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Habakkuk 1:7-8

Context

1:7 They are frightening and terrifying;

they decide for themselves what is right. 1 

1:8 Their horses are faster than leopards

and more alert 2  than wolves in the desert. 3 

Their horses 4  gallop, 5 

their horses come a great distance;

like a vulture 6  they swoop down quickly to devour their prey. 7 

1 tn Heb “from him his justice, even his lifting up, goes out.” In this context שְׂאֵת (sÿet) probably has the nuance “authority.” See R. D. Patterson, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah (WEC), 150.

2 tn Heb “sharper,” in the sense of “keener” or “more alert.” Some translate “quicker” on the basis of the parallelism with the first line (see HALOT 291 s.v. חדד).

3 tn Heb “wolves of the evening,” that is, wolves that prowl at night. The present translation assumes an emendation to עֲרָבָה (’aravah, “desert”). On this phrase see also Zeph 3:3.

4 tn Or “horsemen,” “cavalry.”

5 tn The precise nuance of the rare verb פָּוַשׁ (parash) is unclear here. Elsewhere it is used of animals jumping or leaping (see Jer 50:11; Mal 4:2).

6 tn Or “eagle” (so NASB, NRSV). The term can refer to either eagles or vultures, but in this context of gruesome destruction and death “vulture” is preferred.

7 tn Heb “they fly like a vulture/an eagle quickly to devour.” The direct object “their prey” is not included in the Hebrew text but is implied, and has been supplied in the translation for clarity.



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