nation, You appointed it. Disjunctive accent.
Paratactic Conjunction, Copulative + Noun MVS Absolute, V Direct Address, and O Rock. A reference to Yahweh in the parallelism. The additional variant (1st Personal Pronoun) can be ignored since it has no MSS for support.

“‘Rock’ or ‘Cliff.’ This divine epithet views God as a place where one can go to be safe from danger. The translation ‘Protector’ conveys the force of the metaphor (cf. KJV, NEB ‘O mighty God’).” (NET, loc. cit.)

Preposition, Purpose + HiInf Construct, to bring punishment.
QPf 2MS, Constative Pf + Personal Pronoun MAS, A Direct Object, Antecedent = Babylonian Nation, Collective S, you destined it.

Adjective MNS Construct, Substantival Predicate N in Noun Clause, [you are ethically] purer (see KB, Lexicon, 369).Forward emphasis. Disjunctive asyndeton. K&D, loc. cit., take this as a vocative; NET, NASB, ESV as a predicate.

“In v. 13, טְהֹור עֵינַיִם, with the two clauses dependent upon it, stands as a vocative, and טְהֹור followed by מִן as a comparative: purer of eyes than to be able to see. This epithet is applied to God as the pure One, whose eyes cannot bear what is morally unclean, i.e., cannot look upon evil.” (K&D, loc. cit.)

Noun MGD Absolute, G of Reference, of eyes.
Preposition, Comparative + QInf Construct, than to put up with. 
Adjective MAS Absolute, Substantival, A Direct Object, evil. Disjunctive accent.
Paratactic Conjunction, Relative + HiInf Construct, Complementary Inf, and to look. Forward emphasis.
Preposition, Directive + Noun MGS Absolute, at harm.
Negative Adverb, not.
QI 2MS, I of Capability, you are . . . able. Disjunctive accent.
Preposition, Reference + Interrogative Pronoun, why? Disjunctive asyndeton.
HI 2MS, Customary I, do you look on.
QAPtc MAP, A Direct Object, those who continue to act treacherously. Disjunctive accent.
HiI 2MS, Progressive I, [Why] do you remain silent. The לָ֤מָּה above does double duty. Conjunctive asyndeton. Disjunctive accent.
Preposition, Temporal + PiInf Construct, Functioning as a verb (see Waltke & O’Connor, Syntax, 610), when . . . swallows up.
Adjective MNS Absolute, Subject N, the wicked.
Adjective MAS Absolute, Substantival, A Direct Object, the righteous.
Preposition, Comparative + Personal Pronoun MGS, morethan him? Collective S. The translations read “they/them.”

Paratactic Conjunction, Relative + QI 2MS, Preterite I, and you made. Does double duty for the next clause as well.
“וַתַּעֲשֶׂה is not dependent upon לָמָּה, but continues the address in a simple picture, in which the imperfect with Vav convers. represents the act as the natural consequence of the silence of God.” (K&D, loc. cit.)
Noun MAS Absolute, A Direct Object, Collective S, mankind.
Preposition, Comparative + Noun MGP Construct, like fish of.
Article, Particularizing + Noun MGS Absolute, the sea. Disjunctive accent.
Preposition, Comparative + Noun MGS Absolute, Collective S, like creeping things. Seeוַתַּעֲשֶׂ֥ה   above.
Negative Adverb + QAPtc MAS, Adjectival Gerundive Ptc, [that do] not have one ruling. “The point of comparison lies in the relative clause לֹא־מֹשֵׁל בֹּו, “which has no ruler” (K&D, loc. cit.) Numerous translations agree on the relative clause interpretation.
Preposition, Condition + Personal Pronoun MGS, Antecedent = רֶ֖מֶשׂ, Collective S, over them. 
Explanatory asyndeton.
Noun MAS Construct, A Direct Object + Personal Pronoun MGS, Collective S, Antecedent = אָדָ֖ם, All of them. Forward emphasis. כֻּלֹּה, pointing back to the collective ’âdâm, is the object, and is written first for the sake of emphasis.” (K&D, loc. cit.)
Preposition, Means + Noun FGS Absolute, with a fishhook. Only OT use.
HiPf 3MS, Persistent Pf, Collective S, they bring up. Disjunctive accent.
QI 3MS, Customary I, Collective S + Personal Pronoun MAS, A Direct Object, Antecedent = אָדָ֖ם, Collective S, they drag them away. Copulative asyndeton.
Preposition, Means + Noun MGS Construct + Personal Pronoun MGS, Possessive G, Collective S, Antecedent = Subject of יְגֹרֵ֣הוּ, in their dragnet.
Paratactic Conjunction, Relative + QI 3MS, Customary I, Collective S + Personal Pronoun MAS Construct, A Direct Object, Antecedent = אָדָ֖ם, and gather them.
Preposition, Means + Noun FGS Construct, + Personal Pronoun MGS, Possessive G, Collective S,  Antecedent =  Subject of וְיַאַסְפֵ֖הוּ, in their net. Disjunctive accent.
Preposition, Reference + Adverb, Manner, therefore. “on this account, for that reason” (KB, Lexicon, 826).
QI 3MS, Customary I, Collective S, they rejoice.
Paratactic Conjunction, Relative + QI 3MS, Customary I, Collective S, and shout in exultation.

