Book of Habakkuk
This is an exegetical discourse on Habakkuk, which provides details of the seven year tribulation period, including the actions of Antichrist in America.
The book of Habakkuk is a complex and mysterious book. Habakkuk describes himself as a prophet and he describes a vision that God gave him. In this vision, God shows Habakkuk a time of violence, iniquity and injustice that prevails. It is a time when lawlessness is running rampant, and there is no judgment from God. It is a time when the righteous ones are surrounded by the evil ones, and there is no restraint of evil.
The vision that Habakkuk received from the Lord can only be in the day of the Antichrist when he is given free reign upon the earth for 42 months. The only other time that could relate to the time that Habakkuk saw was the days of Noah when evil ran rampant over the earth. The Olivet Discourse confirms that the days of Noah are a type of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The following Scripture refers directly to this time that Habakkuk describes:
(Rev 13:5 KJV) And there was given unto him (i.e., Antichrist) a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
(Rev 13:6 KJV) And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
(Rev 13:7 KJV) And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
(Hab 1:1 KJV) The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see.
The Hebrew word for burden means oracle or prophecy. It is a prophecy that Habakkuk received from God, but it was not in the form of words, for it clearly states that this is something that Habakkuk saw in vision. The vision that he received was very disturbing to Habakkuk, as he expresses his dismay that God would allow such injustice to prevail against “righteous ones”.
Many Bible scholars have attempted to place this prophecy during the time of Judah when the Babylonians carried them off into captivity, but there is no justification for doing this. The name of Judah or Israel is not mentioned throughout the text, and there is nothing to indicate that the persecution and injustice applies to Judah or Israel in the time of Habakkuk. The truth is that this persecution and injustice is against righteous Gentiles, which is an Old Testament picture of the Church. The Church was a mystery at the time Habakkuk received his vision, so these people were referred to as simply righteous Gentiles.
(Hab 1:2 KJV) O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save!
The vision that Habakkuk saw must have been extended for Habakkuk cried out to the Lord about the violence and cruelty that he was seeing in the vision, and the Lord did nothing about it. A good paraphrase of this verse is as follows:
(Hab 1:2 Paraphrase) Oh Lord, how long must I cry out to you, and you will not pay attention? I cry out to you frantically of the cruelty and violence to these righteous ones, and you do not avenge or deliver them.
The parallel to this verse in the New Testament is as follows:
(Rev 6:9-10 KJV) (9) And when he (i.e., Jesus) had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: (10) And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
The time of this cruelty and violence is the first half of the tribulation period, and the ones being persecuted and martyred are the Christians who have been left behind at the Firstfruits Rapture. Antichrist has been given free reign over the earth without the interference of God, and the Christians have been turned over to him in accordance with the following verse:
(Dan 7:25 KJV) And he (i.e., Antichrist) shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints (i.e., Christians) of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they (i.e., Christians) shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time (i.e., three years and a half).
The exact time for the Christians to be turned over to Antichrist will be 42 months. The faithful Christians of the Philadelphia church will be delivered from this time of trial or temptation in accordance with the following Scripture:
(Rev 3:7-10 KJV) (7) And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; (8) I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. (9) Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. (10) Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
The hour of temptation is the hour of trial to test everyone who has gotten settled and comfortable in this world.
(Hab 1:3 KJV) Why dost thou show me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention.
Habakkuk asks God why he shows him—in vision—all of this iniquity (i.e., wickedness, injustice & affliction), for God required Habakkuk to view in detail the grievance (i.e., toilsome work and trouble) that had been placed upon these Christians during the time of trial. The spoiling that Habakkuk saw was the oppression, robbery and spoil that the Antichrist will inflict upon Christians during the time of the tribulation. The violence is the cruelty, unjust gain that Antichrist will inflict upon these Christians in taking their homes, property, and possessions. The last part of this verse can be paraphrased as follows: “and there exists a contest or trial in rowing a straight course that has been given by You.” The purpose of the Christians being cast into the tribulation period is to cause them to be tried, so they can grow into maturity in a very short time. This is confirmed in the letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2 & 3 where Thyatira, Sardis, and Laodicea will be subjected to the tribulation period for the purpose of refining and maturing in the faith.
(Hab 1:4 KJV) Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.
It is because of this contest or test of Christians that lawlessness prevails, and God does not avenge or judge the wrongdoers. God allows the wicked or evil ones to “compass about” or besiege the righteous, and unjust or wrong judgments are rendered. The righteous are the Christians who are being persecuted and martyred. Please note that there is no mention of Judah, Israel, or any word that would be appropriate as a term for the nations of Judah or Israel.
(Hab 1:5 KJV) 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.
God speaks through Habakkuk to the main body of the Church to explain what He is going to do after two days of the Church Age. At the time of Habakkuk, the Church was unknown and still a mystery, so God calls them a word that is translated “heathen”. The word really means a segment of a body of Gentiles, so the persons being addressed are a segment of the Church or that portion of the Church that will go through the tribulation period. God is telling this body of Gentiles to regard, have respect for, or pay close attention to what he is now telling them. The words for wonder marvellously mean to be amazed and astonished at what God is going to do. The Hebrew word for “in your days” would be true for it will take place in the days of this body of Gentiles who go through the tribulation, but the literal meaning is after two days. This is one of those situations where the question arises as to which meaning is involved here, and the answer is both. This work of God will take place in the days of this body of Gentiles, but it will also take place after two thousand years (i.e., two days) of the Church Age.
This tribulation will be a work of God in purging and purifying the main body of the Church, even though He will be using Antichrist to perform this work. Antichrist will wield the tribulum for the threshing of the wheat during the first half of the tribulation period. We shall see further down that God will use Antichrist for the purpose of judgment and correction of His people, which includes the Jews, the Church and the Gentiles who will be saved during the tribulation period.
The phrase “in your days” means that this segment of the Church will still be alive upon the earth for God to do a work in them. The truly amazing part of this verse is the last part where God is addressing this group of Christians who will go through the tribulation. He tells them that they will be told about this sequence of events, but they will not believe it. We have told many Christians about this period of time where the main body of the Church will be tried and purified, but they do not believe us. They simply come back and proclaim angrily that the whole Church will be taken in the Pretribulation Rapture.
(Hab 1:6 KJV) For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwelling places that are not theirs.
