Habakkuk 3:17
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,

New Living Translation
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty,

English Standard Version
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls,

New American Standard Bible
Though the fig tree should not blossom And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail And the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold And there be no cattle in the stalls,

King James Bible
Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Though the fig tree does not bud and there is no fruit on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,

International Standard Version
Even though the fig tree does not blossom, and there are no grapes on the vines; even if the olive harvest fails, and the fields produce nothing edible; even if the flock is snatched from the sheepfold, and there is no herd in the stalls—

NET Bible
When the fig tree does not bud, and there are no grapes on the vines; when the olive trees do not produce, and the fields yield no crops; when the sheep disappear from the pen, and there are no cattle in the stalls,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Even if the fig tree does not bloom and the vines have no grapes, even if the olive tree fails to produce and the fields yield no food, even if the sheep pen is empty and the stalls have no cattle-

Jubilee Bible 2000
Because the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be on the vines; the labour of the olive shall lie, and the cultivated fields shall yield no food; the sheep shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:

King James 2000 Bible
Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be on the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no food; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:

American King James Version
Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:

American Standard Version
For though the fig-tree shall not flourish, Neither shall fruit be in the vines; The labor of the olive shall fail, And the fields shall yield no food; The flock shall be cut off from the fold, And there shall be no herd in the stalls:

Douay-Rheims Bible
For the fig tree shall not blossom: and there shall be no spring in the vines. The labour of the olive tree shall fail: and the fields shall yield no food: the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls.

Darby Bible Translation
For though the fig-tree shall not blossom, Neither shall fruit be in the vines; The labour of the olive-tree shall fail, And the fields shall yield no food; The flock shall be cut off from the fold, And there shall be no herd in the stalls:

English Revised Version
For though the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:

Webster's Bible Translation
Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no food; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:

World English Bible
For though the fig tree doesn't flourish, nor fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive fails, the fields yield no food; the flocks are cut off from the fold, and there is no herd in the stalls:

Young's Literal Translation
Though the fig-tree doth not flourish, And there is no produce among vines, Failed hath the work of the olive, And fields have not yielded food, Cut off from the fold hath been the flock, And there is no herd in the stalls.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

3:16-19 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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 17. - The prophet depicts the effects of the hostile invasion, which are such as to make the natural heart despair. Although the fig tree shall not blossom. The devastations of the enemy leave the country bare and uncultivated. The Chaldeans, like the Assyrians and Egyptians, cut down and burnt the fruit-bearing trees of the countries which they invaded (comp. Deuteronomy 20:19; Isaiah 9:10; Isaiah 37:24; Jeremiah 6:6). The trees most useful and abundant in Palestine are mentioned (comp. Deuteronomy 6:11; Hosea 2:12; Joel 1:7; Micah 4:4; Micah 6:15, etc.). The labour of the olive shall fail; literally, shall lie. The "labour" is the produce, the fruit. Though the yield shall disappoint all expectation. The use of the verb "to lie" in this sense is found elsewhere; e.g. Isaiah 58:11; Hosea 9:2. So Horace, 'Carm.,' 3:1, 30, "Fundus mendax;" and ' Epist.,' 1:7. 87, "Spem mentita seges." The fields; the cornfields (Isaiah 16:8). The flock shall be cut off from the fold. There shall be no flocks in the fold, all having perished for lack of food. "Omnia haec," says St. Jerome, "auferentur a populo, quia inique egit in Deum creatorem suum."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Although the fig tree shall not blossom,.... Or rather, as the Septuagint version, "shall not bring forth fruit"; since the fig tree does not bear blossoms and flowers, but puts forth green figs at once. This was a tree common in the land of Canaan, and its fruit much in use, and for food; hence we read of cakes of figs among the provisions Abigail brought to David, 1 Samuel 25:18 so that, when there was a scarcity of these, it was a bad time:

neither shall fruit be in the vines; no grapes, or clusters of them, out of which wine was pressed; a liquor very refreshing and reviving to nature; and is said to cheer God and man, being used in sacrifices and libations to God, and the common drink of men, Judges 9:13 so that, when it failed, it was a public calamity:

the labour of the olive shall fail; or "lie" (a); disappoint the expectation of those who planted and cultivated it with much toil and labour, it not producing fruit as looked for. This tree yielded berries of an agreeable taste, and out of which oil was extracted, the Jews used instead of butter, and for various purposes; so that, when it failed of fruit, it was a great loss on many accounts:

and the fields shall yield no meat; the grass fields no herbage for beasts; the grain fields no grain for man; the consequence of which must be a famine to both; and this must be very dismal and distressing:

the flock shall be cut off from the fold; flocks of sheep; either by the hand of God, some disease being sent among them; or by the hand of man, drove off by the enemy, or killed for their use; so that the folds were empty of them, and none to gather into them:

