Thursday, June 17, 2010

Habakkuk 3

The new Hebrew Grammar blog has started out with a blast of the Shophar - a blockbuster substantial post on Habakkuk 3. The intensity of the linguistic rationalizations is staggering. I love it! (Why do I love it? It gives me permission to do almost anything with a verb.) I noted this freedom concerning Piel in the post on psalm 7 here from last year.
Lambdin's Introduction to Biblical Hebrew defines Piel as transitivizing, denominative, intensive, or unclassified! (Sounds like I can do what I like with it then.)
But all kidding aside - what can be seen in Habakkuk 3? I did some work on it as noted in that post on psalm 7 here. So I pushed it into my framework to see what I could find.  Here is the recursion pattern in the poem. It is typical of a psalm and there are some strong recurrence patterns starting early and ending in verse 16 just before the final summary of faith from the prophet. The verbs didn't bother me much for some reason.
תְּפִלָּה לַחֲבַקּוּק הַנָּבִיא עַל שִׁגְיֹנוֹת 1 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet. for the reelsfor the reels - rare word - the writhing dance implied is costly
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 trembling remember compassion.
The name occurs 3 times, heard twice
Work - פָּעָלְךָ the essential wonder of deliverance
רֹגֶז - three times this sound recurs - however rendered
אֱלוֹהַּ מִתֵּימָן יָבוֹא
וְקָדוֹשׁ מֵהַר פָּארָן סֶלָה
כִּסָּה שָׁמַיִם הוֹדוֹ
וּתְהִלָּתוֹ מָלְאָה הָאָרֶץ
3 God comes from Teman,
and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah
His glory covers the heavens,
and his praise fills the earth.
The opening prayer is answered
This verse opens three recorrences
אָרֶץ occurs 5 times in the first 11 verses in the chapter
Note there is no lack of praise - whatever tense it is rendered in - fills, filled, was full, will be full
וְנֹגַהּ כָּאוֹר תִּהְיֶה
קַרְנַיִם מִיָּדוֹ לוֹ
וְשָׁם חֶבְיוֹן עֻזֹּה
4 And a brightness as the light appears;
Horns at his right hand he has;
and there is the hiddenness of his strength.
the light is good - a fundamental statement of faith
hidden - a hapax
לְפָנָיו יֵלֶךְ דָּבֶר
וְיֵצֵא רֶשֶׁף לְרַגְלָיו
5 Before him goes correction,
and burning coals emerge at his feet.
If praise is associated as the observation of the rightness of judgment, then correction is not a bad gloss for this common word -
עָמַד וַיְמֹדֶד אֶרֶץ
רָאָה וַיַּתֵּר גּוֹיִם
וַיִּתְפֹּצְצוּ הַרְרֵי
עַד שַׁחוּ גִּבְעוֹת עוֹלָם
הֲלִיכוֹת עוֹלָם לוֹ
6 He stood and moved the earth,
he saw and set nations free;
and the ancient hills are scattered,
the everlasting mounds bowed down;
his walkabouts are everlasting
The deliverance is not confined - nations are freed
I intuitively changed tense here - the why was what I call deep guesswork - or maybe not deep enough!
תַּחַת אָוֶן רָאִיתִי אָהֳלֵי כוּשָׁן
יִרְגְּזוּן יְרִיעוֹת אֶרֶץ מִדְיָן
7 in mischief I see the tents of Cushan;
the curtains of the earth of Midian tremble.
If I wrote the land of Midian - you would not notice - my awkward translation shows the recurrence of this word. Is it significant?
הֲבִנְהָרִים חָרָה יְהוָה
אִם בַּנְּהָרִים אַפֶּךָ
אִם בַּיָּם עֶבְרָתֶךָ
כִּי תִרְכַּב עַל סוּסֶיךָ
מַרְכְּבֹתֶיךָ יְשׁוּעָה
8 Does יְהוָה burn against the rivers?
As if your anger is against the rivers,
or your fury against the sea
that you ride upon your horses,
upon your chariots of salvation?
עֶרְיָה תֵעוֹר קַשְׁתֶּךָ
שְׁבֻעוֹת מַטּוֹת אֹמֶר סֶלָה
נְהָרוֹת תְּבַקַּע אָרֶץ
9 Bare, exposed is your bow;
oaths rods a word. Selah
Rivers. You divide the earth.
Making sense of this word rods might obscure its relation to verse 14. Not satisfied with the fragmentation here...
רָאוּךָ יָחִילוּ הָרִים
זֶרֶם מַיִם עָבָר
נָתַן תְּהוֹם קוֹלוֹ
רוֹם יָדֵיהוּ נָשָׂא
10 The mountains saw you and birthed;
the downpour of water passed over;
the deep gives its voice,
and its hands it lifts up on high.
שֶׁמֶשׁ יָרֵחַ עָמַד זְבֻלָה
לְאוֹר חִצֶּיךָ יְהַלֵּכוּ
לְנֹגַהּ בְּרַק חֲנִיתֶךָ
11 The sun and moon stand exalted;
to the light of your arrows they go,
to the brightness of your shining spear.
בְּזַעַם תִּצְעַד אָרֶץ
בְּאַף תָּדוּשׁ גּוֹיִם
12 In indignation you tread earth,
in anger you thresh nations.
יָצָאתָ לְיֵשַׁע עַמֶּךָ
לְיֵשַׁע אֶת מְשִׁיחֶךָ
מָחַצְתָּ רֹּאשׁ מִבֵּית רָשָׁע
עָרוֹת יְסוֹד עַד צַוָּאר סֶלָה פ
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. Selah P
Psalm 110:6 (also 18, 68) for this variety of wounding.
נָקַבְתָּ בְמַטָּיו רֹאשׁ פְּרָזָו
יִסְעֲרוּ לַהֲפִיצֵנִי
עֲלִיצֻתָם כְּמוֹ לֶאֱכֹל עָנִי בַּמִּסְתָּר
14 You have stricken through with his own rods the head of his rulers that storm to scatter me;
their joy is as if to devour the poor in secret.
פְּרָזָו hapax - meaning 'dubious'
דָּרַכְתָּ בַיָּם סוּסֶיךָ
חֹמֶר מַיִם רַבִּים
15 You strode the sea with your horses,
the heap of great waters.
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
This verse closes four recurrences
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-tree not blossom,
and there be no increase in the vines;
fails 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;
This has to be among the best of stubborn faithfulness
וַאֲנִי בַּיהוָה אֶעְלוֹזָה
אָגִילָה בֵּאלֹהֵי יִשְׁעִי
18 Yet I will rejoice in יְהוִה
I will exult in the God of my salvation.
יְהוִה אֲדֹנָי חֵילִי
וַיָּשֶׂם רַגְלַי כָּאַיָּלוֹת
וְעַל בָּמוֹתַי יַדְרִכֵנִי
לַמְנַצֵּחַ בִּנְגִינוֹתָי ש
19 יְהוִה my Lord is my strength
he sets my feet as the hart
and on the ridges he makes me walk
For the leader, on my stringed instruments S
hart - as in the Song - Elohim is hidden in it. The edges are dangerous. The way is narrow - we need sure feet.