Habakkuk 3:9

9 You uncovered your bow, you called for many arrows. You split the earth with rivers;

Read Habakkuk 3:9 Using Other Translations

Thy bow was made quite naked, according to the oaths of the tribes, even thy word. Selah. Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers.
You stripped the sheath from your bow, calling for many arrows. Selah You split the earth with rivers.
You brandished your bow and your quiver of arrows. You split open the earth with flowing rivers.

What does Habakkuk 3:9 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Habakkuk 3:9

Thy bow was made quite naked
It was took out of its case, and arrows out of their quiver, and these made use of against the enemies of his people: this is put for all weapons of war; the sword was unsheathed, and all military weapons employed, and the power of the Lord was exerted; or, as the Targum,

``the Lord was revealed in his power;''
fighting the battles of his people, as in the times of Joshua: [according] to the oaths of the tribes, [even thy] word. Selah.
That is, to fulfil his word of promise, to which he had annexed his oaths, he at several times swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to the fathers of the Israelites, that he would put them in possession of the land of Canaan; and which being worthy of notice, and to be remarked, the word "Selah" is added. So the Targum,
``in revealing thou art revealed in thy power, because of thy covenant which thy word made with the tribes for ever.''
The "bow" here is an emblem of the Gospel, with which Christ the Captain of our salvation, the antitype of Joshua, went forth, more especially in the first ages of Christianity, conquering and to conquer, ( Revelation 6:2 ) . The arrows of this bow are the doctrines of the Gospel, which are sharp in the heart of Christ's enemies, his elect; who are so in a state of nature, whereby they are brought into subjection to him, ( Psalms 45:5 ) and hereby the promises of God confirmed by his oaths are accomplished, that the spiritual seed of Christ shall endure for ever; or he shall never want a seed to serve him, ( Psalms 89:35 Psalms 89:36 ) : Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers;
which is generally supposed to allude to the smiting of the rock, from whence waters gushed out, and ran in dry places like a river; for which channels or canals were made in the earth, in which they flowed and followed the Israelites wherever they went, and supplied man and beast with water. So the Targum,
``for thou didst break strong rocks, rivers came forth overflowing the earth;''
see ( Psalms 105:41 ) ( 1 Corinthians 10:4 ) but this seems to be going back in the history; rather therefore this refers to the rivers formed in the land of Canaan, whereby it became fertile; hence it is called a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths, that spring out of valleys and hills, ( Deuteronomy 8:7 ) . This may respect, in futurity, either the provisions of grace, and the large abundance of the blessings of it, made for the supply and satisfaction of the children of God in times of distress and difficulty, ( Isaiah 41:17 Isaiah 41:18 ) or that help and assistance against, protection and deliverance from, the flood of persecution, cast out after the church by Satan, in order to overwhelm her, by the earth opening its mouth, and swallowing up the flood, ( Revelation 12:15 Revelation 12:16 ) .
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