Habakkuk 3:11
The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of your arrows they went, and at the shining of your glittering spear.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(11) The sun and moon stand still in their habitationscil., where they were at the beginning of the judgment. Here, of course, Habakkuk has in mind Joshua 10:12-13. The rest of the verse is best rendered, at the light of Thine arrows which go abroad, at the bright glancing of Thy spear. Apparently, the conception is that the surpassing brightness of the theophany shames the heavenly bodies, which accordingly cease to pursue their journey.

Habakkuk 3:11-12. The sun and moon stood still in their habitation — At the command of Joshua. At the light of thine arrows they went — Or rather, by their light (namely, the light of the sun and moon) thine arrows flew abroad, and by their shining, thy glittering spear. It was to give the Israelites time for the destruction of their enemies, that God caused the sun and moon to stand still; and while these gave them light, Jehovah sent out his arrows and scattered them, &c., Psalm 18:14. He alludes to God’s casting down great hailstones and lightnings from heaven, to discomfit the Amorites: see the margin. Thou didst march, &c. — Jehovah is here represented as marching before his people, through the land of Canaan, in his chariot of war, and trampling under foot those that rose up against him; which seems to be the meaning of the second clause, Thou didst thrash, &c.3:3-15 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!Sun and moon stood still (as one act retiring into) in their habitation - They withdrew, as it were, in the midst of the great tempest, wherein Joshua 10:11-13. "God cast down great stones from heaven upon" His enemies and they died; and "the sun stood still, and the moon stayed." The sun too withdrew itself in the great darkness at the crucifixion, as not bearing to look upon the death of its Maker, when the majesty of the Sun of Righteousness was darkened o'er; and signs in the sun and in the moon there shall be to the end.

At the light of Thine arrows they went - A. E.: "There was no need of the sun by day, nor of the moon by night; for by the light of Thine arrows can the sons of men hold their way." Tanchum: "This is a mystical interpretation, as you see; this is like the promise of the Most High; Isaiah 60:19. 'the sun shall be no more for thy light by day, neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee, and the Lord shall be to thee an everlasting light.'" The judgments of God are a light to His people, while they are the destruction of His enemies; in them they "learn righteousness" Isaiah 26:9. The arrows are God's judgments, as they threaten and wound from afar;

The shining of Thy glittering spear - literally, of the lightning of Thy spear, when close at hand. When all other light is withdrawn, and the Sun, our Lord, is hardly beheld in the darkness of the last days, and the moon, the Church, shall not give her light, Christ not shining upon her as before, because "iniquity shall abound, and the love of many shall wax cold," and "stars," many who seem to shine with the light of grace, "shall fall from heaven," His own shall walk on and advance in holiness. Dion.: "from strength to strength, Psalm 84:7. from good to better, from the way to their home," by the bright light of the lightning of God's Judgments, wherein His glory shall be manifested. Arrows and spears are part of the spiritual armory of God, wherewith the people are subdued unto Him. Cyril: "armory, not wherewith He is girt but which He giveth to those who are meet; bright and as it were full of lightning. For most transparent is virtue." They went then at the light of Thine arrows. Cyril: "because to those who love sin virtue has no beauty, nor, as yet, any brightness. But to those who know her she is nothing less than lightning, bright and transparent, so that whoso hath her is easily known to all around. The disciples then, first having the lightning of Thine arms, shall lead others also to its Light. Admiring and conceiving in themselves those virtues which are the arms of Christ, they shine forth to others, a gleam, as it were, of the bright flash of light inherent in those graces." Rup.: "They were enlightened and began, by preaching, to send forth shining words of truth. But those words are Thine arrows, shining arrows, showing by their light the way of life, and by their sharp point pricking the hearts of people unto repentance."

11. sun … moon stood still—at Joshua's command (Jos 10:12, 13). Maurer wrongly translates, "stand" (withdrawn, or hidden from view, by the clouds which covered the sky during the thunders).

light of thine arrows—hail mixed with lightnings (Jos 10:10, 11).

they went—The sun and moon "went," not as always heretofore, but according to the light and direction of Jehovah's arrows, namely, His lightnings hurled in defense of His people; astonished at these they stood still [Calvin]. Maurer translates, "At the light of Thine arrows (which) went" or flew.

