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Habakkuk 3:16 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— I heard, and my body trembled, My lips quivered at the voice; Rottenness entereth into my bones, and I tremble in my place; Because I must wait quietly for the day of trouble, For the coming up of the people that invadeth us.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble: when he cometh up unto the people, he will invade them with his troops.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— I heard and my inward parts trembled, At the sound my lips quivered. Decay enters my bones, And in my place I tremble. Because I must wait quietly for the day of distress, For the people to arise [who] will invade us.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble: when he cometh up to the people, he will invade them with his troops.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— I heard, and my belly trembled; My lips quivered at the voice; Rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in my place, That I might rest in the day of distress, When their invader shall come up against the people.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— I heard, and I trembled within me, at the voice, my lips, quivered, decay, entered, my bones, and, in my limbs, I trembled,—though I am to find rest, in the day of distress, when their invader, cometh up against the people.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— I have heard, and my belly trembleth, At the noise have my lips quivered, Rottenness doth come into my bones, And in my place I do tremble, That I rest for a day of distress, At the coming up of the people, he overcometh it.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— I have heard and my bowels were troubled: my lips trembled at the voice. Let rottenness enter into my bones, and swarm under me. That I may rest in the day of tribulation: that I may go up to our people that are girded.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— When I heard, my belly trembled: my lips quiuered at the voice: rottennesse entred into my bones, and I trembled in my selfe, that I might rest in the day of trouble: when hee commeth vp vnto the people, he wil inuade them with his troupes.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— I watched, and my belly trembled at the sound of the prayer of my lips, and trembling entered into my bones, and my frame was troubled within me; I will rest in the day of affliction, from going up to the people of my sojourning.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble: when he cometh up unto the people, he will invade them with his troops.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
When I heard, 8085
{8085} Prime
שָׁמַע
shama`
{shaw-mah'}
A primitive root; to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively to tell, etc.).
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
my belly 990
{0990} Prime
בֶּטֶן
beten
{beh'-ten}
From an unused root probably meaning to be hollow; the belly, especially the womb; also the bosom or body of anything.
trembled; 7264
{7264} Prime
רָגַז
ragaz
{raw-gaz'}
A primitive root; to quiver (with any violent emotion, especially anger or fear).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
my lips 8193
{8193} Prime
שָׂפָה
saphah
{saw-faw'}
(The second form is in dual and plural); Probably from H5595 or H8192 through the idea of termination (compare H5490); the lip (as a natural boundary); by implication language; by analogy a margin (of a vessel, water, cloth, etc.).
quivered 6750
{6750} Prime
צָלַל
tsalal
{tsaw-lal'}
A primitive root (rather identical with H6749 through the idea of vibration); to tinkle, that is, rattle together (as the ears in reddening with shame, or the teeth in chattering with fear).
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
at the voice: 6963
{6963} Prime
קוֹל
qowl
{kole}
From an unused root meaning to call aloud; a voice or sound.
rottenness 7538
{7538} Prime
רָקָב
raqab
{raw-kawb'}
From H7537; decay (by caries).
entered 935
{0935} Prime
בּוֹא
bow'
{bo}
A primitive root; to go or come (in a wide variety of applications).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
into my bones, 6106
{6106} Prime
עֶצֶם
`etsem
{eh'-tsem}
From H6105; a bone (as strong); by extension the body; figuratively the substance, that is, (as pronoun) selfsame.
and I trembled 7264
{7264} Prime
רָגַז
ragaz
{raw-gaz'}
A primitive root; to quiver (with any violent emotion, especially anger or fear).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
in x8478
(8478) Complement
תַּחַת
tachath
{takh'-ath}
From the same as H8430; the bottom (as depressed); only adverbially below (often with prepositional prefix underneath), in lieu of, etc.
myself, that x834
(0834) Complement
אֲשֶׁר
'asher
{ash-er'}
A primitive relative pronoun (of every gender and number); who, which, what, that; also (as adverb and conjunction) when, where, how, because, in order that, etc.
I might rest 5117
{5117} Prime
נוּחַ
nuwach
{noo'-akh}
A primitive root; to rest, that is, settle down; used in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively, intransitively, transitively and causatively (to dwell, stay, let fall, place, let alone, withdraw, give comfort, etc.).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
in the day 3117
{3117} Prime
יוֹם
yowm
{yome}
From an unused root meaning to be hot; a day (as the warm hours), whether literally (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figuratively (a space of time defined by an associated term), (often used adverbially).
of trouble: 6869
{6869} Prime
צָרָה
tsarah
{tsaw-raw'}
Feminine of H6862; tightness (that is, figuratively trouble); transitively a female rival.
when he cometh up 5927
{5927} Prime
עָלָה
`alah
{aw-law'}
A primitive root; to ascend, intransitively (be high) or active (mount); used in a great variety of senses, primary and secondary, literally and figuratively.
z8800
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
unto the people, 5971
{5971} Prime
עַם
`am
{am}
From H6004; a people (as a congregated unit); specifically a tribe (as those of Israel); hence (collectively) troops or attendants; figuratively a flock.
he will invade x1464
(1464) Complement
גּוּד
guwd
{goode}
A primitive root (akin to H1413); to crowd upon, that is, attack.
them with his troops. y1464
[1464] Standard
גּוּד
guwd
{goode}
A primitive root (akin to H1413); to crowd upon, that is, attack.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Habakkuk 3:16

