Habakkuk 3:9
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
You stripped the sheath from your bow, calling for many arrows. Selah You split the earth with rivers.

King James Bible
Thy bow was made quite naked, according to the oaths of the tribes, even thy word. Selah. Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers.

American Standard Version
Thy bow was made quite bare; The oaths to the tribes were a'sure word. Selah. Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Thou wilt surely take up thy bow: according to the oaths which thou hast spoken to the tribes. Thou wilt divide the rivers of the earth.

English Revised Version
Thy bow was made quite bare; the oaths to the tribes were a sure word. Selah Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers.

Webster's Bible Translation
Thy bow was made quite naked, according to the oaths of the tribes, even thy word. Selah. Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers.

Habakkuk 3:9 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The prophecy turns from the highest glorification of Zion to the throne of Zion, which had been founded by David, and swept away with the destruction of Jerusalem (Micah 3:12), and predicts its restoration in the future. Consequently the reign of Jehovah upon Mount Zion, promised in Micah 4:7, is still further defined as effected through the medium of the Davidico-Messianic dominion. Micah 4:8. "And thou flock-tower, hill of the daughter Zion, to thee will the former dominion reach and come, the reign over the daughter Jerusalem." This announcement is attached primarily to Micah 4:6 and Micah 4:7. As the remnant of Israel gathered together out of the dispersion will become a strong nation, so shall the reign of the daughter Zion be also restored. The address to the flock-tower, the hill of the daughter Zion, shows that these two notions express the same thing, looked at from two sides, or with two different bearings, so that the flock-tower is more precisely defined as the "hill of the daughter Zion." Now, as the daughter Zion is the city of Zion personified as a virgin, the hill of the daughter Zion might be understood as denoting the hill upon which the city stood, i.e., Mount Zion. But this is precluded by Isaiah 32:14, where hill and watch-tower (‛ōphel vâbhachan) are mentioned in parallelism with the palace ('armōn), as places or buildings which are to serve as dens for ever. From this it is obvious that ‛ōphel was a place either at the side or at the top of Zion. If we compare with this 2 Chronicles 27:3 and 2 Chronicles 33:14, according to which Jotham built much against the wall of the Ophel (hâ‛ōphel), and Manasseh encircled the Ophel with a wall, and made it very high, Ophel must have been a hill, possibly a bastion, on the south-eastern border of Zion, the fortification of which was of great importance as a defence to the city of Zion against hostile attacks.

(Note: The opinion that Ophel is the whole of the southern steep rocky promontory of Moriah, from the southern end of the temple ground to its extreme point (Robinson, Schultz, Williams), viz., the Ophla or Ophlas of Josephus, as Arnold (Herzog's Cycl.) and Winer (Bibl. R.W.) suppose, would be in perfect harmony with this. At the same time, all that can be inferred with any certainty from the passages from Josephus which as cited in support of it (viz., Wars of the Jews, v. 6, 1; cf. vi. 6, 3 and v. 4, 2) is, that the place called Ophla was in the neighbourhood of the valley of Kidron and of the temple mountain. The question then arises, whether the Ophla of Josephus is identical with the Ophel of the Old Testament, since Josephus does not mention the Ophel in his list of the hills of Jerusalem, but simply mentions Ophla as a special locality (see Reland, Pal. p. 855). And lastly, the situation of the Ophel, upon which the Nethinim dwelt (Nehemiah 3:26), is still a matter of dispute, Bertheau supposing it to be the habitable space to the east of the eastern side of the temple area.)

