Habakkuk 3:5

5 1Before him went pestilence, and plague followed 2at his heels.[a]

Habakkuk 3:5 Meaning and Commentary

Habakkuk 3:5

Before him went the pestilence
Either in the land of Egypt, when he marched through that, and slew all their firstborn, ( Psalms 78:50 Psalms 78:51 ) or rather which he sent before him, and Israel his people among the nations of the land of Canaan, with other diseases and judgments, and destroyed them to make way for his people, which may be here alluded to, ( Exodus 23:27 Exodus 23:28 ) and may point at the judgments of God, and those pestilential diseases which seized upon the persecutors of the Christians, both among the Jews, as Herod, ( Acts 12:23 ) and among the Gentiles, as many of the Roman emperors, who died violent and grievous deaths; and particularly it may regard the pestilence, famine, and other sore judgments preceding the destruction of Jerusalem, and the inhabitants of it, for their rejection and crucifixion of the Messiah: and burning coals went forth at his feet;
which some understand of hailstones mingled with fire, to which the allusion may be, being one of the plagues of Egypt, ( Exodus 9:23 Exodus 9:24 ) . Some interpret it of hot diseases, burning fevers, so Kimchi; which are at the command of God, and sent forth by him when he pleases, to do his will. The ancient fathers expound all this of the destruction of death, and the devil, and his principalities, by Christ upon the cross; and the Targum is,

``from before him was sent forth the angel of death, and his word went forth in a flame of fire;''
but this seems to have respect to the burning of the city and temple of Jerusalem, which was done by the Romans as instruments, but according to the direction, order, and will of Christ, ( Matthew 22:7 ) see ( Psalms 18:12 Psalms 18:13 ) .

Habakkuk 3:5 In-Context

3 God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. His splendor covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. Selah
4 His brightness was like the light; rays flashed from his hand; and there he veiled his power.
5 Before him went pestilence, and plague followed at his heels.
6 He stood and measured the earth; he looked and shook the nations; then the eternal mountains were scattered; the everlasting hills sank low. His were the everlasting ways.
7 I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction; the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble.

Cross References 2

  • 1. [2 Kings 19:35]; See Exodus 12:29, 30; 1 Chronicles 21:11-15
  • 2. [Job 18:11]

Footnotes 1