Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Habakkuk 3

Just for fun, I thought I would try a reading of Habakkuk 3. I have kept Hebrew word order somewhat slavishly. What strikes me is the potential for reading a more positive theophany than some translations imply, a reading that does not limit itself to a local battle. I mention this because of

  • the heading which uses the same word as Psalm 7,
  • some of the rarer words for indignation (see this post),
  • the poetic repetition of salvation,
  • the strong linkages to the language of Psalm 110.
א תְּפִלָּה
לַחֲבַקּוּק הַנָּבִיא
עַל שִׁגְיֹנוֹת
1 A prayer
of Habakkuk the prophet
For the reels
ב יְהוָה שָׁמַעְתִּי שִׁמְעֲךָ יָרֵאתִי
יְהוָה פָּעָלְךָ בְּקֶרֶב שָׁנִים חַיֵּיהוּ
בְּקֶרֶב שָׁנִים תּוֹדִיעַ
בְּרֹגֶז רַחֵם תִּזְכּוֹר
2 יְהוָה, I have heard your report and I am afraid
יְהוָה, your work in the midst of the years, revive
in the midst of the years make it known
in wrath remember compassion
ג אֱלוֹהַּ מִתֵּימָן יָבוֹא
וְקָדוֹשׁ מֵהַר-פָּארָן
כִּסָּה שָׁמַיִם הוֹדוֹ
וּתְהִלָּתוֹ מָלְאָה הָאָרֶץ
3 God comes from Teman
and the Holy One from mount Paran
His glory covers the heavens
and his praise fills the earth
ד וְנֹגַהּ כָּאוֹר תִּהְיֶה
קַרְנַיִם מִיָּדוֹ לוֹ
וְשָׁם חֶבְיוֹן עֻזֹּה
4 And a brightness as the light appears
Horns from his right hand he has
and therein lies the concealment of her strength
ה לְפָנָיו יֵלֶךְ דָּבֶר
וְיֵצֵא רֶשֶׁף לְרַגְלָיו
5 Before him goes correction
and burning coals emerge at his feet
ו עָמַד וַיְמֹדֶד אֶרֶץ
רָאָה וַיַּתֵּר גּוֹיִם
וַיִּתְפֹּצְצוּ הַרְרֵי-עַד
שַׁחוּ גִּבְעוֹת עוֹלָם
הֲלִיכוֹת עוֹלָם לוֹ
6 He stood and earth moved
he saw and set nations free
and the ancient mountains scattered
the everlasting hills bowed down
his walkabouts are everlasting
ז תַּחַת אָוֶן
רָאִיתִי אָהֳלֵי כוּשָׁן
יִרְגְּזוּן יְרִיעוֹת
אֶרֶץ מִדְיָן
7 under iniquity
I see the tents of Cushan
the curtains tremble
of the land of Midian
ח הֲבִנְהָרִים חָרָה יְהוָה
אִם בַּנְּהָרִים אַפֶּךָ
אִם-בַּיָּם עֶבְרָתֶךָ
כִּי תִרְכַּב עַל-סוּסֶיךָ
מַרְכְּבֹתֶיךָ יְשׁוּעָה
8 Against the rivers does יְהוָה burn?
Is your anger against the rivers
or your fury against the sea
that you ride upon your horses
upon your chariots of salvation?
ט עֶרְיָה תֵעוֹר קַשְׁתֶּךָ
שְׁבֻעוֹת מַטּוֹת אֹמֶר
9 Bare exposed is your bow
oaths staves a word
You divide earth
י רָאוּךָ יָחִילוּ הָרִים
זֶרֶם מַיִם עָבָר
נָתַן תְּהוֹם קוֹלוֹ
רוֹם יָדֵיהוּ נָשָׂא
10 Mountains saw you and birthed
a downpour of water passed over
the deep gives its voice
and its hands it lifts up on high
יא שֶׁמֶשׁ יָרֵחַ
עָמַד זְבֻלָה
לְאוֹר חִצֶּיךָ יְהַלֵּכוּ
לְנֹגַהּ בְּרַק חֲנִיתֶךָ
11 Sun and moon
stand exalted
to the light of your arrows they go
to the brightness of your shining spear
יב בְּזַעַם תִּצְעַד-אָרֶץ
בְּאַף תָּדוּשׁ גּוֹיִם
12 In indignation you tread earth
in anger you thresh nations
יג יָצָאתָ לְיֵשַׁע עַמֶּךָ
לְיֵשַׁע אֶת-מְשִׁיחֶךָ
מָחַצְתָּ רֹּאשׁ מִבֵּית רָשָׁע
עָרוֹת יְסוֹד עַד-צַוָּאר
13 You emerge for the salvation of your people
for the salvation of your anointed
You wound the head from the house of the wicked
baring the foundation to the neck
יד נָקַבְתָּ בְמַטָּיו
רֹאשׁ פְּרָזָ
יִסְעֲרוּ לַהֲפִיצֵנִי
עֲלִיצֻתָם כְּמוֹ-לֶאֱכֹל עָנִי בַּמִּסְתָּר
14 You have stricken through with his own staves
the head of his rulers
they stormed to scatter me
their joy is as if to devour the poor in secret
טו דָּרַכְתָּ בַיָּם סוּסֶיךָ
חֹמֶר מַיִם רַבִּים
15 You strode your horses in the sea
the heap of great waters
טז שָׁמַעְתִּי וַתִּרְגַּז בִּטְנִי
לְקוֹל צָלְלוּ שְׂפָתַי
יָבוֹא רָקָב בַּעֲצָמַי
וְתַחְתַּי אֶרְגָּז
אֲשֶׁר אָנוּחַ לְיוֹם צָרָה
לַעֲלוֹת לְעַם יְגוּדֶנּוּ
16 I heard and my belly trembled
at the voice my lips quivered
rottenness entered my bones
and under me I tremble
that I should rest in the day of trouble
when in his comings to the people he attacks them
יז כִּי-תְאֵנָה לֹא-תִפְרָח
וְאֵין יְבוּל בַּגְּפָנִים
כִּחֵשׁ מַעֲשֵׂה-זַיִת
וּשְׁדֵמוֹת לֹא-עָשָׂה אֹכֶל
גָּזַר מִמִּכְלָה צֹאן
וְאֵין בָּקָר בָּרְפָתִים
17 For though the fig not blossom
and there be no increase in the vines
fail the work of the olive
and the fields work no food
flock from the fold be cut off
and there be no herd in the stalls
יח וַאֲנִי בַּיהוָה אֶעְלוֹזָה
אָגִילָה בֵּאלֹהֵי יִשְׁעִי
18 yet I in יְהוָה will rejoice
I will exult in the God of my salvation

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