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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
Habakkuk 3

 

 

Verse 1

Shigionoth. The pl, of Shiggaion (compare Psa 7), a crying aloud. See App-65.


Verse 2

LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4.

heard Thy speech = heard Thy hearing. Figure of speech Polyptoton. App-6.

speech = hearing. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Subject), App-6, for what was heard. Here = Thy fame, as in Numbers 14:15. 1 Kings 10:1. Isaiah 66:19.

afraid. = In awe; as in Exodus 14:31.

revive = renew, in the sense of repeating, doing over again.

work. Some codices, with Aramaean, Septuagint, and Syriac, read "works": i.e. doings.

years. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Adjunct), for the afflictions suffered in them, or "wrath" manifested in them.

in the midst, &c. Out of 273 occurrences, this is the only place where it refers to time. Had Habakkuk learnt, like Daniel? Note the Figure of speech Anadiplosis (App-6), for emphasis.

make known = make [Thyself] known. The Hebrew accent places the logical pause on this verb: i.e. by repeating nowwhat Thou hast done in the past.

wrath. As manifested in present affliction; showing what is meant by "years", above.

mercy = compassion. Supply here the logical Ellipsis "[I will meditate on Thy doings of old: ]".


Verse 3

GOD. Hebrew Eloah. App-4. Occurs in the prophets only here, and Isaiah, and Daniel.

came from Teman. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 33:2). App-92.

Teman . . . Paran. Embraces the whole district south of Judah, including Sinai. Compare Genesis 21:21. Numbers 12:16; Numbers 1:13, Numbers 1:26. Deuteronomy 33:2. App-92.

Selah. Connecting His coming forth with the glorious effects of it. See App-66. Note the three "Selahs" in verses: Habakkuk 3:9, Habakkuk 3:13.

His glory. Compare Isaiah 6:3.


Verse 4

horns = power. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Effect), App-6, for the power put forth by them. Hebrew dual = two rays.

coming out of = from: i.e. power from [His] hands [is] His.

the hiding, &c. = hiding (or concealing) of His [full] power.


Verse 5

Before Him went, &c. Supply the logical Ellipsis: "[As He went forth to conquer for His People] before Him went", &c. See Exodus 28:27. Psalms 68:1, Psalms 68:2.

burning coals: or, lightning Compare Psalms 18:8; Psalms 76:3; Psalms 78:48.


Verse 6

measured the earth: or, caused the earth to tremble. So the Targum and the requirement of the "correspondence" with the next line.

beheld = looked.

drove asunder the nations = caused the nations to shake, or start.

scattered = shattered.

perpetual = ancient, or primeval.


Verse 7

in affliction = [brought low] by affliction.

curtains = hangings. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), App-6, for the tents formed by them.


Verse 8

Was . . . ? Figure of speech Erotesis. Rightly supplied in following clauses.

Thou didst ride. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 33:26, Deuteronomy 33:27).

horses = horses [of power].

and. Some codices, with three early printed editions (one Rabbinic), Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read this "and" in the text.


Verse 9

Thy bow = [Nay] Thy how, &c.

naked = bare.

according to the oaths of the tribes . . . Selah. This second "Selah" (see App-66) is to connect the remarkable parenthetic statement with the continuation of the details of Israel"s deliverances, which it interrupts, and might otherwise have disturbed. The text of this clause is not "corrupt", as alleged by some modern critics. The oaths are the promises sworn to the fathers or the tribes [of Israel] when still in the loins of the patriarchs.

with rivers = [and the waters gushed out] with rivers. See Psalms 74:15; Psalms 78:15, Psalms 78:16; Psalms 105:41.


Verse 10

The mountains saw Thee. Reference to Pentateuch (Exodus 19:18). App-92. Compare Psalms 114:4.

the overflowing, &c. Referring to the Jordan. Compare Joshua 3:15, Joshua 3:16.

the deep, &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Exodus 14:22). App-92.

uttered his voice, i.e. [at Thy presence].

lifted up, &c. = lifted up his hands [in amazement and sub-mission]. Not a "corruption", but the Figure of speech Prosopopoeia (App-6). "The walls" of Exodus 14:22 compared to its hands.

his hands = its [walls like] hands.