_ _ When I heard ... trembled — namely, at the judgments which God had declared (Habakkuk 1:1-17) were to be inflicted on Judea by the Chaldeans.

_ _ belly — The bowels were thought by the Hebrews to be the seat of yearning compassion (Jeremiah 31:20). Or “heard” may refer to Habakkuk 3:2, “When I heard as to Jehovah’s coming interposition for Israel against the Chaldeans being still at some distance” (Habakkuk 2:3); so also the voice” [Maurer].

_ _ at the voice — of the divine threatenings (Habakkuk 1:6). The faithful tremble at the voice alone of God before He inflicts punishment. Habakkuk speaks in the person of all the faithful in Israel.

_ _ trembled in myself — that is, I trembled all over [Grotius].

_ _ that I might rest in the day of trouble — The true and only path to rest is through such fear. Whoever is securely torpid and hardened towards God, will be tumultuously agitated in the day of affliction, and so will bring on himself a worse destruction; but he who in time meets God’s wrath and trembles at His threats, prepares the best rest for himself in the day of affliction [Calvin]. Henderson translates, “Yet I shall have rest.” Habakkuk thus consoling his mind, Though trembling at the calamity coming, yet I shall have rest in God (Isaiah 26:3). But that sentiment does not seem to be directly asserted till Habakkuk 3:17, as the words following at the close of this verse imply.

_ _ when he cometh up unto the people, he will invade — rather (as English Version is a mere truism), connected with the preceding clause, “that I might rest ... when he (the Chaldean foe) cometh up unto the people (the Jews), that he may cut them off” [Calvin]. The Hebrew for “invade” means, to rush upon, or to attack and cut off with congregated troops.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Habakkuk 3:16-19

_ _ Within the compass of these few lines we have the prophet in the highest degree both of trembling and triumphing, such are the varieties both of the state and of the spirit of God's people in this world. In heaven there shall be no more trembling, but everlasting triumphs.

_ _ I. The prophet had foreseen the prevalence of the church's enemies and the long continuance of the church's troubles; and the sight made him tremble, Habakkuk 3:16. Here he goes on with what he had said Habakkuk 3:2, “I have heard thy speech and was afraid. When I heard what sad times were coming upon the church my belly trembled, my lips quivered at the voice; the news made such an impression that it put me into a perfect ague fit.” The blood retiring to the heart, to succour that when it was ready to faint, the extreme parts were left destitute of spirits, so that his lips quivered. Nay, he was so weak, and so unable to help himself, that he was as if rottenness had entered into his bones; he had no strength left in him, could neither stand nor go; he trembled in himself, trembled all over him, trembled within him; he yielded to his trembling, and troubled himself, as our Savior did; his flesh trembled for fear of God and he was afraid of his judgments, Psalms 119:120. He was touched with a tender concern for the calamities of the church, and trembled for fear lest they should end at length in ruin, and the name of Israel be blotted out. Nor did he think it any disparagement to him, nor any reproach to his courage, but freely owned he was one of those that trembled at God's word, for to them he will look with favour: I tremble in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble. Note, When we see a day of trouble approaching it concerns us to provide accordingly, and to lay up something in store, by the help of which we may rest in that day; and the best way to make sure rest for ourselves in the day of trouble is to tremble within ourselves at the word of God and the threatenings of that word. He that has joy in store for those that sow in tears has rest in store for those that tremble before him. Good hope through grace is founded in a holy fear. Noah, who was moved with fear, trembled within himself at the warning given him of the deluge coming, had the ark for his resting place in the day of that trouble. The prophet tells us what he said in his trembling. His fear is that, when he comes up to the people, when the Chaldean comes up to the people of Israel, he will invade them, will surround them, will break in upon them, nay (as it is in the margin), He will cut them in pieces with his troops; he cried out, We are all undone; the whole nation of the Jews is lost and gone. Note, When things look bad we are too apt to aggravate them, and make the worst of them.

