The Pesher to Habakkuk

Page 8

Chapter 2:5 to 2:7

Habakkuk 2:5

Beginning with the 3rd word in line 3 (ve 'aph)this verse is complete with the last word in line 5 and then verse 6 follows without interruption ending with the first word in line 8. Even though this verse follows the M text order word for word (verse 6 does not) there are a number of variations. Like the usual addition of aleph to cj. "kiy" 2nd word in the verse and the spelling of the next word "the wine": M has "hayyayin" and P = "hayin" Perhaps the doubling of the yod is understood but this is not the usual case with Q scribes. Waw is added as a semivowel to the last word in this 3rd line. The words follow regularly until the 6th word in the next (4th) line where half of the he is abraded in the word "vehu' " (and he) and then find another semivowel (waw) in the next to last word. The last word is written in the margin and may have been an editorial correction (but is not the only word extending beyond the guide line for the margin. These guide lines were usually erased but the top portion is seen here. Page 13 has clear horizontal text lines and vertical margin lines which were not erased. See the discussion of these lines in The Great Isaiah Scroll in the Introduction where lines are discussed.

And so, because he is treacherous through wine, he is a proud warrior and has no place of abode, while enlarging his inner desires as Sheol and is as death and never satisfied while he gathers all the nations and accumulates populations to himself.

Habakkuk 2:6

Although verse 6 follows verse 5 without any intervening pesher there is wide variation for the order of words in the M text. Line 6, 2nd word is the 2nd word in the verse. In M the 2nd word is " 'elleh" (these) it is omitted by P and it does not seem necessary since the verse still says the same thing in translation. The word order of the next two words (3 and 4) are reversed from M. (The construction is difficult in either order) 6th word is spelled in M "u-militsah" cj. + nfs + suf 3fs (her mocking ode) and P = "u-militsu", suf 3ms (his mocking ode). The he is missing and an apparent 3ms suf is added (his mocking). 1st word in line 7 (and they shall say) 3mpl is 3ms in M. In P it also lacks the needed aleph as the first letter of the stem. Eliding alephs happen with a fair degree of regularity in P, rarely if at all in Qa. Note what looks like the double waw in the next word "hoy" (woe) a good illustration of the interchange of waw and yod in the Q scribes. In the 4th word P adds cj waw and semivowel waw to negative "l'o". The next to last word in M is a 5th stem participle while P has a 1st stem participle from "cavod" (to make heavy). In the final word on this line P omits the yod from the prep + suf found in M. 1st word on line 9 is also spelled differently. There is a yod missing in P from the word " 'abtiyt" (debts). The meaning here is that the Assyrians pile up debtors who are forced to pay them. They are pictured as exploiters and not as governors.

Shall not these lift up a proverb against him and a mocking riddle for him and they shall say, Woe to him that gains increase from that which is not his, How long will he forcefully make debtors to himself?

Habakkuk 2:7

The 1st word of this verse: 3rd or 4th word from the end of the 5th line from the bottom: "halo' " It is an interrogative "he" and negative "lo' " with added semivowel waw. The next word is partly abraded and the ayin is missing. The word may not have ended with ayin as it does in M because the next letters are not in M and may be a plural ending to this adverb. It is not unknown in Hebrew to have plural endings on adverbs. The 1st word on the next line is also obscured but enough is present to identify it with the word following in M in this order. This is not a commentary but I will offer an explanation here. The word is "ve-noshkeka" Q scribes usually add a he to the 2ms suf but not here. The word is a mas. pl. part. meaning the ones putting the bite on you. It is not a play on words but an ironic twist on what has gone before. The word means bite and secondarily "to put the bite on" as to obtain high interest on a loan. Thus revenge will be sought for laying heavy tribute on their captives mentioned in the preceding verse. Thus this would confirm that "debtors" is meant in the last verse and not "clay." Waw is added 2 times to the next word both as semivowels. The next word (3rd) "meza'ze'ekah" is a part. with 2ms suf meaning "your trembling" which has an added waw as a vowel, in this case neither o nor u but sheva. Waw is used by Q scribes as a semivowel to represent any vowel sound. See the Qa Introduction. Follow the link there to a discussion on Sinim and then Hezekiah's spelling. In the same word "meza'ze'ekah" notice that the he is added to 2ms suf which was not done to the first word in this line. The next word "ve-hayitha" cj + pf 3fs (to be) is the same word with a different spelling.

Shall not those who will exact usury on you arise suddenly and those terrorizing you shall awaken and you shall be to them for plundering.

Habakkuk 2:8

There are 9 words of this verse beginning with the 1st word on the next to last line going to the end of that line. These same words are repeated again on the next page on line 3 and 4 (page 9) and the rest of the verse is completed on lines 7 and 8 of the next page. Thus this verse evoked a great deal of comment. One variant worth mentioning between P and M is the addition of he to open syllables to show that there is a final syllable on 2ms sufs and not a consonantal sound. This can be seen in the 3rd word a 2ms verb and in the 6th word adding he to a 2ms suf to make certain the open syllable. Concerning translation. KJV translators should not have used the word "remnant" but rather "the rest of" as the word remnant is most often a reference to the faithful who will survive in Zion. The word is "yether" here and remnant is "she'ar" not found in this context. "Kiy" appears to be written without the aleph in the first word in the line. This is also the case in the repeated script of the verse line 3 of page 9, which see.

Because you have looted many nations the remainder of the peoples shall loot you; because of human blood and the violence of the land, city, and those who dwell in it.

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