The sun and moon stood still: though the sun rejoice as a giant to run his race, and had constantly come out of his chamber to run it about two thousand five hundred years past, yet now he stops his course, and with his stay puts stop to the motion of moon and stars, at the command of God’s minister and Israel’s captain, Joshua 10:12,13.

Habitation; so the psalmist, Psalm 19:4, speaks of a pavilion or tabernacle pitched for the sun, where at Joshua’s word, seconded with the word of Joshua’s and Israel’s God, he makes a halt as it were, stands at the door of his tabernacle to behold and forward the strange work, the miraculous overthrow of the five conspiring kings.

At the light of thine arrows they went: as we read the words they seem somewhat obscure and perplexed, yet very intelligible in this paraphrase: at the light, according to the light which thine arrows gave by their glittering heads, polished shafts, and bright feathers; in their flight thine arrows, O God, for these were the arrows of Israel and thine arrows too, as the sword of Gideon was the sword of the Lord.

They, i.e. sun and moon, went, directed their course, and took their way compliant with the flights of these arrows, not hastening to the place of their going down whilst Israel had arrows to shoot, or enemies that day to discomfit, whilst they were to lift up a spear against any enemy that day. The marginal reading of these words is much plainer:

thine arrows walked in the light, ( which was miraculously continued,) and thy spears walked in the brightness of the lightning (as I venture for once to read the words from the Hebrew); so dreadful was that day to the enemy, so joyful to Israel. O let some such day arise on captive Jews, revive thy works of old: so the prophet prays. The sun and moon stood still in their habitation,.... This is generally thought to refer to the miracle in the times of Joshua, Joshua 10:12 but a different word is there used, especially of the standing still of the sun; nor are the sun and moon said there to stand in their habitation; nor will the series of the history of times past, or the thread of prophecy of things to come, admit of this reference; nor do the words express the clear shining of the sun and moon at their standing still, but the reverse; for the phrase, "in their habitation", may be rendered, "within their tent" (p), or pavilion; See Gill on Psalm 19:4; which is no other than their being encompassed and covered with clouds; which is just such a pavilion as God is said to be in, when "darkness was his secret place; his pavilion round about him dark waters and thick clouds of the skies", Psalm 18:11 and so is expressive of the dark times of antichrist, which followed, when the Pagan persecutions were over, Christianity supported by secular powers, and the Christian churches raised to the height of riches and honour; and then the man of sin showed himself, the pope of Rome took upon him the title of universal bishop, and introduced false doctrines, strange worship, and bad discipline, into the church, and obscured the glorious light of it; and Mahomet also arose with his locusts, the Saracens, out of the bottomless pit opened, from whence came a smoke which darkened the sun and air, Revelation 9:1,

at the light of thine arrows they went, and at the shining of thy glittering spear; the commonly received sense of the words is, either at the light and shining of the sun and moon, when they stood still in Joshua's time; the arrows of the Almighty, and the lightning of his spear, that is, hailstones mingled with fire, and thunder, and lightning, which the heathens call Jupiter's arrows; these steered their course, being directed against the enemies of the Lord's people, and fought for them, Joshua 10:10 or at the light of these, which looked very bright and dazzling through the rays of the sun upon them, the Israelites marched against their enemies, and avenged themselves on them: but these bright arrows and glittering spear, and the light and shining of them, seem to design no other than the weapons of the Christian ministry or warfare; the Gospel, and the doctrines of it; the light of which broke forth at the Reformation, the same that is meant by the "morning star", Revelation 2:28 irradiated by which, the ministers of it especially went forth with courage against their antichristian enemies, and prevailed, and spread the Gospel in many countries. It may be rendered as a petition, "let them walk at the light" (q), &c.; a prayer of faith that it might be, and which is a prophecy that it would be.

(p) "intra habitaculum", Cocceius, Van Till, "vel in tugurio", ib. (q) "ambulent ad lucem", &c. Van Till.

The {o} sun and moon stood still in their habitation: {p} at the light of thy arrows they went, and at the shining of thy glittering spear.

(o) As appears in Jos 10:12.

