Habakuk Chapter 3 verse 2-4 …2O LORD, I have heard the report of You; I stand in awe, O LORD, of Your deeds. Revive them in these years; make them known in these years. In Your wrath, remember mercy! 3God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah His glory covered the heavens, and His praise filled the earth. 4His radiance was like the sunlight; rays flashed from His hand, where His power is hidden.…

The Muslims are of the opinion that this relates to their Prophet as he is a decedent of Ishmael and Kedar was his son and that SELA is in Arabia (Medina to be precise) and further support this by the following;

Genesis 17:20 20) As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful and multiply him greatly. He shall father twelve princes, and I will make him into a great nation. Genesis 21:13: And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed Genisis 21:20-21 - 20And God was with the boy, and he grew up and settled in the wilderness and became a great archer. 21And while he was dwelling in the wilderness of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

Deuteronomy 1:1 1These are the words that Moses spoke to all Israel in the wilderness east of the Jordan, in the Arabah, opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Di-zahab.

Let the wilderness and its towns raise their voices; let the settlements where Kedar lives rejoice. Let the people of Sela sing for joy; let them shout from the mountaintops. [Isaiah 42:11] Arabia and all the princes of Kedar were your favored dealers in lambs, rams, and goats; in these they did business with you. [Ezekiel 27:21] Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise from the ends of the earth… [Isaiah 42:10] Isaiah 29:12 - “And when they give the book to one who cannot read, saying, ‘Read this,’ he says, ‘I cannot read.’” “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.” (Isaiah 28:11)

Deuteronomy 33:1-2 And this is the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death. 2 And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them.

Jeremiah 49:19 - 19 Behold, one will come up like a lion from the thickets of the Jordan to the watered pasture. Indeed, I will chase Edom from its land in an instant. Who is the chosen one I will appoint for this? For who is like Me? Who will summon Me? And what shepherd can stand against Me?” 20 Therefore hear the plans that the LORD has made against Edom and the strategies He has devised against the people of Teman: Surely the little ones of the flock will be dragged away, and their pasture will be made desolate because of them.…

Obad 1:9 Your warriors, Teman, will be terrified, and everyone in Esau’s mountains will be cut down in the slaughter.

  • Please provide a source for the claim that Islam applies Hab 3:2-4 to the prophet Muhammad.
    – Dottard
    Commented Feb 28, 2020 at 10:06
  • 3
    I suggest that the question be re-worked as there are too many Bible passages to answer in one question. I have only answered the first question below.
    – Dottard
    Commented Feb 28, 2020 at 10:07

4 Answers 4


This question has too many parts to answer so I will concentrate on just the passage in Habakkuk.

Hab 3 is clearly a hymn of praise to Jehovah God Almighty. His name, "LORD" (the tetragrammaton) and others, are repeated, in various forms, throughout the chapter.

Various creative acts are celebrated in this chapter such as the "splitting" of the land with rivers (v9); indeed each verse records something transcendently great and wonderful about God. Most of these characteristics are those of God alone who has the power and majesty to perform such acts. V2-4 are no different, especially celebrating the innate power of God.

Verse 3 is cast in two sets of synthetic parallels as follows:

A: God came from Teman,

A ' : the Holy One from Mount Paran.

B: His glory covered the heavens

B ' : and his praise filled the earth.

It is immediately clear that the "Holy One" is another name/title for God Almighty as per Hab 1:12, Isa 10:17, 12:5, 6, 30:11, 40:25, 43:3, 14, 15, 47:15, 48:17, 54:5, etc. This is rather obvious as the entire chapter of Hab 3 is addressed to God without exception in every verse.

Ellicott comments on the direction of God's coming in V3:

God came.—Render “God shall come from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah. His glory covers the heavens, and the earth is full of His praise.” Jehovah reveals Himself from the south: i.e., from Mount Sinai, as in Deuteronomy 32, Judges 5, Psalms 68. The southern country is here designated as “Teman,” i.e., Edom to the S.E., and “Paran,” the mountainous region to the S.W., between Edom and Egypt.

See the many other commentaries about the significance of God coming from the south, the direction of Mt Sinai in ancient times.

