English Standard Version
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls,
King James Bible
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:
American Standard Version
For though the fig-tree shall not flourish, Neither shall fruit be in the vines; The labor of the olive shall fail, And the fields shall yield no food; The flock shall be cut off from the fold, And there shall be no herd in the stalls:
For the fig tree shall not blossom: and there shall be no spring in the vines. The labour of the olive tree shall fail: and the fields shall yield no food: the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls.
English Revised Version
For though 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:
Webster's Bible Translation
Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no food; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
Habakkuk 3:17 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
"Therefore will He give them up until the time when a travailing woman hath brought forth, and the remnant of His brethren will return, together with the sons of Israel. Micah 5:4. And He will stand and feed in the strength of Jehovah, in the majesty of the name of Jehovah His God, and they will dwell, for now will He be great to the ends of the earth." "Therefore" (lâkhēn): i.e., "because the great divine Ruler of Israel, from whom alone its redemption can proceed, will spring from the little Bethlehem, and therefore from the degraded family of David" (Caspari). This is the correct explanation; for the reason why Israel is to be given up to the power of the nations of the world, and not to be rescued earlier, does not lie in the appearance of the Messiah as such, but in His springing from little Bethlehem. The birth of the Messiah in Bethlehem, and not in Jerusalem the city of David, presupposes that the family of David, out of which it is to spring, will have lost the throne, and have fallen into poverty. This could only arise from the giving up of Israel into the power of its enemies. Micah had already stated clearly enough in what precedes, that this fate would fall upon the nation and the royal house of David, on account of its apostasy from the Lord; so that he could overlook this here, and give prominence to the other side alone, namely to the fact that, according to the counsel of God, the future Deliverer and Ruler of Israel would also resemble His royal ancestor David in the fact that He was not to spring from Zion the royal city built on high, but from the insignificant country town of Bethlehem, and that for this very reason Israel was to remain so long under the power of the nations of the world. The suffix attached to יתּנם points to ישׂראל in Micah 5:1; and נתן is applied, as in 1 Kings 14:16, to the surrender of Israel into the power of its enemies as a punishment for its sins. This surrender is not the last of many oppressions, which are to take place in the period before the birth of the Messiah (the Roman oppression), but a calamity lasting from the present time, or the coming of the judgment threatened in ch. 3, until the time of the Messiah's coming; and יתּנם points back not merely to Micah 5:1, but also to Micah 4:9-10. The travailing woman (yōlēdâh) is not the community of Israel (Theodoret, Calvin, Vitringa, and others), but the mother of the Messiah (Cyril, and most of the Christian expositors, including even Ewald and Hitzig). The supposition that the congregation is personified here, is precluded not only by the fact that in the very same sentence the sons of Israel are spoken of in the plural, but still more by the circumstance that in that case the bringing forth would be only a figurative representation of the joy following the pain, in which the obvious allusion in the words to the Messiah, which is required by the context, and especially by the suffix to אחיו, which refers to the Messiah, and presupposes that His birth is referred to in יולדה ילדה, would entirely fall away. But Micah had all the more ground for speaking of this, inasmuch as Isaiah had already predicted the birth of the Messiah (Isaiah 7:14). יולדה has no article, and the travailing woman is thereby left indefinite, because the thought, "till He is born," or "till a mother shall bring Him forth," upon which alone the whole turns, did not require any more precise definition.
In the second clause of the verse there commences the description of the blessing, which the birth of the Messiah will bring to Israel. The first blessing will be the return of those that remain of Israel to the Lord their God. אחיו, the brethren of the Ruler born at Bethlehem, are the Judaeans as the members of the Messiah's own tribe; just as, in 2 Samuel 19:13, David calls the Judaeans his brethren, his flesh and bone, in contrast with the rest of the Israelites. יתר אחיו, the remnant of his brethren, are those who are rescued from the judgment that has fallen upon Judah; yether, as in Zephaniah 2:9 and Zechariah 14:2, denoting the remnant, in distinction from those who have perished ( equals שׁארית, Micah 2:12; Micah 4:7, etc.). ישׁוּבוּן, to return, not from exile to Canaan, but to Jehovah, i.e., to be concerted. על־בּגי ישׂ, not "to the sons of Israel;" for although שׁוּב, construed with על, is met with in the sense of outward return (e.g., Proverbs 26:11) as well as in that of spiritual return to the Lord (2 Chronicles 30:9), the former explanation would not give any suitable meaning here, not only because "the sons of Israel," as distinguished from the brethren of the Messiah, could not possibly denote the true members of the nation of God, but also because the thought that the Judaeans are to return, or be converted, to the Israelites of the ten