MISB Habakkuk

Translated by Daniel Gregg, All Rights Reserved

Habakkuk 1

1 The pronouncement which Ḥ̂av̱aqquq the prophet had seen.
2 However far, Yăhwēh, shall I have cried for help, and you will not listen? I cry out to you ‘violence!’ And you are not saving. Why do you make me look at iniquity, and why do you take regard of the trouble, and destruction and violence in front of me? Then: there is strife, and contention arises!
4 Therefore the law is numb, and justice never goes forth, because wickedness¹ is surrounding the righteous. Therefore justice comes out bent up.
5 Look among the nations and take notice, and be completely stunned. Be stunned, because a work is happening in your days, that you will give no support when it is recounted. For behold, I am raising up the Kasdeem, that bitter tempered and swift nation, that marches through the wide plains of the earth, to dispossess dwellings that are not its own.
7 Dreaded and feared is it; its justice is from itself, and its own exaltation goes forth. And its horses will have been swifter than leopards, and they will have been keener than evening wolves, and its horsemen will have stamped from afar. They will come; they will fly like an eagle hurrying to eat. Each one of theṃ will come for violence. The scorch¹ of their faces is an eastward wind. Then it will gather its captives like the sand.
10 10 And it will scoff at kings, and dignitaries are a derision to it; it will laugh at every fortress; then it will heap up rubble. Then it will capture it.
11 11 At that time, it shall have passed by like the wind; then, it shall slip away, and it will have become guilty. This, its might, is its god.
12 12 (Are you not from old, Yăhwēh my Almĭghty, my Holy One? Let us not die Yăhwēh. For justice you have appointed him; and for a rock of correction, you have founded him, 13 who is too pure of eyes to look favorably at evil; and you are not able to take regard for trouble. Why then do you take regard for the treacherous? You keep silence while the wicked one swallows one more righteous than himself. 14 Then: you make man like the fishes of the sea, like the creeping thingṣ, with no one ruling over theṃ.)
15 15 All of theṃ, with a hook, it will have brought up: it will drag theṃ with its net: thus, it will gather theṃ with its dragnet. Therefore it will rejoice and be glad. 16 Therefore, it will sacrifice to its net: thus, it will burn incense to its dragnet; because with them its portion is robust, and its food is fat. 17 Therefore will it empty its net, and continually slay nations? Will it not spare?

Habakkuk 2

1 Let me stand at my watchpost, and let me station myself on the tower. Let me keep watch to see what he will speak with me, and what I will bring back about my complaint.
2 Then Yăhwēh answered me: then, he said, “Write down the vision and make it plain on tablets so that the one calling on him may run.
3 For the vision is still for the appointed time, and he will breathe at the end, and he will not be false. If he delays himself, wait for him. For coming he will come: he will not be too late.
4 Behold, it will have been inflated. It’s soul will not have been upright in it. (But the righteous will revive¹ by his faithfulness.)
5 And indeed as wine betrays a proud man, even it will not remain, which has widened its soul like She’ol, and itself, like death, is not satisfied. Then, it will gather to itself all the nations; Then, it will collect to itself all the peoples.
6 Shall not these, all of them, lift up a proverb over it, and satire, and riddles about it? Then it will be¹ said, “Woe to the one increasing what does not belong to it, until whenever, and weighting upon itself collateral pledged.”
7 Will not those paying you interest suddenly rise up? Then they will awake making you tremble; then, you will have become spoils for them.
8 Since you have plundered many nations, they will plunder you; every remnant of the peoples, because of the blood shed of man, and violence to the earth, the cities, and every one dwelling in them.
9 Woe to those profiting an unfair profit for theiṛ house, and setting theiṛ nest in the height to be safe from the hand of evil.
10 10 You have advised shame for your house, by cutting off many peoples, even by your sinning soul.
11 11 For a stone will cry out from a wall, and a beam from the woodwork will reply:
12 12 “Woe to those building a city on bloodshed and establishing a town with crime.”
13 13 Behold, is it not from Yăhwēh of hosts, that the peoples will labor merely for the fire, and the nations will be exhausted for nothing?
14 14 Because the earth will be filled with knowledge, with the glory of Yăhwēh as the waters cover over the sea.
15 15 Woe to the one making his neighbor drink, you who pour out your heat and also make them drunk in order to view their nakedness.
16 16 You have been sated with dishonor rather than glory. Drink even yourself! And show your uncircumcision. The cup in Yăhwēh’s right hand will come around upon you, and disgrace upon your glory!
17 17 The violence done to Lev̱anon will cover you, and the destruction of beasts will terrify ¹you, because of the bloodshed of man, and the violence to the earth, the cities, and every one dwelling in them.
18 18 How has a hewn image benefited? For its creator has hewn it, an idol, and a teacher of falsehood. For the creator has trusted his creation over himself, only to make worthless gods speechless.
19 19 Woe to one saying to a piece of wood, “Wake up; arise,” or to a dumb stone, “it will teach.” Look, it is stuck fast in gold and silver, and there isn’t any spirit in its midst!”
20 20 And Yăhwēh is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before his face.

