Here's a great tip:
Enter your email address and we'll send you our weekly magazine by email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life, week after week. And it's free.
Oh, and don't forget to like our facebook page too!
Printed from chabad.org
All Departments
Jewish Holidays
TheRebbe.org
Jewish.TV - Video
Jewish Audio
News
Kabbalah Online
JewishWoman.org
Kids Zone
The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Chavakuk - Habakkuk - Chapter 3

Chavakuk - Habakkuk - Chapter 3

E-mail
Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 3

1. A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet concerning the errors.   א. תְּפִלָּה לַחֲבַקּוּק הַנָּבִיא עַל שִׁגְיֹנוֹת:
concerning the errors: This may be interpreted according to the Targum . However, according to the apparent meaning, Habakkuk is begging for mercy for himself because he spoke rebelliously: (1: 4) “Therefore Torah is slackened,” and (verse 14) “You have made man like the fish of the sea.” He criticized the Divine standard of justice.  
2. O Lord, I heard a report of You; I feared, O Lord, Your deed. In the midst of the years, revive it; in the midst of the years, let it be known. In anger You shall remember to have mercy.   ב. יְהֹוָה שָׁמַעְתִּי שִׁמְעֲךָ יָרֵאתִי יְהֹוָה פָּעָלְךָ בְּקֶרֶב שָׁנִים חַיֵּיהוּ בְּקֶרֶב שָׁנִים תּוֹדִיעַ בְּרֹגֶז רַחֵם תִּזְכּוֹר:
I heard a report of You: that from days of yore You always inflicted retribution upon those who provoked You, yet You tolerate this wicked man.  
I feared: I said, “How has the Divine standard of justice changed because of Israel’s iniquity?”  
Your deed. In the midst of the years: Your original deed, that You would wreak vengeance for us upon our enemies in the midst of the years of trouble in which we are found.  
revive it: Awaken it and restore it.  
in the midst of the years: And in the midst of these years let it be known.  
In anger: In the anger that You will vent upon the wicked, You will remember to have mercy.  
to have mercy: like לְרַחֵם, to have mercy.  
You shall remember: You shall remember to have mercy on Israel.  
3. God came from Teman; yea, the Holy One from Mt. Paran, with everlasting might. His glory covered the heavens and His splendor filled the earth.   ג. אֱלוֹהַּ מִתֵּימָן יָבוֹא וְקָדוֹשׁ מֵהַר פָּארָן סֶלָה כִּסָּה שָׁמַיִם הוֹדוֹ וּתְהִלָּתוֹ מָלְאָה הָאָרֶץ:
God: The prophet now mentions before God His original deed, which he begs Him to revive - the deed of the love of Israel and the retribution of the first generations: When You came to give the Torah, You went around to Esau and Ishmael, and they did not accept it.  
Teman: Esau.  
Paran: Ishmael, as Scripture states (Gen. 21:21): “And he dwelt in the desert of Paran.”  
His glory covered the heavens: at Sinai for Israel.  
4. And there was a brightness like the light; they had rays from His hand, and there was His strength hidden.   ד. וְנֹגַהּ כָּאוֹר תִּהְיֶה קַרְנַיִם מִיָּדוֹ לוֹ וְשָׁם חֶבְיוֹן עֻזּוֹ:
And there was a brightness: on that day.  
like the light: Like the special light of the seven days of Creation. So did Jonathan render it.  
rays: The expression of a light, which, when piercing and shining through a hole, appears like protruding horns. Similarly, (Ex. 34:29) “For the skin of his face shone.”  
from His hand: From the hand of the Holy One, blessed be He, they came to them.  
and there was His strength hidden: As the Targum renders: There His strength, which had previously been hidden, was revealed in the secret place of the Most High.  
5. A pestilence went before Him, and sparks went out at His feet.   ה. לְפָנָיו יֵלֶךְ דָּבֶר וְיֵצֵא רֶשֶׁף לְרַגְלָיו:
A pestilence went before Him: I found in a Midrash Aggadah: At the time the Holy One, blessed be He, gave the Torah to Israel, He drove away the Angel of Death to divert him to other things, lest he stand to accuse and say, “You are giving the Torah to a nation that is destined to deny you at the end of forty days?”  
and sparks went out at His feet: Fiery angels came with Him to Sinai.  
6. He stood and meted out to the earth; He saw and caused nations to wander. And the everlasting mountains were shattered; the everlasting hills were humbled. The procedures of the world are His.   ו. עָמַד | וַיְמֹדֶד אֶרֶץ רָאָה וַיַּתֵּר גּוֹיִם וַיִּתְפֹּצְצוּ הַרְרֵי עַד שַׁחוּ גִּבְעוֹת עוֹלָם הֲלִיכוֹת עוֹלָם לוֹ:
He stood and meted out to the earth: He waited to examine minutely the case of the generation of the Flood, to mete out to them a measure for a measure, and He meted it out. “He stood” is to be understood in the sense of (Isa. 3: 13) “The Lord stands to plead, and He stands to judge the peoples.” He waits and examines their case minutely.  
and meted out to the earth: They sinned with heat, and they were judged with boiling water.  
