Habakkuk 3:14
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
You pierced with his own spears The head of his throngs. They stormed in to scatter us; Their exultation was like those Who devour the oppressed 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.

Darby Bible Translation
Thou didst strike through with his own spears the head of his leaders: They came out as a whirlwind to scatter me, Whose exulting was as to devour the afflicted secretly.

World English Bible
You pierced the heads of his warriors with their own spears. They came as a whirlwind to scatter me, gloating as if to devour the wretched in secret.

Young's Literal Translation
Thou hast pierced with his staves the head of his leaders, They are tempestuous to scatter me, Their exultation is as to consume the poor in secret.

Habakkuk 3:14 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Thou didst strike through with his staves the head of his villages - The destruction comes not upon himself only, but upon the whole multitude of his subjects; and this not by any mere act of divine might, but "with his own staves," turning upon him the destruction which he prepared for others. So it often was of old. When the Midianites and Amalekites and the children of the east Judges 6:3-4 wasted Israel in the days of Gideon "the Lord set every man's sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host" Judges 7:22; and when God delivered the Philistines into the hand of Jonathan 1 Samuel 14:12, 1 Samuel 14:16, 1 Samuel 14:20 so it was with "Ammon Moab and the inhabitants of Mount Seir," at the prayer of Jehoshaphat and his army 2 Chronicles 20:22-23. And so it shall be, God says, at the end, of the army of God; "every man's sword shall be against his brother," Ezekiel 38:21. and Isaiah says, Isaiah 9:20, "every man shall eat the flesh of his own arm," and Zechariah Zechariah 14:13, "a great tumult from the Lord shall be among them; and they shall lay every man hold on the hand of his neighbor, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbor."

So Pharaoh drove Israel to the shore of the sea, in which he himself perished; Daniel's accusers perished in the den of lions, from which Daniel was delivered unharmed; Daniel 6:24. and so Haman was hanged on the gallows which he prepared for Mordecai Esther 7:10. So it became a saying of Psalmists (Psalm 7:5, add Psalm 9:15; Psalm 10:2; Psalm 35:8; Psalm 57:6; Psalm 94:23; Psalm 141:10; Proverbs 5:22; Proverbs 26:27; Ecclesiastes 10:8.) "He made a pit and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made; his mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate:" and this from above, sent down by God. The pagan too observed that there was "no juster law than that artificers of death by their own art should perish." This too befell him, when he seemed to have all but gained his end. "They came (out) as a whirlwind to scatter me," with whirlwind force, to drive them asunder to all the quarters of the heavens, as the wind scatters the particles of Job 37:11. cloud, or (Jeremiah 13:24, add Jeremiah 18:17; Isaiah 41:16, Delitzsch) "as the stubble which passeth away by the wind of the wilderness." Pharaoh at the Red Sea or Sennacherib, sweep all before them. Pharaoh said Exodus 15:9. "I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them."

Their rejoicing - It is no longer one enemy. The malice of the members was concentrated in the head; the hatred concentrated in him was diffused in them. The readiness of instruments of evil to fulfill evil is an incentive to those who conceive it; those who seem to ride the wave are but carried on upon the crest of the surge which they first roused. They cannot check themselves or it. So the ambitious conceiver of mischief has his own guilt; the willing instruments of evil have theirs. Neither could be fully evil without the other. Sennacherib had been nothing without those fierce warriors who are pictured on the monuments, with individual fierceness fulfilling his will, nor the Huns without Attila, or Attila without his hordes whose tempers he embodied. Satan would be powerless but for the willing instruments whom he uses. So then Holy Scripture sometimes passes from the mention of the evil multitude to that of the one head, on earth or in hell, who impels them; or from the one evil head who has his own special responsibility in originating it, to the evil multitude, whose responsibility and guilt lies in fomenting the evil which they execute.

