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

12                   
הֲל֧וֹא

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


לֹ֣א
Negative Adverb, not. Disjunctive asyndeton.
 
נָמ֑וּת
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.
יְהוָה֙
Noun MVS, V Direct Address, O Yahweh.
לְמִשְׁפָּ֣ט
Preposition, Purpose + Noun MGS Construct, for judgment.  Forward emphasis.
שַׂמְתּ֔וֹ
QPf 2MS, Constative Pf + Personal Pronoun MAS, A Direct Object, Antecedent = Babylonian Nation, You appointed it. Disjunctive accent.
וְצ֖וּר
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.)

לְהוֹכִ֥יחַ
Preposition, Purpose + HiInf Construct, to bring punishment.
 
יְסַדְתּֽוֹ׃
QPf 2MS, Constative Pf + Personal Pronoun MAS, A Direct Object, Antecedent = Babylonian Nation, Collective S, you destined it.
13       
טְה֤וֹר

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.)


עֵינַ֙יִם֙
Noun MGD Absolute, G of Reference, of eyes.
מֵרְא֣וֹת
Preposition, Comparative + QInf Construct, than to put up with. 
רָ֔ע
Adjective MAS Absolute, Substantival, A Direct Object, evil. Disjunctive accent.
וְהַבִּ֥יט
Paratactic Conjunction, Relative + HiInf Construct, Complementary Inf, and to look. Forward emphasis.
אֶל־עָמָ֖ל
Preposition, Directive + Noun MGS Absolute, at harm.
 
לֹ֣א
Negative Adverb, not.
 
תוּכָ֑ל
QI 2MS, I of Capability, you are . . . able. Disjunctive accent.
לָ֤מָּה
Preposition, Reference + Interrogative Pronoun, why? Disjunctive asyndeton.
תַבִּיט֙
HI 2MS, Customary I, do you look on.
 
בּֽוֹגְדִ֔ים
QAPtc MAP, A Direct Object, those who continue to act treacherously. Disjunctive accent.
תַּחֲרִ֕ישׁ
HiI 2MS, Progressive I, [Why] do you remain silent. The לָ֤מָּה above does double duty. Conjunctive asyndeton. Disjunctive accent.
בְּבַלַּ֥ע
Preposition, Temporal + PiInf Construct, Functioning as a verb (see Waltke & O’Connor, Syntax, 610), when . . . swallows up.
 
רָשָׁ֖ע
Adjective MNS Absolute, Subject N, the wicked.
 
צַדִּ֥יק
Adjective MAS Absolute, Substantival, A Direct Object, the righteous.
 
מִמֶּֽנּוּ׃   
Preposition, Comparative + Personal Pronoun MGS, morethan him? Collective S. The translations read “they/them.”
14
וַתַּעֲשֶׂ֥ה

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.)
אָדָ֖ם
Noun MAS Absolute, A Direct Object, Collective S, mankind.
 
כִּדְגֵ֣י
Preposition, Comparative + Noun MGP Construct, like fish of.
 
הַיָּ֑ם
Article, Particularizing + Noun MGS Absolute, the sea. Disjunctive accent.
כְּרֶ֖מֶשׂ
Preposition, Comparative + Noun MGS Absolute, Collective S, like creeping things. Seeוַתַּעֲשֶׂ֥ה   above.
לֹא־מֹשֵׁ֥ל
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.
בּֽוֹ׃
Preposition, Condition + Personal Pronoun MGS, Antecedent = רֶ֖מֶשׂ, Collective S, over them. 
15
Explanatory asyndeton.
 
כֻּלֹּה֙
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.)
בְּחַכָּ֣ה
Preposition, Means + Noun FGS Absolute, with a fishhook. Only OT use.
הֵֽעֲלָ֔ה
HiPf 3MS, Persistent Pf, Collective S, they bring up. Disjunctive accent.
יְגֹרֵ֣הוּ
QI 3MS, Customary I, Collective S + Personal Pronoun MAS, A Direct Object, Antecedent = אָדָ֖ם, Collective S, they drag them away. Copulative asyndeton.
 
