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Habakkuk 2:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will look forth to see what he will speak with me, and what I shall answer concerning my complaint.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— I will stand on my guard post And station myself on the rampart; And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me, And how I may reply when I am reproved.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— I will stand upon my watch, and seat myself upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say to me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will look forth to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer as to my reproof.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Upon my watch-tower, will I stand, and will station myself upon the bulwark,—so will I keep outlook, to see—what he will speak with me, and what I shall reply, when I am reproved.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— On my charge I stand, and I station myself on a bulwark, and I watch to see what He doth speak against me, and what I do reply to my reproof.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— I will stand upon my watch, and fix my foot upon the tower: and I will watch, to see what will be said to me, and what I may answer to him that reproveth me.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— I will stand vpon my watch, & set mee vpon the towre, and will watch to see what he will say vnto me, and what I shall answere when I am reproued.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— I will stand upon my watch, and mount upon the rock, and watch to see what he will say by me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
I will stand 5975
{5975} Prime
עָמַד
`amad
{aw-mad'}
A primitive root; to stand, in various relations (literally and figuratively, intransitively and transitively).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
upon x5921
(5921) Complement
עַל
`al
{al}
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
my watch, 4931
{4931} Prime
מִשְׁמֶרֶת
mishmereth
{mish-meh'-reth}
Feminine of H4929; watch, that is, the act (custody) or (concretely) the sentry, the post; objectively preservation, or (concretely) safe; figuratively observance, that is, (abstractly) duty, or (objectively) a usage or party.
and set 3320
{3320} Prime
יָצַב
yatsab
{yaw-tsab'}
A primitive root; to place (any thing so as to stay); reflexively to station, offer, continue.
z8691
<8691> Grammar
Stem - Hithpael (See H8819)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 533
me upon x5921
(5921) Complement
עַל
`al
{al}
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
the tower, 4692
{4692} Prime
מָצוֹר
matsowr
{maw-tsore'}
From H6696; something hemming in, that is, (objectively) a mound (of besiegers), (abstractly) a siege, (figuratively) distress; or (subjectively) a fastness.
and will watch 6822
{6822} Prime
צָפָה
tsaphah
{tsaw-faw'}
A primitive root; properly to lean forward, that is, to peer into the distance; by implication to observe, await.
z8762
<8762> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 2447
to see 7200
{7200} Prime
רָאָה
ra'ah
{raw-aw'}
A primitive root; to see, literally or figuratively (in numerous applications, direct and implied, transitively, intransitively and causatively).
z8800
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
what x4100
(4100) Complement
מָּה
mah
{maw}
A primitive particle; properly interrogitive what? (including how?, why? and when?); but also exclamations like what! (including how!), or indefinitely what (including whatever, and even relatively that which); often used with prefixes in various adverbial or conjugational senses.
he will say 1696
{1696} Prime
דִּבֵּר
dabar
{daw-bar'}
A primitive root; perhaps properly to arrange; but used figuratively (of words) to speak; rarely (in a destructive sense) to subdue.
z8762
<8762> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 2447
unto me, and what x4100
(4100) Complement
מָּה
mah
{maw}
A primitive particle; properly interrogitive what? (including how?, why? and when?); but also exclamations like what! (including how!), or indefinitely what (including whatever, and even relatively that which); often used with prefixes in various adverbial or conjugational senses.
I shall answer 7725
{7725} Prime
שׁוּב
shuwb
{shoob}
A primitive root; to turn back (hence, away) transitively or intransitively, literally or figuratively (not necessarily with the idea of return to the starting point); generally to retreat; often adverbially again.
z8686
<8686> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 4046
when x5921
(5921) Complement
עַל
`al
{al}
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
I am reproved. 8433
{8433} Prime
תּוֹכֵחָה
towkechah
{to-kay-khaw'}
From H3198; chastisement; figuratively (by words) correction, refutation, proof (even in defence).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Habakkuk 2:1

_ _ Habakkuk 2:1-20. The prophet, waiting earnestly for an answer to his complaints (first chapter), receives a revelation, which is to be fulfilled, not immediately, yet in due time, and is therefore to be waited for in faith: The Chaldeans shall be punished for their cruel rapacity, nor can their false gods avert the judgment of Jehovah, the only true God.

