Chapter 3 of Habakkuk is one of the richest ones we have in the whole of the Bible. Many of the  Hebrew words have more than one meaning and together they give such different perspectives, each one complementing the other. It is like looking through a loupe at a perfectly cut 57-faceted diamond where each facet opens a new viewpoint with contrasting hues of colors.  So, we will look at some of these words here.

Anyone could easily realize the complexity of this text by comparing the different English translations we have. There are at times such marked differences for a translated word that one might wonder if they are all reading the same text. The fascinating thing is that all these different translations may be correct.

This is what vs.3-4 says, His splendor covers the heavens, And the earth is full of His praise. And His brightness was as the Light; Rays came forth from His hand; And there is the hiding of His power. This is how Jesus will come back; He will lighten the whole sky, beginning with the heavens to the earth and His light will so fill the creation that every eye will see Him, no matter where on this globe they would be situated.

Let’s take a deeper look at those last words from verse 4: There is the hiding of His power. Veh Sham: וְשָׁ֖ם  and there is… as if to say, and finally, there He is. For the first time, Yeshua’s power, majesty, and glory will be unraveled and displayed for all to see. He will not be the Jesus many are accustomed to. He is no longer the Baby in manger, but instead the King of kings coming to establish His kingdom.

Concerning the hiding of His power; this word hiding hebyon חֶבְי֥וֹן is only found this one time in Scripture. What is interesting is that hebyon חֶבְי֥וֹן  ֹis defined in modern Hebrew as a latency, something that is real and existing but in reality has not yet been revealed. So it is with Yeshua, the world has not yet experienced His powers as they will at His 2nd Coming.

Even the rabbis were taken by this impressive description in Habakkuk. The Targum, the Aramaic translations they used at the time of the 1st century has this written:  There He revealed His Shekinah which was hidden from the sons of men in the high fastness.

They understood that this was the visible coming of God on earth. The rabbis themselves had invented this word Shekinah to signify the visible manifestation of God’s presence. This is what we call a theophany, that is, a physical manifestation of God. Theo is God and phany means a revelation.

And it says that the earth is full of His praise. The word full is also special; it is used in the sense of consecrated, even ordained for this is the same word used to ordain the priests (Exd.28:41) and to consecrate them to office of priesthood (Judges 17:12). The earth then will be prepared, or ordained so to speak, for the Messianic Times. Yeshua is coming to bring peace and harmony over the whole natural world as it will be in the Millennium.

Let us now continue with vs.6 which brings us right to after His appearance. He stood and measured the earth; He looked and startled the nations. Yes, the perpetual mountains were shattered, The ancient hills collapsed. His ways are everlasting.

And so, He is coming back to measure the earth, that is a sign of ownership. Imagine, someone coming to your front yard and beginning to measure it.  Or someone is coming to your bedroom and begins to measure its walls. If he is the owner, he could, right? And so, Yeshua is coming back as the Landlord to see what we have done with His Creation.

Aren’t you glad that we are going to be right behind Him and not in front of Him when He comes back? He is coming back with His saints (Zec.14:5)  and we are told that we will be dressed in white (Rev.3:4, 4:4) meaning that He took over the judgment that is due to us,  and thank God for this, because the earth has been abused time and time again; the climate changes, the rise of the sea waters, the frequent forest fires testify to this.

And when He does come, we read that the nations will be startled. The word startled, nattar נָתַר means to leap, to jump. This is another rare word occurring only 4 times in Scripture. In Leviticus it is used to explain how the grasshoppers jump on the earth (Lev. 11:21). This seems to be the reaction of the nations, when they realize and see the appearance of the Judge of the earth.

This is when we read that He shatters the perpetual mountains and the eternal hills, but neither the mountains nor the hills are eternal. Some understood that Habakkuk might be referring to the leaders of the nations.  These mountains are surely not eternal for they will all collapse in front of the presence of the Messiah whose ways are eternal; it is not the mountains, not any leaders, but only He, the Lord is everlasting.

And the word translated ways in His ways are everlasting; is in the Hebrew, halikah הֲלִיכָה. This is another rare word, it is used only 6 times, and it designates a procession, a divine parade, as it is translated in Psalm 68:24 where David says, “They have seen Your procession, O God, The procession of my God, my King, into the sanctuary.”

This procession was understood to be at Sinai when the Lord entered the Tabernacle, but Habakkuk uses the same word to describe God’s procession back this earth at the 2nd Coming.

For the Lord is not coming alone; we will come back with Him and with thousands and thousands of angels. That will be some procession!


Click here for the complete teaching: The Prophet Habakkuk Sermon 7 : “Rays of Salvation”