New English Translation
15 “Woe to you who force your neighbor to drink wine[a]—
you who make others intoxicated
by forcing them to drink from the bowl of your furious anger[b]
so you can look at their naked bodies.[c]
16 But you will become drunk[d] with shame, not majesty.[e]
Now it is your turn to drink and expose your uncircumcised foreskin![f]
The cup of wine in the Lord’s right hand[g] is coming to you,
and disgrace will replace your majestic glory!
- Habakkuk 2:15 tn No direct object is present after “drink” in the Hebrew text. “Wine” is implied, however, and has been supplied in the translation for clarity.
- Habakkuk 2:15 tc Heb “pouring out your anger and also making drunk”; or “pouring out your anger and [by] rage making drunk.” The present translation assumes that the final khet (ח) on מְסַפֵּחַ (mesappeakh, “pouring”) is dittographic and that the form should actually be read מִסַּף (missaf, “from a bowl”). sn Forcing them to drink from the bowl of your furious anger. The Babylonian’s harsh treatment of others is compared to intoxicating wine which the Babylonians force the nations to drink so they can humiliate them. Cf. the imagery in Rev 14:10.
- Habakkuk 2:15 sn Metaphor and reality are probably blended here. This may refer to the practice of publicly humiliating prisoners of war by stripping them naked. See J. J. M. Roberts, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah (OTL), 124.
- Habakkuk 2:16 tn Heb “are filled.” The translation assumes the verbal form is a perfect of certitude, emphasizing the certainty of Babylon’s coming judgment, which will reduce the majestic empire to shame and humiliation.
- Habakkuk 2:16 tn Or “glory.”
- Habakkuk 2:16 tc Heb “drink, even you, and show the foreskin.” Instead of הֵעָרֵל (heʿarel, “show the foreskin”) one of the Dead Sea scrolls has הֵרָעֵל (heraʿel, “stumble”). This reading also has support from several ancient versions and is followed by the NEB (“you too shall drink until you stagger”) and NRSV (“Drink, you yourself, and stagger”). For a defense of the Hebrew text, see P. D. Miller, Jr., Sin and Judgment in the Prophets, 63-64.
- Habakkuk 2:16 sn The Lord’s right hand represents his military power. He will force the Babylonians to experience the same humiliating defeat they inflicted on others.