New International Version
The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights. For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.
New Living Translation
The Sovereign LORD is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights. (For the choir director: This prayer is to be accompanied by stringed instruments.)
English Standard Version
GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places. To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.
New American Standard Bible
The Lord GOD is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds' feet, And makes me walk on my high places. For the choir director, on my stringed instruments.
King James Bible
The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.
Holman Christian Standard Bible
Yahweh my Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like those of a deer and enables me to walk on mountain heights!
International Standard Version
The LORD God is my strength— he will make my feet like those of a deer, equipping me to tread on my mountain heights.
The sovereign LORD is my source of strength. He gives me the agility of a deer; he enables me to negotiate the rugged terrain. (This prayer is for the song leader. It is to be accompanied by stringed instruments.)
GOD'S WORD® Translation
The LORD Almighty is my strength. He makes my feet like those of a deer. He makes me walk on the mountains. For the choir director; on stringed instruments.
JPS Tanakh 1917
God, the Lord, is my strength, And He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, And He maketh me to walk upon my high places. For the Leader. With my string-music.
New American Standard 1977
The Lord GOD is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet,
And makes me walk on my high places.
Parallel CommentariesMatthew 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.
Verse 19. - The Lord God is my strength; more accurately, Jehovah, the Lord, is my strength, from Psalm 18:32; comp. Psalm 27:1. He will make my feet like hinds' feet (Psalm 18:33). He makes me active and swift-footed as the gazelle, as a lusty warrior (2 Samuel 1:23; 2 Samuel 2:18) should be. So by the help of God I shall be superior to my enemies. He will make me to walk upon mine high places. The expression is used properly of God (Micah 1:3), and elsewhere, says Keil, to denote the victorious possession and government of a country (see Deuteronomy 32:13; Deuteronomy 33:29). Here it signifies that believing Israel shall overcome all opposition and dwell in safety in its own land. To the chief singer (musician) on my stringed instruments (neginoth). This is a musical direction, answering to the heading in ver. 1, and implies that the ode is committed to the conductor of the temple music, to be by him adapted for the public service to the accompaniment of stringed instruments. Such directions are elsewhere always found at the beginning, not the end, of psalms (see Psalm 4; Psalm 6; Psalm 54; Psalm 55; Psalm 67; Psalm 76.). It has been thought that the suffix of the first person, "my stringed instruments," denotes that Habakkuk had a right to take part in the temple service, and was therefore a Levite; but it is very doubtful whether this suffix is not a clerical error, as Kuenen and Ewald suppose, or merely paragogic. Certainly neither the Greek, Latin, nor Syriac Versions afford it any confirmation. These versions make the subscription part of the ode. Thus LXX., Ἐπι τὰ ὑψηλὰ ἐπιβιβᾶ με, τοῦ νικῆσαι ἐν τῇ ὠδῇ αὐτοῦ, He maketh me to mount upon the high places, that I may conquer by his song;" Vulgate, Super excelsa mea deducet me victor (victori, Cod. Amiat.) in psalmis canentem.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The Lord God is my strength,.... The author and giver of natural and spiritual strength, as he is to all his people; he is the strength of their hearts when ready to faint and sink, and of their graces, faith, hope, love, patience, &c. and continues and increases them, and draws them forth into lively acts and exercise; and of their lives, natural and spiritual, which he supports and maintains, secures and defends; from him they have their strength to perform the duties of religion; to oppose their spiritual enemies, sin, Satan, and the world; and to bear them up under all trials and afflictions, and carry them through them, and deliver out of them, and which is principally intended here: the church, though in distress, and pressed with sorrows, yet believed the strength of Christ would be made perfect in her weakness, and she should be upheld by him under all, and brought out of it:
and he will make my feet like hinds' feet; swift as they, as the Targum, which are very swift; and on account of the swiftness of them is the comparison used: and which is to be understood, not barely of the Jews being swift of foot to return to their own country, when the time of their conversion is come; or to pursue their enemies, as Kimchi; that is, Gog or the Turks, having got the victory over them: but of all Christians, whose feet will be swift to run, in a lively cheerful manner, the way of Christ's commandments; their souls being strengthened, and their hearts enlarged with the love and grace of God; and to surmount with ease all difficulties and obstructions that lie in their way: and chiefly this regards the ministers of the Gospel, and the swift progress they will make in spreading it in the world; as the apostles and first ministers of the word, having their feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace, went swiftly through all parts of the world, even to the ends of the earth, with it; so in the latter day many will run to and fro, everywhere preaching the everlasting Gospel to all nations; the knowledge of it shall greatly increase; see Daniel 12:4 this passage seems to be taken out of Psalm 18:33 and there may be not only an allusion to the swiftness of those creatures, but to the strength and firmness of their feet; so that they can go upon rocks and mountains securely, and tread and walk, and even run upon them with safety; and this sense is directed to, not only by what follows, concerning "walking" on "high places"; but by the word here used, which signifies to "make", or "set", fix, place, order, and settle (b); and this agrees with the nature of those creatures, whose feet are not only swift, but firm; they tread sure and stable; hence hinds and harts are by the poets (c) called the "brasen footed hinds", or "harts"; because of the firmness and stability of their