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Habakkuk 2:6-8

Context
The Proud Babylonians are as Good as Dead

2:6 “But all these nations will someday taunt him 1 

and ridicule him with proverbial sayings: 2 

‘The one who accumulates what does not belong to him is as good as dead 3 

(How long will this go on?) 4 

he who gets rich by extortion!’ 5 

2:7 Your creditors will suddenly attack; 6 

those who terrify you will spring into action, 7 

and they will rob you. 8 

2:8 Because you robbed many countries, 9 

all who are left among the nations 10  will rob you.

You have shed human blood

and committed violent acts against lands, cities, 11  and those who live in them.

1 tn Heb “Will not these, all of them, take up a taunt against him…?” The rhetorical question assumes the response, “Yes, they will.” The present translation brings out the rhetorical force of the question by rendering it as an affirmation.

2 tn Heb “and a mocking song, riddles, against him? And one will say.”

3 tn Heb “Woe [to] the one who increases [what is] not his.” The Hebrew term הוֹי (hoy, “woe,” “ah”) was used in funeral laments and carries the connotation of death.

4 tn This question is interjected parenthetically, perhaps to express rhetorically the pain and despair felt by the Babylonians’ victims.

5 tn Heb “and the one who makes himself heavy [i.e., wealthy] [by] debts.” Though only appearing in the first line, the term הוֹי (hoy) is to be understood as elliptical in the second line.

6 tn Heb “Will not your creditors suddenly rise up?” The rhetorical question assumes the response, “Yes, they will.” The present translation brings out the rhetorical force of the question by rendering it as an affirmation.

sn Your creditors will suddenly attack. The Babylonians are addressed directly here. They have robbed and terrorized others, but now the situation will be reversed as their creditors suddenly attack them.

7 tn Heb “[Will not] the ones who make you tremble awake?”

8 tn Heb “and you will become their plunder.”

9 tn Or “nations.”

10 tn Or “peoples.”

11 tn Heb “because of the shed blood of humankind and violence against land, city.” The singular forms אֶרֶץ (’erets, “land”) and קִרְיָה (qiryah, “city”) are collective, referring to all the lands and cities terrorized by the Babylonians.



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