and there shall be no herd in the stalls; or oxen in the stables, where they are kept, and have their food; or stalls in which they are fattened for use; and by all these are signified the necessaries of life, which, when they fail, make a famine, which is a very distressing case; and yet, in the midst of all this, the prophet, representing the church, expresses his faith and joy in the Lord, as in the following verse Habakkuk 3:18; though all this is to be understood, not so much in a literal as in a figurative sense. "Fig trees, vines", and "olives", are often used as emblems of truly gracious persons, Sol 2:13 partly because of their fruitfulness in grace and good works, and partly because of their perseverance therein; all these trees being fruitful ones; and some, as the olive, ever green: of such persons there is sometimes a scarcity, as is complained of in the times of David and Micah, Psalm 12:1 and especially there will be in the latter day; for righteous and merciful men will be taken away from the evil to come, Isaiah 57:1 and, however, there will be very few lively, spiritual, and fruitful Christians, such as abound in the exercise of grace, and are diligent in the discharge of duty; for, when the Son of Man cometh, he will not find faith on the earth; and he will find the virgins sleeping, Luke 18:8. The "fields not" yielding "meat" may signify that the provisions of the house of God will be cut off; there will be no ministration of the word, or administration of ordinances; the word of the Lord will be scarce, rare, and precious; there will be a famine, not of bread and of water, but of hearing the word of the Lord; one of the days of the Son of Man will be desired, but not enjoyed; so no spiritual food in the use of means to be had; a very uncomfortable time this will be, Amos 8:11 Luke 17:22. The "flock" being "cut off from the fold" may denote that the sheep of Christ will be given up to the slaughter of the enemy, or be scattered abroad in this dark and cloudy day of persecution; so that there will be no fold, no flock, no sheep gathered together; and perhaps such will be the case, that there will not be one visible congregated church in due order throughout the whole world; all will be broke up, and dispersed here and there: no "herd" or "oxen in the stall" may signify that the ministers of the Gospel, compared to oxen for their strength, industry, and laboriousness in the work of the Lord, will be removed, or not suffered to exercise their ministry, nor be encouraged by any in it: this will be the case at the slaying of the witnesses, and a most distressing time it will be; and yet the prophet, or the church represented by him, expresses an uncommon frame of spirit in the following verse Habakkuk 3:18. The Targum interprets all this figuratively of each of the monarchies of the world, which should be no more;

"the kingdom of Babylon shall not continue, nor shall it exercise dominion over Israel; the kings of the Medes shall be killed; and the mighty men of Greece shall not prosper; and the Romans shall be destroyed, and shall not collect tribute from Jerusalem; therefore for the wonder, and for the redemption, thou shalt work for thy Messiah; and for the rest of thy people who shall remain, they shall praise, saying: the prophet said;''

as follows:

(a) Sept.; "mentietur", V. L. Piscator; "mentiebatur", Pagninus.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

17. Destroy the "vines" and "fig trees" of the carnal heart, and his mirth ceases. But those who when full enjoyed God in all, when emptied can enjoy all in God. They can sit down upon the heap of ruined creature comforts, and rejoice in Him as the "God of their salvation." Running in the way of His commandments, we outrun our troubles. Thus Habakkuk, beginning his prayer with trembling, ends it with a song of triumph (Job 13:15; Ps 4:7; 43:3, 5).

labour of the olive—that is, the fruit expected from the olive.

fail—literally, "lie," that is, disappoint the hope (Isa 58:11, Margin).

fields—from a Hebrew root meaning "to be yellow"; as they look at harvest-time.

meat—food, grain.

cut off—that is, cease.

Habakkuk 3:17 Additional Commentaries
Context
Habakkuk Rejoices
17Though the fig tree should not blossom And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail And the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold And there be no cattle in the stalls, 18Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.…
Cross References
2 Corinthians 4:8
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;

2 Corinthians 4:9
persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

Jeremiah 5:17
They will devour your harvests and food, devour your sons and daughters; they will devour your flocks and herds, devour your vines and fig trees. With the sword they will destroy the fortified cities in which you trust.

Jeremiah 12:4
How long will the land lie parched and the grass in every field be withered? Because those who live in it are wicked, the animals and birds have perished. Moreover, the people are saying, "He will not see what happens to us."

Joel 1:10
The fields are ruined, the ground is dried up; the grain is destroyed, the new wine is dried up, the olive oil fails.

Joel 1:12
The vine is dried up and the fig tree is withered; the pomegranate, the palm and the apple tree-- all the trees of the field--are dried up. Surely the people's joy is withered away.

Joel 1:18
How the cattle moan! The herds mill about because they have no pasture; even the flocks of sheep are suffering.

Amos 4:9
"Many times I struck your gardens and vineyards, destroying them with blight and mildew. Locusts devoured your fig and olive trees, yet you have not returned to me," declares the LORD.

Micah 6:15
You will plant but not harvest; you will press olives but not use the oil, you will crush grapes but not drink the wine.
Treasury of Scripture

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:

the fig-tree.

Deuteronomy 28:15-18,30-41 But it shall come to pass, if you will not listen to the voice of …

Jeremiah 14:2-8 Judah mourns, and the gates thereof languish; they are black to the …

Joel 1:10-13,16-18 The field is wasted, the land mourns; for the corn is wasted: the …

Amos 4:6-10 And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, …

Haggai 2:16,17 Since those days were, when one came to an heap of twenty measures, …

fail. Heb. lie.

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