_ _ stand upon ... watch — that is, watch-post. The prophets often compare themselves, awaiting the revelations of Jehovah with earnest patience, to watchmen on an eminence watching with intent eye all that comes within their view (Isaiah 21:8, Isaiah 21:11; Jeremiah 6:17; Ezekiel 3:17; Ezekiel 33:2, Ezekiel 33:3; compare Psalms 5:3; Psalms 85:8). The “watch-post” is the withdrawal of the whole soul from earthly, and fixing it on heavenly, things. The accumulation of synonyms, “stand upon ... watch ... set me upon ... tower ... watch to see” implies persevering fixity of attention.

_ _ what he will say unto me — in answer to my complaints (Habakkuk 1:13). Literally, “in me,” God speaking, not to the prophet’s outward ear, but inwardly. When we have prayed to God, we must observe what answers God gives by His word, His Spirit, and His providences.

_ _ what I shall answer when I am reproved — what answer I am to make to the reproof which I anticipate from God on account of the liberty of my expostulation with Him. Maurer translates, “What I am to answer in respect to my complaint against Jehovah” (Habakkuk 1:12-17).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Habakkuk 2:1-4

_ _ Here, I. The prophet humbly gives his attendance upon God (Habakkuk 2:1): “I will stand upon my watch, as a sentinel on the walls of a besieged city, or on the borders of an invaded country, that is very solicitous to gain intelligence. I will look up, will look round, will look within, and watch to see what he will say unto me, will listen attentively to the words of his mouth and carefully observe the steps of his providence, that I may not lose the least hint of instruction or direction. I will watch to see what he will say in me” (so it may be read), “what the Spirit of prophecy in me will dictate to me, by way of answer to my complaints.” Even in a ordinary way, God not only speaks to us by his word, but speaks in us by our own consciences, whispering to us, This is the way, walk in it; and we must attend to the voice of God in both. The prophet's standing upon his tower, or high place, intimates his prudence, in making use of the helps and means he had within his reach to know the mind of God, and to be instructed concerning it. Those that expect to hear from God must withdraw from the world, and get above it, must raise their attention, fix their thought, study the scriptures, consult experiences and the experienced, continue instant in prayer, and thus set themselves upon the tower. His standing upon his watch intimates his patience, his constancy and resolution; he will wait the time, and weather the point, as a watchman does, but he will have an answer; he will know what God will say to him, not only for his own satisfaction, but to enable him as a prophet to give satisfaction to others, and answer their exceptions, when he is reproved or argued with. Herein the prophet is an example to us. 1. When we are tossed and perplexed with doubts concerning the methods of Providence, are tempted to think that it is fate, or fortune, and not a wise God, that governs the world, or that the church is abandoned, and God's covenant with his people cancelled and laid aside, then we must take pains to furnish ourselves with considerations proper to clear this matter; we must stand upon our watch against the temptation, that it may not get ground upon us, must set ourselves upon the tower, to see if we can discover that which will silence the temptation and solve the objected difficulties, must do as the psalmist, consider the days of old and make a diligent search (Psalms 77:6), must go into the sanctuary of God, and there labour to understand the end of these things (Psalms 73:17); we must not give way to our doubts, but struggle to make the best of our way out of them. 2. When we have been at prayer, pouring out our complaints and requests before God, we must carefully observe what answers God gives by his word, his Spirit, and his providences, to our humble representations; when David says, I will direct my prayer unto thee, as an arrow to the mark, he adds, I will look up, will look after my prayer, as a man does after the arrow he has shot, Psalms 5:3. We must hear what God the Lord will speak, Psalms 85:8. 3. When we go to read and hear the word of God, and so to consult the lively oracles, we must set ourselves to observe what God will thereby say unto us, to suit our case, what word of conviction, caution, counsel, and comfort, he will bring to our souls, that we may receive it, and submit to the power of it, and may consider what we shall answer, what returns we shall make to the word of God, when we are reproved by it. 4. When we are attacked by such as quarrel with God and his providence as the prophet here seems to have been — beset, besieged, as in a tower, by hosts of objectors — we should consider how to answer them, fetch our instructions from God, hear what he says to us for our satisfaction, and have that ready to say to others, when we are reproved, to satisfy them, as a reason of the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15), and beg of God a mouth and wisdom, and that it may be given us in that same hour what we shall speak.

