To End in Silence or Song: The Original Inclusion of Chapter 3 in the Book of Habakkuk
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This study argues that chapter 3 was an integral part of the book of Habakkuk. Based on synchronic considerations in chapters 1–4, the author argues that chapter 3 must have a seventh-century provenance. The nature of a massá requires that the prophet seek clarification for an ambiguous prior revelation. The prior revelation was that YHWH was raising up the Chaldeans in chapter 1. Habakkuk complains about this in chapter 1. In chapter 2, Habakkuk waits to see how YHWH will respond to this complaint and intends to answer YHWH’s response. The rest of chapter 2 consist of oracles against the arrogant one (Chaldea) and Habakkuk never responds. Therefore, the author concludes that Hab 3 is the response.In chapters 5–9, the author argues for a relative linguistic date of the seventh century for Hab 3. The author presents 5 grammatical features (chapters 5–6) and 3 syntactical features (chapter 7) common to classical biblical Hebrew (CBH). In chapter 8, the author additionally argues that some archaic elements can be detected in the inset hymns of Hab 3. The author concludes that the seventh-century prophet Habakkuk cited two archaic inset hymns in Hab 3 showcasing the redemptive feats of YHWH in days past, and asked YHWH to renew those mighty works in the years to come, namely against Chaldea.