The Pesher to Habakkuk

Page 6

Chapter 1:16 to 2:2

Habukkuk 1:16

This verse is introduced in line 2 after the words "ve-'asher 'amar" (And therefore he or it says) and the last 3 words and the first 2 on the next line comprise (6 words) about one half of the verse which is the same as M. This is followed by a pesher or comment and then the rest of the verse is completed beginning with the 2nd word of line 5 which is "kiy" spelled with final aleph which is common in the Qumran scrolls. See further discussion on the addition of Aleph and He by Q scribes in the Qumran Isaiah Scroll Introduction.

The 2nd portion of the verse is in line 5 and the most notable difference is the last word in the verse. In M it is (see it above) "beri 'ah" an adj from "bar'a" (create) which in this verse is translated variously as rich, fat, choicest etc. The Pesher has the word "beriy" a different word which carries the meaning which some translators give to the M reading, i.e. "fat." In the next to last word in line 5 P begins the word with a yod which actually is waw cj. This is an illustration of the Q scribes interchange of waw and yod more than anything else since it is obvious the word is a noun with a 3ms suf. and means "food." See for further discussion of yod and waw by Q scribes.

Therefore they sacrifice to their net and offer incense to their seine because by them their portion is made fat and their food is fresh.

Habukkuk 1:17

This verse begins with the 4th word in line 8 marked with 17. The interrogative "he" which begins the verse found in M does not appear in the Pesher. The 2nd from last word in this line is a different word than found in M. M has the word "chermo" (their net) and P has "cherebo" (their sword). In the pesher, of line 10 on this verse, the scribe comments on the "sword" (last word in the line which is "bachereb" or "with the sword") indicating plainly that he meant "cherebo" in the text of vs 17. See the translation of this pesher in context in the translation. In the continuation of this verse in line 9 see the negative with waw added and the last word omits the waw found in M.

Therefore they draw out their sword and continue to murder the nations without compassion.

Habakkuk 2:1

Of the 15 words in this verse only one is completely missing in the lacuna in the next to last line. That is the word " 'ashib"(I will answer) Two other words have partial bits missing. "u-mah" (and what) is the word at the right of the lacuna and " 'al" (upon or concerning) with only the lamed surviving. The next word is complete but the waw after beth has been abraded. The space is there for it. It means "my reproof." It is improperly translated as a verbal form in the KJV. Verse 2 follows with no gap or pesher between.

Let me stand fast on my watch tower and present myself on the fortress and I will keep watch to see what He will say to me and what I will answer Him when He corrects me.

Habakkuk 2:2

This verse begins as the next to last word in the next to last line and the first word is a good illustration of Q scribes in general writing waw for yod as is done for the 2nd letter in the 1st word. This is frequent and can be said to happen as often as not happening. The most unusual word is the 2nd word which is the tetragrammaton written in early Paleo-Hebrew script. This form of the tetragrammaton is described in the introduction to the Pesher to Habakkuk.

And YHWH answered me and said: Write the vision on tablets and make it clear so that the one running may read it.

I think that it is obvious that the word "yaruts" imp3ms (he [may] run) is a jussive and is properly translated as a subjunctive by the KJV. There is no subjunctive mode in Hebrew but jussive comes very close to subjunctive. See the comments on Isaiah 32:1 for discussion on jussive.

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