God continues to explain the work that He will do during the tribulation period. He states that He will raise up the Chaldeans. The Chaldeans were the Babylonians, and since the ancient Babylonians have long since disappeared from the earth, we must look at the New Babylon or Babylon the Great, which is addressed so much in Scriptures for the end days. We know that America is Babylon the Great, so the Chaldeans referred to here are the people, or more specifically the leaders of America. In verse 11 below, these people change from the plural to the singular, which refers to the new leader of Babylon or Antichrist. The following verses describe America and its armies or military power.
The word lo means that it will be a surprise, but God will rouse up or stir up (i.e., raise up) the Americans. God refers to America as that nation that is angry, chafed, or provoked (i.e., bitter). It is also described as an impetuous (i.e., hasty) nation that is quick to respond violently when it has been offended. The meaning of impetuous is as follows:
im·pet·u·ous adj. 1. Characterized by sudden and forceful energy or emotion; impulsive and passionate. 2. Having or marked by violent force: impetuous, heaving waves
This is an excellent description of America. Just look at what we did to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Iraq during the Gulf Wars to see how America can retaliate with great emotion and great force when stirred up or aroused to action.
The first thing that the leaders of New Babylon do is to traverse, or go to-and-fro throughout the wide expanse of the land and seize upon and drive out the certain tenants and take possession of their homes. This will be a repeat of what took place in Germany under Hitler, only this time, the focus of this seizure of property will be upon Christians who have been left behind at the Firstfruits Rapture. The homes of those faithful Christians taken in the Firstfruits Rapture will also be subject to seizure by the armies of Antichrist. The homes and businesses of Christians will be taken over by Antichrist and his cohorts. He will have legal authority to do this as the all-powerful dictator of America under the Emergency Powers Act.
(Hab 1:7 KJV) They are terrible and dreadful: their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves.
This group of leaders and followers that are raised up will be frightful (i.e., terrible) and awesome (i.e., dreadful). Their decisions and the execution of these decisions along with their exaltation to power will come out of or proceed from themselves. In other words, their empowerment to act and their actions will both come out of themselves. They will raise themselves up to authority and then they will act upon that authority. They will determine what is right and the rule of conduct according to their own standard. This is referring to Antichrist and the ones who are his followers. Their first actions will take place in his own land, which is America, but he will extend himself and enter into other lands and destroy the strongholds in these lands as is described in the following verses.
(Hab 1:8 KJV) Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat.
The horse in the Bible was an animal used for riding, a war animal. The word for horse here means more than one horse being ridden. It means more than one horse as in pulling a type of chariot, but the word means the horse as it is leaping as if in flight like the swallows that fly rapidly. These horses are compared with leopards in their speed and grace. The leopard was one of the most dangerous of animals, both to other animals and human beings. It was known for its gracefulness and speed. These horses are also described as being more fierce than evening wolves. Wolves go after prey in the evening after having fasted all day. I believe that in the vision Habakkuk saw the jet fighter planes of America, and this is how Habakkuk described them. They are described as scattering themselves and coming from afar, as eagles that are swooping down on prey. This is a pretty good seventh century BC description of our fighter planes. The planes fly very swiftly and gracefully, and the firepower (i.e., ferocity) on these planes is awesome. They are fierce. The literal meaning of fierce is to be sharp, and this is also an accurate description of these fighter planes. They fly in formation and then scatter themselves in combat. They swoop down like an eagle descending on its prey, and then they ascend very rapidly back to the heights. They come from far away, departing from aircraft carriers to make their attacks, and they often come at night under the cloak of darkness, just as the evening wolves. The following verses continue the description of the airplanes of the American military force under the authority of Antichrist.
(Hab 1:9 KJV) They shall come all for violence: their faces shall sup up as the east wind, and they shall gather the captivity as the sand.
All of these horses (i.e., Fighter jets) come for the express purpose of violence. They have no other purpose. The NIV translates this very well as follows:
(Hab 1:9 NIV) they all come bent on violence. Their hordes advance like a desert wind and gather prisoners like sand.
The words for “faces shall sup up” mean an assembling of persons (i.e., faces), so it appears that this phrase has reference to the infantry of the Antichrist who advance in tanks and armored vehicles. We have seen this in videos of Desert Storm where the advance of the infantry appears as a dust cloud caused by the wind going in the direction of the troops. We have already seen a preview of this when America captured the Iraqis by the thousands with no resistance. After Damascus (Burden of Damascus) and then Egypt (Burden of Egypt) are totally destroyed by nuclear weapons , the remaining forces of the Leopard with the Four Wings On Its Back will offer no resistance, and the captives will be like gathering sand. The destruction of Damascus and Egypt are described in detail in my exegesis on Isaiah 17, 18 and 19. This trampling down of the Leopard is described in Daniel 7 where the Ten Horned Beast tramples down the Leopard.
(Hab 1:10 KJV) And they shall scoff at the kings, and the princes shall be a scorn unto them: they shall deride every strong hold; for they shall heap dust, and take it.
And these horses shall mock, deride or make fun of the kings, and the rulers shall be a laughing stock unto them. They shall laugh at or make sport of the fortifications, for they shall heap dust, and seize or capture it. Habakkuk continues his description of how the air forces of Antichrist easily take over and destroy the strongholds or fortresses of the Leopard with the Four Wings on its Back. These five countries of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia are governed by kings and rulers. They will be no match for the forces of Antichrist, as has already been demonstrated in the Gulf War with Iraq. I wondered for a long time about the clause “for they shall heap dust, and take it.” I came to understand the meaning of this during the Gulf War when I was watching CNN coverage of the war. The footage from the video cameras on our fighter jets would show a stronghold or fortress that was about to receive a missile attack. Suddenly, the stronghold became a heap of dust and was totally destroyed. I have since seen several repeats of this warfare with tanks and other targets. The missile goes so fast that it cannot be seen, so all the observer sees is a heap of dust and destruction. This is clearly what Habakkuk saw in his vision from God. Even though we have seen previews of some of these descriptions by Habakkuk, this prophecy will not be fulfilled until Antichrist comes on the scene and begins his reign of terror and persecution against the Christians of America, and the Middle Eastern Arab countries. Israel will see him as a wonderful person during the first half of the tribulation period, for he will bring about peace for Israel with the destruction of the Leopard and the Four Wings on Its Back.
