|English Standard Version (© 2001)|
His brightness was like the light; rays flashed from his hand; and there he veiled his power.
King James Bible
And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power.
American Standard Version
And his brightness was as the light; He had rays coming forth from his hand; And there was the hiding of his power.
Young's Literal Translation
And the brightness is as the light, He hath rays out of His hand, And there -- the hiding of His strength.
Habakkuk 3:4 Additional TranslationsKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
A splendour shines or arises like the light. תּהיה does not point back to תּהלּתו, "splendour like the sun will His glory be" (Hitzig); but it is the predicate to nōgah in the sense of to become, or to arise. האור is the light of the sun. Like this light, or like the rising sun, when the Lord comes, there arises (spreads) a brilliant light, from which the rays emanate on its two sides. קרנים, according to קרן in Exodus 34:29-30, is to be taken in the sense of rays; and this meaning has developed itself from a comparison of the first rays of the rising sun, which shoot out above the horizon, to the horns or antlers of the gazelle, which is met with in the Arabian poets. מיּדו, from His hand, i.e., since the hand is by the side, "at His side" (after the analogy of מימינו and משּׂמאלו), and indeed "His hand" in a general sense, as signifying the hand generally, and not one single hand, equivalent therefore to "on both sides" (Delitzsch). As the disc of the sun is surrounded by a splendid radiance, so the coming of God is enclosed by rays on both sides. לו refers to God. "Such a radiant splendour (קרנים) surrounding God is presupposed when it is affirmed of Moses, that on coming from the presence of Jehovah his face was radiant, or emitted rays" (קרן, Exodus 34:29-30). This interpretation of the words is established beyond all doubt, not only by the מימינו of the original passage in Deuteronomy 33:2, but also by the expressions which follow in Habakkuk 3:5, viz., לפניו (before him) and לרגלויו (behind him); and consequently the interpretation "rays (emanating) from His hand are to Him," with the idea that we are to think of flashes of lightning darting out of God's hand (Schnur., Ros., Hitzig, Maurer, etc.), is proved to be untenable. According to Hebrew notions, flashes of lightning do not proceed from the hand of God (in Psalm 18:9, which has been appealed to in support of this explanation, we have ממּנּוּ); and קרנים does not occur either in Arabic or the later Hebrew in the sense of flashes of lightning, but only in the sense of the sun's rays. ושׁם חביון עזּה, and there - namely, in the sun-like splendour, with the rays emanating from it - is the hiding of His omnipotence, i.e., the place where His omnipotence hides itself; in actual fact, the splendour forms the covering of the Almighty God at His coming, the manifestation of the essentially invisible God. The cloudy darkness is generally represented as the covering of the glory of God (Exodus 20:21; 1 Kings 8:12), not merely when His coming is depicted under the earthly substratum of a storm (Psalm 18:12-13), but also when God was manifested in the pillar of cloud and fire (Exodus 13:21) on the journey of the Israelites through the desert, where it was only by night that the cloud had the appearance of fire (Numbers 9:15-16). Here, on the contrary, the idea of the splendour of the rising sun predominates, according to which light is the garment in which God clothes Himself (Psalm 104:2, cf. 1 Timothy 6:16), answering to His coming as the Holy One (Habakkuk 3:3). For the sun-light, in its self-illumining splendour, is the most suitable earthly element to serve as a symbol of the spotless purity of the Holy One, in whom there is no variation of light and darkness (James 1:17; see at Exodus 19:6). The alteration of ושׁם into ושׂם (he provides or contrives the concealment of His power), which Hitzig proposes after the lxx (Aq., Symm., and Syr.), must be rejected, inasmuch as in that case the object, which he makes into the covering (cf. Psalm 18:12), could not be omitted; and this thought is by no means suitable here, and has merely been brought into the text on the assumption that God appears in a storm. As the Holy One, God comes to judgment upon the unholy world (Habakkuk 3:5). Before Him goes debher, plague, and after His feet, i.e., behind Him, resheph, lit., burning heat, or a blaze (Sol 8:6), here the burning heat of the pestilence, fever-heat, as in Deuteronomy 32:24. Plague and pestilence, as proceeding from God, are personified and represented as satellites; the former going before Him, as it were, as a shield-bearer (1 Samuel 17:7), or courier (2 Samuel 15:1); the latter coming after Him as a servant (1 Samuel 25:42). This verse prepares the way for the description, which commences with Habakkuk 3:6, of the impression produced by the coming of God upon the world and its inhabitants.
Habakkuk 3:4 Parallel CommentariesAppeareth Brightness Flashed Flashing Forth Hand Hidden Hiding Horns Kept Light Power Radiance Rays Secret Shine Shining Side Splendor Strength Sunlight Sunrise VeiledAppeareth Brightness Flashed Flashing Forth Hand Hidden Hiding Horns Kept Light Power Radiance Rays Secret Shine Shining Side Splendor Strength Sunlight Sunrise VeiledThe ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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Job 26:14 Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand?"
Psalm 18:12 Out of the brightness before him hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.