בְחֶרְמ֔וֹ
Preposition, Means + Noun MGS Construct + Personal Pronoun MGS, Possessive G, Collective S, Antecedent = Subject of יְגֹרֵ֣הוּ, in their dragnet.
 
וְיַאַסְפֵ֖הוּ
Paratactic Conjunction, Relative + QI 3MS, Customary I, Collective S + Personal Pronoun MAS Construct, A Direct Object, Antecedent = אָדָ֖ם, and gather them.
 
בְּמִכְמַרְתּ֑וֹ
Preposition, Means + Noun FGS Construct, + Personal Pronoun MGS, Possessive G, Collective S,  Antecedent =  Subject of וְיַאַסְפֵ֖הוּ, in their net. Disjunctive accent.
עַל־כֵּ֖ן
Preposition, Reference + Adverb, Manner, therefore. “on this account, for that reason” (KB, Lexicon, 826).
יִשְׂמַ֥ח
QI 3MS, Customary I, Collective S, they rejoice.
 
וְיָגִֽיל
Paratactic Conjunction, Relative + QI 3MS, Customary I, Collective S, and shout in exultation.
 
16
עַל־כֵּן֙

Preposition, Reference + Adverb, Manner, therefore. See above.
יְזַבֵּ֣חַ
PiI 3MS, Customary I, Collective S, they sacrifice.
לְחֶרְמ֔וֹ
Preposition, Indirect Object + Noun MGS Construct + Personal Pronoun MGS, Possessive G, Collective S, Antecedent = Subject of יְזַבֵּ֣חַ, to their dragnet. Disjunctive accent.
וִֽיקַטֵּ֖ר
Paratactic Conjunction, Relative + HiI 3MS, Customary I, Collective S, and burn incense.
לְמִכְמַרְתּ֑וֹ
Preposition, Indirect Object + Noun FGS Construct + Personal Pronoun MGS, Possessive G, Collective S, Antecedent = Subject of וִֽיקַטֵּ֖ר, to their net. Disjunctive accent.
כִּ֤י
Adverb of Manner, thus.
 
בָהֵ֙מָּה֙
Preposition, Means + Personal Pronoun MGS, Collective S, Antecedent = nets, by them.
 
שָׁמֵ֣ן
Adjective MS Absolute, Substantival, Predicate N in Noun Clause, Collective S, [is] fat.  Forward emphasis.
חֶלְק֔וֹ
Noun MNS Construct, Subject N + Personal Pronoun MGS, Possessive G, Collective S, Antecedent = Subject of וִֽיקַטֵּ֖ר, their portion. Disjunctive accent.
וּמַאֲכָל֖וֹ
Paratactic Conjunction, Copulative + Noun MNS Construct, Subject N in Noun Clause + Personal Pronoun MGS, Possessive G, Antecedent = Subject of וִֽיקַטֵּ֖ר, their food.
בְּרִאָֽה׃
Adjective FNS Absolute, Substantival, Predicate N, Collective S, [is]rich.
17
הַ֥עַל

Interrogative, Rhetorical (see KB, Lexicon, 236; BDBLexicon, 209) + Preposition, Reference, ___. Does duty for two clauses.
כֵּ֖ן
Adverb, Manner, therefore. See at verse 6.
יָרִ֣יק
HiI 3MS, Customary I, Collective S, they empty out.
 
חֶרְמ֑וֹ
Noun MAS Construct, A Direct Object + Personal Pronoun MGS, Possessive G, Collective S, Antecedent = Subject of יָרִ֣יק, their dragnet. Disjunctive accent.
וְתָמִ֛יד
Paratactic Conjunction, Relative + Adverb of Time, and continually.
 
לַהֲרֹ֥ג
Preposition, Purpose + QInf Construct, [exist] to destroy. Forward emphasis.
גּוֹיִ֖ם
Noun MAP Absolute, A Direct Object, nations? Disjunctive accent.
לֹ֥א       
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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