HABAKKUK 3:2-15  


 

HABAKKUK’S PROPHECY of THE DAY OF THE LORD

Habakkuk ministered for about 10 years to the Southern Kingdom of Judah.

This was from 608 to 598 BCE (3517 -3527 AH).

His primary message was a warning to Judah about the impending 5th cycle of discipline at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in 605 BCE. This is recorded in chapters one and two. He ends this record of his ministry with an expression of total trust in God in the face of the destruction of his nation. Verses 3:16-19.

But sandwiched in between that expression of faith, and the indictment on the nation, is a look to the END-TIMES at verses 3:3-15.

The national discipline of 605 to 536 BCE is used as a launching pad to look forward to the deliverance of the nation from its invaders during the DAY OF THE LORD.

This is represented by the term, “in the midst of the years” at verse 3:2; a term not used anywhere else in the Bible.

In this section, chapter 3:1-15, the context is the time of God’s wrath during the day of the LORD. The great tribulation will have been brought to an end, being interrupted by the return of Jesus in the clouds of the sky with power and great glory (Mat. 24:21-30).

But the nation of Israel is still under national discipline from God.

See Topic: Israel’s National Discipline

At Habakkuk 3:2, “in wrath remember mercy,” indicates the fact of continued discipline still in place upon the nation of Israel.

At Isaiah 26:20, the Jews of the land are told to
“enter into your rooms,
And close the door behind you;
Hide for a little while,
Until indignation runs its course.”

This INDIGNATION could refer to Satan’s wrath as seen at Revelation 12:12, but it is more likely to have in view the judgment of God that comes upon Israel as a NATION.

This is to be viewed in connection with the arrival of the Lord at the DAY OF THE LORD.

Verse 21, “For behold, Yahweh is about to come out from His place
To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity;
And the earth will reveal her bloodshed,
And will no longer cover her slain.”

“My people” are to hide and therefore BE PROTECTED until the danger is gone.

Only Israel is shown to us as HIDING and being protected for 1260 days in the wilderness – during the time that –
1. The tribulation is going on: From the midpoint of the week until it is cut short approximately between 6 to 18 months before the end of the week.
2. And during the Day-of-the-LORD judgments: From the arrival of the Lord until the battle of Armageddon – 30 days after the end of the week. (Daniel
12:11 and Revelation 11, 15-16).

The people of Israel who will be hiding in the wilderness area of Edom are not delivered until the Lord descends to the earth during the Armageddon campaign. This is shown to us at Revelation 12:6, 13-16 compared with Matthew 24:16-18 and Daniel 11:41. When Jesus descends to the earth, He goes first to Edom (Isaiah 63:1; Hab. 3:3; Isaiah 34:5-6). This seems to be because the inhabitants of this “Edomite” area will be oppressing the Jews who are hiding in the mountains. (Obadiah 1:10-14; Ezekiel 35:1-9).

In Isaiah, the word, indignation (zaam) is used of national discipline and for the Day of the Lord judgments. It is not used in Isaiah to designate the tribulation. However, the tribulation of Daniel 12:1 is an extension of NATIONAL discipline on Israel. But that discipline extends beyond the time of tribulation until the end of Day of the Lord judgments. In fact, Israel, as a people and nation – still under discipline – are warned by God that the arrival of the Messiah at the Day of the Lord will be for them a day of darkness and not light (cursing rather than blessing). Amos 5:18-20.

It seems best then, to view this “indignation” at Isaiah 26:20 as the time of discipline on the nation of Israel, which will not be concluded until AFTER the battle of Armageddon.

But there will come a time when Israel’s national discipline will be removed.
“In wrath REMEMBER MERCY.”

Isaiah speaks often of this national blessing.

Isaiah 40:1-2
This refers to the restoration of Israel through the removal of her national discipline.
“Comfort, O comfort My people, says your God. Speak kindly to Jerusalem
And call out to her that her warfare has ended,
That her iniquity has been removed,
That she has received of Yahweh’s hand
double for all her sins.”

1. The word for warfare is tsAbhA. It can refer to warfare or hard service.
In context, Israel has been out under the 5th cycle of national discipline since 605 BCE.
And actually many years before that in the 4th cycle of discipline.
 

2. Even though the nation was restored from the Babylonian captivity in 536 BCE
with the decree of Cyrus, it still remained under the 4th cycle until 70 AD.
In 70 AD, the nation was once again placed under the 5th cycle of discipline
where it will remain until the Messiah delivers it during the Day of the Lord.
The DOUBLE comfort is for the DOUBLE payment for her sins.
The double payment is (1) the Babylonian captivity from 605 to 536 BCE,
and (2) from 70 AD until the restoration of the nation after Armageddon.
That is why Isaiah teaches about the Messiah’s first advent (verses 3-8)
and His second advent (verses 9-11) as the basis for national restoration.

3. The period of her “hard service” is the period of Hosea 3:4-5
”For the sons of Israel will remain for many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar, and without ephod or household idols.  AFTERWARD, the sons of Israel will return and seek Yahweh their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to Yahweh and to His goodness in the last days.”
and
Hosea 5:14-15
”For I will be like a lion to Ephraim, and like a young lion to the house of Judah,
I, even I, will tear to pieces and go away,
I will carry away, and there will be none to deliver.
I will go away and return to my place
Until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face;
In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.”

The “affliction” refers to the time of discipline with emphasis on the great tribulation.
The tribulation will begin at the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week and continue until the Lord arrives in the clouds of the sky with power and great glory (Mat. 24:21-30).
However, even though the GREAT tribulation will have ended, God’s discipline on the nation will continue until Jesus descends physically to the earth during the Armageddon campaign and destroys all the nations that have assembled in Palestine and around Jerusalem.

At Luke 21:22-24 Jesus gives the duration of the time of discipline.
”Because these are the days of vengeance, in order that all things which are written may be fulfilled . . .  for there will be great calamity upon the land, and wrath to this people, and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”

THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES
   A. Jesus told the disciples that, “Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the
       Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” Luke 21:24
       At Revelation 11:2, the temple in Jerusalem “has been given to the nations;
       and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.”
   B. The “times of the Gentiles” extends from the Babylonian captivity of 605 BCE
        until removal of the abomination of desolation 30 days after the end of the 70th
        week of Daniel. It has three stages.
       1. The first stage is from the Babylonian captivity until 70 AD.
       2. The second stage is from the destruction of the nation in 70 AD until the start
           of the great tribulation.
       3. The third stage is from the midpoint of the 70th week, the start of the
           tribulation, until after the battle of Armageddon, 1290 days later.

