Psalmody, pslams, prophecy, Habakkuk, Bible, Judaism, victory hymns
Biblical Studies | Religion | Rhetoric and Composition
The psalm in Habakkuk 3 resembles songs in Exodus 15, Deuteronomy 32 and 33, Judges 5 and 2 Samuel 22 in its archaic linguistic formations and vocabulary stock, victory hymn form, and appearance outside of the Psalter. Unlike these hymns set within prose narratives, however, Habakkuk 3 appears within a book of prophetic poetry structured in a liturgical and dramatic fashion. Habakkuk, therefore, offers an ideal case for the comparative study of prophetic and narrative composition through the use of the same literary device. The results of such a comparison reveal a sophisticated text which mixes inherited generic conventions to create novel effects. I am delighted to dedicate this essay to my father, John D.W. Watts, whose early work included the form-critical description of inset hymnody in Amos.
Watts, James W. "Psalmody in Prophecy: Habakkuk 3 in Context." Forming Prophetic Literature: Essays On Isaiah and the Twelve in Honor of John D.W. Watts. Ed. James W. Watts and Paul R. House. JSOTSupplements 235. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996. 209-223.