Wednesday, January 04, 2023

Habakkuk 3 as a Prayer Psalm

Taken from my twitter: @Riddle1689:

Habakkuk 3 is a prayer. See 3:1a: “A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet…”

It also has the marks of a Psalm. Like many of the Psalms (see, e.g., Ps. 90: “A prayer of Moses, the man of God”), it was a prayer that was also meant to be sung.

A reference to the ancient tune is given in v. 1b: “upon Shigionoth.” Some think the word means “according to variable songs or tunes.”The same term (in the singular) appears in the title of Psalm 7.

There is another musical notation at the end in Habakkuk 3:19b: “To the chief singer on my stringed instrument [Hebrew: Neginoth; the same terms appears in the titles of Psalms 4, 6, 54, 55, 67, and 76].”

Habakkuk 3:2-16 is also punctuated with another term also found in the Psalms, Selah, likely meaning pause or rest (see vv. 3, 9, 13).

So Habakkuk 3 is a Psalm outside of the Psalms.

One question for those who hold to "exclusive psalmody": Since Habakkuk 3 is an inspired Prayer Psalm, would it also be fitting to sing it in worship?


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