   C. This 42-month period refers specifically to the time which will begin at the
       midpoint of the 70th week. Shortly before that Satan will be kicked out of
       heaven after being defeated by Michael. Rev. 12:7-12.
       AT that time, Satan will empower the beast of Rev. 13:3-8, who will begin the
       great tribulation of persecuting anyone who will not worship Satan and the
       beast. Paul describes this to be when the man of lawlessness places himself in
       the temple and proclaims himself to be God. 2 Thes. 2:3-4.

   D. It is during this time of great distress, that Israel will be greatly convicted
       through extensive evangelism.
      1. The DRAWING invitation of God: Jeremiah 31:3
          “I have loved you with an everlasting love
           Therefore I have drawn you with grace kindness.”
      2. Through the church: Daniel 11:33-35
          a. Verse 33 refers to the ministry of the church prior to 70 AD.
              “And those who have insight among the people will give understanding to
               the many, yet they will fall by sword an by flame, by captivity and by
               plunder, for many days.” (the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD, Dan. 9:26b).
          b. Verse 34, the covenant of the 70th week of Daniel. Daniel 9:27a.
          c. Verse 35, the evangelist activity of the church prior to the second coming
             of the Messiah. “And some of those who have insight will fall (martyrdom),
             in order to refine, purge, and make them pure, until the end time.”
      3. Through the ministry of the two witnesses. Rev. 11:1-13; Mal 4:4-6.
          See Topic: THE TWO WITNESSES
      4. Elijah’s message: “And he will restore the hearts of the fathers to their
          children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers.”

   E. The result will be that during the tribulation, there will be a great calling out to
       God by the people of Israel. Hosea 5:15,
       “I will go away and return to My place
       Until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face;
       In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.”
   F. And as a result of that, both before and after the arrival of the Day of the Lord,
      there will be many converts among the Jews.
       1. BEFORE the rapture: Assumed based on the fact that evangelism occurs.
       2. AFTER the rapture: The conversion of the 144,000 Jews of Rev. 7:1-8,
           and many others as a result of the evangelism of Revelation 14:1-7,
           the proclamation of the everlasting gospel.

Isaiah 40:1-2
4. Her iniquity has been removed. This refers to the NATIONAL sin of Israel from two perspectives.
    A. The failure of the nation prior to 605 BCE that lead to her 70 years of captivity in Babylon.
       2 Chron. 36:15-16
       “And Yahweh God of their fathers, sent word to them again and again by His messengers,
       because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place; but they continually
       mocked the messengers of God, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets, until the
       wrath of Yahweh arose against His people, until there was no remedy.

       Verses 17-21, “Therefore He brought up against them the king of the Chaldeans . . . and
       those who escaped the sword he carried away to Babylon; and they were servants to him
       and to his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia, to fulfill the word of Yahweh by the
       mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its Sabbaths. All the days of its desolation it
       kept Sabbath until seventy years were complete.”

   B. The rejection of Jesus as their Messiah in 30 AD.  Matthew 21:33-45; 23:29-38
      “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her!
       How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks
       under her wings, but you were not willing. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate.”

5. She has received from Yahweh’s hand DOUBLE for all her sins.
The double payment is (1) the Babylonian captivity from 605 to 536 BCE, and (2) from 70 AD until the restoration of the nation after Armageddon.

The deliverance of Israel will come during the Armageddon campaign, when the armies of the world will have gathered into Palestine. Jesus will descend from the sky to begin His 3-stage confrontation with the armies. This is part of the SECOND COMING of the Messiah.

There are three STAGES to the second coming of the Messiah.

(1) His arrival in the clouds of the sky with power and great glory: This arrival will be in the sky ONLY. Then from his position in the clouds or ON THE CLOUD (Rev. 14:14) He will pour out the judgments from God’s wrath through the trumpets and bowls recorded in the book of the Revelation.  There four phases to it.
    (A) The SIGNS phase. Joel 2:30-31; Mat. 24:29-31; Rev. 6:12-14; Isaiah
13:10, 13;
    (B) The arrival phase. Mat. 24:30;
16:27; Rev. 6:15-16; Isaiah 30:27-30; 60:1-2; Ps. 96:13.
    (C) The rapture phase. Matthew 24:31-44; John 14:1-3; 1Thes.  4:14-17; 1Cor. 15:51-52
    (D) The judgment phase. Rev. 6:15-17; 1Thes. 5:1-2.

(2) The second stage is His physical descent TO the earth at which time He will personally confront the armies of the world that are gathered into Palestine to loot and destroy the people of Israel (Revelation 19:11-16). Through His physical descent to the earth He will rescue the Jews and prepare for His earthly kingdom.
There are four phases to it.
    (A) The Edom phase. Isaiah 34:6; 63:1-6; Hab. 3:3
    (B) The Jerusalem phase. Isaiah 63:1; Zech. 14:4; Joel 3:16.
    (C) The Megiddo or Armageddon phase. Joel 3:9-16;
    (D) The separation phase: when all unbelievers will be removed from the earth and only
          believers will be left alive to dwell on the earth in Christ’s kingdom.
          Ezek. 34:17-22; Mat. 25:31-46.

(3) The KINGDOM stage when Jesus sets up His 1000 year earthly reign.
There are four phases to it.
    (A) The cleansing phase: Ezek 39:9-16.
    (B) The building phase: Isaiah 60:4-11; 61:4; Ezek. 43:10-18; Dan. 8:15-26.
    (C) The reigning phase: Isaiah 9:7; Jer. 23:5-6; Ezek. 37:24-28; Dan. 7:13-14.
    (D) The completion phase: 1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Revelation 20:7-10.