(Hab 1:11 KJV) Then shall his mind change, and he shall pass over, and offend, imputing this his power unto his god.
Verse 11 is a transition from the first half of the tribulation period to the last half of the tribulation period. There is a change from speaking of the nation of the Chaldeans to referring to the leader of the Chaldeans, who is the Antichrist. This verse states that there is a change in the mind or spirit of the Antichrist. The change in his spirit is the incarnation of Satan in the body of Antichrist. He passes over or transgresses from one spirit or attitude to a totally different attitude, and this attitude or transgression is toward the Jews. He becomes offensive or injurious to the Jews, and he deifies his power or strength (i.e., he claims to be god). The following verse 12 in Habakkuk confirms that this change is in regard to his attitude toward the Jews, for Habakkuk affirms that whatever happens the Jew will not perish from the earth.
This verse is referring to the time in the middle of the tribulation that Antichrist is incarnated by Satan, and since the main body of the Church has been raptured, he turns against the Jews and sets himself up in the temple and claims to be god. This is the beginning of the time that is called the time of Jacob’s trouble.
The parallel passage in Daniel is as follows:
(Dan 9:27 KJV) And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
The parallel passage in the New Testament where Antichrist sets himself in the temple and claims to be God is as follows:
(2 Th 2:3 KJV) Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first (i.e., the separation), and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
(2 Th 2:4 KJV) Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
We know from Revelation and other Scriptures that Antichrist will be indwelled by Satan in the middle of the tribulation period, when Satan is cast out of the first heaven down to the earth. This happens at the same time that the main harvest rapture of the Church takes place. Antichrist will no longer be able to persecute the Christians, so he will turn his attention to the Jews. God has successfully used Antichrist in purifying Christians during the first half of the tribulation period, and He will now use them to judge and correct Israel. This is also confirmed in the following verse:
(Hab 1:12 KJV) 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.
The ASV 1901 probably has a better translation of this verse for it is still in reference to Antichrist:
(Hab 1:12 ASV) Art not thou from everlasting, O Jehovah my God, my Holy One? we shall not die. O Jehovah, thou hast ordained him for judgment; and thou, O Rock, hast established him for correction.
Habakkuk sees that Antichrist has turned his attention away from the Christians who have now departed the earth and toward the Jews. The Jews have enjoyed the peace and safety that they have experienced up until now, but there is a major change. It is so serious that Habakkuk calls upon Jehovah God, the Holy One of Israel, and states, “We shall not die.” On this threatening announcement of God’s judgment, Habakkuk as prophet calls upon the Lord in the name of believing Israel and expresses his confident hope that the Holy One of Israel will not suffer His people to completely perish off the earth.
Habakkuk then confirms that God has ordained Antichrist for judgment and correction of Israel. This verse confirms that Jesus, “O Rock,” is Jehovah.
(Hab 1:13 KJV) Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?
In this verse Habakkuk employs the Semitic style of apocalyptic writing, and he now goes back to the first half of the tribulation period during which time God has allowed Antichrist to have free reign over the earth, and Habakkuk gives a detailed explanation of his complaint about how God does nothing while Antichrist deals treacherously with those who are more righteous than he (i.e., the Church). The righteous cannot refer to Israel since Israel as a nation will not receive their atonement until the end of the tribulation period. The righteous ones being devoured in this verse are Christians and not Israel as a nation. The righteousness is the imputed righteousness of God.
In Habakkuk’s mind it appears irreconcilable with the holiness of God that He would allow the righteous ones to be dealt with so treacherously, and God would hold His tongue and do nothing. We see in the next chapter that God will resume his Judgment upon the wicked, but this 42 months has been given to Antichrist for the purpose of persecuting and purifying the main body of the Church. We have already seen that the prophet Daniel describes this sequence of events in Daniel 7:25 above.
(Hab 1:14 KJV) And makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them?
Habakkuk complains that Antichrist treats these people as though they were fishes of the sea and creeping things, and they have no ruler or someone to take care of them. The reference to fishes of the sea confirms that Habakkuk is talking about Christians for the sea is in reference to the Gentile nations, and the fishes represent the Gentiles.
(Hab 1:15 KJV) They take up all of them with the angle, they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag: therefore they rejoice and are glad.
Antichrist will treat the Christians of America in the same manner that Hitler treated the Jews in Germany and other countries of Europe. He may do this in Europe and other countries as well, but it will most certainly happen in America. There are already over 130 detention centers established in America, and foreign troops have been brought in under the authority of the United Nations to round up and execute these Christians who will not go along with the New World Order that is the be established very soon.
Habakkuk likens this rounding up of Christians to using the hook, the cast net, and the drag net to capture them, and they will then be transported to the detention centers and executed without the right of trial by jury. All of this will take place very soon when the Constitution of America has been overthrown by the Emergency Powers Act, and the Antichrist is in complete dictatorial control.
(Hab 1:16 KJV) Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag; because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous.
The Antichrist and his minions will make sacrifice unto the net and burn incense to the drag, for it has made them even richer, as they have taken over the properties and businesses of these Christians who have been taken and slaughtered. Sacrificing and burning incense are acts of worship that will take place in honor of the power and strength of Antichrist in bringing in the New World Order and getting rid of those who would be resistors and dissidents. Fat portions and plenteous meat means enrichment from their slaying the Christians and taking their posessions.
(Hab 1:17 KJV) Shall they therefore empty their net, and not spare continually to slay the nations?
This verse confirms that Antichrist will execute the Christians that have been captured in the dragnet of Antichrist. They will be slain or murdered. The word for nations is the word for Gentiles, but we have seen from above that these are righteous Gentiles, which would be an Old Testament description of Christians, who have the imputed righteousness of Christ.
Habakkuk is asking God a question here, and the question is, “ Will they just empty their net and keep on slaying these righteous Gentiles?”
Habakkuk Chapter 2
(Hab 2:1 KJV) 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.
Habakkuk then states to himself that he will just prepare himself for God’s answer, and will just wait and see what God has to say about this question, and what Habakkuk himself will say when he is chastened or rebuked by God.
It is important to remember that God has already told him that this slaying of these righteous Gentiles is a test for their purification, and it is a work by God. Habakkuk’s question to God is now, “How long this slaying is going to continue?”