Their rejoicing - He does not say simply "they rejoice to," but herein is their exceeding, exulting joy. The wise of this earth glories in his wisdom, the mighty man in his might, the rich in his riches: the truly wise, that he understandeth and knoweth God. But as for these, their exultation is concentrated in this, savagery; in this is their jubilation; this is their passion. Psalmists and pious people use the word to express their exulting joy in God: people must have an object for their empassioned souls; and these, in cruelty.

As it were to devour the poor secretly - From the general he descends again to the individual, but so as now to set forth the guilt of each individual in that stormy multitude which is, as it were, one in its evil unity, when each merges his responsibility, as it were, in that of the body, the horde or the mob, in which he acts. Their exultation, he says, is that of the individual robber trod murderer, who lies wait secretly in his ambush, to spring on the defenseless wanderer, to slay him and devour his substance. Premeditation, passion, lust of cruelty, cowardice, murderousness, habitual individual savagery and treachery, and that to the innocent and defenseless, are all concentrated in the words, "their exultation is, as it were, to devour the poor secretly," i. e. "in their secret haunt."

Pharaoh had triumphed over Israel. "They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in" Exodus 14:3. He rejoiceth in having them wholly in his power, as a lion has his prey in his lair, in secret, unknown to the Eyes of God whom he regarded not, with none to behold, none to deliver. Dion.: "They gloried in oppressing the people of Israel, even as the cruel man glories in secretly rending and afflicting the needy, when without fear they do this cruelty, nor heed God beholding all as Judge. The invisible enemies too rejoice very greatly in the ruin of our souls "Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him: for if I be cast down, they that trouble me will rejoice at it Psalm 13:4. "O Lord and governor of all my life, leave me not to their counsels and let me not fall by them" (Ecclesiasticus 23:1). Yet God left them not in his hands; but even "brake the head of Leviathan in pieces."

Habakkuk 3:14 Parallel Commentaries

What a Revival of Religion Is
Text.--O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.--Hab. iii. 2. IT is supposed that the prophet Habakkuk was contemporary with Jeremiah, and that this prophecy was uttered in anticipation of the Babylonish captivity. Looking at the judgments which were speedily to come upon his nation, the soul of the prophet was wrought up to an agony, and he cries out in his distress, "O Lord, revive thy work." As if he had said, "O Lord, grant
Charles Grandison Finney—Lectures on Revivals of Religion

The Holy Spirit in Relation to the Father and the Son. ...
The Holy Spirit in relation to the Father and the Son. Under this heading we began by considering Justin's remarkable words, in which he declares that "we worship and adore the Father, and the Son who came from Him and taught us these things, and the host of the other good angels that attend Him and are made like unto Him, and the prophetic Spirit." Hardly less remarkable, though in a very different way, is the following passage from the Demonstration (c. 10); and it has a special interest from the
Irenæus—The Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching

The precise interpretation of the book of Habakkuk presents unusual difficulties; but, brief and difficult as it is, it is clear that Habakkuk was a great prophet, of earnest, candid soul, and he has left us one of the noblest and most penetrating words in the history of religion, ii. 4b. The prophecy may be placed about the year 600 B.C. The Assyrian empire had fallen, and by the battle of Carchemish in 605 B.C., Babylonian supremacy was practically established over Western Asia. Josiah's reformation,
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

Cross References
Judges 7:22
When they blew 300 trumpets, the LORD set the sword of one against another even throughout the whole army; and the army fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zererah, as far as the edge of Abel-meholah, by Tabbath.

Psalm 10:8
He sits in the lurking places of the villages; In the hiding places he kills the innocent; His eyes stealthily watch for the unfortunate.

Psalm 64:2
Hide me from the secret counsel of evildoers, From the tumult of those who do iniquity,

Daniel 11:40
"At the end time the king of the South will collide with him, and the king of the North will storm against him with chariots, with horsemen and with many ships; and he will enter countries, overflow them and pass through.

Zechariah 9:14
Then the LORD will appear over them, And His arrow will go forth like lightning; And the Lord GOD will blow the trumpet, And will march in the storm winds of the south.

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