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Habakkuk 2:8-12

Context

2:8 Because you robbed many countries, 1 

all who are left among the nations 2  will rob you.

You have shed human blood

and committed violent acts against lands, cities, 3  and those who live in them.

2:9 The one who builds his house by unjust gain is as good as dead. 4 

He does this so he can build his nest way up high

and escape the clutches of disaster. 5 

2:10 Your schemes will bring shame to your house.

Because you destroyed many nations, you will self-destruct. 6 

2:11 For the stones in the walls will cry out,

and the wooden rafters will answer back. 7 

2:12 The one who builds a city by bloodshed is as good as dead 8 

he who starts 9  a town by unjust deeds.

1 tn Or “nations.”

2 tn Or “peoples.”

3 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.

4 tn Heb “Woe [to] the one who profits unjustly by evil unjust gain for his house.” On the term הוֹי (hoy) see the note on the word “dead” in v. 6.

5 tn Heb “to place his nest in the heights in order to escape from the hand of disaster.”

sn Here the Babylonians are compared to a bird, perhaps an eagle, that builds its nest in an inaccessible high place where predators cannot reach it.

6 tn Heb “you planned shame for your house, cutting off many nations, and sinning [against] your life.”

7 sn The house mentioned in vv. 9-10 represents the Babylonian empire, which became great through imperialism. Here the materials of this “house” (the stones in the walls, the wooden rafters) are personified as witnesses who testify that the occupants have built the house through wealth stolen from others.

8 tn On the term הוֹי (hoy) see the note on the word “dead” in v. 6.

9 tn Or “establishes”; or “founds.”



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