He saw: the generation of separation, who, since they were of one language, all came upon the plan, as it is written (Gen. 1 1:1): “And all the earth was of one language.”  
and caused nations to wander: He caused them to jump into seventy languages as it is said (Lev. 11:21): “To jump with them on the earth,” and (Job 37:1) “My heart trembles and jumps from its place.”  
the everlasting mountains: The heavenly princes of the nations.  
the procedures of the world are His: He demonstrated to them that all the procedures of the world are His.  
7. Because of iniquity I saw the tents of Cushan; the curtains of the land of Midian quaked.   ז. תַּחַת אָוֶן רָאִיתִי אָהֳלֵי כוּשָׁן יִרְגְּזוּן יְרִיעוֹת אֶרֶץ מִדְיָן:
Because of iniquity: that was found in Israel.  
I saw the tents of Cushan: standing in the open and inflicting injury upon Israel, and when they humbled themselves before you…  
the curtains… quaked: All is to be understood according to the Targum .  
8. Was the Lord angry with the rivers? Is His wrath against the rivers, or His fury against the sea? Only that You rode on Your steeds with Your chariots of salvation.   ח. הֲבִנְהָרִים חָרָה יְהֹוָה אִם בַּנְּהָרִים אַפֶּךָ אִם בַּיָּם עֶבְרָתֶךָ כִּי תִרְכַּב עַל סוּסֶיךָ מַרְכְּבֹתֶיךָ יְשׁוּעָה:
Was… with the rivers?: Some questions are in the affirmative. Have we seen that He performed all these? The explanation of the verse is according to the Targum.  
Your chariots: were salvation for us.  
9. Your bow revealed itself; The oaths to the tribes were a perpetual statement; You split the earth into rivers.   ט. עֶרְיָה תֵעוֹר קַשְׁתֶּךָ שְׁבֻעוֹת מַטּוֹת אֹמֶר סֶלָה נְהָרוֹת תְּבַקַּע אָרֶץ:
Your bow revealed itself: Your might was revealed.  
the oaths to the tribes: The oaths that You swore to the tribes.  
perpetual statement: A statement that is to last forever. אֹמֶר is vowelized with a “pattah,” [meaning a “seggol”] and the accent is on the first syllable, making it a noun.  
You split the earth into rivers: According to the Targum .  
10. Mountains saw You and quaked. A stream of water passed. The deep gave forth its voice. The heaven raised up its thanks.   י. רָאוּךָ יָחִילוּ הָרִים זֶרֶם מַיִם עָבָר נָתַן תְּהוֹם קוֹלוֹ רוֹם יָדֵיהוּ נָשָׂא:
Mountains saw You and quaked: The mountains of the streams of Arnon that cleft to one another.  
A stream of water passed: When they crossed the Jordan, the water was “completely cut off,” and the flow of the stream of water passed downstream; the water “which came down from above stood and rose up.”  
The deep gave forth its voice: The inhabitants of the land praised Him.  
The heaven raised up its thanks: The host of the heaven thanked Him.  
11. The sun and the moon stood in their dwellings; to the light of Your arrows they go, to the brightness of the lightning of Your spear.   יא. שֶׁמֶשׁ יָרֵחַ עָמַד זְבֻלָה לְאוֹר חִצֶּיךָ יְהַלֵּכוּ לְנֹגַהּ בְּרַק חֲנִיתֶךָ:
stood in their dwellings: in their dwellings. In every word that requires a “lammed” at the beginning - Scripture placed a “he” at the end [meaning “to”]. They explained the phrase as referring to the war of Gibeon, as the Targum paraphrases it.  
to the light of Your arrows they go: Israel.  
12. With fury You tread the earth; with wrath You trample nations.   יב. בְּזַעַם תִּצְעַד אָרֶץ בְּאַף תָּדוּשׁ גּוֹיִם:
With fury You tread the earth: to drive out the seven nation [the heathens of Canaan].  
13. You went forth to rescue Your people, to rescue Your anointed. You have crushed the head of the house of the wicked, uncovering it from the foundation to the neck-forever.   יג. יָצָאתָ לְיֵשַׁע עַמֶּךָ לְיֵשַׁע אֶת מְשִׁיחֶךָ מָחַצְתָּ רֹאשׁ מִבֵּית רָשָׁע עָרוֹת יְסוֹד עַד צַוָּאר סֶלָה:
to rescue Your anointed: Saul and David.  
uncovering it from the foundation: The walls of their enemies.  
to the neck: The height of the walls and the towers.  
