The Pesher to Habakkuk

Page 12

Chapter 2:17 to 2:19

Habakkuk 2:17

This is a difficult verse to decipher as can be seen by the variety of ways it is rendered in the popular translations. Then also the first 6 words are lost in the lacuna at the bottom of the preceding page and the first word on this page is the 7th word in the verse and the most controversial. And then it is spelled much differently too from the M text as well as being a different form of the same verb and having no objective suffix as does the M text. The root of the word is "chatat" (to make afraid). The M text has "yechiyten" 5th stem imp. 3ms + suf 3fpl. (he made them [fem] afraid) and P has "yechatah" imp 3ms (he terrifies). Then follows the same phrase that completes verse 2:8 above. The only difference between M and P is the semivowel waw in "ve-kol" (and all) next to last word in line 1.

A portion of the verse is repeated after the 5th and 6th words Line 6 following after the words "ve-'asher 'omer" (and where he says), then follows the next 4 words which are among the 2nd through 5th words of this verse in line 1-- omitting "'adam." For a discussion where the phrase "ve-'asher 'omer" introduces text from Habakkuk immediately following see the Pesher Introduction.

Because the violence of Lebanon shall cover you and the devastation of animals shall cause terror because of human blood and violence of the land, city and those who dwell in it.

Habakkuk 2:18

Beginning with the 4th word in line 10 this verse continues and is complete with the 3rd word in line 12. The verse follows word for word the M text with variations in spelling and grammar. The next to last word in line 10 is "peslu" (they make an idol)in M it is a verb perf 3mpl and in P it is "pasal" 3ms (he makes an idol).
In the first word in line 11 a waw seems to have been erased or abraded from the middle of the word. The 2nd word in that line is misspelled and leaves out letters. It should be "moreh" masc. sing. cs. (teacher of) and in P lacks the waw and is masc. pl. cs. (teachers of). The next to last word in this line has a double waw which is a peculiarity of P scribe. And the last word has a 3ms suf that is spelled "hu" instead of simply waw.

What does an idol profit the maker of it who fashioned it a molten image that the one fashioning the work trusts in it to make mute gods.

Habakkuk 2:19

This verse begins with the last word in the next to last line "hoy" (woe) and then the rest of the verse is fragmented most being lost in the lacuna at the bottom of the page. It appears on the first letter on the next line that the scribe wrote a he or article possibly attached to the participle " 'omer" (one speaking) and then parts of the next word "la'ets" (to a tree) can be seen and the next word "haqitsah" is intact. The lacuna then obliterates the next word "le'eben" (to a stone) the final nun being seen and the next word "dumam" (silent or dumb) is intact. The rest of the verse is lost in the lacuna at the bottom of the page.

Woe to the one saying to a piece of wood, "wake up!" to a silent stone "he is teaching!" Behold it is wrapped with gold and silver and there is no spirit in the midst of it.

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