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Habakkuk 3:9

Context

3:9 Your bow is ready for action; 1 

you commission your arrows. 2  Selah.

You cause flash floods on the earth’s surface. 3 

1 tn Heb “[into] nakedness your bow is laid bare.”

2 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 Lord’s arrows are personified and viewed as having received a commission which they have vowed to uphold. In Jer 47:6-7 the Lord’s sword is given such a charge. In the Ugaritic myths Baal’s weapons are formally assigned the task of killing the sea god Yam.

3 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 Lord comes in a thunderstorm the downpour causes streams to swell to river-like proportions and spread over the surface of the ground, causing flash floods.



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