The Old Testament prophets viewed the second coming and the arrival of the DAY OF THE LORD as having one starting point. They
did not make a distinction between the Messiah’s initial arrival IN THE CLOUDS and His subsequent PHYSICAL descent onto the earth. They viewed the second coming primarily as a visible arrival to the earth that would begin the Day of the Lord.

Sometimes the prophets focused on the inception of the day of the Lord; sometimes on some aspect of the judgment that will happen DURING the day; and sometimes on the kingdom blessing that follows the judgment.

The reader/interpreter needs to be very diligent to recognize the context in each of the passages.

But it is not until the New Testament teaching by Jesus and the apostles that we learn that Jesus will FIRST arrive in the clouds of the sky.

The first stage of the second coming will be when Jesus arrives in the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. Matthew 24:29-30. At that time He will begin to carry out His KINGDOM agenda which includes both blessing and judgment.

This also constitutes the arrival of the Day of the Lord, and will be “announced” by several phenomenal things.
(1) The darkness of the sun, moon and stars. Basically, “the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” Matthew 24:29; Luke 21:25a; Joel 2:30-31; Rev. 6:12b-14a
(2) ON the earth, there will be great earthquakes and turmoil in the oceans. Luke 21:25b; Rev. 6:12a, 14b;
(3) The specific sign of the Son of Man. Luke 21:25b; Mathew 24:30a
(4) Then his VISIBLE arrival will be seen by all mankind. Luke 21:27; Matthew 24:30b; Revelation 1:7; 6:16-17.

 
This is taught by Jesus at Matthew 24:29-31

“But immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken, and then the sign of the Son of man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one of the sky to the other.”

The MOURNING of all the tribes of the earth will BEGIN as soon as these awesome signs are seen, so that as Jesus said, “and THEN all the tribes of the earth will mourn.
But WHILE they are mourning in anticipation of the things that are happening, as Luke records, “men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world” (Luke
21:26), THEN they will actually see Jesus “coming in the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.” At this time the mourning will continue and of course, increase.

Thus at Revelation 1:7, the “mourning” will occur AFTER “every eye will see Him.”

This is also portrayed symbolically at the 6th seal of Revelation 6:12-17.
Even though there is not specific mention of the arrival of Jesus in this passage, it is clear that the many peoples who are mentioned there HAVE SEEN HIM.

After seeing the heavenly and earthly signs, and the sign of the Son of man, the people of the earth will try to hide from the FACE (presence) of the Father and of Jesus (the Lamb). Jesus taught that it is AFTER they see the “sign of the Son of Man” that “all the tribes of the earth will mourn.”

Here at Revelation 6, it should be obvious that their reaction indicates they have indeed SEEN Him come in the clouds. After the initial “mourning” they will then take action to try to hide from Him, for they will be well aware that “the great day of their wrath has come and who is able to stand?” Revelation 6:17.

Thus, the return of the Lord will occur right after verse 14, but before verse 15.

The arrival of the Lord is also envisioned by Joel as the arrival of THE DAY OF THE LORD.

Joel saw the signs as occurring BEFORE the Day of the Lord arrives. Joel 2:30-31.
”And I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth,
Blood, fire, and columns of smoke.
The sun will be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.”

From the apostles we learn that that “the day of the Lord” will BEGIN at the very moment of Christ’s arrival in the clouds, and upon His gathering of the saints at the rapture.

1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2; 2 Peter 3:10.

Jesus will NOT step foot onto the earth at this time, but will remain in the clouds, or rather, ON THE CLOUD to administer God’s wrath through the trumpet judgments of Revelation 8-11 and the first 5 bowl judgments. Revelation 14:14-16.

1. The first thing that will happen when Jesus arrives in the clouds of the sky, will be the gathering out of the believers through the rapture.
Matthew 24:31; John 14:1-3; 1 Thes. 4:14-17

This was not taught by the Old Testament prophets.

In fact, the Old Testament prophets did not see the arrival in the clouds as distinct from His physical descent to the earth. The main things they focused on were -
(A)  The coming of the Messiah
(B)  Physical deliverance for Israel
(C)  And judgment on all the spiritual rebels of the world.
(D)  And the Messiah’s earthly reign over Israel.

It is not until we look to New Testament revelation that we are able to see the distinction between these two STAGES of the second coming. The New Testament focuses on the arrival in the clouds, the rapture, and the judgment of the earth-dwellers that will occur after the rapture. But it is not until Revelation 14:17-20 and 19:11-21 that we are shown His physical decent ONTO the earth.


2. After the rapture of the saints, God will return to using Israel as the evangelistic agent for proclaiming the Messianic promise to the world.
    A. Israel’s evangelistic commission: Exodus 19:5-6; Deut. 4:5-6;
Rom. 9:4-5;
       Isaiah 41:8-9; 43:7; 49:3; 7:6; 28:9-10; Psalm 118:1-4
 

B. See Topic: ISRAEL’S NATIONAL DISCIPLINE

    C. This is through the conversion of the 144,000 Jewish bond servants.
         Revelation 7:1-8; 14:1-8

3. After that He will begin to pour out His judgments on the world as portrayed by the first six trumpets. Rev. 6:12-17; 8-9.
4. Those six judgments will conclude at the end of the 70th week. Rev. 10:7; 11:1-17.
5. Then will come the FINAL expression of divine wrath. This is portrayed by the 7th trumpet and the bowl judgments, and will occur during the next 30 days after the end of the 70th week.  Dan.
12:11; Rev. 11:14, 18-19; 15-16; 19.
 

THE PHYSICAL DESCENT ONTO THE EARTH

THE SECOND STAGE of the second coming is when Jesus will descend physically to the earth to confront the worlds armies assembled in Palestine. The last two bowl judgments portray this physical descent of the Messiah to the earth. Revelation 16:12-21.

Revelation 19:11-16 and Zechariah 12:2-9.
The second stage is usually called the Armageddon stage, and has four phases.

As portrayed in the last two bowl judgments, which includes Revelation 19:11ff, Jesus will descend PHYSICALLY to the earth toward the end of the 30 day-period that follows the end of Daniel’s 70th week (Dan. 12:11). At that time, He will come down from His cloud (Rev. 14:14), from where He has been administrating the trumpet and bowl judgments after the rapture (6th seal).