This verse expresses Habakkuk’s preparation to receive an answer from God in regard to his question. It does not mean that Habakkuk went up to an actual watchtower, but it reflects the mental preparation that he made to receive the answer from God. God provides the detailed answer in verses 2-20 that follow.
(Hab 2:2 KJV) And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
The Lord tells Habakkuk to write down the vision, and God then says to make it plain or explain the vision upon “tables” so a person can read it quickly and immediately take the explanation of the vision to others who are to understand it. Habakkuk did write the vision in this book, but the second command cannot be fulfilled until the time of the end. The word tables is plural and the word means some kind of smooth, glistening boards or flat surfaces where the explanation—not just the vision—can be quickly and easily read by numerous people, and even be quickly passed on to others.
This may sound a little insane, but I am currently sitting at a glistening flat surface explaining the vision so it can be easily understood. When I am finished with the explanation, it will be transmitted to numerous other glistening surfaces—Remember that “tables” is plural—where it can be easily and quickly read, and passed on to numerous other glistening surfaces. The phrase “that he may run that readeth it” means that the explanation is to be posted so that it can be read and quickly passed on to others. Habakkuk wrote the vision, but it is up to us who are alive at the end of the age to explain the vision on our hand-held devices or computer monitors (i.e., glistening surfaces) and take the message quickly, via the Internet to numerous other Christians to help them understand what is happening to them under the persecution of Antichrist.
(Hab 2:3 KJV) For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
This verse clearly states that this vision is fulfilled at the appointed time of the end. The end is the end of the Age of Grace and the end of man’s allotted six days. Man’s six days or six thousand years are now at the end, so the time for the fulfillment of this prophecy is here. God assures Habakkuk and us that this prophecy in vision will most certainly take place just as Habakkuk saw it happen. It may seem like a long time, but be patient, for it will surely come to pass at the appointed time, and it will not miss its appointment. We are the ones who are to be patient, and we are the ones who are to explain the vision. The word for appointment means a festival or feast date. We know from our study of the seven feasts that this persecution and slaying of the Church left behind at the Firstfruits Rapture will begin on the Feast date of Pentecost. This is the appointed time.
In order for us to explain this vision, we must have an understanding of the Antichrist and the identity of the Chaldeans. We must also have an understanding of the Firstfruits Rapture and the persecution of Christians during the first half of the tribulation period. We also know that after the Main Harvest Rapture of the Church that Antichrist will turn his attention to the Jews, and this will begin the Time of Jacob’s trouble.
(Hab 2:4 KJV) Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.
This verse begins an explanation of Antichrist and provides some details about him. The NIV translates this verse as follows:
(Hab 2:4 NIV) "See, he (i.e., Antichrist) is puffed up; his desires (i.e., his soul or life) are not upright—but the righteous (i.e., the Christian) will live by his faith--
We know that Paul in the following verse describes faithful Christians just as Habakkuk describes them in this verse—the just shall live by his faith. This confirms the identity of the people being persecuted. These are Christians who become faithful after the Firstfruits Rapture of the Church.
(Rom 1:17 KJV) For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
(Hab 2:5 KJV) Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people:
This verse continues talking about Antichrist, and it can be paraphrased as follow:
Hab. 2:5 Paraphrase) Yes indeed, just as wine works treacherously and covertly in the brain out of sight, Antichrist works deceitfully, treacherously, slowly and covertly behind the scenes. He is a proud, arrogant and haughty man, who is not satisfied to abide at his home relaxing and passing the time away. His evil desires are insatiable as hell, and he kills and puts to death, and he cannot be satisfied. He gathers together and carries away all manner or kinds of Christians, and he assembles or gathers his own people the Jews to himself.
This verse confirms that Antichrist is a Jew even though he is known as a Gentile. This is also confirmed in Jacob’s prophecy about the tribe of Dan in Genesis. Daniel also confirms that Antichrist is a Jew by declaring that he has no regard for the God of his fathers. This is a Jewish phrase and links Antichrist with the Jews. Later verses in Habakkuk also confirm his Jewishness.
The amazing part of this verse is the description of a man abiding at home in ease, relaxing in beautiful surroundings, but due to his pride and arrogance, he becomes dissatisfied with this lifestyle. He embarks upon a path of wanton destruction, killing, and the usurpation of property and possessions. We are not talking about a vicious criminal on a short-lived crime spree. We are talking about a Hitlerian personality taking over the richest and most powerful nation on the earth with the most advanced military arsenal in the world. We are talking about a man who will also become the leader of the second most powerful and richest political power in the world—the European Union. He will be leader over both of these superpowers at the same time.
The following verses 6-20 are a song about the destruction of Antichrist containing five stanzas. Each stanza is 3 verses long and has a theme. The overview of the themes is as follows:
Verses 6-8—the killing and plundering of Antichrist.
Verses 9-11—the attempt to establish his dynasty or government firmly by force and cunning.
Verses 12-14—the wicked ways he devises for building.
Verses 15-17—his base and terrible treatment of the righteous Gentiles (i.e., the Church).
Verses 18-20—the idolatry of Antichrist.
(Hab 2:6 KJV) Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? and to him that ladeth himself with thick clay!
This verse speaks of the response of both the Christians and the Jews to the plundering of Antichrist. The parable would be in reference to the Christians, and the taunting proverb or poem would be in reference to the Jews. We know from our studies in the New Testament on the Church and Bible prophecy that parables pertain to the Church, and the Old Testament confirms that the taunting poem or proverb is of the Jew. Of course, the parable or proverb states in simple terminology:
(Hab. 2:6b Paraphrase) Woe to him that makes himself rich on that which does not belong to him! How long will he be allowed to do this, and to load himself down with the property and possessions of others?
We know the answer to this question from the following Scripture:
(Rev 13:5 KJV) And there was given unto him (Antichrist) a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
Just as Jesus was given power and authority on the earth for 42 months, Antichrist will be allowed to operate freely under Satan’s authority and power for 42 months. This is the first half of the tribulation period. We know that the Lord will intervene in the middle of the tribulation period with the Main Harvest Rapture, the sealing of the 144,000 Jewish Firstfruits, and the beginning of the Day of the Lord spoken so much about in the Old Testament. Please read my article: The Day of the Lord for a thorough discussion on this from the Scriptures. God’s intervention in the middle of the tribulation period is also confirmed in Habakkuk 3:2 below. It is at this time that God’s wrath will come upon the earth, but it will be wrath mixed with mercy during the trumpet judgments. It is only during the brief but devastating vial or bowl judgments that the earth will receive God’s wrath without mixture with mercy.
