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Habakkuk 1:10-11

Context

1:10 They mock kings

and laugh at rulers.

They laugh at every fortified city;

they build siege ramps 1  and capture them.

1:11 They sweep by like the wind and pass on. 2 

But the one who considers himself a god will be held guilty.” 3 

1 tn Heb “they heap up dirt.” This is a reference to the piling up of earthen ramps in the process of laying siege to a fortified city.

2 tn The precise meaning of v. 11a is uncertain. The present translation assumes the first line further describes the Babylonian hordes, comparing them to a destructive wind. Another option is to understand רוּחַ (ruakh) as “spirit,” rather than “wind,” and take the form וְאָשֵׁם (vÿashem) with what precedes (as suggested by the scribal punctuation). Repointing this form as a geminate verb from שָׁמַם (shamam, “be astonished”), one could then translate the line, “The spirit passed on and departed, and I was astonished.” In this case the line would describe the cessation of the divine revelation which began in v. 5. For a detailed defense of this view, see J. J. M. Roberts, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah (OTL), 97-100.

3 tn Heb “and guilty is the one whose strength is his god.” This assumes that אָשֵׁם (’ashem) is a predicate adjective meaning “guilty” and that it relates to what follows.



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