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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 

Habakkuk 3:13

Context

3:13 You march out to deliver your people,

to deliver your special servant. 4 

You strike the leader of the wicked nation, 5 

laying him open from the lower body to the neck. 6  Selah.

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.

4 tn Heb “anointed one.” In light of the parallelism with “your people” in the preceding line this could refer to Israel, but elsewhere the Lord’s anointed one is always an individual. The Davidic king is the more likely referent here.

5 tn Heb “you strike the head from the house of wickedness.”

6 tn Heb “laying bare [from] foundation to neck.”



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