14. You pierced the heads of his villages with his war clubs. They storm to scatter me. Their joy was when they could devour a poor one in secret.   יד. נָקַבְתָּ בְמַטָּיו רֹאשׁ פְּרָזָיו יִסְעֲרוּ לַהֲפִיצֵנִי עֲלִיצֻתָם כְּמוֹ לֶאֱכֹל עָנִי בַּמִּסְתָּר:
You pierced the heads… with war clubs: Sennacherib and his company.  
the heads of his villages: The heads of his towns and his castles, as in (Deut. 3:5) “The open towns” and (Zech. 2: 8) “Jerusalem shall be inhabited without walls.”  
they storm: Who were storming with a tempest to scatter me. [Sennacherib] was the staff with which you chastised the nations. When he came and stormed to scatter me, You pierced the heads of his troops with his staffs, with which he had come to chastise me.  
their joy: was when they could…  
devour a poor one in secret: Israel, known as a poor people.  
15. You trampled in the sea with Your steeds, a heap of many waters.   טו. דָּרַכְתָּ בַיָּם סוּסֶיךָ חֹמֶר מַיִם רַבִּים:
You trampled in the sea: You trampled upon [Sennacherib’s] hordes, which were as heavy as the sand by the sea.  
a heap of many waters: Jonathan renders. upon a heap, an expression of (Exod. 8:10) “many heaps.”  
16. I heard, and my inward parts trembled; my lips quivered at the sound. Decay entered my bones, and I quaked in my place, that [the time] I would rest is destined for a day of trouble-to bring up a people that will troop back.   טז. שָׁמַעְתִּי | וַתִּרְגַּז בִּטְנִי לְקוֹל צָלְלוּ שְׂפָתַי יָבוֹא רָקָב בַּעֲצָמַי וְתַחְתַּי אֶרְגָּז אֲשֶׁר אָנוּחַ לְיוֹם צָרָה לַעֲלוֹת לְעַם יְגוּדֶנּוּ:
I heard, and my inward parts trembled: Jonathan rendered. Said Babylon, “I heard, and the kings trembled before the judgement meted out upon the Egyptians.”  
my lips quivered at the sound: At the sound of the report, trembling took hold of me until my lips knocked one against the other and their sound was heard.  
quivered: An expression of (Zech. 14:20) “The bells of the horses.” Tentir in O.F., to tinkle.  
and I quaked in my place: In my place, I quake.  
that [the time] I would rest is destined for a day of trouble: That this tranquility of mine is destined for a day of trouble.  
to bring up a people that will troop back: For the day that He said to bring up from there the people that He will cause to troop back, to return with its troops to its land.  
17. For a fig tree shall not blossom; neither is there produce on the vines. The labor of the olive tree shall fail, and the grain field shall not produce food. The flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no cattle in the stalls.   יז. כִּי תְאֵנָה לֹא תִפְרָח וְאֵין יְבוּל בַּגְּפָנִים כִּחֵשׁ מַעֲשֵׂה זַיִת וּשְׁדֵמוֹת לֹא עָשָׂה אֹכֶל גָּזַר מִמִּכְלָה צֹאן וְאֵין בָּקָר בָּרְפָתִים:
For a fig tree shall not blossom: As the Targum renders. However, the phrase may be interpreted according to its simple meaning: From now on, none of Babylon’s deeds shall succeed.  
the grain field: a white field.  
from the fold: a stall for sheep.  
18. Yet, I will rejoice in the Lord; I will jubilate in the God of my salvation.   יח. וַאֲנִי בַּיהֹוָה אֶעֱלוֹזָה אָגִילָה בֵּאלֹהֵי יִשְׁעִי:
Yet I: the nation of Israel, will rejoice in the Lord.  
19.To the conductor [to play] with my melodies: To the Levite who conducts the music in the Temple. I will compose for him [the Levites’ conductor] with my melodies, and the Levite[s] will accompany him with musical instruments.  
To the conductor: As it is stated (Ezra 3:8) “… appointed the Levites from twenty years old and upward to superintend the work of the house of the Lord.”  
with my melodies: This is an expression of a vocal melody to raise and lower, orgenedors in O.F.  
19. God the Lord is my strength. He made my feet [as swift] as the hind's, and he guides me on my high places. To the conductor [to play] with my melodies!   יט. יֱהֹוִה אֲדֹנָי חֵילִי וַיָּשֶׂם רַגְלַי כָּאַיָּלוֹת וְעַל בָּמוֹתַי יַדְרִכֵנִי לַמְנַצֵּח בִּנְגִינוֹתָי:
E-mail
The text on this page contains sacred literature. Please do not deface or discard.
FEATURED ON CHABAD.ORG