Like A Fish And Shrimp Out Of Water: Identifying The Dāg And Remeś Animals Of Habakkuk 1:14 -- By: Richard Whitekettle

Journal: Bulletin for Biblical Research
Volume: BBR 24:4 (NA 2014)
Article: Like A Fish And Shrimp Out Of Water: Identifying The Dāg And Remeś Animals Of Habakkuk 1:14
Author: Richard Whitekettle


Like A Fish And Shrimp Out Of Water:
Identifying The Dāg And Remeś Animals Of Habakkuk 1:14

Richard Whitekettle

Calvin College

In Hab 1:14, Habakkuk compares the people who are being attacked by an oppressor to fish and other aquatic animals. One thing this comparison conveyed was exile, seen in the attacker’s removal of the fish and other aquatic animals from water, an action that will kill them. The comparison also conveyed the equal treatment of the righteous and the wicked, seen in the attacker’s consumption of the fish and other aquatic animals. According to Lev 11:9-12 and Deut 14:9-10, the only other place in the Israelite textual record where fish and other aquatic animals are mentioned together, fish are clean while other aquatic animals are unclean. Thus, the consumption of the fish and other aquatic animals by the oppressor represented the indiscriminate deportation of both the righteous (the clean fish) and the wicked (the unclean other aquatic animals).

Key Words: Hab 1:14, Lev 11:9-12, Deut 14:9-10, fish, aquatic animals, רמשׂ, exile, righteous, wicked.

Introduction

In Hab 1:12-17, Habakkuk complains that an oppressor is attacking the people. In Hab 1:14, he compares the people to two groups of animals:

1:14aα

ותעשׂה אדם

x

You have made people

1:14aβ

כדגי הים

y

Like הים דגי-animals,

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