Habakkuk 3

1 The prayer of Ḥ̂av̱aqquq, the prophet, according to shigyonot.
2 2 Yăhwēh I have heard your report; and your work Yăhwēh, I have been fearing. In the midst of the years revive it; in the midst of the years make it known. In trouble you will remember mercy.
3 3 Gŏd from Tæyman comes, and the Holy one from mount Pa’ran. Selah. His splendor has been covering the heavens. And his praise has been filling the earth.
4 And it is a brightness like the sun, his rays from his hand. And there is the concealment¹ of his might.
5 Before his face walks pestilence; then plauge follows at his feet.
6 He has stood: then he will shake the earth. He has seen: then he will startle the nations. Then, the enduring mountains will be shattered; the ancient hills will have been cast down. But everlasting pathways belong to him.
7 I have seen the tents of Chushan in trouble; The tent curtains of the land of Midyan do quake.
8 Has your wrath been against the streams Yăhwēh? Is your anger against the rivers? Is your indignation against the sea when you ride upon your horses, your chariots of salvation?
9 Your bow is bared naked, with seven shafts of an utterance. Selah. With streams you split up the land.
10 10 The mountains have seen you. They twist about: a downpour of waters has passed by. The ocean has put forth its sound. Its breakers have been lifted up.
11 11 Sun and moon have stopped in their elevation at the light of your arrows; at the brightness of your spear’s lightning flash.
12 12 In fury you will march through the earth; in anger you will trample the nations.
13 13 You will have come out for the salvation of your people, for salvation along with your Messiah. You will have smitten the head of the wicked house, stripping it naked from its foundation up to its neck. Selah.
14 14 You will have impaled on his own spear shafts the headṣ of his ¹officerṣ: they who stormed out to scatter me, their gloating as if to rob² the poor in a secret place.
15 15 You have trampled on the sea with your horses frothing up¹ great waters.
16 16 I have heard. Then my belly quakes. At the sound my lips have tingled. Rottenness enters my bones. And in the lower part of me I shake when I should rest for the day of trouble to go up to the people who attack us.
17 17 Though the fig may not fruit, and no produce be on the vines; and has failed the olive product, and the fields have produced no food; and the flock has been cut off from the fold, and no cattle be in the stalls, 18 even I in Yăhwēh, I want to rejoice, I want to be glad in the Almĭghty of my salvation. 19 Yăhwēh Adŏnai is my strength. Thus he places my feet like the deer, and on my high places he makes me tread.
19b For the choirmaster; on stringed instruments.

Translator Notes

1:4¹ ^ I assumed a different vowel pointing for this word (רֶשַׁע) than the MT.

1:9¹ ^ The meaning of the hapax Hebrew word מְגַמַּת is uncertain.

