Habakkuk: Embrace vs Wrestle

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The Book of Habakkuk

Habakkuk is the seventh of the Minor Prophets of the Old Testament. It is believed that he lived in the 7th century during the reign of King Josiah, before the Babylonian Captivity. The three chapter book begins with Habakkuk pleadingly asking God why He is showing him visions of the devastating judgments that are coming on Israel.Habakkuk sees all the evil in his country, and knows what is coming and questions God as to why this is happening if God was so good? God answers Habakkuk by telling him that He will bring justice and judgement on His people for their sins allowing the Babylonians to conquer Israel for the many years that it has continuously broken their covenant with God! But Habakkuk questions God again about Israel’s punishment of destruction by Babylon! That the Babylonians are men to have done evil in God’s eyes also, and surely God will not allow them to get away with their evil deeds! God responds again, saying that the Babylonians will come and do all that God said they would do, according to God’s will but that the Just shall live by Faith! God doesn’t endorse the evil things that the nations do, but will bring about their down fall! The last chapter Habakkuk gives a powerful prayer to God for the Final Judgment against all evil!

33 Comments

  • Troy Day
    Reply December 12, 2018

    Troy Day

    THIS is well known and old news of course, but being our own self-proclaimed resident Hebrew scholar and expert on Heiser Link Hudson how would you interpret EMBRACE VS WRESTLE in HABAKKUK?

  • Link Hudson
    Reply December 12, 2018

    Link Hudson

    Troy Day You probably think that’s a joke, but people on the Internet don’t always follow everything that is going on. I never called myself a Hebrew expert or an expert on Heiser because I am not.

  • Troy Day
    Reply December 12, 2018

    Troy Day

    I actually take EMBRACE VS WRESTLE in HABAKKUK quite seriously

  • Joe Absher
    Reply December 12, 2018

    Joe Absher

    2 Samuel 3:33 KJV — And the king lamented over Abner, and said, Died Abner as a fool dieth?

  • Troy Day
    Reply December 12, 2018

    Troy Day

    I wonder Joe Absher Link Hudson

    (1) did Jacob wrestle with the angel all night or embraced

    You know how this could be dually interpreted in some strange new way Terry Wiles

    (2) was it an angel OR the angel of the Lord ie 2nd YHWH – this also makes a great deal of difference in the interpretation you see

    • Nathan Ridgeway
      Reply December 12, 2018

      Nathan Ridgeway

      He wrestled … and he walked with a limp for the rest of his days, leaning on his staff …. to remind him always that he could not stand in his own strength. We must also learn that lesson. Not the flesh, but the Spirit! Not self, but God! Not our own way, but His way! After the wrestling comes the embracement. And that’s where our victory resides.

  • Joe Absher
    Reply December 12, 2018

    Joe Absher

    Genesis 32:24 KJV — And Jacob was left alone; and there WRESTLED A MAN with him until the breaking of the day.

  • Joe Absher
    Reply December 12, 2018

    Joe Absher

    I think the lesson in the verse ‘the just shall live by faith’ is trusting in the nature and character of God. He is faithful just and true. Regardless of sight or outcome or any such external evidences.

  • Troy Day
    Reply December 13, 2018

    Troy Day

    Nathan Ridgeway on what bases do we interpret that word wrestled when it could mean embrace as well?

    • Joe Absher
      Reply December 13, 2018

      Joe Absher

      The outcome?

    • Nathan Ridgeway
      Reply December 13, 2018

      Nathan Ridgeway

      The angel didn’t knock his thigh out of joint for a mere embracement! He did that to disempower Jacob and cause him to let go … surrender … admit he had lost … that his flesh was ready to give in and show its weakness. Why argue about this subject? Why would you want to change the meaning of the Scripture as it has been know for generations of time? The new generation ministers want to find a new meaning for the entire Bible it seems. Accept it: They were wrestling! He had been fighting God for 20 years, and now he wants to hug up to Him? No!

  • Joe Absher
    Reply December 13, 2018

    Joe Absher

    Luke 22:48 KJV — But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?

  • Joe Absher
    Reply December 13, 2018

    Joe Absher

    God loves you enough to touch you where it hurts…

  • Troy Day
    Reply December 13, 2018

    Troy Day

    Nathan Ridgeway you do see how EMBRACING an angel all night long could be interpreted in SOME churches that Terry Wiles may have TARGETed

    • Terry Wiles
      Reply December 13, 2018

      Terry Wiles

    • Terry Wiles
      Reply December 13, 2018

      Terry Wiles

      ”the meaning of scripture as it’s been known for generations of time” is what now?

    • Troy Day
      Reply December 13, 2018

      Troy Day

      it has been known that the word for wrestle is embrace – so what did Jacob do with the angel all night?

    • Nathan Ridgeway
      Reply December 14, 2018

      Nathan Ridgeway

      Troy Day No, I don’t see it. I’m sorry.

  • Link Hudson
    Reply December 13, 2018

    Link Hudson

    I am using my phone
    I see a brief article describing the Book of Habakkuk followed by our comments withno article on the embrace v. wrestle issue. Am I correct in assuming there is a Hebrew word that means both? Which verse?