_ _ II. God graciously gives him the meeting; for he will not disappoint the believing expectations of his people that wait to hear what he will say unto them, but will speak peace, will answer them with good words and comfortable words, Zechariah 1:13. The prophet had complained of the prevalence of the Chaldeans, which God had given him a prospect of; now, to pacify him concerning it, he here gives him a further prospect of their fall and ruin, as Isaiah, before this, when he had foretold the captivity in Babylon, foretold also the destruction of Babylon. Now, this great and important event being made known to him by a vision, care is taken to publish the vision, and transmit it to the generations to come, who should see the accomplishment of it.

_ _ 1. The prophet must write the vision, Habakkuk 2:2. Thus, when St. John had a vision of the New Jerusalem, he was ordered to write, Revelation 21:5. He must write it, that he might imprint it on his own mind, and make it more clear to himself, but especially that it might be notified to those in distant places and transmitted to those in future ages. What is handed down by tradition is easily mistaken and liable to corruption; but what is written is reduced to a certainty, and preserved safe and pure. We have reason to bless God for written visions, that God has written to us the great things of his prophets as well as of his law. He must write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, must write it legibly, in large characters, so that he who runs may read it, that those who will not allow themselves leisure to read it deliberately may not avoid a cursory view of it. Probably, the prophets were wont to write some of the most remarkable of their predictions in tables, and to hang them up in the temple, Isaiah 8:1. Now the prophet is told to write this very plain. Note, Those who are employed in preaching the word of God should study plainness as much as may be, so as to make themselves intelligible to the meanest capacities. The things of our everlasting peace, which God has written to us, are made plain, they are all plain to him that understands (Proverbs 8:9), and they are published with authority; God himself has prefixed his imprimatur to them; he has said, Make them plain.

_ _ 2. The people must wait for the accomplishment of the vision (Habakkuk 2:3): “The vision is yet for an appointed time to come. You shall now be told of your deliverance by the breaking of the Chaldeans' power, and that the time of it is fixed in the counsel and decree of God. There is an appointed time, but it is not near; it is yet to be deferred a great while;” and that comes in here as a reason why it must be written, that it may be reviewed afterwards and the event compared with it. Note, God has an appointed time for his appointed work, and will be sure to do the work when the time comes; it is not for us to anticipate his appointments, but to wait his time. And it is a great encouragement to wait with patience, that, though the promised favour be deferred long, it will come at last, and be an abundant recompence to us for our waiting: At the end it shall speak and not lie. We shall not be disappointed of it, for it will come at the time appointed; nor shall we be disappointed in it, for it will fully answer our believing expectations. The promise may seem silent a great while, but at the end it shall speak; and therefore, though it tarry longer than we expected, yet we must continue waiting for it, being assured it will come, and willing to tarry until it does come. The day that God has set for the deliverance of his people, and the destruction of his and their enemies, is a day, (1.) That will surely come at last; it is never adjourned sine diewithout fixing another day, but it will without fail come at the fixed time and the fittest time. (2.) It will not tarry, for God is not slack, as some count slackness (2 Peter 3:9); though it tarry past our time, yet it does not tarry past God's time, which is always the best time.