(p) According to your command the sun was directed by the weapons of your people, that fought in your cause, as though it dare not go forward.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11. The sun and moon stood still] stand still, i.e. do not come forth, being behind the storm-cloud. The word possibly means retreat, withdraw into their habitation, hiding themselves from the light of the flying arrows of Jehovah. They are scared and outshone by the terrible brightness of His lightnings; cf. Isaiah 24:23. Sept. joins “lifted up” of preceding verse to this one, making “the sun” the subject. No acceptable sense is given by the Sept., but certainly the balance of the rhythm seems to require a separate predicate to “the sun”: the sun …, the moon withdraws.

At the light of thine arrows they went] at the light of thine arrows as they go. The “arrows” and “spear” both refer to the lightnings.

The strophe reads as a whole:

  8.  Art thou displeased against the rivers, O Lord?

Is thine anger against the rivers,

Or thy wrath against the sea,

That thou dost ride upon thine horses,

Upon thy chariots of salvation?

  9.  Thy bow is made bare

… Selah.

Thou cleavest the rivers into dryland.

  10.  The mountains see thee, they tremble,

The rainflood of waters passeth on;

The deep uttereth his voice,

And lifteth up his hands on high.

  11.  The sun, the moon stand still in their habitation,

At the light of thine arrows as they go,

At the shining of thy glittering spear.Verse 11. - The sun and moon stood still in their habitation; or, stand still, or withdraw into their habitation. They hide themselves in the tabernacles whence they are said to emerge when they shine (Psalm 19:4, etc.). Overpowered with the splendour of God's presence, the heavenly luminaries hide their light in this day of the Lord (comp. Isaiah 13:10; Joel 2:2, 10, 31; Joel 3:15; Amos 5:20; Matthew 24:29). The miracle of Joshua (Joshua 10:12, etc.) may have suggested some of the language here, but the idea is quite different. At the light of thine arrows they went; i.e. the sun and moon fled away discomfited at the glory of God's weapons, his arrows gleaming with light. The idea may be that, in the absence of the sun and moon, the terrific scene was illuminated only by flashes of lightning. "Lightnings" are sometimes celled God's "arrows," as in Psalm 18:14; Psalm 77:17, etc.; but the image here is rather of the arms of a warrior. Many supply the relative in the sentence, and render, "arrows which shoot along." This seems to be unnecessary, and is not supported by the versions. There is no special reference to the hailstorm at Beth-horon, which discomfited the Cananites, but enabled the Israelites to pass on to victory (Joshua, loc. cit.). It is the terror of the judgment that is adumbrated, when the Lord shall come in flames of fire (2 Thessalonians 1:8), and the heavens shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat (2 Peter 3:12). But before this takes place, the daughter Zion will lose her king, and wander into captivity to Babylon; but there she will be redeemed by the Lord out of the power of her enemies. Micah 4:9. "Now why dost thou cry a cry? Is there no king in thee, or is thy counsellor perished, that pangs have seized thee like the woman in labour? Micah 4:10. Writhe and break forth, O daughter Zion, like a woman in labour! For how wilt thou go out of the city and dwell in the field, and come to Babel? there wilt thou be rescued; there will Jehovah redeem thee out of the hand of thine enemies." From this glorious future the prophet now turns his eye to the immediate future, to proclaim to the people what will precede this glorification, viz., first of all, the loss of the royal government, and the deportation of the people to Babylon. If Micah, after announcing the devastation of Zion in Micah 3:12, has offered to the faithful a firm ground of hope in the approaching calamities, by pointing to the highest glory as awaiting it in the future, he now guards against the abuse which might be made of this view by the careless body of the people, who might either fancy that the threat of punishment was not meant so seriously after all, or that the time of adversity would very speedily give place to a much more glorious state of prosperity, by depicting the grievous times that are still before them. Beholding in spirit the approaching time of distress as already present, he hears a loud cry, like that of a woman in labour, and inquires the cause of this lamentation, and whether it refers to the loss of her king. The words are addressed to the daughter Zion, and the meaning of the rhetorical question is simply this: Zion will lose her king, and be thrown into the deepest mourning in consequence. The loss of the king was a much more painful thing for Israel than for any other nation, because such glorious promises were attached to the throne, the king being the visible representative of the grace of God, and his removal a sign of the wrath of God and of the abolition of all the blessings of salvation which were promised to the nation in his person. Compare Lamentations 4:20, where Israel calls the king its vital breath (Hengstenberg). יועץ (counsellor) is also the king; and this epithet simply gives prominence to that which the Davidic king had been to Zion (cf. Isaiah 9:5, where the Messiah is designated as "Counsellor" par excellence). But Zion must experience this pain: writhe and break forth. Gōchı̄ is strengthened by chūlı̄, and is used intransitively, to break forth, describing the pain connected with the birth as being as it were a bursting of the whole nature (cf. Jeremiah 4:31). It is not used transitively in the sense of "drive forth," as Hitzig and others suppose; for the determination that Jerusalem would submit, and the people be carried away, could not properly be represented as a birth or as a reorganization of things. With the words כּי עתּה וגו the prophet leaves the figure, and predicts in literal terms the catastrophe awaiting the nation. עתּה (now), repeated from Lamentations 4:9, is the ideal present, which the prophet sees in spirit, but which is in reality the near or more remote future. קריה, without an article, is a kind of proper name, like urbs for Rome (Caspari). In order to set forth the certainty of the threatened judgment, and at the same time the greatness of the calamity in the most impressive manner, Micah fills up the details of the drama: viz., going out of the city, dwelling in the field, without shelter, delivered up to all the chances of weather, and coming to Babel, carried thither without delay. Going out of the city presupposes the conquest of the city by the enemy; since going out to surrender themselves to the enemy (2 Kings 24:12; 1 Samuel 11:3) does not fit in with the prophetic description, which is not a historical description in detail. Nevertheless Israel shall not perish. There (shâm, i.e., even in Babel) will the Lord its God deliver it out of the hand of its foes.