The physical descent of Jesus has four phases.

(1) The descent to Edom.
(2) The descent to Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives.
(3) The descent to the Valley of Megido for the battle of Armageddon.
(4) The Cleansing phase, when all unbelievers will be removed from the earth.
      Ezekiel 34:17-22; Mat. 25:31-46.


Quite often the Old Testament prophets did not have any particular phase in view when they envisioned the coming of Yahweh – the Messiah. At other times one or more of the specific phases was in view as seen at the various passages listed above. ach of these “descents” will have a LOCALIZED focus and only the people in those specific areas will see His coming. The arrival in the clouds of the sky, however, which will precede the physical descent by several months, will have a UNIVERSAL focus and “every eye will see Him.” Revelation 1:7 with Matthew 24:30.

The physical descent of Jesus is described at Revelation 19:11-15, without focusing on any one particular area.

“And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it {is} called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war.
And His eyes {are} a flame of fire, and upon His head {are} many diadems; and He has a name written {upon Him} which no one knows except Himself.
And {He is} clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God.
And the armies (angels) which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white {and} clean (Rev. 15:6), were following Him on white horses.
And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.”

This is the same kind of GENERAL focus that the Old Testament prophets usually envisioned. After such general statements by the prophets, and depending on the context, one or more specific factors would be taught.

John’s vision at Revelation 19 does the same thing. At verses 17-21, John’s vision describes the specific battle of Armageddon which will occur AFTER the Lord physically descends to the earth, BUT after the battle of Edom and the battle of Jerusalem are concluded first.

The three BATTLE phases to the PSYSICAL descent of Jesus to the earth are taught only in the Old Testament.

It teaches that the Messiah will first go to Edom to destroy the unbelievers of that area and rescue the Israelites who are hiding in the mountainous wilderness, having fled the oppression of the beast at the midpoint of the 70th week.

It seems that the best TIMING for this arrival to Edom will be the first of the three BATTLE phases.

(1) The Lord descends first to Edom: This is because Isaiah 63:1 shows us the Lord coming FROM Edom when He comes to deliver the Jews in Jerusalem and Judah.
And because Joel 3:16 shows the Lord coming FROM Jerusalem when He goes to confront the world’s armies at Armageddon.
(2) Thus, from Edom He descends to Jerusalem and stands on the Mount of Olives to motivate the Jews to wage the battle of Jerusalem. This serves as a catalyst for the clans of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to fight the invading army. Zechariah 12, 14.
(3) And from there He goes to the valley of Megiddo for the battle of Armageddon.

This passage describes that first phase.
He goes to Edom and enters into judgment with the armies who have assembled there.

 

THE BATTLE OF EDOM is described at Isaiah 34:5-15.

“For My sword is satiated in heaven,
Behold it shall descend for judgment upon Edom,
And upon the people whom I have devoted to destruction.”

Isaiah 63:1-6 shows us the Lord coming to Jerusalem AFTER that battle.
But this chapter still describes the NATURE of that battle in
Edom.

Here, we find a specific focus on Edom. Edom comes under a special judgment from God because of its historical oppression of Israel and its allegiance to the beast in the end-times. Ezekiel 35:1-15; Obadiah 1:10-14.

The great tribulation will begin at the midpoint of the 70th week, when the beast places the abomination of desolation in the holy place of the re-built Jewish temple.

Matthew 24:9-21.

Because of this oppressive reign of this “man of lawlessness” (2Thes. 2:4), who will be empowered by Satan (Rev. 13:4-7), a remnant of “fundamentalist” Jews (those faithful to their religious culture) will leave Judea and find shelter in the mountainous wilderness of Edom, south-east of Jerusalem (modern-day Jordan).

These are not ones who have trusted in Jesus, but ones who are loyal to their Jewish heritage. If they were ALREADY believers, they would not NEED to be protected for the remaining 1260 days, because they would be removed at the rapture prior to the end of the week.

Revelation 12:6

“And the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she might be nourished for 1260 days.”
Verse 13-14

“And when the dragon (Satan) saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child.
And two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, in order that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.”

It seems likely then that Jesus has this in view at Matthew 24:15-26. Although this warning to flee is directed to ALL who read or hear it, it will have special import to the Jews IN THE LAND who refuse to accept the authority of the beast. We learn from Revelation 12:6, 13-14, that the “woman,” who represents the Jews of the land during the time of the great tribulation, will be given protection in the wilderness for the duration of the last half of Daniel’s 70th week.

Also at Isaiah 26:20-21
“Come, My people, enter into your rooms,
And close the doors behind you;
Hide for a little while,
Until indignation passes over.
For behold, Yahweh is about to come out from His place
To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity;
And the earth will reveal her bloodshed,
And will no longer cover her slain.”

The term, “My people,” is not a term that indicates any salvation relationship. It simply indicates that the Jewish people are in view those who have ever been God’s chosen “race.”

The instruction to “enter into your rooms,” does not contradict the instructions to FLEE the city. The image communicates seclusion and protection, which is exactly what God provides for them in the wilderness.

As the Jews are fleeing and even once they are located in the wilderness “fortress,” there will be false prophets who say, “behold, He is in the wilderness or behold He is in the inner rooms.”
It is very probable that the “false prophets” include the peoples of Edom who will be trying to get the Jews to come down out of the mountains so they can kill and/or imprison them.


The people of Edom will be in league with the world dictator and be allowed to “plunder” Jerusalem for themselves.
In addition, on the trip to this “shelter,” the Arab people of the land will seek to kill these fugitives and imprison any they can capture.
It will all be done with an arrogant attitude of hatred toward the Jews.
This is indicated by the details of the warning that was given to the people of Edom in about 860 BCE by the prophet Obadiah.

         A. Verses 10-11 review the past history of the Edomites in oppressing Israel.
         B. Verses 12-14 give the warning.
         C. Verses 15-18 announce the arrival of the Day of the Lord to judge the nations.
         D. Verses 19-21 describe aspects of the Messiah’s earthly kingdom.

 

THE PAST OPPRESSION OF ISRAEL BY EDOM

Verse 10
“Because of violence to your brother Jacob,
You will be covered with shame,
And you will be cut off forever.”

