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J. M. Feder, Canticum prophetoe Habacuc, (Wirceb., 1774, 4to. ;) G. Perschke, Comment. in cap. iii Habacuci, (Frankf., 1777, 4to. ;) J. C. Busing, De fulgoribus e manu Dei, [ad ver. 3, 4,] (Brem., 1778, 4to. ;) W. A. Schröder, Canticum Habacuci, (Groning., 1781, 4to.;) C. F. Schnurrer, Carmen Habacuci, (Tubing., 1786, 4to. ;) G. A. Ruperti, Obss. in Habacuci cap. iii, (in his Symbolæ ad interpretat., etc., Gött., 1792, fasc. ii ;) Mörner, Hymnus Habacuci, (Upsal, 1794, 4to.;) Habakuk's lyr. Gesang, (Lpsg., 1796, 4to. ;) C. G. Anton, Capitis iii Habac. Versio, etc., (Goerlic., 1810, 4to.;) J. K. Nachtigal, Ueb Habakuk iii, 3–15, (in Henke's Magaz., iv, 180–190;) G. C. Steiger, D. 3to Kap. Habak., (in Schwarz's Jahrbüch, 1824, Nachr., p. 136 sq. ;).G. Stickel, Interpretat. cap. iii, Habacuci, (Neost., 1827, 8vo.;) J. V. Reissmann, De Cantico Habacuci, (Herbipol., 1831, 8vo. ;) Simon de Muis, Selecta Cantica V. T., (in his Opera.) In the preparation of the present essay, the following hermeneutical works have been chiefly consulted: M. Poli, Synopsis Criticorum, (Francof. ad M., 1694;) E. F. C. Rosenmüller, Scholia in Vet. Test., (Lips., 1814;) F. J. V. D. Maurer, Commentarius in Vet. Test., (Lips., 1836;) F. Delitzsch, Exeg. Handb. 2. a. Propheten, (Leipz., 1843;) E. Henderson, The Minor Prophets, (Lond. 1845;) F. Hitzig, Die Kleinen Propheten erklärt, (Leipz. 1852.)

A Prayer, by Chabakkúk, the Prophet. On hymns.

O Jehovah, I have heard thy report, -
I feared. O Jehovah,

Thy work—in the midst of the years revive thou it;
In the midst of the years mayest thou make known,
In ire mayest thou remember to pity!

God from Teymán would come,
Even the Holy One from Mount Parán.


His glory covered over the heavens,
And the earth was full of his praise.
Then a glitter like light there would be,
Rays from his hand were his;
But he made a hiding of his power.

Before him would go Pestilence,
And there would issue Fever at his feet.

He stood, and shook the earth;
He looked, and made the nations tremble:

Then broke asunder the perpetual mountains,
Bowed the ancient hills. —
The ancient paths are his.


Under trouble I saw the tents of Cushán,
Would flutter the curtains of the land of Midyan.

With rivers was Jehovah enraged;
With the rivers was thy anger,
With the sea was thy fury?

For thou wouldst ride upon thy horses,
Thy chariots of deliverance.

Quite bared would be thy bow:
As oaths are the rods of thy word.



With rivers thou wouldst cleave the land;
The mountains saw thee,—They would writhe:
A storm of waters passed;

The deep gave forth its voice,
Aloft its hands it raised.

Sun, Moon stood in its dwelling,
At the light of thy arrows that would flit,
At the lightning-glitter of thy lance.


With indignation wouldst thou march through the land, With anger wouldst thou trample the nations:

Thou wentest forth for the deliverance of thy people,
For delivering thy anointed :

Thou crushedst the head from the house of the wicked,
Laying bare the foundation to the very neck.


Thou piercedst with his own spears the head of his leaders,
That would rush on to disperse me;
Their exultation is but to devour the humble in secret:

Thou didst tread through the sea with thy horses,
The boiling up of many waters.


I heard, And my inwards trembled,
At the sound my lips quivered;

Decay would come into my bones,
And in my lower parts would I tremble:

That I might be quiet at the day of distress,
At the coming up by the people that should invade us.


For the fig-tree shall not blossom,
And there shall be no produce in the vines;

The yield of the olive has failed,
And fields have not yielded food;

The flock is cut off from the fold,
And there is no herd in the stalls.


But I-in Jehovah will I triumph,
I will rejoice in the God of my deliverance:

Jehovah the Lord is my might;
And he has made my feet like the hinds',
Even upon my heights will he cause me to tread.
(For the Precentor. With my stringed instruments.)


