Habakkuk 3

God's Deliverance of His People

1 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, according to Shigionoth.
2 LORD, I have 1heard the report about You and I 2fear. O LORD, 3revive 4Your work in the midst of the years, In the midst of the years make it known; In wrath remember 5mercy.
3 God comes from 6Teman, And the Holy One from Mount 7Paran. Selah. His 8splendor covers the heavens, And the 9earth is full of His praise.
4 His 10radiance is like the sunlight; He has rays flashing from His hand, And there is the hiding of His 11power.
5 Before Him goes 12pestilence, And 13plague comes after Him.
6 He stood and surveyed the earth; He looked and 14startled the nations. Yes, the perpetual mountains were shattered, The ancient hills collapsed. His ways are 15everlasting.
7 I saw the tents of Cushan under 16distress, The tent curtains of the land of 17Midian were trembling.
8 Did the LORD rage against the 18rivers, Or was Your anger against the rivers, Or was Your wrath against the 19sea, That You 20rode on Your horses, On Your 21chariots of salvation?
9 Your 22bow was made bare *, The rods of chastisement were sworn. Selah. You 23cleaved the earth with rivers.
10 The mountains saw You and quaked; The downpour of waters swept by. The deep 24uttered forth its voice, It lifted high its hands.
11 25Sun and moon stood in their places; They went away at the 26light of Your arrows, At the radiance of Your gleaming spear.
12 In indignation You 27marched through the earth; In anger You 28trampled the nations.
13 You went forth for the 29salvation of Your people, For the salvation of Your 30anointed. You struck the 31head of the house of the evil To lay him open from thigh to neck. Selah.
14 You pierced with his 32own spears The head of his throngs. They 33stormed in to scatter us; Their exultation was like those Who 34devour the oppressed in secret.
15 You 35trampled on the sea with Your horses, On the 36surge of many waters.
16 I heard and my inward parts 37trembled, At the sound my lips quivered. Decay enters my 38bones, And in my place I tremble. Because I must 39wait quietly for the day of distress, For the 40people to arise who will invade us.
17 Though the 41fig tree should not blossom And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the 42olive should fail And the fields produce no food, Though the 43flock should be cut off from the fold And there be 44no cattle in the stalls,
18 Yet I will 45exult in the LORD, I will 46rejoice in the 47God of my salvation.
19 The Lord GOD is my 48strength, And 49He has made my feet like hinds' feet, And makes me walk on my 50high places. For the choir director, on my stringed instruments.

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Habakkuk 3 Commentary

Chapter 3

The prophet beseeches God for his people. (1,2) He calls to mind former deliverances. (3-15) His firm trust in the Divine mercy. (16-19)

Verses 1-2 The word prayer seems used here for an act of devotion. The Lord would revive his work among the people in the midst of the years of adversity. This may be applied to every season when the church, or believers, suffer under afflictions and trials. Mercy is what we must flee to for refuge, and rely upon as our only plea. We must not say, Remember our merit, but, Lord, remember thy own mercy.

Verses 3-15 God's people, when in distress, and ready to despair, seek help by considering the days of old, and the years of ancient times, and by pleading them with God in prayer. The resemblance between the Babylonish and Egyptian captivities, naturally presents itself to the mind, as well as the possibility of a like deliverance through the power of Jehovah. God appeared in his glory. All the powers of nature are shaken, and the course of nature changed, but all is for the salvation of God's own people. Even what seems least likely, shall be made to work for their salvation. Hereby is given a type and figure of the redemption of the world by Jesus Christ. It is for salvation with thine anointed. Joshua who led the armies of Israel, was a figure of Him whose name he bare, even Jesus, our Joshua. In all the salvations wrought for them, God looked upon Christ the Anointed, and brought deliverances to pass by him. All the wonders done for Israel of old, were nothing to that which was done when the Son of God suffered on the cross for the sins of his people. How glorious his resurrection and ascension! And how much more glorious will be his second coming, to put an end to all that opposes him, and all that causes suffering to his people!

