Habakkuk 3:14
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
You pierced with his own arrows the heads of his warriors, who came like a whirlwind to scatter me, rejoicing as if to devour the poor in secret.

King James Bible
Thou didst strike through with his staves the head of his villages: they came out as a whirlwind to scatter me: their rejoicing was as to devour the poor secretly.

American Standard Version
Thou didst pierce with his own staves the head of his warriors: They came as a whirlwind to scatter me; Their rejoicing was as to devour the poor secretly.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Thou hast cursed his sceptres, the head of his warriors, them that came out as a whirlwind to scatter me. Their joy was like that of him that devoureth the poor man in secret.

English Revised Version
Thou didst pierce with his own staves the head of his warriors: they came as a whirlwind to scatter me: their rejoicing was as to devour the poor secretly.

Webster's Bible Translation
Thou didst strike through with his staffs the head of his villages: they came out as a whirlwind to scatter me: their rejoicing was as to devour the poor secretly.

Habakkuk 3:14 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The daughter Zion, when rescued from Babel, overcomes all hostile powers in the strength of her God. Micah 4:11. "And now many nations have assembled together against thee, who say, Let her be profaned, and let our eyes look upon Zion. Micah 4:12. But they know not the thoughts of Jehovah, and understand not His counsel; for He has gathered them together like sheaves for the threshing-floor. Micah 4:13. Rise up and thresh, O daughter Zion: for I make thy horn iron, and I make thy hoofs brass; and thou wilt crush many nations: and I ban their gain to Jehovah, and their substance to the Lord of the whole earth." With ועתּה, corresponding to עתּה in Micah 4:9, there commences a new scene, which opens to the prophet's mental eye. Many nations have assembled together against the daughter Zion (עליך pointing back to בּת ציּון in Micah 4:10), with the intention of profaning her, and feasting their eyes upon the profaned one. It is the holiness of Zion, therefore, which drives the nations to attack her. תּחנף, let her be or become profaned: not by the sins or bloodguiltiness of her inhabitants (Jeremiah 3:2; Isaiah 24:5), for this is not appropriate in the mouths of heathen; but through devastation or destruction let her holiness be taken from her. They want to show that there is nothing in her holiness, and to feast their eyes upon the city thus profaned. חזה with ב, to look upon a thing with interest, here with malicious pleasure. On the singular tachaz, followed by the subject in the plural, see Ewald 317, a. To this design on the part of the heathen, the prophet (Micah 4:12) opposes the counsel of the Lord. Whilst the heathen assemble together against Zion, with the intention of profaning her by devastation, the Lord has resolved to destroy them in front of Zion. The destruction which they would prepare for Zion will fall upon themselves, for the Lord gathers them together like sheaves upon the threshing-floor, to thresh, i.e., destroy, them. כּי does not mean "that," but "for." The sentence explains the assertion that they do not understand the counsel of the Lord. כּעמיר, with the generic article, equivalent to "like sheaves." This judgment Zion is to execute upon the heathen. The figurative expression, "Rise up, and thresh," etc., rests upon the oriental custom of threshing out corn with oxen, i.e., of having it trodden out with their hoofs (see Paulsen, Ackerbau der Morgenlnder, 41). In this, of course, only the strength of the hoofs was considered. But as the horn of the ox is a figure frequently used for destructive power (see Deuteronomy 33:17; 1 Kings 22:11; Amos 6:13, etc.), the prophet combines this figure, to strengthen the idea of crushing power, and express the thought that the Lord will equip Zion perfectly with the strength requisite to destroy the nations. והחרמתּי is the first person, and must not be altered into or regarded as the second, as it has been in the lxx and Syriac, and by Jerome. The prophet does not speak in the name of the theocratic nation, as Jerome supposes, but continues to represent Jehovah as speaking, as in אשׂים, with which, however, instead of לי, the noun ליהוה is used, to give greater clearness to the thought that it is Jehovah, the God and Lord of the whole earth, who will destroy the nations that have rebelled against Him and His kingdom, wresting their possessions from them, and taking them back to Himself. For everything laid under the ban belonged to the Lord, as being most holy (Leviticus 27:28). חיל, property, wealth, the sum and substance of the possessions. Israel is not to enrich itself by plundering the defeated foe, but Jehovah will sanctify the possessions of the heathen to Himself, to whom they belong as Lord of the whole earth, by laying them under the ban: that is to say, He will apply them to the glorification of His kingdom.

