Habakkuk 1:12 and Isaiah 44:8 - When the Rock is God and God is the Rock.
Habakkuk 1:12; Isaiah 30:29 and Isaiah 44:8
Hebrew words often have radically different meanings. So when some King James Bible critic tells you: “We need to go to the Hebrew to find out what it REALLY means”, they often have no idea what they are talking about. And they certainly have NO inerrant Bible to show you either.
As we will see in this study, the same Hebrew word can mean either “day” or “year”, or another can mean “mercy” and “reproach”, and another one can be either “to bless” or “to curse”.
Or a single word (#3709 kaph) can mean such varied things as “sole” and “hands” and “paws” and “spoons” and “clouds”
In Psalms 78:25 we read that “man did eat ANGEL’S food”.
Yet this single word, #47 ab-beer, is shown in the NASB complete concordance that they have translated this single Hebrew word as “ANGELS, BULLS, STALLIONS, chief, mighty man, strong, valiant and stubborn-minded.” The same Hebrew word!
The NIV Complete Concordance for their 1984 edition tells us that they have translated this same Hebrew word as “ANGELS, STALLIONS, STEEDS, BULLS, warriors, great, head, strong, valiant men and stubborn-hearted.”
The ESV translates this same Hebrew word as “STEEDS, THE CHIEF, THE MIGHTY, STRONG BULLS, STOUThearted, ANGELS, STUBBORN, STALLIONS and MIGHTY MEN.”
The Rock is God.
Habakkuk 1:12 KJB - “Art thou not from everlasting, O Lord my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O Lord, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O MIGHTY GOD, thou hast established them for correction.”
The Hebrew word translated here as O MIGHTY GOD is #6697 tzoor. It usually is translated as “ROCK” but in the KJB, and some others as we shall soon see, it is also translated as “SHARP knives” (Joshua 5:2-3),
“my God, MY STRENGTH” (Psalms 18:2),
“God is THE STRENGTH of my heart” (Psalms 73:26),
“the EDGE of his sword” (Psalms 89:44),
“Blessed by the Lord MY STRENGTH” (Psalms 144:1),
“in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting STRENGTH” (Isaiah 26:4),
“THE MIGHTY ONE of Israel” (Isaiah 30:29),
“Is there a God beside me? Yea, there is no GOD; I know not any.” (Isaiah 44:8)
and “O Lord, thou hast ordained them for judgement, and O MIGHTY GOD, thou hast established them for correction.” (Habakkuk 1:12)
The idea that God is our Rock is very common in the Bible. Here are just a few of the verses of Scripture that establish this truth.
Deuteronomy 32:4 - He is the ROCK, his work is perfect
Deuteronomy 32:18, 30, 31 - Of the ROCK that begat thee thou art unmindful; except their ROCK had sold them; For their rock is not as our ROCK
Psalms 28:1 - Unto thee will I cry, O LORD my ROCK
Psalms 61:2 - lead me to the ROCK that is higher than I
Psalms 62:2 - He only is my ROCK and my salvation
Psalm 62:7 - the ROCK of my strength, and my refuge, is in God
Psalms 78:35 And they remembered that God was their ROCK
Psalms 89:26 - Thou art my father, my God, and THE ROCK of my salvation
Psalms 94:22 - and my God is the ROCK of my refuge.
2 Samuel 23:3 - The God of Israel said, THE ROCK of Israel spake to me, He that rulers over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.
And in the New Testament we read of the children of Israel in the wilderness journey: “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual ROCK that followed them: and THAT ROCK WAS CHRIST.” 1 Corinthians 10:4
So it is not that unusual for God to be associated with the idea of the Rock.
In the King James Bible we read in Habakkuk 1:12 - Art thou not from everlasting, O Lord my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O Lord, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O MIGHTY GOD, thou hast established them for correction.
Agreeing with the King James Bible and translating the literal “rock” as O MIGHTY GOD are the Bishops’ Bible 1568 “O GOD”, the Geneva bible 1587, Webster’s bible 1833, The Longman Version 1841, the KJV 21st Century Version 1994,
The Ancient Hebrew Bible 1907 - O MIGHTY GOD -
The Jewish Virtual Library Tanach 1994 - O MIGHTY GOD, thou hast established them for correction.
This online Hebrew Interlinear - “Thou hast ordained, O mighty God, them for correction.”
Dan Wallace’s NET version 2006 has translated this as a reference to God with “PROTECTOR, you have appointed them as your instrument of punishment.”
And so does The Lesser Old Testament 1835 - “O Protector, thou hast appointed them to correct nations.”
The Jewish Family Bible 1864 - “O ETERNAL, thou hast ordained them for judgment.”
And in Isaiah 44:8 we read:
“Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is NO GOD; I know not any.
Agreeing with the KJB and translating the literal “rock” as “no GOD” are the Geneva Bible 1587, The Longman Version 1841, The Hebrew Publishing Company Old Testament 1936, the KJV 21st Century Version 1994 and The Voice 2012.
The Jewish Virtual Library Tanach 1994 - “Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no GOD; I know not any.”
The Hebrew Transliteration Scriptures 2010 - “Is there a Eloah beside Me? yea, [there is] ayin (nothing) ELOHIM (אלהים) (aramic.Tzur,rock,cliff); I know not [any].“
The Jewish Family Bible 1864 - “there is NO GOD; I know not any.”
The Ancient Hebrew Bible 1907 - “there is NO GOD; I know not any.”
This online Hebrew Interlinear - "Yea, NO GOD not I know"
Lamsa’s 1933 translation of the Syriac reads: “You are my witnesses, that there is no God besides me, and NO MIGHTY ONE whom I do not know.”
God’s First Truth Translation 1999 has - “Is there any God except me? or ANY MAKER, that I should not know him?”
The Work of God’s Children Bible 2011 has: “Is there a God besides me, A MAKER, whom I have not known?”
John Gill commenting on Isaiah 44:8 - “yea, there is no God, I know not any; or, there is "no rock"; a word used for God, Deuteronomy 32:4, there is no rock to build upon for salvation, no rock for shelter and safety, but Christ the rock of ages, on which the church is built, and the gates of hell cannot prevail against it”
Albert Barnes commenting on Habakkuk 1:12 - “And O mighty God - literally, Rock. It is a bold title. “My rock” is a title much used by David, perhaps suggested by the fastnesses amid which he passed his hunted life, to express that not in them but in His God was his safety. Habakkuk PURPOSELY WIDENS IT. HE APPEALS TO GOD, not only as Israel‘s might and upholder, but as the sole Source of all strength, the Supporter of all which is upheld”
Jamieson, Fausset and Brown on Habakkuk 1:12 - “The Hebrew for “mighty God” is Rock (Deuteronomy 32:4). However the world is shaken, or man‘s faith wavers, God remains unshaken as the Rock of Ages”
Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament regarding Habakkuk 1:12 - In the second half of the verse, Y e hōvâh and tsūr (rock) are vocatives. Tsūr , AS AN EPITHET APPLIED TO GOD, is taken from Deuteronomy 32:4, Deuteronomy 32:15, Deuteronomy 32:18, and Deuteronomy 32:37, where God is first called the Rock of Israel, as the unchangeable refuge of His people's trust.
All of grace, believing the Book - the King James Bible.
Return to Articles -