Verse 11
“On the day that you stood aloof,
On the day that strangers carried off his wealth,
And foreigners entered his gate
And cast lots for Jerusalem –
You too were as one of them.”

WARNING FOR THE DISTANT FUTURE
They are warned that they should not participate in oppressing Israel during the time of her great “distress” (tribulation).

(1) Do not gloat.
(2) Do not rejoice.
(3) Do not boast.
(4) Do not enter their gate.
(5) Do not loot their wealth.
(6) Do not kill them as they flee.
(7) Do not take them captive.

Obadiah 1:12-14
“Do not GLOAT over your brother’s day,
The day of his misfortune.
And do not REJOICE over the sons of Judah
In the day of their destruction;
Yes, do not BOAST
In the day of {their} distress.
“Do not ENTER the gate of My people
In the day of their disaster.
Yes, you, do not gloat over their calamity
In the day of their disaster.
And do not LOOT their wealth
In the day of their disaster.
“And do not stand at the fork of the road
To CUT DOWN their fugitives;
And do not IMPRISON their survivors
In the day of their distress.”
 

DAY OF THE LORD JUDGMENT
If the people of Edom do not heed the warning, but instead participate in this hostility toward Israel, they and their land will be judged by God during the Day of the Lord when the Messiah will pour out God’s wrath upon the world.

Obadiah 1:15-16
“For the day of the LORD draws near on all the nations. As you have done, it will be done to you. Your dealings will return on your own head.
“Because just as you drank on My holy mountain,
All the nations will drink continually.
They will drink and swallow,
And become as if they had never existed.

 

FUTURE FAILURE
However, failure to heed the warning is also prophesied, as is the resultant judgment from God upon the land area of Edom; Mount Seir.

Ezekiel 35:2-9.
“Son of man, set your face against Mount Seir, and prophesy against it -
And say to it, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD,
Behold, I am against you, Mount Seir,
And I will stretch out My hand against you,
And I will make you a desolation and a waste.
“I will lay waste your cities,
And you will become a desolation.
Then you will know that I am the LORD.


THE REASON FOR JUDGMENT

“Because –

(1) You have had everlasting enmity: Ezek. 35:5a

This refers to the conflict that has ever existed between Edom and Israel. But the emphasis here is placed on what Edom has done to Israel all throughout the years.
This was first demonstrated when Israel requested passage through the land of Edom, as recorded at Numbers 20:40-21. (Amos 1:11; Psalm 137:7; Ezek. 25:12).


(2) And have delivered the sons of Israel to the power of the sword at the time of their calamity, at the time of the punishment (punishment for iniquity) of the end: Ezek. 35:5b

This indicates that the inhabitants of Edom did not heed the warning given to them at Obadiah 10-14.
Furthermore, this is referring to something that takes place in an end-times context.


THE TIME OF THE INIQUITY OF THE END
    A. This term is used earlier in Ezekiel (21:25,29), to refer to the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar (Ezek. 21:18-32). The word, iniquity can also be used to indicate punishment FOR iniquity.

    B. However, Edom did not participate in harassing Israel during the Babylonian captivity. 2 Kings 24:2 tells us what groups aided Babylon, and Edom is not included in that list.

    C. It is true that in 738 BC, Edom invaded Judah “and carried away captives” (2 Chron. 28:17), but our context seems to be looking at a still future event.

    D. In addition, the context of Ezekiel 35 indicates a final or “total” destruction of Edom which has never happened historically.

    E. Edom was indeed indicted and judged historically, but not for the activity indicated at Ezekiel 35:5.

    F. Based on this, it seems that this term, “time of the iniquity of the end,” in Ezekiel 35, refers to a yet future time period of discipline on Israel, during which Edom will have participated in oppressing Israel.

(3) “Because you have said, These two nations and these two lands will be mine, and we will possess them.” Ezek. 35:10.

This expresses blatant arrogance and aggression toward God and God’s people, Israel. It is a claim that they will possess the physical land-area and resources of Israel - EVEN THOUGH God is there.
In other words, they are speaking and acting against God Himself.
This is amplified in verses 11-15.
   A. Anger, envy and hatred toward Israel: Ezekiel 35:11
   B. Reviling against Israel: Ezekiel 35:12
   C. Spoken in arrogance against God: Ezekiel 35:13

   D. Rejoiced Israel’s land when it was desolate: V. 15.

As a result of this, Edom will come under a very special judgment from God when the Messiah physically descends to the earth. We already saw a summary statement of this judgment at Isaiah 34:5 and Obadiah 1:15-16.

Ezekiel gives much more detail.
The result will be total destruction of the land area of Edom through the Day of the Lord judgments.

Ezekiel 35:6-9

(6)“As I live,” declares the Lord GOD, “I will give you over to bloodshed, and bloodshed will pursue you; since you have not hated bloodshed, therefore bloodshed will pursue you. (7) And I will make Mount Seir a waste and a desolation, and I will cut off from it the one who passes through and returns. (8) And I will fill its mountains with its slain; on your hills and in your valleys and in all your ravines those slain by the sword will fall. (9) I will make you an everlasting desolation, and your cities will not be inhabited. Then you will know that I am the LORD.”

This is the same quality of future judgment that Isaiah describes as Isaiah chapter 34 continues.

Isaiah 34:6-8

"The sword of the LORD is filled with blood,
It is sated with fat, with the blood of lambs and goats,
With the fat of the kidneys of rams.
For the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah,
And a great slaughter in the land of Edom.

Wild oxen shall also fall with them,
And young bulls with strong ones;
Thus their land shall be soaked with blood,
And their dust become greasy with fat.
For the LORD has a day of vengeance,
A year of recompense for the cause of Zion."

Edom will be destroyed just before Jesus descends to Jerusalem. Notice, this is "for the cause of Zion." Edom will be in the process of oppressing the refugees of Judah who have fled the reign of the beast and taken shelter in the mountainous wilderness of Edom (Mat. 24:15-21; Rev. 12:6, 13-16).

