Presentation Title

C-1 Sentient or Silent? The Personification of Stones and Wood in Habakkuk 2

Presenter Status

Department of Religion and Biblical Languages

Location

Buller Room 150

Start Date

1-11-2013 3:00 PM

End Date

1-11-2013 3:15 PM

Presentation Abstract

The portrayal of stones and wood in Habakkuk 2 highlights the utter corruption of the wicked, who build their houses through iniquity and by the blood of others. Reminiscent of the blood of Abel crying from the ground (Gen 4:10), the very stones and beams of the house cry out at the injustice and violence of the builder (Hab 2:11). The alliteration, assonance, and similar word length between verses 11 and 12 suggest a literal message that the stones and wood are to cry out. However, the parallel section in 2:18-19 reverses this literal depiction. Thus, it follows that Hab 2:11 is not assuming that stones and wood literally cry out, but is personifying them. The literary connections in Habakkuk 2 suggest that this personification mainly serves to draw attention to the connection between injustice and idolatry. Through indictment (2:11-12) and mockery (2:18-19), Habakkuk’s personification of stones and wood graphically illustrates the links between idol worship and violent iniquity, perhaps even hinting at a causal relationship.

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Nov 1st, 3:00 PM Nov 1st, 3:15 PM

C-1 Sentient or Silent? The Personification of Stones and Wood in Habakkuk 2

Buller Room 150

The portrayal of stones and wood in Habakkuk 2 highlights the utter corruption of the wicked, who build their houses through iniquity and by the blood of others. Reminiscent of the blood of Abel crying from the ground (Gen 4:10), the very stones and beams of the house cry out at the injustice and violence of the builder (Hab 2:11). The alliteration, assonance, and similar word length between verses 11 and 12 suggest a literal message that the stones and wood are to cry out. However, the parallel section in 2:18-19 reverses this literal depiction. Thus, it follows that Hab 2:11 is not assuming that stones and wood literally cry out, but is personifying them. The literary connections in Habakkuk 2 suggest that this personification mainly serves to draw attention to the connection between injustice and idolatry. Through indictment (2:11-12) and mockery (2:18-19), Habakkuk’s personification of stones and wood graphically illustrates the links between idol worship and violent iniquity, perhaps even hinting at a causal relationship.