Thursday, December 11, 2014

Habakkuk 1:12-You/We Shall Not Die?

הֲלֹ֧וא אַתָּ֣ה מִקֶּ֗דֶם יְהוָ֧ה אֱלֹהַ֛י קְדֹשִׁ֖י לֹ֣א נָמ֑וּת יְהוָה֙ לְמִשְׁפָּ֣ט שַׂמְתֹּ֔ו וְצ֖וּר לְהֹוכִ֥יחַ
(Habakkuk 1:12, BHS)

ESV: "Are you not from everlasting, O Lord my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O Lord, you have ordained them as a judgment, and you, O Rock, have established them for reproof."

ASV: "Art not thou from everlasting, O Jehovah my God, my Holy One? we shall not die. O Jehovah, thou hast ordained him for judgment; and thou, O Rock, hast established him for correction."

NET Bible: "LORD, you have been active from ancient times; my sovereign God, you are immortal. LORD, you have made them your instrument of judgment. Protector, you have appointed them as your instrument of punishment."


Duncan said...

The list in the Mekhilta to Exod 15:7 contains the following eleven instances (in this sequence in the edition of Horowitz): Zech 2:12; Mai 1:13; 1 Sam 3:13; Job 7:20; Hab 1:12; Jer 2:11; Ps 106:20; Num 11:15; 1 Kgs 12:16; Ezek 8:17; Num 12:12. For these verses the rabbis use two main terms, viz., Diron nrD, "the verse uses a euphemism," in the early sources (Sifre 84 [p. 80] to Num 10:35; Mekhilta to Exod 15:7) and tiqqun, "correction," in the later lists. The two terms may reflect ancient conflicting views of the phenomenon, that is, either euphemisms or ancient textual corrections (thus Lieberman*, 31). However, since the terms are used in lists of different dates, it is more likely that the differences in terminology reflect a development in conception (thus McCarthy*). Probably the tradition originally referred to mere "euphemisms" (substitutions) and only afterwards were they taken as corrections (for a similar development see the discussion in paragraph g on the practice of the Qere).

Pg105 tov,s criticism.

Duncan said...


Even though many scholars accept the tradition about the corrections made by the soferim as basically correct, in all probability these corrections were not carried out in reality, and the tradition actually reflects an exegetical Spielelement (thus McCarthy*) and "a midrashic fancy" (Barnes*, 387). However, this view which regards the corrections of the scribes as exegetical cannot be proven in detail. It is based on the assumed development of the terminology as described above which implies that the "corrections" alter exegetically earlier readings which were considered irreverent. E.g., Exod. Rab. 13.1:

Edgar Foster said...

Of course, Tov is always worthy of consideration/respect. You'll find some interesting comments on Hab 1:12 here as well:

I like the point he makes about Rashi's handling of the verse too.