The Pesher to Habakkuk

Pages 1 and 2

Chapter 1:1-6

Page 3 to the left. Page 2 to the right. Page 1 is lost

Only a small part of page 2 is able to be seen.

This portion is called page 1b, IIa and IIb. This is possibly misleading and one may be led to think that 1b is what is left of the first page of the Pesher. But it is more likely that 1b is the 2nd page (or column as it is popularly called) of the Pesher to Habakkuk, Only two words of what remains of the 2nd verse are on the first line of 1b. There are 3 words of this verse and the whole of the first verse or 5 more words to have been fitted into line 1. It is possible that this could have been fitted into this line but it is also possible that there is a page missing.


The translation follows the text of the Pesher and utilizes the M text only where there are lacunas.

Habakkuk 1:1

All of page 1 which would have been to the right of the lost portion contained verse one. It is lost.

The Oracle which Habakkuk the prophet saw in a vision.

Habakkuk 1:2

Only the last two words in line 1 of page 2 above correspond to words 4 and 5
in verse two. Part of the shin is missing. Notice that the negative velo' (and not) adds a waw.

How long, YHWH, shall I cry out and you will not hear? I have shouted to you of violence and you have not saved.

Habakkuk 1:3

Only three letters of this verse survive in line 5 above. The mem of the 4th word and the yod teth of the 5th word

Why do you show me evil and make me see sorrow while violence and spoiling are before me and contention and discord are being raised up.

Habakkuk 1:4

The first four words of this verse can be seen adjacent to the numeral 4 which marks the place of the verse in the pesher. Then some part of the verse (7 words) is lost in the lacuna with what would have been a pesher, but most of the rest of the verse, lacking one word, is found in the last three completely visible lines. Beginning with 'eth hatzadiyq, then the next contains what would have been in a pesher. There the words "hu' moreh hatsadiyq" means "he is the righteous teacher" the next line contains the rest of the verse through mishpat. The last word in the verse me-oo'qal (wrong) is missing in the lacuna.

Therefore the Torah is made feeble and judgement never proceeds because evil surrounds the righteous therefore faulty judgement proceeds.

Habakkuk 1:5

Verse 5 is split up by peshers and most of the verse was in the lacuna below page 2. The first word on line 1 on page 3 is the last word in verse 5 "ye-soopar" (it be told him). Then there is a lengthy pesher after which some of verse 5 is recorded again. The last two words after the marginal note 5b are lo' ta'amiynu' (you will not believe). Notice the Aramaic aleph added to the end of the verb.

Look among the nations and consider and marvel exceedingly because a work is being done in your days [and] you will not believe what you are told.

Habakkuk 1:6

The marginal numeral 6 sites the line for verse 6. The first word in verse 6 is the first word to the left of the lacuna. It is kiy with the kaph missing and an aleph added to the yod which is common spelling in the scrolls. The verse continues through the partial finished word "hamar" and the r is missing in the lacuna. Notice the first two words in this line: the 1st is "Chaldeans" Heb. "kasdi'ym" which is spelled differently than the spelling in the Isaiah scroll which uses a double yod to indicate nationality. Here there is no double yod but an aleph is added before the yod to lengthen the spelling of this word. In the pesher the application is made to the Romans. Click here to see the comparison of the spelling of Chaldeans and Romans. The next word is "goy" the usual spelling of goy is with an aleph in the body of the word in the Isaiah scroll. Notice that the verse is not continued to the left on this line but an end of paragraph is indicated and Peshru (they explain) is the first word in the next line. Part of the rest of this verse appears in the next page.

Because, behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans that bitter and impetuous nation, who are walking through the extent of the land to possess habitations that are not theirs.

To see the translation of these two pages click here

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