Consequently migdal-‛ēder cannot be the flock-tower in the neighbourhood of Bethlehem, which is mentioned in Genesis 35:21, but can only be a (or rather the) tower of the Davidic palace, or royal castle upon Zion, namely the town mentioned in Nehemiah 3:25, which stood out against the upper king's house, by the court of the prison (cf. Nehemiah 3:26). For the prison, which also belonged to the king's house, according to Jeremiah 32:2, formed a portion of the royal castle, according to the custom of the East. And that it had a lofty tower, is evident from Sol 4:4 : "Thy neck is like David's tower, built for an armoury: a thousand shields hang thereon, all heroes' weapons;" according to which the tower of the royal castle was ornamented with the weapons or shields of David's heroes (1 Chronicles 12:1). And the tower of the king's castle was so far specially adapted to represent the sovereignty of David, "that by its exaltation above Zion and Jerusalem, by the fact that it ruled the whole city, it symbolized the Davidic family, and its rule over the city and all Israel" (Caspari). This tower, which is most likely the one called bachan (the watch-tower) in Isaiah (l.c.), is called by Micah the flock-tower, probably as a play upon the flock-tower by which the patriarch Jacob once pitched his tent, because David, the ancestor of the divinely-chosen royal house, had been called from being the shepherd of a flock to be the shepherd of the nation of Israel, the flock of Jehovah (Jeremiah 13:17; cf. 2 Samuel 7:8; Psalm 78:70). This epithet was a very natural one for the prophet to employ, as he not only describes the Messiah as a shepherd in Micah 5:3, but also represents Israel as the sheep of Jehovah's inheritance in Micah 7:14, and the flock-tower is the place where the shepherd takes up his position to see whether any danger threatens his flock (cf. 2 Chronicles 26:10; 2 Chronicles 27:4). עדיך תאהת, "unto thee shall it come."

(Note: Luther's rendering, "thy golden rose will come," arose from his confounding עדיך (from עד, unto) with עדיך, thine ornament.)

עדיך affirms more than אליך, to thee: expressing the conquest of every obstacle that blocks up the way to the goal. תּאהת is separated from what follows, and exhibited as independent not only by the athnach, but also by the change of tense occurring in בּאה: "to thee will it come," sc. what the prophet has in his mind and mentions in the next clause, but brings into special prominence in וּבאה. הם הראשׁנה, the former (first) reign, is the splendid rule of David and Solomon. This predicate presupposes that the sovereignty has departed from Zion, i.e., has been withdrawn from the Davidic family, and points back to the destruction of Jerusalem predicted in Micah 3:12. This sovereignty is still more precisely defined as kingship over the daughter of Jerusalem (ל before בת is a periphrasis of the gen. obj.). Jerusalem, the capital of the kingdom, represents as the object sovereignty over the whole kingdom. This is to be restored to the hill of Zion, i.e., to the royal castle upon the top of it.

Habakkuk 3:9 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Deuteronomy 32:23 I will heap mischiefs on them; I will spend my arrows on them.

Psalm 7:12,13 If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he has bent his bow, and made it ready...

Psalm 35:1-3 Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me...

Isaiah 51:9,10 Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old...

Isaiah 52:10 The LORD has made bore his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

Lamentations 2:4 He has bent his bow like an enemy: he stood with his right hand as an adversary...


Genesis 15:18-21 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, To your seed have I given this land...

Genesis 17:7,8 And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your seed after you in their generations for an everlasting covenant...

Genesis 22:16-18 And said, By myself have I sworn, said the LORD, for because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son...

Genesis 26:3,4 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you, and will bless you; for to you, and to your seed, I will give all these countries...

Genesis 28:13,14 And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham your father, and the God of Isaac...

Psalm 105:8-11 He has remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations...

Luke 1:72-75 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant...

Hebrews 6:13-18 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he swore by himself...


Habakkuk 3:9 Your bow was made quite naked, according to the oaths of the tribes, even your word. Selah. You did split the earth with rivers.

Psalm 143:6 I stretch forth my hands to you: my soul thirsts after you, as a thirsty land. Selah.


Exodus 17:6 Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it...

Numbers 20:11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank...

Psalm 78:15,16 He split the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of the great depths...

Psalm 105:41 He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out; they ran in the dry places like a river.

1 Corinthians 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

the earth with rivers. or, the rivers of the earth.

Cross References
Psalm 7:12
If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and readied his bow;

Psalm 7:13
he has prepared for him his deadly weapons, making his arrows fiery shafts.

Psalm 78:16
He made streams come out of the rock and caused waters to flow down like rivers.

Psalm 105:41
He opened the rock, and water gushed out; it flowed through the desert like a river.

Habakkuk 3:11
The sun and moon stood still in their place at the light of your arrows as they sped, at the flash of your glittering spear.

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