Isaiah 34:9-10

"And its streams shall be turned into pitch,
And its loose earth into brimstone, 
And its land shall become burning pitch. 
It shall not be quenched night or day; 
Its smoke shall go up forever; 
From generation to generation it shall be desolate; 
None shall pass through it forever and ever."

The judgment on the land area of Edom will be total. During Messiah's kingdom, it will be a desolation with no population.

HOWEVER, the destruction will not be worked by any kind of nuclear or chemical weapons.  The context indicates that the land area will be filled with a massive wildlife population. However, I will concede the possibility that even IF such destructive weapons were to be used, the land could be CLEANSED before the kingdom begins and still be the home of all the wildlife mentioned.

Isaiah 34:11-15
11 But pelican and hedgehog will possess it,
And
owl and raven will dwell in it;
And He will stretch over it the
line of desolation
And the
plumb line of emptiness.
12 Its nobles -there is no one there
Whom they may proclaim king –
And all its princes will be
nothing.
13 Thorns will come up in its fortified towers,
Nettles and thistles in its fortified cities;
It will also be a haunt of
jackals
And an abode of ostriches.
14 The desert creatures will meet with the wolves,
The
hairy goat also will cry to its kind;
Yes, the
night monster will settle there
And will find herself a resting place.
15 The tree snake will make its nest and lay eggs there,
And it will hatch and gather them under its
protection.
Yes,
the hawks will be gathered there,
Every one with its kind.
16 Seek from the book of the LORD, and read:
Not one of these will be missing;
None will lack its mate.
For
His mouth has commanded,
And His Spirit has gathered them.
17 He has cast the lot for them,
And His hand has divided it to them by
line.
They shall possess it forever;
From
generation to generation they will dwell in it.

 

THE ARRIVAL FROM EDOM

The progress of the Messiah FROM Edom to do battle with the nations is envisioned by Habakkuk. Habakkuk 3:3a
“God comes from Teman,  
And the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah.”

At first glance it appears that this may simply be saying that the Messiah comes from the SOUTH EAST. However, in view of Isaiah 34 and 63, it is clear that He comes from this area AFTER judging it.

Teman is a region in Edom named after an early prince of the Edomites.
And Paran is a mountain and wilderness area directly south of Jerusalem in the Sinai Peninsula.
The area of the Edomites embraces generally the area South and East of Judah.

There is great SPLENDOR evidenced in the sky when He comes to Jerusalem from Edom.

Verses 3b-4
“His splendor covers the heavens,  
And the earth is full of His praise.
{His} radiance is like the sunlight;  
He has rays {flashing} from His hand,  
And there is the hiding of His power.”

Isaiah describes this at 63:1.
“This One is majestic in His apparel,
Marching in the greatness of His strength.”

One might be tempted to associate this SPLENDOR with the “great glory” that attends Christ’s arrival in the clouds of the sky, as described at Matthew 24:29-30. But since THIS splendor is given a specific context of arriving FROM Edom, it cannot be the same.

Whenever Christ will move from one phase of His second coming agenda to the next, there will be great glory and splendor manifested to the earth dwellers.

 

Habakkuk 3:5
"Before Him goes pestilence,  
And plague comes at His feet."

This seems to be a direct statement to the effect that He has first judged Edom and now AFTER Him, comes the judgments on the nations that are surrounding Jerusalem.

The use of the preposition, lepenay, indicates either physical presence (as, “in front of”) or a chronological factor.

In this case, in connection with AT HIS FEET (after Him), it is clear that the idea presented to us is that the LORD brought pestilence to Edom and will THEN bring plague with Him to confront the rest of the nations. But before the plague HITS the armies, Jesus will first stand on the Mount of Olives.

When Jesus arrives from Edom, it is to confront ALL the armies that have assembled in Palestine, and the first item on the list is the Northern alliance that has invaded the city of Jerusalem.

Habakkuk 3:6a
“He stood and surveyed the earth;
He looked and startled the nations.”

It seems that the prophet has in mind the general judgment on the rest of the nations.
He does not mention the battle of Jerusalem specifically as Zechariah does at chapters 12 and 14.

But Zechariah also begins with a GENERAL focus on the gathering of the nations into Palestine using the terminology “all the nations.”

Zechariah 12:3
“And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it (Jerusalem).”

Zechariah 14:2
“For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle.”

Those nations first assemble in the land in order to gain material resources, including control of Jerusalem. But it seems that it is the king of the North that will invade Jerusalem.
However that Northern ALLIANCE includes MANY nations. Joel 2 and Ezekiel 38.

Zechariah 14:3
“And Yahweh will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle.”

Zechariah first gives us a GENERAL look at the many nations gathered into Judah, “in the vicinity of” Jerusalem – looking to Jerusalem as their ultimate destination. But he then focuses just on the battle of Jerusalem.

Habakkuk does the same thing except that he does not mention Jerusalem specifically.
The judgment on “the nations” at verse 3:6 includes the battle of Jerusalem FIRST, and then the battle of Armageddon.

This is a valid understanding of the discourse since we have the specific mention of the earthquake and the effect it will have far to the south of Jerusalem in “cushan” and “Midian.”

It seems that, comparing the other passages, the great earthquake occurs only in this context of Christ’s standing on the Mount of Olives. There is no earthquake that occurs when Jesus confronts and destroys the armies in the final battle of Armageddon.

From Christ’s perspective, when He first arrives at Jerusalem, He will “survey” the situation and then set foot on the Mount of Olives.

This arrival onto the Mount of Olives will split the mount down the middle and cause a great earthquake. He will thus, “startle” the nations; the invading armies of the Northern alliance. Zech. 12:4 and 14:12-13.

Jesus will then begin His personal judgment on these armies by bringing some kind of death-producing plague that seems to disintegrate the flesh form the bones. This would be caused by some kind of extreme HEAT, but probably not nuclear. Jesus would not need to use such a weapon as that, but would simply produce the heat that causes the plague.

Habakkuk 3:5
“And plague comes after Him.”

Zechariah 12:4
“In that day I will strike every horse with bewilderment and his rider with madness.”