Verse 11

The sun and moon, &c. Reference to Joshua 10:12, Joshua 10:13.

at the light, &c. = like light Thine arrows flew.

and at the shining, &c. = like lightning was Thy glittering spear.


Verse 12

thresh = tread down. Compare Judges 5:4. Psalms 68:7.

heathen = nations: i.e. the nations of Canaan


Verse 13

anointed: i.e. for the salvation of Jehovah"s anointed People (sing). See Psalms 105:15.

woundedst = dashest in pieces.

out of = from.

the wicked = [the] lawless one. Hebrew. rasha". App-44. Looking forward to the final destruction of Israel"s enemy in the person of the Antichrist. The Targum (or Paraphrase) of Jonathan is remarkable: "the kingdom of Babylon will not remain, nor exercise dominion over Israel. The Romans will be destroyed, and not take tribute from Jerusalem; and therefore, on account of the marvelous deliverance which Thou wilt accomplish for Thine Anointed, and for the remnant of Thy People, they will praise the LORD".

by discovering, &c.: i.e. overturning the house from the top (the neck) so completely as to lay bare the foundations. Such will he the final overthrow of Israel"s great enemy.

Selah. This third Selah connects this final overthrow and its magnitude, when contrasted with the enemy"s previous proud boasting and exaltation in Habakkuk 3:14. It connects Jehovah"s doings also (Habakkuk 3:14) with Jehovah"s goings (Habakkuk 3:15). See App-66.


Verse 14

strike through = pierce.

his staves = his own weapons. Compare Judges 7:22.

head = chief.

villages = leaders. Hebrew text = "leader"(singular); but margin "leaders" (plural), with some codices and five early printed editions.

they came out, &c. = = [when] they came forth. me: i.e. me [who am Thy People].

rejoicing. Compare Psalms 10:8, Psalms 10:9.

as = in very deed. Kaph (K) veritatis.

poor. Hebrew. "anah. See note on "poverty", Proverbs 6:11.


Verse 15

heap = foaming.


Verse 16

When I heard. See the Structure (p. 1269).

belly = body.

voice = voice [saying].

rottenness = decay. Some codices, with Aramaean, Septuagint, and Syriac, read "restlessness".

myself. Place a full stop here, and commence a new sentence.

that I might = O that I might find (or be at) rest, &c.

he: i.e. the invader.

unto = against.

he will invade = he will overcome. Heb gud. Occurs only here, and Genesis 49:19.


Verse 17

Although. Hebrew. ki, as in 2 Samuel 23:5; but must be understood not as being hypothetical, but as bringing out the antithesis with Habakkuk 3:18 (compare Job 8:7).

fig tree . . . vines . . . olive. See note on Judges 9:8-12.

blossom. The edible fig, which is the blossom: i.e. the receptacle containing a large number of minute unisexual flowers growing to a succulent. The Hebrew text therefore and the Authorized Version rendering are both scientifically correct.


Verse 18

God of my salvation. Compare Psalms 18:46; Psalms 24:5; Psalms 25:5; Psalms 27:9.


Verse 19

God. Hebrew Adonai. App-4.

strength = might, or force. Compare Psalms 18:32.

will make, &c. Compare 2 Samuel 1:23; 2 Samuel 23:24. 1 Chronicles 12:8. Psalms 18:33.

He will make me, &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 32:13; Deuteronomy 33:29). App-92. Compare Amos 4:13. Micah 1:3.

To the chief singer. See App-64. The same word here.

my stringed instruments. Hebrew. neginoth. Referring to the smitings of Jehovah on the enemies of Israel (Habakkuk 3:16). See App-65.

 


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Habakkuk 3:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/habakkuk-3.html. 1909-1922.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, December 11th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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