_ _ II. He had looked back upon the experiences of the church in former ages, and had observed what great things God had done for them, and so he recovered himself out of his fright, and not only retrieved his temper, but fell into a transport of holy joy, with an express non obstantenotwithstanding to the calamities he foresaw coming, and this not for himself only, but in the name of every faithful Israelite.

_ _ 1. He supposes the ruin of all his creature comforts and enjoyments, not only of the delights of this life, but even of the necessary supports of it, Habakkuk 3:17. Famine is one of the ordinary effects of war, and those commonly feel it first and most that sit still and are quiet; the prophet and his pious friends, when the Chaldean army comes, will be plundered and stripped of all they have. Or he supposes himself deprived of all by blasting and unseasonable weather, or some other immediate hand of God. Or though the captives in Babylon have not that plenty of all good things in their own land. (1.) He supposes the fruit-tree to be withered and become barren; the fig-tree (which used to furnish them with much of their food; hence we often read of cakes of figs) shall not so much as blossom, nor shall fruit be in the vine, from which they had their drink, that made glad the heart: he supposes the labour of the olive to fail, their oil, which was to them as butter is to us; the labour of the olive shall lie (so it is in the margin); their expectations from it shall be disappointed. (2.) He supposes the bread-corn to fail; the fields shall yield no meat; and, since the king himself is served of the field, if the productions of that be withdrawn, every one will feel the want of them. (3.) He supposes the cattle to perish for want of the food which the field should yield and does not, or by disease, or being destroyed and carried away by the enemy: The flock is cut off from the fold, and there is no herd in the stall. Note, When we are in the full enjoyment of our creature comforts we should consider that there may come a time when we shall be stripped of them all, and use them accordingly, as not abusing them, 1 Corinthians 7:29, 1 Corinthians 7:30.

_ _ 2. He resolves to delight and triumph in God notwithstanding; when all is gone his God is not gone (Habakkuk 3:18): “Yet will I rejoice in the Lord; I shall have him to rejoice in, and will rejoice in him.” Destroy the vines and the fig-trees, and you make all the mirth of a carnal heart to cease, Hosea 2:11, Hosea 2:12. But those who, when they were full, enjoyed God in all, when they are emptied and impoverished can enjoy all in God, and can sit down upon a melancholy heap of the ruins of all their creature comforts and even then can sing to the praise and glory of God, as the God of their salvation. This is the principal ground of our joy in God, that he is the God of our salvation, our eternal salvation, the salvation of the soul; and, if he be so, we may rejoice in him as such in our greatest distresses, since by them our salvation cannot be hindered, but may be furthered. Note, Joy in God is never out of season, nay, it is in a special manner seasonable when we meet with losses and crosses in the world, that it may then appear that our hearts are not set upon these things, nor our happiness bound up in them. See how the prophet triumphs in God: The Lord God is my strength, Habakkuk 3:19. He that is the God of our salvation in another world will be our strength in this world, to carry us on in our journey thither, and help us over the difficulties and oppositions we meet with in our way. Even when provisions are cut off, to make it appear that man lives not by bread alone, we may have the want of bread supplied by the graces and comforts of God's Spirit and with the supplies of them. (1.) We shall be strong for our spiritual warfare and work: The Lord God is my strength, the strength of my heart. (2.) We shall be swift for our spiritual race: “He will make my feet like hinds' feet, that with enlargement of heart I may run the way of his commands and outrun my troubles.” (3.) We shall be successful in our spiritual enterprises: “He will make me to walk upon my high places; that is, I shall gain my point, shall be restored unto my own land, and tread upon the high places of the enemy,” Deuteronomy 32:13; Deuteronomy 33:29. Thus the prophet, who began his prayer with fear and trembling, concludes it with joy and triumph, for prayer is heart's ease to a gracious soul. When Hannah had prayed she went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad. This prophet, finding it so, publishes his experience of it, and puts it into the hand of the chief singer for the use of the church, especially in the day of our captivity. And, though then the harps were hung upon the willow-trees, yet in the hope that they would be resumed, and their right hand retrieve its cunning, which it had forgotten, he set his song upon Shigionoth (Habakkuk 3:1), wandering tunes, according to the variable songs, and upon Neginoth (Habakkuk 3:19), the stringed instruments. He that is afflicted, and has prayed aright, may then be so easy, may then be so merry, as to sing psalms.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Habakkuk 3:16