2:4¹ ^ The context suggests a hiphil vowel pointing: יְחַיֶּה.

2:6¹ ^ I have assumed a niphal pointing for the verb (יֵאָמֵר) rather than qal in the MT.

2:17¹ ^ The reading of the LXX makes sense here for the pronoun. The Hebrew reads them (3fp) which makes little sense.

3:4¹ ^ The Hebrew word is hapax, but it appears to be derived from the verb חבה, meaning ‘be hidden, concealed.’

3:14¹ ^ The meaning of the Hebrew word פְּרָז is uncertain. The LXX gives rulers, officials. And the tradition supplies warriors, hence my choice: officers.

3:14² ^ literally ‘eat up, devour.’ I thought a functional equivalent was necessary to get the sense.

3:15¹ ^ Point the word as a participle instead of a noun. חוֹמֵר, and assume a defective spelling of the first vowel.


There at least four messianic prophecies in Habbakuk that have been corrupted by corporate translations, at 1:12-13, 2:2, 2:3, 2:4, and 3:13.

1:12 ^ The standard translations have missed the messianic prophecy here, and so have translated the pronoun plural where they should have stuck with the literal Hebrew and translated it singular. The term rock is generally a divine title. Messiah is the Rock of salvation. Messiah is correction in two senses. Firstly, our punishment fell upon him, and secondly he will correct the nations by removing the wicked.

The offending versions are: NIV, NLT, ESV, NASB, KJV, HCSB, ISV, NET, GWT, Jubilee Bible 2000, KJV 2000 Bible, American KJV, Webster’s Bible, YLT, ISR, CJB.

Version with the pronoun correct: ASV, Douay-Rheims Bible, Darby Bible Translation, English Revised Version, WEB, MISB.

Are you not from old refers back to the time when Yăhwēh walked in the garden of Eden, where man sinned, and came under the death sentence. The prophet knows that this can only be reversed by the divine Seed. Therefore, he says Let us not die. For justice you have appointed him. The seed is appointed to crush the head of the serpent (who will possess the final the king of Babylon), but his heal will have been brusied, a figure of the crucifixion. Messiah is the Rock, the cornerstone that falls on the image of the beast and destroys it. So he is a rock of correction.

The commentators have missed the meaning for several reasons. Firstly, they are not looking for the testimony of Messiah as the spirit of prophecy. Neither the Rabbis nor the liberal Christian commentators will see it. Secondly, the are not noting carefully enough the Hebrew text, and what it literally says. Some think that the pronoun refers to Babylon. Others think that the pronoun refers to the Jewish people. A lot of conservative Christians who could easily see the messianic sense are led astray by these erring traditions and translations.

2:2 ^ Once again the translators have generally missed the messianic prophecy here. The text says calling on him. He who calls on the name of Yăhwēh will be saved! We have to wait for his coming to put down evil. He will come. He may delay, but he will not be too late to save the remnant of his people. Vs. 3 says he will breathe out at the end. The LXX says he will arise at the end, which appears to be a functinal equivalent. Since the vision concerns Messiah, it is Messiah who is the he that comes forth. Paul says that Messiah will killed the Anti-messiah (the king of Babylon) “with the breath of his mouth.”

How can we be certain that the pronoun in vs. 2 is a him? “the one calling on him”? False translations want this to say “the one reading in it” or just “the one who reads it.” Outside of any context, the words could mean “one reading in it.” And the words “may run” are interpreted as smooth reading. The Hebrew presents two possibilities. The English has to choose one or the other. One message is very superficial. The other is very profound. The last prophet wrote “For the testimony of Yeshua is the spirit of prophecy (Rev. 19:10).” Now the one who really runs with the Scripture is the one who finds Messiah it it according to the Spirit of Prophecy. To translate the English as “it” makes the Spirit of prophecy impossible to decipher. Translating “him” only makes the messianic puzzle more plain than it appears at first in Hebrew.