The prediction that the daughter Zion, i.e., the nation of Israel which was governed from Zion, and had its centre in Zion - the covenant nation which, since the destruction of the kingdom of the ten tribes, existed in Judah only - should be carried away to Babylon, and that at a time when Assyria was in the field as the chief enemy of Israel and the representative of the imperial power, goes so far beyond the bounds of the political horizon of Micah's time, that it cannot be accounted for from any natural presentiment. It is true that it has an analogon in Isaiah 34:6-7, where Isaiah predicts to king Hezekiah in the most literal terms the carrying away of all his treasures, and of his sons (descendants), to Babylon. At the same time, this analogy is not sufficient to explain the prediction before us; for Isaiah's prophecy was uttered during the period immediately following the destruction of the Assyrian forces in front of Jerusalem and the arrival of Babylonian ambassadors in Jerusalem, and had a point of connection in these events, which indicated the destruction of the Assyrian empire and the rise of Babylon in its stead, at all events in the germ; whereas no such connecting link exists in the case of Micah's prophecy, which was unquestionably uttered before these events. It has therefore been thought, that in Micah 3:12 Micah predicts the destruction of Jerusalem, and here in Micah 4:10 the carrying away of Judah to Babylon by the Assyrians; and this opinion, that Micah expected the judgment upon Jerusalem and Judah to be executed by the Assyrians, and not by the Babylonians, has been supported partly by such passages as Micah 5:4-5, and Jeremiah 26:18-19, and partly by the circumstance that Micah threatens his own corrupt contemporaries with the judgment which he predicts on account of their sins; whereas in his time the Assyrians were the only possible executors of a judgment upon Israel who were then standing on the stage of history (Caspari). But these arguments are not decisive. All that can be inferred from Micah 5:4-5, where Asshur is mentioned as the representative of all the enemies of Israel, and of the power of the world in its hostility to the people of God in the Messianic times, is that at the time of Micah the imperial power in its hostility to the kingdom of God was represented by Assyria; but it by no means follows that Assyria would always remain the imperial power, so that it could only be from her that Micah could expect the destruction of Jerusalem, and the carrying away of Judah to Babylon. Again, Jeremiah 26:18, Jeremiah 26:19 - where the chief men of Judah, in order to defend the prophet Jeremiah, quote Micah's prophecy, with the remark that king Hezekiah did not put him to death in consequence, but feared the Lord and besought His face, so that the Lord repented of the evil which He had spoken concerning Jerusalem - simply proves that these chief men referred Micah's words to the Assyrians, and attributed the non-fulfilment of the threatened judgment by the Assyrians to Hezekiah's penitence and prayer, and that this was favoured by the circumstance that the Lord answered the prayer of the king, by assuring him that the Assyrian army should be destroyed (Isaiah 37:21.). But whether the opinion of these chief men as to the meaning and fulfilment of Micah's prophecy (Micah 3:12) was the correct one or not, cannot be decided from the passage quoted. Its correctness is apparently favoured, indeed, by the circumstance that Micah threatened the people of his own time with the judgment (for your sakes shall Zion be ploughed into a field, etc.). Now, if he had been speaking of a judgment upon Judah through the medium of the Babylonians, "he would (so Caspari thinks) not only have threatened his contemporaries with a judgment which could not fall upon them, since it was not possible till after their time, inasmuch as the Assyrians were on the stage in his day; but he would also have been most incomprehensibly silent as to the approaching Assyrian judgment, of which Isaiah spoke again and again." This argument falls to the ground with the untenable assumptions upon which it is founded. Micah neither mentions the Assyrians nor the Babylonians as executing the judgment, nor does he say a word concerning the time when the predicted devastation or destruction of Jerusalem will occur. In the expression בּגללכם, for your sakes (Micah 3:12), it is by no means affirmed that it will take place in his time through the medium of the Assyrians. The persons addressed are the scandalous leaders of the house of Israel, i.e., of the covenant nation, and primarily those living in his own time, though by no means those only, but all who share their character and ungodliness, so that the words apply to succeeding generations quite as much as to his contemporaries. The only thing that would warrant our restricting the prophecy to Micah's own times, would be a precise definition by Micah himself of the period when Jerusalem would be destroyed, or his expressly distinguishing his own contemporaries from their sons and descendants. But as he has done neither the one nor the other, it cannot be said that, inasmuch as the destruction of Jerusalem and the carrying away of the people was not effected by the Assyrians, but by the Babylonians (Chaldaeans), he would have been altogether silent as to the approaching Assyrian judgment, and only threatened them with the Chaldaean catastrophe, which did not take place till a long time afterwards. His words refer to all the judgments, which took place from his own time onwards till the utter destruction of Jerusalem and the carrying away of the people to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. The one-sided reference of the prophecy to the Assyrians is simply based upon an incorrect idea of the nature of prophecy, and its relation to the fulfilment, and involves the prophet Micah in an irreconcilable discrepancy between himself and his contemporary the prophet Isaiah, who does indeed predict the severe oppression of Judah by the Assyrians, but at the same time foretels the failure of the plans of these foes to the people of Jehovah, and the total destruction of their army.