(Hab 2:7 KJV) Shall they not rise up suddenly that shall bite thee, and awake that shall vex thee, and thou shalt be for booties unto them?
This verse is a description of the Main Harvest Rapture of the Church. “Shall they rise up suddenly” is in reference to the sudden change of the Christians who are alive. The word suddenly means that this Rapture will happen quickly or unexpectedly. Those that awake are those Christians who are dead or been killed by Antichrist. Vex means that Antichrist will be agitated with fear at this Rapture and resurrection of both living and dead Christians. The word bite means a financial oppression and the last phrase “…thou shalt be for booties unto them?” is in reference to all the possessions of the earth will be turned over to these Christians that have been severely persecuted and killed by Antichrist. The following passage of Scripture refers to this complete change in authority over the earth:
(Dan 7:25-27 KJV) (25) And he (i.e., Antichrist) shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints (i.e., Christians) of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. (26) But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. (27) And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
(Hab 2:8 KJV) Because thou hast spoiled many nations, all the remnant of the people shall spoil thee; because of men's blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.
This verse can be paraphrased as follows:
(Hab 2:8 Paraphrase) Since you (i.e., Antichrist) have plundered many righteous Gentiles, the remnant of your own people—the Jews—will spoil you. This is because you have shed men’s blood, and you have committed violence in the nation, the great city, and against all the people that dwell there.
Of course, the remnant of his own people refer to the Jews who were Christians and from his own tribe of Dan. The nation is the land of Babylon the Great, and the city is the Great City that reigns over the kings of the earth. All of this is in reference to America. Antichrist will round up, kill and plunder the Christians of America just as Hitler did the Jews and Christians of Germany. Just as Hitler extended his murderous rampage into Poland, Austria and other countries, Antichrist will likely extend his into the European Union when he becomes leader of the Ten-Horned Beast.
(Hab 2:9 KJV) Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of evil!
This verse can be paraphrased as follows:
(Hab 2:9 Paraphrase) Woe to him that gains by unrighteous violence to his own house, that he may exalt his house, and that he may be delivered from the power of his afflictions or adversities.
This verse is in reference to Antichrist and seems to refer to his seeking after plunder and violence as his vengeance for his own afflictions and his loss of power and control when he received his mortal head wound. It appears that Antichrist has become greatly embittered because of his own afflictions and misfortunes, and he has now sought vengeance against a people that he blames for his own wounds and loss of power. Since he will plunder and kill Christians, these must be the people that he blames for his own wounds and the cutting off of his leadership in its prime.
Antichrist uses evil means to reestablish his power and government for his family, and he attempts to establish it so it can never be taken from his family again. We know from other Scriptures in Daniel that he will take over the government with a small number of people, and this government will not be a democratic form of government. It will be totalitarian with Antichrist as the dictator. His family and close friends will be part of his administration. The clause “set his nest on high” is in reference to the founding of his government. Antichrist seeks to elevate and strengthen his rule by robbery and plunder, that it may never be wrested from his family again. The following is the figure for the nest as a government:
(Oba 1:4 KJV) Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD.
Numbers 24:21 and Jeremiah 49:16 also refer to the figure of the nest, and state that Antichrist will be brought down from his government regardless of how high he establishes it. Antichrist will actually be operating in the power of Satan and his demons. This is what is meant by setting his nest in the stars. Satan is the prince and power of the air or atmosphere.
(Hab 2:10 KJV) Thou hast consulted shame to thy house by cutting off many people, and hast sinned against thy soul.
This verse states that Antichrist has determined shame to his own household by killing many people, and that he has sinned or trespassed against his own soul or life. There are levels of punishment for the life of everyone that spends eternity in torment, and the torment of Antichrist will be much greater than others cast into the lake of fire. Simply put, this verse states that Antichrist has brought shame and ruin to his house instead of honor and glory, and he has guaranteed severe punishment in hell for himself. His life has been thrown away or wasted and he will suffer the punishment of eternal torment.
(Hab 2:11 KJV) For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it.
The stone refers to the building blocks of the house and the beam out of the timber refers to the piece of timber sticking out of the building that holds the building together. This verse states that his own household will in the end cry out against him because of the death and plundering that he has caused. I think this is in reference to the nation of Israel. At first Israel will be left alone and only the Church will be plundered and killed by Antichrist. In the middle of the tribulation period, Antichrist will turn against his own people, the Jews, and they will be killed and persecuted. It may be that even his own family will eventually turn against him because of his violence and plunder that he inflicts upon the righteous ones.
(Hab 2:12 KJV) Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and stablisheth a city by iniquity!
This verse begins the third stanza of the song against Antichrist. It pronounces a woe or a judgment against Antichrist for the blood that is on his hands, and the evil that he performs to establish his government.
(Hab 2:13 KJV) Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts that the people shall labour in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity?
This verse states that this is part of the Lord’s plan that these people—Christians—must labor or toil in the very fire or persecution from Antichrist. They must work themselves to extreme fatigue because of their idleness and foolishness during the time that they should have been working for the Lord.
(Hab 2:14 KJV) For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
This verse completes the third stanza by saying that all of this will result in the earth being filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord just as the waters cover the sea. The glory of the Lord will fill the earth during the millennial kingdom, and many of these ones who had to go through the tribulation period and die will share in this glory.
(Hab 2:15 KJV) Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!
This verse is the 4th stanza of the song, and it pronounces a woe against America (i.e., Babylonians) who caused their neighbors to stumble and be naked spiritually. Giving drink to a neighbor to cause him to be drunk refers to causing him to stumble and sin. Nakedness refers to the lack of works. Wine is a picture of joy and prosperity, and many Christians are caught up in the prosperity of America, and they will be more concerned about this prosperity than they are about the work of the Lord.
(Hab 2:16 KJV) Thou art filled with shame for glory: drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered: the cup of the LORD'S right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory.