Verses 16-19 When we see a day of trouble approach, it concerns us to prepare. A good hope through grace is founded in holy fear. The prophet looked back upon the experiences of the church in former ages, and observed what great things God had done for them, and so was not only recovered, but filled with holy joy. He resolved to delight and triumph in the Lord; for when all is gone, his God is not gone. Destroy the vines and the fig-trees, and you make all the mirth of a carnal heart to cease. But those who, when full, enjoyed God in all, when emptied and poor, can enjoy all in God. They can sit down upon the heap of the ruins of their creature-comforts, and even then praise the Lord, as the God of their salvation, the salvation of the soul, and rejoice in him as such, in their greatest distresses. Joy in the Lord is especially seasonable when we meet with losses and crosses in the world. Even when provisions are cut off, to make it appear that man lives not by bread alone, we may be supplied by the graces and comforts of God's Spirit. Then we shall be strong for spiritual warfare and work, and with enlargement of heart may run the way of his commandments, and outrun our troubles. And we shall be successful in spiritual undertakings. Thus the prophet, who began his prayer with fear and trembling, ends it with joy and triumph. And thus faith in Christ prepares for every event. The name of Jesus, when we can speak of Him as ours, is balm for every wound, a cordial for every care. It is as ointment poured forth, shedding fragrance through the whole soul. In the hope of a heavenly crown, let us sit loose to earthly possessions and comforts, and cheerfully bear up under crosses. Yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry; and where he is, we shall be also.

Cross References 50

  • 1. Job 42:5
  • 2. Psalms 119:120; Jeremiah 10:7
  • 3. Psalms 71:20; Psalms 85:6
  • 4. Psalms 44:1-8; Habakkuk 1:5
  • 5. Numbers 14:19; 2 Samuel 24:15-17; Isaiah 54:8
  • 6. Jeremiah 49:7; Amos 1:12; Obadiah 9
  • 7. Genesis 21:21; Deuteronomy 33:2
  • 8. Psalms 113:4; Psalms 148:13
  • 9. Psalms 48:10
  • 10. Psalms 18:12
  • 11. Job 26:14
  • 12. Exodus 12:29, 30; Numbers 16:46-49
  • 13. Numbers 11:1-3; Psalms 18:12, 13
  • 14. Job 21:18; Psalms 35:5
  • 15. Habakkuk 1:12
  • 16. Exodus 15:14-16
  • 17. Numbers 31:7, 8; Judges 7:24, 25; Judges 8:12
  • 18. Exodus 7:19, 20; Joshua 3:16; Isaiah 50:2
  • 19. Exodus 14:16, 21; Psalms 114:3, 5
  • 20. Deuteronomy 33:26; Psalms 18:10; Habakkuk 3:15
  • 21. Psalms 68:17
  • 22. Psalms 7:12, 13; Habakkuk 3:11
  • 23. Psalms 78:16; Psalms 105:41
  • 24. Psalms 93:3; Psalms 98:7, 8
  • 25. Joshua 10:12-14
  • 26. Psalms 18:14
  • 27. Psalms 68:7
  • 28. Isaiah 41:15; Jeremiah 51:33; Micah 4:13
  • 29. Exodus 15:2; 2 Samuel 5:20; Psalms 68:19, 20
  • 30. Psalms 20:6; Psalms 28:8
  • 31. Psalms 68:21; Psalms 110:6
  • 32. Judges 7:22
  • 33. Daniel 11:40; Zechariah 9:14
  • 34. Psalms 10:8; Psalms 64:2-5
  • 35. Psalms 77:19; Habakkuk 3:8
  • 36. Exodus 15:8
  • 37. Daniel 10:8; Habakkuk 3:2
  • 38. Job 30:17, 30; Jeremiah 23:9
  • 39. Luke 21:19
  • 40. Jeremiah 5:15
  • 41. Joel 1:10-12; Amos 4:9; 2 Corinthians 4:8, 9
  • 42. Micah 6:15
  • 43. Joel 1:18
  • 44. Jeremiah 5:17
  • 45. Exodus 15:1, 2; Job 13:15; Isaiah 61:10; Romans 5:2, 3
  • 46. Psalms 46:1-5; Philippians 4:4
  • 47. Psalms 25:5; Psalms 27:1; Isaiah 12:2
  • 48. Psalms 18:32, 33; Psalms 27:1; Psalms 46:1; Isaiah 45:24
  • 49. 2 Samuel 22:34
  • 50. Deuteronomy 33:29

Footnotes 16

Chapter Summary


The title of this chapter is a prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, composed after the manner of a psalm of David, and directed to the chief singer, Hab 3:1,19. The occasion of it is expressed, Hab 3:2 in which the prophet declares his concern for the work of the Lord, and the promotion of the kingdom and interest of Christ; and observes the various steps that were, or would be, taken for the advancement of it; for which he prays, and suggests that these would be after the manner of the Lord's dealing with the people of Israel, and settling them in the land of Canaan, Hab 3:3-15 and there being several things awful in this account, both with respect to the judgments of God on his enemies, and the conflicts and trials of his own people, it greatly affected the mind of the prophet, Hab 3:16 and yet, in the view of the worst, he expresses his strong faith in the Lord, as to better times and things, that would most assuredly come, Hab 3:17-19.

Habakkuk 3 Commentaries

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