The Pesher to Habakkuk

Page 13

Chapter 2:20

The formatting lines

The formatting of the page itself has interest value in that the guide lines to help the scribe are clearly seen. It can be seen that the top of the letters used the line above as a guide to the scribe. Margin lines can be clearly seen as well, In the great Isaiah Scroll guide lines must also have been used but they were erased. Although there is some evidence of the margin lines there. It can also be seen that the missing 3rd chapter of Habakkuk was omitted on purpose. It is not lost in a lacuna. Even though there is much of the original last page (14) missing it is empty as is most of page 13. There was plenty of room to include the 3rd chapter of Habakkuk but the scribe chose not to make it part of the Pesher. This may be because of the content. The first two chapters are prophecies centering on the coming of the Chaldeans or Babylonians (verse 1:6) to punish Judah and the final judgement of the Babylonians. The 3rd chapter is a psalm of praise to YHWH.

Habakkuk 2:20

This is the last page of the pesher containing only a portion of verse 20 the first 4 words of the verse ("And the LORD is in His holy temple") is not a part of the pesher unless it is lost in the lacuna at the bottom of the preceding page 12. Only the first 4 words in line 1 are a part (the last 4 words) of Habakkuk 2:20. They are "Keep silence before Him all the earth." The rest is commentary, the next word (5th) is peshru or "they explain" and the explanation is about those among "all the goyiym" who worship stone and wood idols. The last two lines speak of a coming judgement on the servants of the idols which will banish all the evil ones from the earth.

Differences noted in these 4 words from the M text are: 1. "before him" or "in his presence" is spelled in M "mippanayv" and in P is "milliphnayv." Characteristically the yod in P is shaped like waw. 2. There is a waw added to "Kol" (all) in P. 3. The aleph is omitted from "ha 'arets."

The name of God YHWH is in the portion of the verse not found in Habakkuk. Without doubt, if it had been written, it would have contained the symbols the Pesher scribe used for the divine name.

In the 4th word on line 1 there is an aleph missing from "ha-'arets."

And YHWH is in His Holy Temple. Let all the earth be silent before him.

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