This contradiction, with the consequence to which it would inevitably lead, - namely, that if one of the prophets predicted the destruction of Jerusalem by the Assyrians, whereas the other prophesied that it would not be destroyed by them, the two contemporary prophets would necessarily lead the people astray, and render both the truth of their contradictory utterances and their own divine mission doubtful, - cannot be removed by the assumption that Isaiah uttered the prophecies in ch. 28-32 at a somewhat later period, after Micah had published his book, and the terribly severe words of Micah in Micah 3:12 had produced repentance. For Isaiah had predicted that the Assyrian would not conquer Jerusalem, but that his army would be destroyed under its walls, not only in Isaiah 28-32, at the time when the Assyrians are approaching with threatening aspect under Shalmaneser or Sennacherib, but much earlier than that, - namely, in the time of Ahaz, in Isaiah 10:5-12:6. Moreover, in Isaiah 28-32 there is not a single trace that Micah's terrible threatening had produced such repentance, that the Lord was able to withdraw His threat in consequence, and predict through Isaiah the rescue of Jerusalem from the Assyrian. On the contrary, Isaiah scourges the evil judges and false prophets quite as severely in Isaiah 28:7. and Isaiah 29:9-12 as Micah does in Micah 3:1-3 and Micah 3:5-8. And lastly, although the distinction between conditional prophecies and those uttered unconditionally is, generally speaking, correct enough, and is placed beyond all doubt by Jeremiah 18:7-10; there is nothing in the addresses and threatenings of the two prophets to indicate that Micah uttered his threats conditionally, i.e., in case there should be no repentance, whereas Isaiah uttered his unconditionally. Moreover, such an explanation is proved to be untenable by the fact, that in Micah the threat of the destruction of Jerusalem and of the desolation of the temple mountain (Micah 3:12) stands in the closest connection with the promise, that at the end of the days the mountain of God's house will be exalted above all mountains, and Jehovah reign on Zion as king for ever (Micah 4:1-3 and Micah 7:1). If this threat were only conditional, the promise would also have only a conditional validity; and the final glorification of the kingdom of God would be dependent upon the penitence of the great mass of the people of Israel, - a view which is diametrically opposed to the real nature of the prophecies of both, yea, of all the prophets. The only difference between Isaiah and Micah in this respect consists in the fact that Isaiah, in his elaborate addresses, brings out more distinctly the attitude of the imperial power of Assyria towards the kingdom of God in Israel, and predicts not only that Israel will be hard pressed by the Assyrians, but also that the latter will not overcome the people of God, but will be wrecked upon the foundation-stone laid by Jehovah in Zion; whereas Micah simply threatens the sinners with judgment, and after the judgment predicts the glorification of Zion in grand general terms, without entering more minutely into the attitude of the Assyrians towards Israel.