Preposition, Reference + Adverb, Manner, therefore. See above.
PiI 3MS, Customary I, Collective S, they sacrifice.
Preposition, Indirect Object + Noun MGS Construct + Personal Pronoun MGS, Possessive G, Collective S, Antecedent = Subject of יְזַבֵּ֣חַ, to their dragnet. Disjunctive accent.
Paratactic Conjunction, Relative + HiI 3MS, Customary I, Collective S, and burn incense.
Preposition, Indirect Object + Noun FGS Construct + Personal Pronoun MGS, Possessive G, Collective S, Antecedent = Subject of וִֽיקַטֵּ֖ר, to their net. Disjunctive accent.
Adverb of Manner, thus.
Preposition, Means + Personal Pronoun MGS, Collective S, Antecedent = nets, by them.
Adjective MS Absolute, Substantival, Predicate N in Noun Clause, Collective S, [is] fat.  Forward emphasis.
Noun MNS Construct, Subject N + Personal Pronoun MGS, Possessive G, Collective S, Antecedent = Subject of וִֽיקַטֵּ֖ר, their portion. Disjunctive accent.
Paratactic Conjunction, Copulative + Noun MNS Construct, Subject N in Noun Clause + Personal Pronoun MGS, Possessive G, Antecedent = Subject of וִֽיקַטֵּ֖ר, their food.
Adjective FNS Absolute, Substantival, Predicate N, Collective S, [is]rich.

Interrogative, Rhetorical (see KB, Lexicon, 236; BDBLexicon, 209) + Preposition, Reference, ___. Does duty for two clauses.
Adverb, Manner, therefore. See at verse 6.
HiI 3MS, Customary I, Collective S, they empty out.
Noun MAS Construct, A Direct Object + Personal Pronoun MGS, Possessive G, Collective S, Antecedent = Subject of יָרִ֣יק, their dragnet. Disjunctive accent.
Paratactic Conjunction, Relative + Adverb of Time, and continually.
Preposition, Purpose + QInf Construct, [exist] to destroy. Forward emphasis.
Noun MAP Absolute, A Direct Object, nations? Disjunctive accent.
Negative Adverb, not. Copulative asyndeton. “לֹאיַחְמֹול is a subordinate clause appended in an adverbial sense: unsparingly, without sparing.” (K&D, loc. cit.)
יַחְמֽוֹל׃ QI 3MS, Customary I, Collective S, they do . . . have compassion.  


Verse 12

Are You not from everlasting,
    O LORD, my God, my Holy One?
We will not die.
You, O LORD, have appointed them to judge;
And You, O Rock, have established them to correct.

  • Rhetorical question in line 1 expects a “Yes” answer.
  • Five vocatives.
  • The verbs “appointed” and “established” are near synonyms.
  • Line 3 and 4 are grammatically parallel.
  • Line 4 expands the meaning of line 3.

Verse 13

(A) Your eyes are too pure to approve evil,
(B) And You can not look on wickedness with favor.
(B) Why do You look with favor 
        On those who deal treacherously?
(A) Why are You silent when the wicked swallow up
        Those more righteous than they?

  • 3 bold words for “seeing.”
  • Chiastic with (A)’s and (B)’s in parallel.

Verse 14
Why have You made men like the fish of the sea,
Like creeping things without a ruler over them?

  • “Why” is taken from verse 13 in the parallelism without another interrogative in verse 14.
  • The ESV, NET, NIV do not see a question. The NASB and NKJV do.
  • Line 2 supplements line 1.
  • In the parallelism the “creeping things” of line 2 are probably from the sea.

Verse 15

(A) The Chaldeans bring all of them up with a hook,
(B) Drag them away with their net,
(B) And gather them together in their fishing net.
(A) Therefore they rejoice and are glad.

  • Chiastic.
  • Lines 2 and 3 are cause and effect.

Verse 16
(A) Therefore they offer a sacrifice to their net
(B) and burn incense to their fishing net;
(A) Because through these things their catch is large,
(B) And their food is plentiful.

  • ABAB Parallelism Pattern.
  • “Therefore” repeats and connects verse 16 to verse 15 sequentially.

Verse 17

Will they therefore empty their net
And continually slay nations without sparing?

  • Line 2 interprets line 1.

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