This verse states that these Americans are filled with shame instead of glory. “Let thy foreskin be uncovered means that the flesh nature will be revealed, and the figurative meaning of this means these will remain uncircumcised. The cup of the Lord’s right hand is his anger, and it will be turned unto these people. The “shameful spewing” pertains to the disgrace and shame that will be upon their glory that had been flaunted. The implied meaning is that the glory of these people will be urinated upon.
(Hab 2:17 KJV) For the violence of Lebanon shall cover thee, and the spoil of beasts, which made them afraid, because of men's blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.
Instead of garments of good works, these people will be covered with the same violence and destruction that they caused upon God’s people and their land.
(Hab 2:18 KJV) What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols?
This last stanza seems to be a clear reference to the television, as it will be used as an idol. The verse is asking what profit is the television that had someone make it. Molten image means it has a liquid image that changes constantly. It is also a teacher of lies. It tells people that if they drive a certain car or buy certain things that they will be popular and admired and looked up to. It teaches people that premarital and extramarital sex is okay and homosexuality is just a different lifestyle. It teaches people that wealth, fame and popularity are what is important. It teaches people that only dolts have any religious aspirations, and Christians are nothing but hypocrites and foolish people.
The last part of this verse can be paraphrased as follows:
Habakkuk 2:18b (Paraphrase) For does the maker trust in his work on it, to make dumb idols speak?
This is a rhetorical question and appears to state that even the people who make the stories and advertisements on the television do not believe what they produce. As stated in the first part of the verse, it teaches lies to the people, and they fall for these lies that even the producers of the images do not believe. The television has probably done more to destroy the morality and spirituality of America than any other invention. The television was invented and designed in America, so this stanza is very appropriate.
(Hab 2:19 KJV) Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it.
Verse 18 is a lead in to the woe that is pronounced in this verse upon those who are responsible for the television and the programs that are produced upon it. The television is made out of wood and metal. The Hebrew word for stone includes the ores from which we get our different metals such as iron, aluminum and copper, which are used in the manufacture of televisions. Even the glass screens of televisions are made from silica, which comes from stone. The word silica comes from the Latin silex and means “hard stone”. It is also covered over with gold and silver trim, and these metals are also used in the electrical components of the television since they are good conductors of electricity. Even though the image is fluid or molten and it speaks and teaches lies, there is no breath in it. In other words, it is a dumb idol that has no life in it.
(Hab 2:20 KJV) But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.
Abrupt attention is diverted away from this dumb idol that speaks lies and unto the Lord. This verse draws a contrast between the dumb, lifeless idol that we call the television and the Lord God Almighty, who is in His Holy Temple. The following verse confirms the implication in this verse that the Lord will appear from His divine throne of glory to judge the world and manifest His holiness upon the earth. It is in His holy temple that He is enthroned as Lord and Ruler over the world. It is from His temple that he observes the conduct of men. This is confirmed in the following verses.
(Micah 1:2 KJV) Hear, all ye people; hearken, O earth, and all that therein is: and let the Lord GOD be witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple.
(Psa 11:4 KJV) The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD'S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.
The verse implies that the whole earth is to remain in silence before Him or in His presence and to await His judgment upon sinful man. This judgment is described in detail in the following chapter 3 of Habakkuk.
(Zep 1:7 KJV) Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD is at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests.
Habakkuk Chapter 3
Chapter three of Habakkuk is Habakkuk’s prayer to God expressing his utmost confidence in God in spite of the calamities that he has observed in his vision. Verses 1 and 2 are the introduction, while verses 3-15 are the main body of his prayer. Verses 16-19 are a recapitulation or concise summary of the prayer.
(Hab 3:1 KJV) A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shigionoth.
This first verse simply states that this is a prayer or hymn of supplication by Habakkuk the prophet, and the prayer is poetic using irregular but passionate verse.
(Hab 3:2 KJV) 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 states that he has heard or hearkened to the Lord’s report, and Habakkuk was astonished and in awe of the Lord’s plan. The Hebrew word for heard also means obedience to what God had revealed to him. Habakkuk now knew that the Lord was going to allow Antichrist to greatly persecute and even martyr Christians during the first three and one-half years of the seven year tribulation period, but Habakkuk provides a hearty Amen to the Lord reviving His work in the middle of the tribulation period to punish these oppressors. Habakkuk petitions the Lord to revive His work in the “midst of the years” and to make his work known to the world in the middle of the tribulation period. This petition is more of an Amen to what the Lord was already going to do, but Habakkuk adds his voice of approval. Habakkuk also petitions the Lord to remember mercy during His wrath. We know from our study in Revelation that God’s wrath during the last half of the tribulation period will be mingled with mercy, except for the short time that the bowl or vial judgments are poured out upon the earth at the very end of the tribulation period at the time of Armageddon. This completes the introduction of the prayer of Habakkuk.
(Hab 3:3 KJV) God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise.
The reference to God coming from Teman or Edom, and the Holy One from mount Paran or the Arabian desert is in reference to the time that God gave the Law to Israel at Mount Sinai, or Jebal El Lawz as we know now to be Mount Sinai. The last half of the tribulation period will be a return to the economy of the Law where the judgments of God will fall upon the earth. This is the time when the Two Witnesses will be calling down judgments upon the inhabitants of the earth, and the trumpet judgments and bowl judgments are released. It is a time when the terror and wrath of the Lord will be played out upon the earth. It is referred to as the Day of the Lord throughout the Old Testament.
Selah is a musical sign, normally placed at the close of a section or stanza of verse. However, this is one of the three places where it is inserted after a half-line of verse to signal a pause to call attention to the glorious manifestation of God in Jesus Christ to bring about universal praise of Jesus Christ. It is the revelation of the glory of Jesus Christ, and the end result will be universal praise of Him. The Hebrew word for glory implies beauty, majesty and honor. It is in reference to the Second Coming in Power, Glory and Majesty.
(Hab 3:4 KJV) And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power.
This verse states that His brightness was as the light of the sun, and he had rays of light proceeding from his hands. His power was in his hands, but his power was yet hidden. This is clearly the first half of the tribulation period when Jesus Christ is crowned King, and lightning and thundering emanate from the throne, but his power has not yet been unleashed upon the earth. This verse is given great detail in chapter 4 of Revelation.
(Hab 3:5 KJV) Before him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his feet.