In the main, however, Micah goes hand in hand with his contemporary Isaiah. In Isaiah 32:14, Isaiah also foretels the devastation, or rather the destruction, of Jerusalem, notwithstanding the fact that he has more than once announced the deliverance of the city of God from Asshur, and that without getting into contradiction with himself. For this double announcement may be very simply explained from the fact that the judgments which Israel had yet to endure, and the period of glory to follow, lay, like a long, deep diorama, before the prophet's mental eye; and that in his threatenings he plunged sometimes more, sometimes less, deeply into those judgments which lay in perspective before him (see Delitzsch on Isaiah, at Isaiah 32:20). The same thing applies to Micah, who goes to a great depth both in his threats and promises, not only predicting the judgment in all its extremity, - namely, the utter destruction of Jerusalem, and the carrying away of the people to Babel, - but also the salvation in its ultimate perfection, viz., the glorification of Zion. We must therefore not restrict his threats in Micah 3:12 and Micah 4:10 even to the Chaldaean catastrophe, nor the promise of Israel's deliverance in Babel out of the hands of its foes to the liberation of the Jews from Babylon, which was effected by Cyrus, and their return to Palestine under Zerubbabel and Ezra; but must also extend the threat of punishment to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans and the attendant dispersion of the Jews over all the world, and the redemption out of Babel promised in Micah 4:10 to that deliverance of Israel which, in the main, is in the future still. These two judgments and these two deliverances are comprehended in an undivided unity in the words of the prophet, Babel being regarded not only in its historical character, but also in its typical significance, as the beginning and the hearth of the kingdom of the world. Babel has this double significance in the Scriptures from the very commencement. Even the building of the city with a tower intended to reach to heaven was a work of human pride, and an ungodly display of power (Genesis 11:4.); and after its erection Babel was made by Nimrod the beginning of the empire of the world (Genesis 10:10). It was from these two facts that Babel became the type of the imperial power, and not because the division of the human race into nations with different languages, and their dispersion over the whole earth, had their origin there (see A. ch. Lmmert, Babel, das Thier und der falsche Prophet. Goth. 1862, p. 36ff.); and it is in this typical significance of Babel that we have to seek not only for the reason for the divine purpose to banish the people of God to Babel, when they were given up to the power of the kingdom of the world, but also for a point of connection for the prophetic announcement when this purpose had been communicated to the prophet's mind. Micah accordingly predicts the carrying away of the daughter Zion to Babel, and her deliverance there out of the power of her enemies, not because Babel along with Nineveh was the metropolis of the world-empire of his time, or a chief city of that empire, but because Babel, from its very origin, was a type and symbol of the imperial power. That the words of Micah, in their deepest sense, should be so interpreted, is not only warranted, but necessitated, by the announcement which follows in Micah 4:11-13 of the victorious conflict of Zion with many nations, which points far beyond the conflicts of the Jews in the times succeeding the captivity.

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