There has been a diversity of opinion as to the historical allusion, or the fulfilment of these verses. So much, however, is obvious at the very outset, namely, that they cannot be made to refer to the same event as Micah 4:9, that is to say, to the siege of Jerusalem by the Assyrians, without bringing the prophet into the most striking contradiction to himself. For, since Micah 4:10 predicts not a partial deportation, but the complete carrying away of Israel to Babel, and Micah 4:13 the perfect deliverance of Jerusalem, the people wandering out of Jerusalem into captivity (Micah 4:10) cannot possibly be the enemies who lead it away, beating it utterly before Jerusalem, and banning their possessions to the Lord. There is more to favour the allusion to the victorious conflicts of the Maccabees with the Syrians, for which Theodoret, Calvin, Hengstenberg, and others decide, since these conflicts occurred in the period intervening between the return of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity (Micah 4:10) and the coming of the Messiah (Micah 5:12). But even this allusion corresponds far too little to the words of the promise for us to be able to regard it as correct. Although, for example, the war of the Maccabees was a religious war in the strict sense of the word, since the Syrians, and with them the small neighbouring nations of the Jews, set themselves to attack Judah as the nation of God, and to exterminate Judaism, the gōyı̄m rabbı̄m who have assembled against Zion, and whom the Lord gathers together thither (Micah 4:11, Micah 4:12), point to a much greater even than the attacks made by the Syrians and the surrounding tribes upon Jerusalem in the time of the Maccabees. Gōyı̄, rabbı̄m (many nations) points back to gōyı̄m rabbı̄m and ‛ammı̄m rabbı̄m in Micah 4:2 and Micah 4:3, so that, both here and there, all the nations of the world that are hostile to God are included. Again, the defeat which they suffer before Jerusalem is much greater than the victory which the Maccabees achieved over their enemies. On the other hand, the circumstance that the Babylonian captivity is predicted in Micah 4:10, and the birth of the Messiah in Micah 5:1-2, and that the victorious conflicts of the Maccabees with the Syrians and the heathen neighbours of the Jews lie in the interim between these events, furnishes no sufficient proof that these conflicts must be referred to in Micah 4:11-13, simply because the assumption that, in Micah 4:9 -14, the attacks of the Chaldaeans, the Graeco-Syrians, and the Romans upon Zion are foretold in the order in which they followed one another in history, has no firm basis in the threefold recurrence of ‛attâh (now) in Micah 4:9, Micah 4:11, and Micah 5:1. As an event is introduced with ‛attâh in Micah 5:9, which does not follow the one predicted in Micah 5:8 in chronological sequence, but, on the contrary, the prophet comes back in ve‛attâh from the more remote to the more immediate future, it cannot be inferred from the ‛attâh in Micah 5:1 that the oppression mentioned there must follow the victory over many nations predicted in Micah 4:11-13 in chronological order, or that the siege and capture of Jerusalem by the Romans are referred to in Romans 5:1. Moreover, the proclamation in Romans 5:10 already goes beyond the Chaldaean catastrophe, and the liberation of the Jews from the Chaldaean exile, so that if the ve‛attâh in Romans 5:12 announces a conflict with Zion which will follow the events predicted in Romans 5:9 and Romans 5:10, we must not restrict the conflict to the wars of the Maccabees. We must therefore understand these verses as referring to the events already predicted by Joel (ch. 3), and afterwards by Ezekiel (Ezekiel 38, 39) and Zechariah (Zechariah 12:1-14), and in Revelation 20:8.: i.e., to the last great attack which the nations of the world will make upon the church of the Lord, that has been redeemed from Babel and sanctified, with the design of exterminating the holy city of God from the face of the earth, and to which the attacks of the Syrians, and the rest of the nations surrounding Judah, upon the covenant nation in the times of the Maccabees, furnished but a feeble prelude. This view is favoured by the unmistakeable similarity between our verses and both Joel and Ezekiel.