    • Joe Absher
      Reply December 13, 2018

      Joe Absher

      Habakkuk from strongs means embrace brother link. Could be more but that’s allI Ihave for a reference?

    • Joe Absher
      Reply December 13, 2018

      Joe Absher

      If we’re referencing prayer ,travailing and prevailing ,, embrace might hard to understand as there is surely some agony over the lost condition of men. In habakkuk the nation.

    • Troy Day
      Reply December 13, 2018

      Troy Day

      the name of the book Link

    • Joe Absher
      Reply December 13, 2018

      Joe Absher

      Proverbs 27:6 KJV — Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

  • Louise Cummings
    Reply December 14, 2018

    Louise Cummings

    I love reading in Habakkuk. That was our Sunday School Lesson last week.

  • Louise Cummings
    Reply December 14, 2018

    Louise Cummings

    This week it’s the whole book of Zephaniah. Just three chapters long. But it is about the Tribulations. And the Babylonians coming against Judah And the Battle Of Armageddon.

  • Louise Cummings
    Reply December 14, 2018

    Louise Cummings

    Both books just about three chapters long. Habakkuk was just asking God questions. And waiting for an answer. God told him on the last question. It would be a little time off. But coming fast. And would surely come to pass. Tomorrow lesson refers you to Ezekiel , I think 38. : but talks when the rain starts to fall and the hail stones. In that valley of Armsgedodon

  • Troy Day
    Reply December 14, 2018

    Troy Day

    Nathan Ridgeway you dont see the double meaning ?

  • Link Hudson
    Reply December 14, 2018

    Link Hudson

    What is the issue? IDoes the word means both in Hebrew?, are we going to translate the name of the book or something? Would this translation call Paul ‘Shorty’ instead of Paul and we’d have the books of I Rocky and II Rocky?

  • Troy Day
    Reply December 14, 2018

    Troy Day

    Yes the word means both in Hebrew – Link Hudson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1RcjPeJsVg

  • Troy Day
    Reply December 14, 2018

    Troy Day

    Jacob then demanded a blessing, and the being declared in Genesis 32:28 that, from then on, Jacob would be called יִשְׂרָאֵל, Israel (Yisra`el, meaning “one that struggled with the divine angel” (Josephus), “one who has prevailed with God” (Rashi), “a man seeing God” (Whiston), “he will rule as God” (Strong

    Link Hudson so I pointed you to this topic perhaps with a little help by our resident Jewish wiseman Tom Steele b/c the Hebrew here may/or may not be used for a 2nd YHWH – it is uncertain IF

    Jacob fought or embraced the angel
    IF the angel was the angel of the Lord or God
    IF this angel of the Lord was a 2nd YHWH ot one of the other 70 crated not-born sons whom Heiser brings NOT form the Bible

    No less striking is Jacob’s use of language. Five times he calls Esau adoni , “my lord” (in the previous chapter he tells his servants three times to used the same word to Esau). Twice he calls himself Esau’s eved , “servant,” (and four times in the previous chapter tells his servants to do likewise). As with his physical gesture of sevenfold prostration, so with his sevenfold use of the words adon and eved , this is the choreography of self-abasement.

    How are we to connect this with the wrestling match of the previous night? Surely Jacob had won a victory over his adversary. At the very least he had refused to let him go until he blessed him.

    What was the blessing from this all night embracing ???

  • Reply December 14, 2018

    Daniel Tobin

    A video of children singing? I was expecting a lesson in etymology. What I want to know is does the word literally have two meanings? Like ‘Pretty’ can mean beautiful or very. Or is it that people speculate that wrestle was a euphemism for romantic encounter?

  • Reply December 14, 2018

    Daniel Tobin

    Troy Day, I’m no Hebrew scholar, but even I know that the word ‘EL’ in Israel, just like in the word Daniel, means ‘God’. It does not mean the divine angel. The answer to the question I think is obvious. At least I think it is.The blessing was given in the form of a name change. The changed name signifies a new relationship to God.

  • Reply December 14, 2018

    Daniel Tobin

    Okay, one more entry. On hte meaning of the word Wrestle. See: https://www.chaimbentorah.com/2014/09/hebrew-word-study-wrestling-match/

    Here is the relevant section:
    In verse 24 we learn that Jacob was alone and then he wrestled a man. The word alone in Hebrew is badad which means solitary, separated, or alone. Not only that but it is in a piel or intensive form, he was entirely alone. Yet, there was a man there.
    The word for wrestle is ’avek which in a noun form means dust. As a verb it means to get yourself dusty. This is also found here in a Niphal form. In the past few years there has been a growing acceptance among Hebrew scholars to the idea that a word found in the Niphal makes it reflexive. In other words you would render this as “he wrestled with himself” before a presence that was with him. The Hebrew word ish which is often rendered as man could mean a spiritual man or spiritual presence. He was indeed alone with no other corporal being around, but there was a spiritual presence.
    Now let’s take a harder look at this word wrestle or avek. It is used only one other time in the Old Testament and that is in Song of Solomon 3:6 where the word is rendered as a fragrant powder but should really be rendered as dust.

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