Habakkuk 2:19

19 Who do you think you are - saying to a stick of wood, 'Wake up,' Or to a dumb stone, 'Get up'? Can they teach you anything about anything? There's nothing to them but surface. There's nothing on the inside.

Habakkuk 2:19 Meaning and Commentary

Habakkuk 2:19

Woe to him that saith to the wood, Awake
That saith to a wooden image, let him go by what name he will; saint such an one, or such an one; awake, arise, exert thyself on our behalf; deliver us from present danger; save us from our enemies; or pray and intercede for us, that we may be delivered and saved, as the Papists do; addressing a block of wood as they would God himself, or as his people do, ( Psalms 44:23 ) . This must be very displeasing and detestable to God, and therefore a woe is threatened to such idol worshippers: who also say to the dumb stone, Arise;
to the idol of stone, as the Targum; the stone statue, an image made of stone, such as the Papists have even of wood, and of stone, as well as of gold, and silver, and brass, ( Revelation 9:20 ) and so stupid as to say to such stocks and stones, arise, stand up, and help us: it shall teach;
the stone itself would teach them better, would they but consider what it is, look upon it, and handle it, when they would find it to be a mere stone, and no deity: or, "shall it teach?" so Jarchi, Kimchi, and Ben Melech; no, it cannot teach any true doctrine, or direct to right worship; it cannot teach men their duty, or where they may have help; it is a dumb idol; it cannot teach men the nature of God, and the knowledge of him; or instruct in his mind and will; or inform of things secret or future: it [is] laid over with gold and silver;
it is made of stone, and covered with gold and silver; how should it teach? and [there is] no breath at all in the midst of it;
or, "no spirit" F15; so far from having the spirit of divinity in it, or the Spirit of God, that it has not the spirit of a man in it, nor even the spirit of a brute creature; it has not so much as animal breath, and so no life, motion, or activity in it; and therefore must be quite unprofitable to the worshipper of it; incapable of teaching those who apply to it; and they must be stupid that do it, and most righteously bring themselves under the displeasure and wrath of God, and expose themselves to the woe here denounced against such persons.


FOOTNOTES:

F15 (xwr) "spiritus", Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius, Burkius.

Habakkuk 2:19 In-Context

17 You'll wake up holding your throbbing head, hung over - hung over from Lebanon violence, Hung over from animal massacres, hung over from murder and mayhem, From multiple violations of place and people.
18 "What's the use of a carved god so skillfully carved by its sculptor? What good is a fancy cast god when all it tells is lies? What sense does it make to be a pious god-maker who makes gods that can't even talk?
19 Who do you think you are - saying to a stick of wood, 'Wake up,' Or to a dumb stone, 'Get up'? Can they teach you anything about anything? There's nothing to them but surface. There's nothing on the inside.
20 "But oh! God is in his holy Temple! Quiet everyone - a holy silence. Listen!"