3 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, set to wild, enthusiastic, and triumphal music.
2 O Lord, I have heard the report of You and was afraid. O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make [Yourself] known! In wrath [earnestly] remember love, pity, and mercy.
3 God [approaching from Sinai] came from Teman [which represents Edom] and the Holy One from Mount Paran [in the Sinai region]. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! His glory covered the heavens and the earth was full of His praise.
4 And His brightness was like the sunlight; rays streamed from His hand, and there [in the sunlike splendor] was the hiding place of His power.
5 Before Him went the pestilence [as in Egypt], and burning plague followed His feet [as in Sennacherib’s army].(A)
6 He stood and measured the earth; He looked and shook the nations, and the eternal mountains were scattered and the perpetual hills bowed low. His ways are everlasting and His goings are of old.
7 I [Habakkuk, in vision] saw the tents of Cushan [probably Ethiopia] in affliction; the [tent] curtains of the land of Midian trembled.
8 Were You displeased with the rivers, O Lord? Or was Your anger against the rivers [You divided]? Was Your wrath against the [Red] Sea, that You rode [before] upon Your horses and Your chariots of victory and deliverance?
9 Your bow was made quite bare; sworn to the tribes [of Israel] by Your sure word were the rods of chastisement, scourges, and calamities. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! With rivers You cleaved the earth [bringing forth waters in dry places].(B)
10 The mountains saw You; they trembled and writhed [as if in pain]. The overflowing of the water passed by [as at the deluge]; the deep uttered its voice and lifted its hands on high.
11 The sun and moon stood back [as before Joshua] in their habitation at the light of Your arrows as they sped, at the flash of Your glittering spear.(C)
12 You marched through the land in indignation; You trampled and threshed the nations in anger.
13 You went forth and have come for the salvation of Your people, for the deliverance and victory of Your anointed [people Israel]; You smote the head of the house of the wicked, laying bare the foundation even to the neck. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
14 You pierced with his own arrows the head of [the enemy’s] hordes; they came out as a whirlwind to scatter me [the people], rejoicing as if to devour the poor [Israel] secretly.
15 You have trodden the sea with Your horses, [beside] the heap of great and surging waters.(D)
16 I heard and my [whole inner self] trembled; my lips quivered at the sound. Rottenness enters into my bones and under me [down to my feet]; I tremble. I will wait quietly for the day of trouble and distress when there shall come up against [my] people him who is about to invade and oppress them.
17 Though the fig tree does not blossom and there is no fruit on the vines, [though] the product of the olive fails and the fields yield no food, though the flock is cut off from the fold and there are no cattle in the stalls,
18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the [victorious] God of my salvation!(E)
19 The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!
For the Chief Musician; with my stringed instruments.
- Habakkuk 3:5 : Exod. 7:2-4; II Kings 19:32-35.
- Habakkuk 3:9 : Exod. 17:6; Num. 20:11.
- Habakkuk 3:11 : Josh. 10:12, 13.
- Habakkuk 3:15 : Exod. 15:8.
- Habakkuk 3:18 : Rom. 8:37.