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Habakkuk 3:16-19

Context
Habakkuk Declares His Confidence

3:16 I listened and my stomach churned; 1 

the sound made my lips quiver.

My frame went limp, as if my bones were decaying, 2 

and I shook as I tried to walk. 3 

I long 4  for the day of distress

to come upon 5  the people who attack us.

3:17 When 6  the fig tree does not bud,

and there are no grapes on the vines;

when the olive trees do not produce, 7 

and the fields yield no crops; 8 

when the sheep disappear 9  from the pen,

and there are no cattle in the stalls,

3:18 I will rejoice because of 10  the Lord;

I will be happy because of the God who delivers me!

3:19 The sovereign Lord is my source of strength. 11 

He gives me the agility of a deer; 12 

he enables me to negotiate the rugged terrain. 13 

(This prayer is for the song leader. It is to be accompanied by stringed instruments.) 14 

1 tn Heb “my insides trembled.”

2 tn Heb “decay entered my bones.”

3 tc Heb “beneath me I shook, which….” The Hebrew term אֲשֶׁר (’asher) appears to be a relative pronoun, but a relative pronoun does not fit here. The translation assumes a reading אֲשֻׁרָי (’ashuray, “my steps”) as well as an emendation of the preceding verb to a third plural form.

4 tn The translation assumes that אָנוּחַ (’anuakh) is from the otherwise unattested verb נָוָח (navakh, “sigh”; see HALOT 680 s.v. II נוח; so also NEB). Most take this verb as נוּחַ (nuakh, “to rest”) and translate, “I wait patiently” (cf. NIV).

5 tn Heb “to come up toward.”

6 tn Or “though.”

7 tn Heb “the produce of the olive disappoints.”

8 tn Heb “food.”

9 tn Or “are cut off.”

10 tn Or “in.”

11 tn Or perhaps, “is my wall,” that is, “my protector.”

12 tn Heb “he makes my feet like those of deer.”

13 tn Heb “he makes me walk on my high places.”

sn Difficult times are coming, but Habakkuk is confident the Lord will sustain him. Habakkuk will be able to survive, just as the deer negotiates the difficult rugged terrain of the high places without injury.

14 tn Heb “For the leader, on my stringed instruments.”



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