The inscription (verse 1) entitles this composition a “prayer,” noon, because it has in general an intercessory or deprecatory tone in view of the impending calamities, which it nevertheless describes as actually present, at least to the prophet's mind. The word, however, will bear the sense of sacred “song,” and is applied in Psalm lxxii, 20, to the preceding musical compositions of David. The ode of Habakkuk is in fact a true Psalm, partaking of all the characteristics of Hebrew lyrical poetry in their highest form. As such, it contains even the technical directions to the Levitical orchestra ; an evidence, it may be observed, of the authenticity of these artistic notanda, in opposition to the views of those who attribute them altogether to the performers of later date. One of these terms is the niin, shigyonóth, the singular izan of

, which occurs in Psalm vii, 1, and is referred by Gesenius to an obsolete root nam, ascertained from its use in the cognate dialects to signify in Piel, to “magnify” with praises. Others, seeking a more definite import, derive it from another frequent root of the same form, meaning to “wander” or “reel,” thus deducing the sense of an “erratic," or rambling composition, q. d., (so Delitzsch,) a dithyramb. Others again, deeming this interpretation little more to the point, have recourse to a similar Arabic root, signifying to “be sad," and hence understand this to be designated as an elegiac or penitential ode; but this is little appropriate to the contents of either of the two poems to which it is applied. The particle 39, “ upon,” which is here prefixed, would most naturally point to some musical instrument as being denoted by the term ; but, as this application is otherwise unsupported, it seems best on the whole to understand the two words to contain a general intimation of the psalmodic character of the present chapter, as distinguished from the preceding prophecies, and as a qualifying epithet of the associated title "a prayer." The prefix 5 in connection

” with the prophets name of course denotes authorship, as usual in such cases.

Strophe I contains the expression of three somewhat distinct ideas in as many parallelisms: first, the prophet's dismay at the intimation of the coming disasters; second, his entreaties for a mitigation of the divine stroke; third, an allusion to the ancient exodus of the chosen people from national distress.

Verse 2. The you, “hearing,” of Jehovah, here referred to, may be (and is by different interpreters) taken in either of two senses: Jehovah's announcement of the future inflictions, or the traditionary fame of his early acts; that the former is the true meaning, we think, must appear from several considerations: (1.) The phrase 7 moram, “I have heard thy hearing," is a Hebrew intensive, equivalent to I have fully heard thee, that is, I now distinctly and vividly apprehend thy communication. (2.) The suffix “thy” more naturally refers to the source than to the mere subject of the report. (3.) The past tense employed carries us almost necessarily back to the foregoing announcements of imminent ruin, and is especially appropriate to the injunction of silence upon all the earth that just precedes, (chapter ii, 20,) namely, that during the intervening pause the divine message may fall with full effect upon every ear. (4.) The terror immediately stated as the effect of the tidings upon the prophet is exactly parallel with the




tremor which he describes in verse 16 as seizing his whole frame at the vision of the approaching conflict; whereas any fear would be out of place if the divine interposition simply were the subject of contemplation. (5.) The alarm at this distressing picture of his country's downfall is much better calculated to elicit the deprecatory outburst that follows, and far more suited to the melancholy tinge of even its consolations than the opposite view. The transposition of the name of Jehovah in the second line, seems to indicate that it belongs to the counterpart of the first line, as we have arranged the couplet, although the punctuation is conformed to that of the Masoretes. In the triplet that follows the parallelism explains the several phrases: Jehovah’s byib, or “deed,” is his own favorite act of “sympathy” for his people, which he is now implored to “cause to live ” again, or flourish anew, (nam), although apparently forgotten amid this period of vindictiveness. The infinitive and is used as the object of hin, and is also to be supplied after yuzin, which has the customary sense of “exhibiting.” The term 577, “amid,” implies a staying of the uplifted hand of vengeance, at least a mitigating ingredient within the bitter cup which must be pressed to the country's lip. It was this sense of the divine regard, despite the severe chastisement, that formed the prophet's only source of confidence or comfort, (verse 18.)

Verse 3. The term for “God” here, misp, seems to be em. phatic, i. q. Deity, in distinction from the ordinary plural form

i 0973 Teman, or “the South,” was a frequent designation of Idumea, of which it was strictly only the eastern part bordering on Arabia; Paran was the name of the desert adjoining it, through which the Israelites wandered; the high rocky plateau immediately southwest of Palestine especially being poetically styled Mount Paran, (Deut. xxxiii, 2,) grammatically construed as a single name, (the nn being treated, as frequent with this and similar geographical terms, like a sort of prefix :) the two names are, therefore, here used as synonymously equivalent to the region of the exode, and the allusion must be to the many glorious displays of the divine power in conducting his people safely through that perilous route; the Almighty being said to come from Idumea because it was the last stage of the journey and nearest the writer. The future rizm is evidently the cus

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