3:5 Plague goes before him;
with a mere look he frightens 5 the nations.
The ancient mountains disintegrate; 6
the primeval hills are flattened.
He travels on the ancient roads. 7
3:10 When the mountains see you, they shake.
The torrential downpour sweeps through. 8
The great deep 9 shouts out;
it lifts its hands high. 10
the flash of your arrows drives them away, 12
the bright light of your lightning-quick spear. 13
1 tn Because of parallelism with the previous line, the meaning “pestilence” is favored for רֶשֶׁף (reshef) here, but usage elsewhere suggests a destructive bolt of fire may be in view. See BDB 958 s.v.
sn There are mythological echoes here, for in Canaanite literature the god Resheph aids Baal in his battles. See J. Day, “New Light on the Mythological Background of the Allusion to Resheph in Habakkuk III 5,” VT 29 (1979): 353-55.
2 tn Heb “goes out at his feet.”
3 tn Heb “he stands.”
5 tn Heb “makes [the nations] jump [in fear].”
6 tn Or “crumbled,” broke into pieces.”
7 tn Heb “ancient ways [or, “doings”] are his.” The meaning of this line is unclear. Traditionally it has been translated, “his ways are eternal.” However, in this context (see vv. 3, 7) it is more likely that the line speaks of the
8 tn Heb “a heavy rain of waters passes by.” Perhaps the flash floods produced by the downpour are in view here.
11 tn Heb “in their lofty dwelling places.”
12 tn Or “at the light of your arrows they vanish.”
13 tn Heb “at the brightness of the lightning of your spear.”