tribes, is altogether unheard of, and quite at variance with the idea which runs through all the prophetic Scriptures of the Old Testament, - namely, that after the division of the kingdom, Judah formed the kernel of the covenant nation, with which the rebellious Israelites were to be united once more. על signifies here together with, at the same time as (Hofmann, Caspari), as in Jeremiah 3:18 with the verb ילכוּ, and in Exodus 35:22 with בּוא; and "the sons of Israel" are the Israelites of the ten tribes, and, in this connection, those that are left of the ten tribes. There is no ground for the objection offered by Hengstenberg to this explanation, namely, that "it is absurd that the ten tribes should appear to be the principal persons redeemed;" for this is not implied in the words. The meaning "together with," for על, is not derived from the primary meaning, thereupon, in addition to, insuper, as Ewald supposes (217, i), nor from the idea of accompanying, as Ges. and Dietrich maintain. The persons introduced with על are never the principal objects, as the two passages quoted sufficiently prove. The women in Exodus 35:22 (על הנּשׁים) are not the principal persons, taking precedence of the men; nor is the house of Israel placed above the house of Judah in Jeremiah 3:18. The use of על in the sense of together with has been developed rather from the idea of protecting, shielding, as in Genesis 32:12, slaying the mothers upon, i.e., together with, the children, the mothers being thought of as screening the children, as Hosea 10:14 and other passages clearly show. Consequently the person screening the other is the principal person, and not the one covered or screened. And so here, the brethren of the Messiah, like the sons of Judah in Jeremiah 3:18, which passages is generally so like the one before us that it might be regarded as an exposition of it, are those who first receive the blessing coming from the Messiah; and the sons of Israel are associated with them as those to whom this blessing only comes in fellowship with them. In Micah 5:3 there follows what the Messiah will do for Israel when it has returned to God. He will feed it (עמר simply belongs to the pictorial description, as in Isaiah 61:5) in the strength of Jehovah. The feeding, as a frequent figure for governing, reminds of David, whom the Lord had called from the flock to be the shepherd of His people (2 Samuel 5:2). This is done in the strength of Jehovah, with which He is invested, to defend His flock against wolves and robbers (see John 10:11-12).
(Note: The word "feed" expresses what Christ is towards His people, the flock committed to His care. He does not rule over the church like a formidable tyrant, who oppresses his people by fear; but He is a shepherd, and leads His sheep with all the gentleness to be desired. And inasmuch as we are surrounded on all sides by enemies, the prophet adds, "He will feed in the strength," etc.; i.e., as much power as there is in God, so much protection will there be in Christ, whenever it shall be necessary to defend the church, and guard it against its foes (Calvin).)
This strength is not merely the divine authority with which earthly rulers are usually endowed (1 Samuel 2:10), but גּאון, i.e., the exaltation or majesty of the name of Jehovah, the majesty in which Jehovah manifests His deity on earth. The Messiah is El gibbōr (the Mighty God, Isaiah 9:5), and equipped with the spirit of might (rūăch gebhūrâh, Isaiah 11:2). "Of His God;" for Jehovah is the God of this Shepherd or Ruler, i.e., He manifests Himself as God to Him more than to any other; so that the majesty of Jehovah is revealed in what He does. In consequence of this feeding, they (the sons of Israel) sit (yâshâbhū), without being disturbed (cf. Micah 4:4; Leviticus 26:5-6; 2 Samuel 7:10), i.e., will live in perfect undisturbed peace under His pastoral care. For He (the Messiah) will now (עתּה, now, referring to the time when He feeds Israel, in contrast with the former oppression) be great (auctoritate et potentia valebit: Maurer) to the ends of the earth, i.e., His authority will extend over the whole earth. Compare the expression in Luke 1:32, οὗτος ἔσται μέγας, which has sprung from the passage before us, and the parallel in Malachi 1:14.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
fail. Heb. lie.
2 Corinthians 4:8
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;
2 Corinthians 4:9
persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
They shall eat up your harvest and your food; they shall eat up your sons and your daughters; they shall eat up your flocks and your herds; they shall eat up your vines and your fig trees; your fortified cities in which you trust they shall beat down with the sword."
How long will the land mourn and the grass of every field wither? For the evil of those who dwell in it the beasts and the birds are swept away, because they said, "He will not see our latter end."
The fields are destroyed, the ground mourns, because the grain is destroyed, the wine dries up, the oil languishes.
The vine dries up; the fig tree languishes. Pomegranate, palm, and apple, all the trees of the field are dried up, and gladness dries up from the children of man.
How the beasts groan! The herds of cattle are perplexed because there is no pasture for them; even the flocks of sheep suffer.
Jump to PreviousAlthough Blossom Bud Crop Cut Fail Fails Fields Fig Flocks Flourish Fold Food Fruit Grapes Herd Labor Meat Olive Pen Sheep Stalls Tree Vines Yield
Jump to NextAlthough Blossom Bud Crop Cut Fail Fails Fields Fig Flocks Flourish Fold Food Fruit Grapes Herd Labor Meat Olive Pen Sheep Stalls Tree Vines Yield
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