Zechariah 14:12-13, 15
“Now this will be the plague with which Yahweh will strike all the people who have gone to war against Jerusalem; their flesh will rot away while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongue will rot in their mouth. And it will come about in that day that a great panic for Yahweh will fall on them; and they will seize one another’s hand, and the hands of one will be lifted against the hand of another. So also like this plague, will be the plague on the horse, the mule, the camel, the donkey, and all the cattle that will be in those camps.”

Habakkuk just mentions this plague without providing any details.  He then “backs up” and describes the great earthquake that will occur when Jesus descends to the Mount of Olives.

The arrival of Christ in Jerusalem will be with great splendor and power. It will be both the spectacular physical arrival and the great earthquake that will startle and shock all the nations.  This is a DIFFERENT earthquake from what will occur when Jesus first arrives in the clouds of the sky. Revelation 6:12 is different from Revelation 16:18-19.

Habakkuk 3:6b
“Yes, the perpetual mountains were shattered,  
The ancient hills collapsed.  
His ways are everlasting.”

This earthquake is also described at Zechariah 14:4-5, in direct association with Christ’s descent to the Mount of Olives.

At that time, the mountain will be split down the middle from east to west, which is what causes the great earthquake.

The splitting of the mountain will create a huge valley extending about 6 miles west of Jerusalem to Azel.

The earthquake is also described at Revelation 16:17-20 in connection with the final bowl judgment. There it says that “the great city” (Jerusalem) was split into three parts. This is not inconsistent with the splitting of the mount of Olives down the middle. Zechariah’s facts do not require ONLY a two-part division of the city. John’s vision simply adds additional details to the results of the earthquake that will occur when Jesus stands on the mount.

It seems that the only place to assign this earthquake in “the great city” is at the Jerusalem earthquake of Zechariah 14:4 when Jesus steps on the Mount of Olives.

In addition, the scriptures do not show us any earthquake that happens in direct connection with the third phase of Christ’s descent to the earth – Armageddon.

There is a difference of opinion as to the identification of “the great city.” It seems that since Babylon is mentioned in the next sentence as coming under a separate judgment, the mention here of “the great city,” refers to Jerusalem which is identified as “the great city . . . where also their Lord was crucified,” at Rev. 11:8.

Among those additional details provided by John’s vision are (1) every island and mountain are affected, and (2) there is a huge plague of hailstones.

#1 does not contradict the context of Zechariah 14, but simply extends the effects of the earthquake to a world-wide context. The focus of Zechariah’s prophecy is not worldwide.
#2 seems to be something that does not occur in the context of Zechariah 14, the battle of Jerusalem. But it could be coming upon the rest of the world during that battle.

Because of this they are given further occasion to attack the character and plan of God.
“And men blasphemed God because of the plague.”

Habakkuk 3:7
“I saw the tents of Cushan under distress,
The tent curtains of the land of Midian were trembling.”

We know nothing about this word, Cushan. Speculation suggests it to be another form of CUSH, the Ethiopian area, south of Egypt.

But it probably refers to the Sinai Peninsula area inhabited by nomads from Cush, and corresponds with part of Edom. Today, that is an area controlled by Egypt.
Midian is the land area south of Judah, below the Edomite area, and encompassing basically the Arabian peninsula, which is modern day Jordan and Saudi Arabia. But as with Cushan, these areas OVERLAP and basically embrace the land area of the Edomites, SOUTH of the Dead Sea and then toward both the west and east.

In both cases, the general land area to the distant south of Israel is in view as it was at that time, inhabited by nomads who dwell in “tents,” and it corresponds with “Teman” and “Paran” of verse 3.

It seems that at this point, the vision seen by the prophet “backs up” and sees the results of the Lord’s VISIT to the land area of Edom.

It seems unlikely to mention effects of the earthquake ONLY here to the south. The earthquake would certainly extend equally in all directions. Furthermore, this EDOMITE area will have ALREADY been judged by the Lord BEFORE He is shown to come FROM THAT area.

For this reason I think that the vision has “backed up” to show that the Edomite area has indeed been judged by God, just as is mentioned at verse 5, “before Him goes pestilence.”

But in the next section, the prophet sees a massive judgment on the land of Palestine and on the armies of the nations that are gathered there “to scatter” the Jews (verse 14).

This is what He does upon leaving Edom and after standing on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

The section is separated from the previous verses by a natural break in the Hebrew. The language indicates the results of the great earthquake. It affects the rivers, the sea and the mountains. And then the Lord will judge the nations that have gathered in Palestine with special focus on the ruin of the King of the West – the beast (verse 13b).

Thus, as seen in so many other passages, WHEN the Messiah arrives on the earth, He will begin to express God’s wrath upon the unbelievers (the earth-dwellers) through many NON-MILITARY judgments (the trumpets and bowls) That judgment will culminate with the physical destruction of the world’s armies that are gathered into Palestine. But it will be in three phases as Jesus descends first to Edom, then to Jerusalem and finally to Megiddo for the battle of Armageddon.

The focus in the prophecies of Habakkuk is that the Messiah will come FROM Edom and initiate the battle of Jerusalem with earthquake and plague, and then judge the rest of the nations gathered in Palestine at Armageddon.

It seems that other than the plague, Jesus will be relatively inactive in the battle of Jerusalem. It seems that He will serve a catalyst for the people of Israel to fight back and successfully defend themselves against the invading armies. He will thus, OVERSEE the battle, as the nation’s commander-in-chief, and probably not too long after arriving there, He will continue on to Megiddo.

There appears to be a DELAY before Jesus arrives at Megiddo. It seems that there needs to be some kind of TIME FRAME for the battle of Jerusalem to play out, but I suppose it could be resolved in that same day. Thus, any “delay” would be a matter of hours only.

Then again, there is no reason why the descent to Armageddon could not occur on the next day.

Revelation 19:19
“And I say the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies, assembled to make war against Him who sat upon the horse, and against His army.”

These are the same ones who will be gathered by the demon influence of the 6th bowl judgment. Revelation 16:14 and 16.
“For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Mageddon.”

But before that gathering, and perhaps DURING it, the king of the North will have invaded the city of Jerusalem. Then, before the city can be totally devastated Jesus will arrive from Edom and “set down” on the Mount of Olives and produce the great earthquake of Zechariah 14:4 and the 7th bowl judgment of Revelation 16:17-21.

