3:8 Is the Lord mad at the rivers?
Are you angry with the rivers?
Are you enraged at the sea? 1
Is this why 2 you climb into your horse-drawn chariots, 3
your victorious chariots? 4
3:9 Your bow is ready for action; 5
you commission your arrows. 6 Selah.
You cause flash floods on the earth’s surface. 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
1 sn The following context suggests these questions should be answered, “Yes.” The rivers and the sea, symbolizing here the hostile nations (v. 12), are objects of the Lord’s anger (vv. 10, 15).
2 tn Heb “so that.” Here כִּי (ki) is resultative. See the note on the phrase “make it” in 2:18.
3 tn Heb “you mount your horses.” As the next line makes clear, the Lord is pictured here as a charioteer, not a cavalryman. Note NRSV here, “when you drove your horses, // your chariots to victory.”
4 tn Or “chariots of deliverance.”
5 tn Heb “[into] nakedness your bow is laid bare.”
6 tn Heb “sworn in are the arrow-shafts with a word.” The passive participle of שָׁבַע (shava’), “swear an oath,” also occurs in Ezek 21:23 ET (21:28 HT) referencing those who have sworn allegiance. Here the
7 tn Heb “[with] rivers you split open the earth.” A literal rendering like “You split the earth with rivers” (so NIV, NRSV) suggests geological activity to the modern reader, but in the present context of a violent thunderstorm, the idea of streams swollen to torrents by downpours better fits the imagery.
sn As the
8 tn Heb “a heavy rain of waters passes by.” Perhaps the flash floods produced by the downpour are in view here.
9 sn The great deep, which is to be equated with the sea (vv. 8, 15), is a symbol of chaos and represents the Lord’s enemies.
10 sn Lifting the hands here suggests panic and is accompanied by a cry for mercy (see Ps 28:2; Lam 2:19). The forces of chaos cannot withstand the Lord’s power revealed in the storm.