2:4 ^ The primary meaning of the text here is that the righteous will survive, revive, resurrect, live again, by Messiah’s faithfulness. The LXX correctly interprets the text saying my faithfulness, refering to God. The faithful will survive Babylon because Yăhwēh will be faithful to his covenant. So also does the Apostle Paul interpret the text as the faithfulness of Yeshua. Only in a secondary meaning is the faithfulness of the righteous person in view, where his can refer to the righteous person. Our fidelity, however, is a result of divine fidelity to the covenant, and by it we abide in life. But it is his faithfulness that actually revives our life.

2:4 ^ The Hebrew literally goes, “she has been inflated. Her soul has not been upright in her.” The feminine pronouns (3fs) are used to refer to the city of Babylon or Babylonia (Chaldea). The narrative usually employs the pronoun “he” for Babylonia (3ms) in Hebrew to refer to what is normally an “it” in English. Because the Hebrew must be interpreted to translate it into English, the translator MUST know the meaning of the text, and what every pronoun refers to before translating it into English. In 1:12 the pronoun is a “him” because the term “rock” is used parallel to “him”; Rock is a divine Messianic title (cf. Ex. 17:6; 1Cor. 10:4).

2:9 ^ Babylon was founded on military might plus greed. The woe is to those adding house to house and field to field, to those forming monolopies and mega corporations, whose only interest is profit. Corporate fascism will result in 10 kings ruling the earth, and these will give their power to the king of Babyon, who will then be controlled by Satan himself.

Evangelical Christianity that calls itself conservative and fundamentalist is blind to the threat of corporate power. But they are about to get a real taste of it in the days to come. Because they have rejected Torah, they do not realize that the Law puts limits on the expansion of business beyond that any one man can manage and be responsible for, they will fall victim to the insidious impersonal power of the beast they have let loose in the name of captialism. The torah calls for private stewardship of property, and further that in the 50th year all property will return to its ancestral family. Thus a corporate power under biblical restraint must renegotiate the means of production with individual’s who sovereignly own the property out of their jurisdiction.

Moreover, every seventh year all debts must be canceled. Thus a corporate power cannot grow by the infinite expansion of debts. They will find fewer lenders, and lenders who pay attention to the ethics of their business. Nowdays, corporations can borrow enough money to run a business loss long enough to put their smaller competition out of business. Central Banks borrow their own money, then they pay it off with inflated currency. Therefore, the central bank becomes hugely powerful, and beyond true govenment contral. They in fact become the government, where everything is reduced to Statist absolutes of commerce and profit, and woe to any religious conviction that gets in the way of their profits! Growth of a business entity without the Jubilee and Sabbatical limits of Scripture equals theft and bloodshed. Free market competition is only ultimately just under those limits. Otherwise they will eat you up.

2:13 ^ All the work of the nations done for Babylon will come to nothing. It will be enough to fuel the fire that burns it, and their weary labor will all be for nothing.

2:20 ^ In English the beginning of the sentence might better be rendered but. The idol is like a temple with no god in it because it has no spirit. The true Temple in heaven, on the other hand, truly has God in it.

3:13 ^ Once again a plain messianic prophecy has been wrecked by the translators. Young’s literal translation also has it correct: Thou hast gone forth for the salvation of Thy people, For salvation with Thine anointed,. Also the KJV, ISV, Jubilee Bible 2000, KJV 2000, American KJV, Douay-Rheims,Webster’s, Wycliffe. The text says: along with your Messiah. Benson’s commentary has this correct also, but then fails to identify Messiah as Yeshua. Barnes’ Notes on the Bible has it correct. So also Matthew Poole’s commentary, and Gill’s exposition. The modern translations have it wrong: NIV, NLT, ESV, NAS, NAB, HCSB, NET, GWT, ASV, ISR, CJB, WEB, OJB etc, and so also some ancient: LXX.