When I heard — What dreadful desolations God threatened against Israel. My heart trembled — Another effect of surprising fears and astonishment. Rottenness — A decay of all my strength. That I might rest — These fears made me betake myself to God, that I might rest in him. He — The king of Babylon. The people — The Jews.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Habakkuk 3:16

When I (t) heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in (u) the day of trouble: when he cometh up (x) to the people, he will invade them with his troops.

(t) He returns to that which he spoke as in, (Habakkuk 3:2) and shows how he was afraid of God's judgments.

(u) He shows that the faithful can never have true rest, except that which they feel before the weight of God's judgments.

(x) That is, the enemy, but the godly will be quiet, knowing that all things will turn to good for them.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
I heard:

Habakkuk 3:2 O LORD, I have heard thy speech, [and] was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.
Habakkuk 1:5-11 Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for [I] will work a work in your days, [which] ye will not believe, though it be told [you]. ... Then shall [his] mind change, and he shall pass over, and offend, [imputing] this his power unto his god.

my belly:

Psalms 119:120 My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments.
Jeremiah 23:9 Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness.
Ezekiel 3:14 So the spirit lifted me up, and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me.
Daniel 8:27 And I Daniel fainted, and was sick [certain] days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood [it].
Daniel 10:8 Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.

that I:

Psalms 91:15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I [will be] with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
Psalms 94:12-13 Blessed [is] the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law; ... That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked.
Isaiah 26:20-21 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. ... For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
Jeremiah 15:10-11 Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have neither lent on usury, nor men have lent to me on usury; [yet] every one of them doth curse me. ... The LORD said, Verily it shall be well with thy remnant; verily I will cause the enemy to entreat thee [well] in the time of evil and in the time of affliction.
Jeremiah 45:3-5 Thou didst say, Woe is me now! for the LORD hath added grief to my sorrow; I fainted in my sighing, and I find no rest. ... And seekest thou great things for thyself? seek [them] not: for, behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, saith the LORD: but thy life will I give unto thee for a prey in all places whither thou goest.
Ezekiel 9:4-6 And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. ... Slay utterly old [and] young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom [is] the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which [were] before the house.
2 Thessalonians 1:6-9 Seeing [it is] a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; ... Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

he will:

Habakkuk 1:6 For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, [that] bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces [that are] not theirs.
Deuteronomy 28:49-52 The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, [as swift] as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand; ... And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the LORD thy God hath given thee.
2 Kings 24:1-2 In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years: then he turned and rebelled against him. ... And the LORD sent against him bands of the Chaldees, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of Ammon, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servants the prophets.
Jeremiah 25:9-11 Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations. ... And this whole land shall be a desolation, [and] an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.

invade them:
or cut them in pieces
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Dt 28:49. 2K 24:1. Ps 91:15; 94:12; 119:120. Is 26:20. Jr 15:10; 23:9; 25:9; 45:3. Ezk 3:14; 9:4. Dn 8:27; 10:8. Hab 1:5, 6; 3:2. 2Th 1:6.

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