The pestilence that goes before Him or in front of Him is the pestilence of the first half of the tribulation period. This pestilence is described in detail in Revelation chapter 6. The burning coals that went forth at his feet represent the purging and cleansing from sin that will take place in the first half of the tribulation period. This is the time of threshing and winnowing that will take place among the Church upon the earth. This is before Jesus Christ begins His takeover of the earth, as this starts in the following verse with the measuring of the earth.
(Hab 3:6 KJV) He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his ways are everlasting.
This measuring of the earth is a picture of taking possession of the earth. When land is transferred as to its ownership, it is first surveyed or measured. He also beheld the earth or closely inspected it. He sees drastic measures needed for the renovation of the earth, so He initiates these measures. “Drove asunder the nations” means that He violently agitated or caused a great earthquake to come upon the whole earth. This earthquake is described in the following verses:
(Rev 6:12 KJV) And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
(Rev 6:13 KJV) And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
“The everlasting mountains were scattered” is figuratively in reference to the political kingdoms from ancient times or earthly powers that have existed from ancient times are dashed to pieces or shattered. “The perpetual hills” are the idolatrous religions of man that have been age lasting, and they are now forced to become prostrate (i.e., bow) before the greatness, majesty and power of the Lord Jesus Christ. The ways or goings of eternity (i.e., the ages) now belong to Him.
The literal translation is clearly given in the NIV. Both the literal and figurative are true.
(Hab 3:6 NIV) He stood, and shook the earth; he looked, and made the nations tremble. The ancient mountains crumbled and the age-old hills collapsed. His ways are eternal.
(Hab 3:7 KJV) I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction: and the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble.
The NIV translates this as follows:
(Hab 3:7 NIV) I saw the tents of Cushan in distress, the dwellings of Midian in anguish.
Cushan represents black Africa, and Midian represents the Arab nations. Consequently, the reference is to those on both sides of the Gulf of Aqaba or the Red Sea Crossing. Figuratively, both believers and unbelievers in the last half of the tribulation period will be in great distress and anguish. The distress is the trouble of iniquity for the unsaved, and the anguish is the trembling of the saved ones on the verge of judgment. The meaning is figurative and merely distinguishes those who have not repented from those who have repented, with the Red Sea Crossing symbolizing those under repentance. The unrepentant will suffer for their iniquity or wickedness, but the trembling repentant will enter into the millennial rest. This is seen in the sheep and goat judgment of Matthew 25. It would also be relative to the Day of Atonement for the nation of Israel, which occurs just before the sheep and goat judgment.
(Hab 3:8 KJV) Was the LORD displeased against the rivers? was thine anger against the rivers? was thy wrath against the sea, that thou didst ride upon thine horses and thy chariots of salvation?
During the Day of the Lord the rivers and the sea are smitten and turn to blood and become terribly polluted. Habakkuk asks if this is because of God’s anger against the rivers or because of His wrath against the sea. The answer is tacitly implied in “thy chariots of salvation.” It was not God’s displeasure against the waters, but it was His pleasure in interposing for His people. God’s chariots of salvation are in stark contrast to the chariots of Pharaoh (i.e., Antichrist). The allusion is to the Red Sea where Pharaoh’s men and chariots were destroyed, but the Israelites came safely through the sea and the turbulent waters. The armies of Antichrist will be destroyed in the valley created by Jesus touching His feet down on the Mount of Olives. This valley is the winepress of the wrath of God. It is this valley where the blood will flow up to the horses’ bridles.
There will be a type of duplication of the Red Sea Crossing on the Day of Atonement when the Jews who recognize Messiah Jesus run toward Him, and they will be preserved or saved both physically and spiritually, but the armies of Antichrist that follow the Jews will be destroyed in the winepress.
(Hab 3:9 KJV) Thy bow was made quite naked, according to the oaths of the tribes, even thy word. Selah. Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers.
The NIV translation is as follows:
(Hab 3:9 NIV) You uncovered your bow, you called for many arrows. Selah You split the earth with rivers;
God removes His bow from His quiver and lets many arrows fly to destroy the nations of the earth. We know from other passages of Scripture (i.e., Jeremiah 50-51) that the arrows are the nuclear missiles that are called the weapons of God’s wrath. The nuclear devastation during the last half of the tribulation period will completely and totally destroy Babylon the Great (i.e., America) and the cities of the nations will become rubble. This is all part of God’s purging of the heavens and the earth prior to the establishment of His millennial kingdom. We see the musical sign “Selah” again to signal a pause to contemplate the awesome devastation of God. In the context, the splitting of the earth with rivers is referring to the fearful physical phenomena attendant upon Jehovah’s attack on Israel’s foes. The rivers of water depict the judgments of God upon the earth.
(Hab 3:10 KJV) The mountains saw thee, and they trembled: the overflowing of the water passed by: the deep uttered his voice, and lifted up his hands on high.
The mountains will literally tremble with the massive devastation that will take place upon the earth with the release of the weapons of God’s wrath. “The mountains” also has reference to the earthly kingdoms that tremble at the presence and judgments of God Almighty. The overflowing of the waters continues the allusion to the judgments of God. The deep has reference literally to the oceans, and the picture is that even the tempestuous oceans uttered its voice and lifted up its hands in recognition of the creator of the universe. Even the mountains and oceans testify their obedience to God’s will. The deep figuratively refers to Sheol, the abode of the dead, and the Abyss where the worst among the fallen angels are locked up for the day of judgment. Even Sheol and the Abyss lift up its voices and its hands in obedience to the Lord God Almighty in the day of the Lord. The voice and the gesture of hands are used to signify obedience and compliance with the will of the Almighty God. This is not an obedience from a loving heart of yielding, but out of compliance with authority. Prisoners march and obey in the prison system out of fear, and not love for their overseers.
(Hab 3:11 KJV) The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of thine arrows they went, and at the shining of thy glittering spear.
Even the sun and the moon stood at attention to the light of the arrows of the Lord. The shining of the glittering spear refers to the lighted shafts of the arrows or missiles of the weapons of the Lord. Of course these nuclear missiles will light up the sky stronger than the sun and the moon when the missiles are detonated. Even the fire trail of these missiles on their way to their destination will be an awesome sight to see. These nuclear missiles are described as follows:
(Jer 50:9 KJV) For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon (i.e., America) an assembly of great nations from the north country: and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken: their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain.
