J. N. Darby.
(Notes and Comments Vol. 4.)
- 11. 'Then his mind' (spirit) 'sprung up' (broke forth or took head) 'and overflowed, and he was guilty' (transgressed) [making] or 'this his power is his god'; compare, as to the language, Isaiah 8:8, as to the moral character, etc., Isaiah 10:13, et seq. Zu co-kho le-lo-ho (this his power is his god) - 'transgress, calling his power his god.' 'This, his power is for a god to him.' It is the character of the proud man.
It is the time, I believe, when the Assyrian (Gog), having pursued an ordinary but grasping career of conquest, sets up in pride, rebellious pride against God, thinking to take the Jews, Remnant and Jerusalem, into his power, and to set himself over all the earth, without anyone, Antichrist being now put out, though his march up was during the prevalence of the ungodly Jews. This Book is the consideration of the Jewish saints during this march - the answer to the state of the prevalence of the ungodly Jews, with the terror then of the terrible day on his coming up, and the answer to that in chapter 2; see the notes on Joel.
- 12. It appears to me that this word tzur (A.V., 'O Mighty God'; Septuagint, eplase me, 'formed me') is connected, in sense, with its root, tzur to 'form' or 'make,' and hence the Ordainer of all things is the security of, the Ordainer of His people. Then these senses seem associated with it, forming refuge, and salvation, so Peter says, 'committing their souls to Him, as unto a faithful Creator.' Now it involves the security implied in this, 'formed for Myself' and that, this care of purpose being assured, there is also the 'formed all things,' of course with reference to this purpose. So Paul in Romans 8, 'We know that all things work together,' etc. So Isaiah - the argument, from chapter 41 forwards, runs at length upon this head and subject. Then the kindred ya-tzar (to form) is used, as in Jeremiah 10:16; see Deuteronomy 32:15, 18. The force of the words here then becomes very plain and direct, and the reason and application of them becomes obvious, and verse 13 has the reason for them, and also plea for deliverance from them. Compare, as to wickedness within, Jeremiah 12.
211 Habakkuk 2
- 4. Be-e-mu-na-tho (by his faith). The Lord knows the character of the invader, but verse 12 explains the principle in the view of them, of what follows, that the vision (to wit of Messiah's deliverance) must be waited for, and the principle, while the invader seemed to prevail, is very strongly depicted by this word. 'In quietness and assurance,' says another Prophet. Here, confidence and patience, upon the support, therefore steady - the Tzur (Ordainer) was behind all, and to them in it. Nevertheless, the moral direction follows, and is founded on the declarative revelation of after-peace and deliverance, the coming of the Lord, and the thing sure, only to wait for it, be-e-mu-na-tho (by his faith). The Lord had fully judged the person in question, but the trying exercise must come from Him, and they live by faith. The verse gives a contrast of principle very distinctly set forth, and recorded. There is no uprightness but humility in a sinner, and hence boldness.
- 8. This word am-mim (peoples) is one here of marked import. Deuteronomy 33:3 (but see verse 5) is the only text which produces a difficulty to my mind, as to its use, to wit, of the non-adversaries, as go-i (nations) are the nations not recognised, the nations, not Jews, yet recognised as peoples not cut off, but to be gathered. The spoiling the Chaldeans, i.e., Gog, seems strange, but it is not at all impossible, nor even improbable. The reference to verse 5 is obvious.
Power (autarkeia) and exorbitant dominion are the characteristics of this invader. He is also a propagandist in the intoxication of power in success, for men love successful power, as well as successful liberty, as in the hands of Satan. They cease to have existence as go-i (nations), viewed as a Remnant, i.e., a corporate assumption of individuality, in which, consequently, they are contrasted with the Jews who were not go-i (nations), save, before, they were under God, and after, they were given up (to judgment) by Him. Am-mim (peoples) are the mass of the people, populations. It is immaterial then who these are - they might be Jews or Gentiles. Hence, we have, 'because of bloods of Adam,' of man, and 'violence of land, of city, and dwellers therein.' At first, I had difficulty, because the Assyrian shall not touch Zion, but it is character and conduct, not place - there is no 'the' (ha). It will be found kha-mas (violence) has a genitive of the object of the violence. It is the violence done to land, city, and inhabitants. This is the character of the invader - the transgressor - the proud man.
212 - 15. The character in this verse, and in verse 5, is much to be noted. This invader has intoxicated the nations with successful power, so as to make them a disgrace and a shame in the sight of the sober, not intoxicated as they are. This is not thoroughly fulfilled yet, but it shall be. Power has been the characteristic assumption of this invader, the man of the earth. Hence, the portion of the Lord's power shall be shown against him, i.e., the power of Christ as the Man of God's right hand, 'the right hand of the Lord hath the pre-eminence, the right hand of the Lord bringeth mighty things to pass.' 'The cup of the Lord's right hand shall be turned to him,' given him to drink, i.e., the portion of God's power in the hand of Christ for the Jews. The personal question is with Antichrist, the power question is with Gog, who heapeth to him all the Gentiles, and gathereth all peoples. Antichrist shall not do this - he shall be characterised by principles, though the ten kings shall give their power, till the will of God be fulfilled by him. The end is 'The Lord is in His holy temple; be silent all the earth before Him.' Blessed be His Name! See Psalms 80:17; 98:1, and other passages of the 'right hand,' as Psalms 110 and 118:16, bearing in mind the force of 'His mercy endureth for ever,' as elsewhere noted.
- 17. Is it not rather 'the desolation of wild beasts shall cause terror to thee,' for the reason mentioned also in verse 8?
This chapter is the recall of Habakkuk to the original display of mercies. 'I will remember the days of the years of the right hand of the Most Highest?' 'He doth not forget to be gracious.' It would seem to me from this that Isaiah 63 included Gog, all nations, as well as the personal enemy of Christ, and is the destruction in that character, and not in this, though the nations under him are included; compare Zechariah 12, et seq. and also as to am-mim (peoples) and goiim (nations). This invader heaps and gathers both, i.e., Gog, but he is properly, I conceive, the head and spoiler of the goiim, though he shall seek to gather all the peoples to him too. The actings of the am-mim, as brought out, are under Antichrist, and they are actually in the siege, and take Jerusalem - the people of Europe, etc., who are not nations, but united under Antichrist. It is not their being of that place, or under Antichrist, constitutes them am-mim, but the fact is so, they will lose their characteristic nationality. Gog might heap some such to him, but these are not the embodying of the peoples (am-mim).
213 This Book then is the full description of the conduct and character of Gog, and the position of the Jews in respect of him, and his agency in respect of them, with the result in deliverance - the moral position of the nation, with its results, brought out by the Prophet's pleading in Spirit about, and concerning their estate. The answer is the revelation of Gog, his character, its agency on them, and their deliverance, from God's character - the position, and recognition of the faithful Remnant meanwhile - but it is Gog in his agency on the Jewish nation.