The נאספוּ עליך גּויים רבּים in Micah 4:11, compared with קבּצם in Micah 4:12, points clearly back to וקבּצתּי את־הגּוים in Joel 3:2, compared with ונקבּצוּ in Micah 4:11; and the figure in Micah 4:12, of the gathering together of the nations like sheaves for the threshing-floor, to the similar figures of the ripening of the harvest and the treading of the full wine-press in Joel 3:13. And the use of gōyı̄m rabbı̄m in Micah is no reason for supposing that it differs in meaning from the kol-haggōyı̄m of Joel, since Micah uses gōyı̄m rabbı̄m in Micah 4:2 and Micah 4:3 for the totality of the nations of the world. Ezekiel, also, simply speaks of gōyı̄m rabbı̄m as assembling together with Gog to attack the mountains of Israel (Ezekiel 38:6, Ezekiel 38:9, Ezekiel 38:15); and in his case also, this attack of the nations upon Jerusalem is appended to the redemption of Israel effected at Babel. Again, the issue of this attack is the same in Micah as in Joel, Ezekiel, and Zechariah, - namely, the complete overthrow of the hostile nations by the people of Israel, who fight in the strength of the Lord, by which Jehovah manifests Himself to all nations as Lord of the whole earth, and proves Himself to be the Holy One (compare Micah 4:13 with Joel 3:12-13, and Ezekiel 38:16; Ezekiel 39:3.). Lastly, a decisive proof of the correctness of this allusion is to be found in the circumstance, that the attack of the nations is directed against Zion, which has now become holy, that it proceeds from hatred and enmity to His holiness, and has for its object the desecration of the city of God. This feature is by no means applicable to Jerusalem and Judah in the time of the Maccabees, but can only apply to the time when Israel, redeemed from Babel, forms a holy church of God, i.e., to the last period of the development of the kingdom of God, which began with Christ, but has not yet reached its fullest manifestation. "From the fact, however, that Zion, when sanctified, is to be delivered out of much greater danger than that from which it will not be delivered in the immediate future, and also that the refined and sanctified Zion will conquer and destroy an incomparably greater hostile force than that to which it will now soon succumb, it follows, in the clearest and most conclusive way, that in the nearest future it must be given up to the power of the world, because it is now unholy" (Caspari). This thought prepares the way for the transition to Micah 5:1, where the prophecy returns to the oppression foretold in Micah 4:9 and Micah 4:10.

Habakkuk 3:14 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

the head.

Exodus 11:4-7 And Moses said, Thus said the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the middle of Egypt...

Exodus 12:12,13,29,30 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast...

Exodus 14:17,18 And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honor on Pharaoh...

Psalm 78:50,51 He made a way to his anger; he spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence...

Psalm 83:9-11 Do to them as to the Midianites; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison...

they.

Exodus 14:5-9 And it was told the king of Egypt that the people fled: and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people...

Exodus 15:9,10 The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied on them; I will draw my sword...

Psalm 83:2,8 For, see, your enemies make a tumult: and they that hate you have lifted up the head...

Psalm 118:10-12 All nations compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD will I destroy them...

Acts 4:27,28 For of a truth against your holy child Jesus, whom you have anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles...

came out. Heb. were tempestuous.

Daniel 11:40 And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind...

Zechariah 9:14 And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the LORD God shall blow the trumpet...

their.

Exodus 1:10-16,22 Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falls out any war...

Psalm 10:8 He sits in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places does he murder the innocent...

Psalm 64:2-7 Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity...

Cross References
Judges 7:22
When they blew the 300 trumpets, the LORD set every man's sword against his comrade and against all the army. And the army fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abel-meholah, by Tabbath.

Psalm 10:8
He sits in ambush in the villages; in hiding places he murders the innocent. His eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;

Psalm 64:2
Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked, from the throng of evildoers,

Daniel 11:40
"At the time of the end, the king of the south shall attack him, but the king of the north shall rush upon him like a whirlwind, with chariots and horsemen, and with many ships. And he shall come into countries and shall overflow and pass through.

Zechariah 9:14
Then the LORD will appear over them, and his arrow will go forth like lightning; the Lord GOD will sound the trumpet and will march forth in the whirlwinds of the south.

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