going; and it is an observation of Jarchi's (d), that the feet of the females stand firmer and more upright than the feet of the males; wherefore, both here, and in Psalm 18:33, not harts, but hinds, are made mention of; and so this may also denote the stability of the saints in those times, both ministers and common Christians, in the exercise of grace, and in the performance of duty; their hearts will be established in the faith of Christ, and in love to him, and in the hope of eternal life by him; all which they will be settled in, and will hold fast, and not let go; and will be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord their God; and so in the Gospel of Christ, and in the ordinances of it, their souls will be established in and with the doctrines of grace, and will continue steadfastly in them, and abide by and keep the ordinances as they have been delivered to them; nor will any difficulties, which may seem like hills and mountains, and cragged rocks, deter or discourage them, or move them from the hope of the Gospel, or from their duty; but they shall walk on securely and firmly:
and he will make me to walk upon mine high places: meaning not so much the high places of the land of Judea, some part of it being mountainous, though there may be some reference to them; but it signifies the exalted state of the church after the troublesome times, when it shall be exalted above the hills, and established on the top of the mountains; when Christ the Lamb, with his 144,000 sealed ones, shall stand upon Mount Zion with harps in their hands, having gotten the victory over the antichristian beast and his image; and when the saints shall have the dominion of the world; and the kingdom and the greatness of it, under the whole heaven, shall be given to them, Isaiah 2:2 as well as they shall be in lively, spiritual, and heavenly frames of soul; mount up with wings, as eagles; soar aloft in the exercise of faith; dwell on high in the contemplation of divine things; have their affections set on things above; and their conversation in heaven while they are on earth: especially this may be said of them when they shall have the glory of God upon them in the New Jerusalem state, and shall dwell in the new heavens and the new earth, with Christ at the head of them; and when they shall possess the ultimate glory in the highest heavens to all eternity; see Deuteronomy 33:29 and thus ends this prayer of Habakkuk; which serves to draw out the desires of good men after the flourishing estate of the kingdom and interest of Christ; to assist their faith in the belief, hope, and expectation of it; and to lead their views to its summit and perfection, notwithstanding all the difficulties and discouragements that may lie in its way: and being of so much moment and importance, that it might remain and continue, and be of use to the church in succeeding ages, the prophet delivered or directed it
to the chief singer, to be set to tune, and sung by him, as David's prayers, and others, sometimes were, and to be preserved for future usefulness; and this he would have sung (he says)
on my stringed instruments; which were either invented by him, or used by him in the temple, or were his own property: or he sent this prayer or ode to him who was over these instruments, had the care and use of them; and which were such as were to be stricken with the hand, bone, or quill; and are the same that are called "Neginoth" in the title of the fourth Psalm Psa 4:1, and others.
(b) , Sept.; "et ponet", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Burkius; "qui disponit", Junius & Tremellius; "et possuit", (c) "Fixerit aeripedem cervam licet----" Virgil. Aeneid. 6. prope finem. "Vincunt aeripedes ter terno Nestore cervi." Ausonii Idyll. 11. (d) Comment. in Psal. xviii. 34.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19. hinds' feet … walk upon … high places—Habakkuk has here before his mind Ps 18:33, 34; De 32:13. "Hinds' (gazelles') feet" imply the swiftness with which God enables him (the prophet and his people) to escape from his enemies, and return to his native land. The "high places" are called "mine," to imply that Israel shall be restored to his own land, a land of hills which are places of safety and of eminence (compare Ge 19:17; Mt 24:16). Probably not only the safety, but the moral elevation, of Israel above all the lands of the earth is implied (De 33:29).
on my stringed instruments—neginoth. This is the prophet's direction to the precentor ("chief singer") as to how the preceding ode (Hab 3:1-19) is to be performed (compare Ps 4:1; 6:1, titles). The prophet had in mind a certain form of stringed instrument adapted to certain numbers and measures. This formula at the end of the ode, directing the kind of instrument to be used, agrees with that in the beginning of it, which directs the kind of melody (compare Isa 38:20).
Habakkuk 3:19 Additional Commentaries
…18Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. 19The Lord GOD is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds' feet, And makes me walk on my high places. For the choir director, on my stringed instruments.
Blessed are you, Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD? He is your shield and helper and your glorious sword. Your enemies will cower before you, and you will tread on their heights."
2 Samuel 2:18
The three sons of Zeruiah were there: Joab, Abishai and Asahel. Now Asahel was as fleet-footed as a wild gazelle.
2 Samuel 22:34
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights.
It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights.
Of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation-- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall I be afraid?
For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth. A song. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Song of Solomon 2:7
Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.
They will say of me, 'In the LORD alone are deliverance and strength.'" All who have raged against him will come to him and be put to shame.
then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob." The mouth of the LORD has spoken.
This is what the Sovereign LORD says: The enemy said of you, "Aha! The ancient heights have become our possession."'
Treasury of Scripture
The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk on my high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.
stringed instruments. Heb. Neginoth.
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