_ _ 3. This vision, the accomplishment of which is so long waited for, will be such an exercise of faith and patience as will try and discover men what they are, Habakkuk 2:4. (1.) There are some who will proudly disdain this vision, whose hearts are so lifted up that they scorn to take notice of it; if God will work for them immediately, they will thank him, but they will not give him credit; their hearts are lifted up towards vanity, and, since God puts them off, they will shift for themselves and not be beholden to him; they think their own hands sufficient for them, and God's promise is to them an insignificant thing. That man's soul that is thus lifted up is not upright in him; it is not right with God, is not as it should be. Those that either distrust or despise God's all-sufficiency will not walk uprightly with him, Genesis 17:1. But, (2.) Those who are truly good, and whose hearts are upright with God, will value the promise, and venture their all upon it; and, in confidence of the truth of it, will keep close to God and duty in the most difficult trying times, and will then live comfortably in communion with God, dependence on him, and expectation of him. The just shall live by faith; during the captivity good people shall support themselves, and live comfortably, by faith in these precious promises, while the performance of them is deferred. The just shall live by his faith, by that faith which he acts upon the word of God. This is quoted in the New Testament (Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38), for the proof of the great doctrine of justification by faith only and of the influence which the grace of faith has upon the Christian life. Those that are made just by faith shall live, shall be happy here and for ever; while they are here, they live by it; when they come to heaven faith shall be swallowed up in vision.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Habakkuk 2:1

Upon my watch — I will stand as a watchman on my watch — tower. He — The Lord. Reproved — Called to give an account of the mysteriousness of providence; either to satisfy doubters, or to silence quarrellers.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Habakkuk 2:1

I will stand upon my (a) watch, and seat myself upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say to me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.

(a) I will renounce my own judgment, and only depend on God to be instructed what I will answer those that abuse my preaching, and to be armed against all temptations.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
stand:

Psalms 73:16-17 When I thought to know this, it [was] too painful for me; ... Until I went into the sanctuary of God; [then] understood I their end.
Isaiah 21:8 And he cried, A lion: My lord, I stand continually upon the watchtower in the daytime, and I am set in my ward whole nights:
Isaiah 21:11-12 The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night? ... The watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night: if ye will enquire, enquire ye: return, come.

tower:
Heb. fenced place,
2 Samuel 18:24 And David sat between the two gates: and the watchman went up to the roof over the gate unto the wall, and lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold a man running alone.
2 Kings 9:17 And there stood a watchman on the tower in Jezreel, and he spied the company of Jehu as he came, and said, I see a company. And Joram said, Take an horseman, and send to meet them, and let him say, [Is it] peace?
2 Kings 17:9 And the children of Israel did secretly [those] things that [were] not right against the LORD their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.
Isaiah 21:5 Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink: arise, ye princes, [and] anoint the shield.
Isaiah 62:6 I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, [which] shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence,

and will:

Habakkuk 1:12-17 [Art] thou not from everlasting, O LORD my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O LORD, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction. ... Shall they therefore empty their net, and not spare continually to slay the nations?
Psalms 85:8 I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.

unto me:
or, in me,
2 Corinthians 13:3 Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.
Galatians 1:16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:

when I am reproved:
or, when I am argued with, Heb. upon my reproof, or arguing,
Job 23:5-7 I would know the words [which] he would answer me, and understand what he would say unto me. ... There the righteous might dispute with him; so should I be delivered for ever from my judge.
Job 31:35 Oh that one would hear me! behold, my desire [is, that] the Almighty would answer me, and [that] mine adversary had written a book.
Job 31:37 I would declare unto him the number of my steps; as a prince would I go near unto him.
Jeremiah 12:1 Righteous [art] thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of [thy] judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? [wherefore] are all they happy that deal very treacherously?
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2S 18:24. 2K 9:17; 17:9. Jb 23:5; 31:35, 37. Ps 73:16; 85:8. Is 21:5, 8, 11; 62:6. Jr 12:1. Hab 1:12. 2Co 13:3. Ga 1:16.

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