New Defender's Study Bible Notes
3:1 Shigionoth. “Shigionoth” refers to a distinctive type of music, sung in a spirit of victory and excitement. Habakkuk’s book is the most poetic of all the prophets, and this last chapter is an actual psalm.
3:2 was afraid. This psalm, designed to be sung as a prayer hymn, seeks both to review God’s works of old for His people, as a means of encouraging them in relation to the troubles that were coming, and also to assure that God’s ancient promises will surely be fulfilled.
3:2 revive thy work. Although God’s warnings surely were enough to make them afraid, Habakkuk and the people could still pray for revival and for God to be merciful even in His wrath against their sins.
3:3 Teman. “Teman” is synonymous with the land of Edom, and “Paran” is in the adjacent Sinai wilderness. Habakkuk here refers partially to God’s leading His people in their Exodus from Egypt, with the veiled revelation of His glory on Mount Sinai. However, the dramatic events described following the “Selah” pause did not take place at that time. Its literal fulfillment must be at His glorious coming following the great tribulation of the end-times. It seems that Habakkuk’s prophetic vision, on which his psalm was based, contained a blending of both God’s past miraculous deliverances of His people and also the future deliverances of which these had been a type.
3:4 as the light. Compare Revelation 1:16; 21:23. In the vision of Christ in His glory, John saw “in His right hand seven stars” radiating their light; the “horns” or “rays” coming out of His hand in Habakkuk’s vision may correspond to these.
3:6 measured the earth. This scene is similar to that in Revelation 10:2: “He set His right foot upon the sea, and His left foot on the earth,” claiming the world as His possession. The judgments on the nations, the scattering of the everlasting mountains and perpetual hills—such things may have been prefigured by the events at the Exodus, but their literal occurrence is yet future (e.g., Revelation 6:12-17).
3:13 thine anointed. “Thine anointed” is referring to “Thy Messiah” or “thy Christ.” This passage surely must refer to the return of Christ in glory “for the salvation of thy people.”
3:13 the head. The phrase, “head out of the house of the wicked,” if taken literally must refer to the coming Man of Sin who will rule over all nations for a brief time in the last days. Even more directly, it seems to refer to Satan, who will energize and indwell the Man of Sin. When Christ returns, “He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked” (Isaiah 11:4). “Then shall that Wicked [One] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming” (II Thessalonians 2:8). He shall fatally “bruise thy head,” as God told Satan long ago in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:15).
3:18 Yet I will rejoice. The scene here returns to the desolate years just ahead, during the coming exile. In view of God’s glorious promises for the future, however, there is always cause for rejoicing in the Lord.