Chabakuk 3

1 A tefillah of Chabakuk HaNavi. On Shigionoth.
2 Hashem, I have heard Thy speech, and was afraid; Hashem, revive Thy work in the midst of the shanim, in the midst of the shanim make known; in wrath remember mercy.
3 G-d came from Teman, and HaKadosh from Mt Paran. Selah. His hod (glory) covered HaShomayim, and ha’aretz was full of His tehillah (praise).
4 And His brightness was like the ohr; He had rays of light flashing from His yad; and there was His power hidden.
5 Before Him went the dever (plague), and pestilence went forth at His feet.
6 He stood, and measured ha’aretz; He beheld, and made the Goyim tremble; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow; His ways are olam (everlasting).
7 I saw the tents of Kushan in affliction; and the dwellings of Eretz Midyan did tremble.
8 Was Hashem displeased against the rivers? Was Thine anger against the rivers? Was Thy wrath against the yam, that Thou didst ride upon Thine susim and Thy merkavot of yeshuah (salvation)?
9 Thy keshet (bow) was made bare. Oathes were sworn over mattot (rods, arrows). Selah. Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers.
10 The harim (mountains) saw Thee, and they trembled; the overflowing of the water passed by; the tehom (deep) uttered its voice, and lifted up its hands on high.
11 The shemesh and yarei’ach stood still in their habitation; at the ohr of Thine arrows they went, and at the lightning of Thy glittering spear.
12 Thou didst march through the land in indignation, Thou didst thresh the Goyim in anger.
13 Thou wentest forth for the salvation of Thy people, even for deliverance of Thy Moshiach; Thou crushed the rosh of the bais of the wicked, Thou stripped him thigh to neck. Selah.
14 Thou didst pierce with his spears the head of his horde; they came out like a whirlwind to scatter me; their rejoicing was like unto devouring the aniyim (the poor) in secret.
15 Thou didst walk through the yam with Thine susim, through the heap of mayim rabbim.
16 When I heard, my heart trembled; my lips quivered at the voice; rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might wait patiently for the Yom Tzarah to come on the nation invading us.
17 Although the etz te’enah shall not blossom, neither shall grape be on the gefen; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no okhel; the tzon shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls;
18 Yet I will rejoice in Hashem, I will joy in the G-d of my salvation.
19 Hashem Adonoi is my strength, and He will make my feet like the feet of a deer, and He will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.

Chabakuk 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.

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.

Chabakuk 3 Commentaries

The Orthodox Jewish Bible fourth edition, OJB. Copyright 2002,2003,2008,2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International. All rights reserved.