(Jer 50:10 KJV) And Chaldea (i.e., America) shall be a spoil: all that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the LORD.
(Jer 50:14 KJV) Put yourselves in array against Babylon (i.e., America) round about: all ye that bend the bow, shoot at her, spare no arrows: for she hath sinned against the LORD.
(Hab 3:12 KJV) Thou didst march through the land in indignation, thou didst thresh the heathen in anger.
The Lord’s judgment upon the land will be an awesome spectacle of His wrath and indignation. The heathen referred to here would refer to the Gentiles during the last half of the tribulation period, and they will be threshed by the Lord God Almighty. Threshing is in reference to separating the good from the bad.
(Hab 3:13 KJV) Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, even for salvation with thine anointed; thou woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neck. Selah.
This speaks of God going forth for the salvation of Israel, which will take place on the Day of Atonement. “For salvation with thine anointed” is in reference to Jesus Christ, the Seed of the Woman, who also paid the price for the salvation of Israel. He is further described as the one who wounded the head out of the house of the wicked. This is referring to the mortal head wound suffered by Antichrist, who is the leader of the house of the wicked. The exact location of Antichrist’s head wound is described. The foundation of the head is the skull or cranium. The cranium of Antichrist was opened up (i.e., discovered) or wounded at the back portion just where the back of the neck begins. If the medical doctors had described the entrance wound of Antichrist’s head wound as accurately as this verse does, there would have been no room for argument over exactly the place of entry. Antichrist was wounded at the back of the cranium just where the back of the neck starts.
This mortal head wound was first prophesied in the book of Genesis as follows:
(Gen 3:15 KJV) And I (i.e., God) will put enmity between thee (i.e., Serpent) and the woman, and between thy seed (i.e., Antichrist) and her seed (i.e., Jesus Christ); it (i.e., Jesus Christ) shall bruise thy head, and thou (Judas as the Seed of the Serpent) shalt bruise his heel.
Both Judas and Antichrist are the Seed of the Serpent doing the will of Satan. Jesus Christ is the Seed of the Woman, and He had His heel severely bruised when He was nailed to the cross. Judas was the Son of Satan and betrayed Jesus Christ. Antichrist is also the Son of Satan and he had a mortal head wound, but he has miraculously recovered. He will make his reappearance as the leader of Babylon the Great.
(Hab 3:14 KJV) Thou didst strike through with his staves the head of his villages: they came out as a whirlwind to scatter me: their rejoicing was as to devour the poor secretly.
This verse continues the description of the wounds of Antichrist, and it also describes how the warriors of Antichrist come against Israel to shatter the nation into pieces. They came against Israel to devour her, but she was in a secret place. Habakkuk identifies with Israel by saying “they rush to scatter me.” He does this again in verse 16 below. The literal translation of this verse from the interlinear Bible is as follows:
(Hab 3:14 Interlinear Bible)You pierced the head of his warriors with his shafts; they rush to scatter me; their rejoicing is to devour the meek in a secret place.
A paraphrase of this verse is:
(Hab 3:14) You pierced the leader (i.e., Commander & Chief) of Babylon’s army with two bullets meant especially for him. The army of Babylon came out as a whirlwind to shatter the nation of Israel. They (i.e., the army of Antichrist) desired greatly to devour or destroy the depressed in mind or circumstances (i.e., Israel) in the secret place (i.e., Petra).
The armies of Antichrist will in the end come against Israel to shatter or smite into pieces Israel, but Israel will be in their secret hiding place. It has been thought for a long time that Israel will be hiding in the ancient city of Petra.
(Hab 3:15 KJV) Thou didst walk through the sea with thine horses, through the heap of great waters.
This verse states that nothing will be able to stay the hand of Christ in destroying Israel’s foe, who will be Babylon the Great as leader of the nations at this time. Even the sea or Gentile nations will not be able to stop the horses of Jesus Christ. The armies of Christ will tread upon the sea or the Gentile nations during a time that the nations will be surging or raging against God. This verse can be paraphrased as follows:
(Hab 3:15 Paraphrase) You Lord did tread upon the Gentile nations with your horses, even during the time of the upheaval or raging of the nations.
The picture here is that Jesus Christ will destroy the Gentile nations of the earth during a time of Armageddon when the nations will have come to totally annihilate Israel. This is the time when nuclear weapons will be flying around like rockets on the 4th of July. Yet Jesus Christ will be victorious in causing the nations of the earth to be destroyed and the cites of the earth to become rubble. Words are not able to describe the wrath of God that will be revealed at this time.
(Hab 3:16 KJV) 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.
Habakkuk again identifies himself with Israel, and he describes how Israel will be at this time when the nations will come against her with Babylon as the leader. The fear will be so great that the Israelites will tremble in their stomach, their lips will quiver, and their limbs will not sustain them. They will tremble all over at this time, and they will greatly desire the rest that was promised Israel. He that cometh up unto the people is Antichrist, and his troops will invade Israel.
(Hab 3:17 KJV) Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
The fig tree is Israel, and there will be no sign of even the blossom which portrays future fruit. Fruit. There is also no fruit on the vine tree—also Israel—and the labor or works of Israel will be revealed as naught in their ability to save or rescue Israel. Israel will be totally and completely helpless with absolutely no evidence of fruit. Israel is the flock, and the fold is the pen or the land of Israel. The Israelites will be completely cut off from their beloved land. No herd in the stalls means their army will be completely wasted or gone. Israel will be at the end of themselves, and then Messiah will appear in power and glory. This is reflected in the following verse where Habakkuk again identifies with Israel and expresses confidence that the Lord will do what He has promised the nation of Israel all along.
(Hab 3:18 KJV) Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The nation of Israel will be saved by the Lord Jesus Christ when He comes back in power and glory and touches His feet down on the Mount of Olives.
(Hab 3:19 KJV) The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.
When the remnant of Israel turns to Jesus Christ as the Messiah for their atonement, He will make their feet strong and stable as the deer, and they will walk upon the high places. This means that Israel will be exalted to a leadership position in the world in the earthly aspect of the kingdom.
The last phrase “To the chief singer on my stringed instruments” means that Habakkuk himself will be there to accompany or play along on his musical instrument with the chief singer of Israel. Israel will be singing the song of salvation, so the chief singer of this song will most likely be David, who will be placed in a leadership position under Jesus Christ and over the nation of Israel.