So Jesus will finish His work in Jerusalem probably AFTER the battle has been won by the forces of Judah and Jerusalem. He will then go to Megiddo and confront the bulk of the world’s armies who have assembled there. That will include the King of the East, the King of the West (the beast), and the remainder of the King of the North (who will have his forces split into two sections – Joel 2:20).

This will be THE battle of Armageddon.

See Topic: Armageddon – When Armies Move

However, Armageddon is NOT THE END OF THE WORLD.
It is only a LOCAL battle in the land of Palestine.

Furthermore, for clarification, the term Armageddon should never be used to describe the catastrophic events that are symbolized by the trumpets and the first 5 bowls.

For that matter, these events should not be viewed as any “end of the world” scenario.

Yes, they are serious and world-wide judgments that will result in much death and destruction. And ultimately they will result in the death and removal of ALL unbelievers.

But “they” and “it” are not the end of the world.

The Messiah’s kingdom will be established, and that will be a time of world-wide blessing and prosperity for all the peoples who have trusted in Christ as Savior.

This section of Habakkuk, verses 8-15, is given in a PAST TENSE mode because it is described as the prophet has ALREADY seen it.

Verse 8a
“Did Yahweh rage against the rivers?” (NASB)

Actually, Yahweh is NOT the subject of the verb, but is the one addressed as is clearly indicated by the rest of the passage, using the second person of direct address.

The subject of the verb is not stated until the third line of the stanza of this poetic structure.

Even the NIV does not recognize this: “Were you angry with the rivers O LORD,” but makes LORD the subject of the verb.

Notice how different these two translations are.

The verb is chArAh as a qal imperfect/jussive, 3rd masc. singular to indicate the rhetorical question that is answered by the prophets next sentences. It means to kindle or burn. The subject is not seen until the next line, but the third person is indicated by the form of the verb. The subject is actually a DOUBLE subject, “your anger (aph)” and “your wrath” (ebhrAh).”

 “Against the rivers, was it kindled, O Yahweh –
Or against the streams, your anger,
Or against the seas, your wrath,
When you rode on your horses,
On your chariots of deliverance?”

The question is answered in verses 9-10 in the affirmative.
Yes – God’s anger and wrath were expressed UPON THE LAND.

“Your bow was made bare,
The rods of chastisement were sworn.
You cleaved the earth with rivers.
The mountains saw You and quaked;
The downpour of waters swept by.
The deep uttered forth its voice,
It lifted high its hands.”

This describes the effects of the 7th bowl judgment and the earthquake that occurs when Jesus stands on the Mount of Olives.

Revelation 16:17-21 adds some more details.
Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, "It is done." 18 And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder ; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty. 19 The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. 20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21 And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men ; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe.

 

Habakkuk 3:11
“Sun and moon stood in their places;
The went away at the light of Your arrows,
At the radiance of Your gleaming spear.”

This is not referring to a DARKNESS effect, but an “over shadowing” effect.
The GLORY of the Lord will be so great that it will OUTSHINE the sun and moon.

Habakkuk 3:12
“In indignation You marched through the land;
In anger You trampled the nations.”

Here, the prophet sees the judgment on “the nations” but this is judgment on the ARMIES of the nations that are gathered in Palestine.

None of the judgment passages teach that the Lord will GO throughout ALL THE EARTH and trample or thrash or destroy the nations. Its focus is always on the land of Palestine and all the “nations” that are gathered there.

Zechariah 12:3
“And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.”
Zechariah 14:2

“For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle.”

Revelation 16:14

“For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Mageddon.”

Revelation 19:19
“And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies, assembled to make war against Him who sat upon the horse, and against His army.”

 

Habakkuk 3:13a
“You went forth for the deliverance of Your people,
For the deliverance of Your anointed.”

“Your anointed” refers to the Davidic dynasty as preserved in the tribe of Judah.

This of course, is an obvious purpose. In the end-times, everything revolves around the nation of Israel and God’s deliverance of them from both their physical enemies, demonic enemies, and their national discipline, which will come to an end.

Ezekiel 36:5-9
Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, "Surely in the fire of My jealousy I have spoken against the rest of the nations, and against all Edom, who appropriated My land for themselves as a possession with wholehearted joy and with scorn of soul, to drive it out for a prey." 6 'Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel and say to the mountains and to the hills, to the ravines and to the valleys, "Thus says the Lord GOD, 'Behold, I have spoken in My jealousy and in My wrath because you have endured the insults of the nations.' 7 "Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, 'I have sworn that surely the nations which are around you will themselves endure their insults. 8 'But you, O mountains of Israel, you will put forth your branches and bear your fruit for My people Israel ; for they will soon come. 9 'For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you will be cultivated and sown.

 

Habakkuk 3:13b-14a
“You struck the head of the house of the evil one
To lay him open from thigh to neck.
You pierced with his own spears
The head of his throngs.”

 

This gives us a special focus on the king of the west, who is the beast of Revelation 13 and 19:19.

Daniel 11:45
“And he will pitch the tents of his royal pavilion between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain; yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him.”

This is the one “whom the Lord will take away with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming.” (2 Thes. 2:8).

Revelation 19:20
“And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet . . . these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.”

Habakkuk 3:14b
“They stormed in to scatter us (me – the prophet as representative of the nation).
Their exultation was like those
Who devour the oppressed in secret.”

As already indicated, the armies of the nations will gather into Palestine and against Jerusalem in order to gain material resources for themselves since the judgments of the Lord will have greatly diminished the availability of these things.

Ezekiel 36:2-5; 38:10-12;

Habakkuk 3:15
“You stomped on the sea with Your horses,
On the surge of many waters.”

This is a summary statement to indicate the victory of the Lord in defeating the oppressors.

The prophet thus concludes his periscope “launch” into the end-times, and in the next section returns to the immediate national crisis at hand in 605 BCE.

The last section, verses 16-19, occur after another natural break in the text. These verses SPECIFICALLY describe the attitude of the prophet as he anticipates the national judgment that is coming at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar as shown in the first two chapters. These thoughts of Habakkuk are personal and contemporary and do not have any end-times focus.

 

 
 

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