I am surprised to learn that, of all religions, the Muslims (I cannot confirm this) make the audacious claim that Hab 3:2-4 concern the prophet Muhammad. Such a claim, if verified, amounts to blasphemy as it accords the unique aspects of divinity to a human - a practice that Islam is usually quite punctilious to avoid.

Lastly, the suggestion that "selah" is the city/province of Sela, is almost absurd. The meaning of the Hebrew word "selah" is unknown except that all are convinced it is some kind of musical instruction to the performers. In any case, placing the name of a town at random locations (three times in Hab 3) in the text offers no information about what is being said about the supposed Sela.

In short, I am at a loss to understand any justification, no matter how stretched, for the view that Hab 3:2-4 concerns the prophet Muhammad; that is, unless some sect of Islam now believes that he either was or has become a god. But this is diametrically opposed to the most fundamental and sacred tenant of Islam that, "there is no god but Allah …" (Shahada - Ist of the five pillars.)

  • thank you for your response - you have misunderstood my question. Hab 3 mentions 'and the Holy One from Mount Paran' - the questions is who is this 'Holy One' - the other passages are a background also related to some one to come such as Jeremiah 49 'Behold, one will come up like a lion' also evidence that this relates to Kedar son so Ishmael and that he was from Paran which is in Arabia & that Sela (this is famous ancient mountain in Arabia) and they were promised to be a great nation. Commented Feb 28, 2020 at 14:16
  • "The Holy One" sits in synthetic parallelism with "God" in v3. I will add something to my answer above.
    – Dottard
    Commented Feb 28, 2020 at 18:41

I thought Islam had a claim that the Jews had lost or corrupted the Old Testament, lol, and that Mohammed's book set things straight. It looks like Habakkuk prays Deuteronomy 33:2 and uses it in his prayer. Truly he was taking God's Scripture as breathing (2 Tim 3:16). It looks like the Holy One is Jehovah, and yet Jehovah in and with His people to possess the good land, where they invaded from the land of Edom (Teman, Seir).

Cf. Behold, the Lord came with myriads of His saints (Jude 1:14); when He comes to be glorified in His saints and to be marveled at in all those who have believed (because our testimony to you was believed) in that day (2 Thes 1:10); these will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and they who are with Him, the called and chosen and faithful, will also overcome them (Rv 17:14).

A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet in shigionoth. O Jehovah, I have heard the report concerning You and am afraid. O Jehovah, revive Your work in the midst of the years; in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember compassion. God comes from Teman, even the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah His splendor covers the heavens, and the earth is filled with His praise. Hab 3:1-3. ['Selah' I thot was like a pause, to muse, in a psalm.]

And this is the blessing with which Moses, the man of God, blessed the children of Israel before his death. And he said, Jehovah came from Sinai, and He dawned upon them from Seir; He shined forth from Mount Paran, and He approached from the myriads of holy ones; from His right hand a fiery law went out to them. Deut 33:1-2

These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel across the Jordan in the wilderness, in the Arabah opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab. It is eleven days’ journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by the way that leads to Mount Seir. And in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, Moses spoke to the children of Israel according to all that Jehovah had commanded him for them, after he had slain Sihon the king of the Amorites, who dwelt in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, who dwelt in Ashtaroth and in Edrei. Across the Jordan, in the land of Moab, Moses set himself to expound this law, saying, Jehovah our God spoke to us at Horeb, saying, You have dwelt long enough at this mountain. Turn and set out, and go to the hill country of the Amorites and to all their neighboring peoples in the Arabah, in the hill country and in the lowland, and in the Negev and by the seacoast, the land of the Canaanites and Lebanon, as far as the great river, the river Euphrates. See, I have set the land before you; go in and possess the land which Jehovah swore to give to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to them and to their seed after them. Deut 1:1-8.

  • Thank you for your response. However, this can not be God as it clearly says - "God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran - talking about someone other then God. Also Deut 33:1-2 says - "And with him" were holy myriads,*d At his right hand his warriors - NOT " he approached from" as this changes the context. this reaffirms that "holy one or ones". Commented Mar 2, 2020 at 10:21
  • 1
    God is plural-singular, 3 in 1, if that's what you're talking about. Christ and His Body are identified as Christ in the New Testament
    – Walter S
    Commented Mar 2, 2020 at 19:19

We need to go back to the time that God was leading the children of Israel out of Egypt. Habakkuk chapter 3 is describing the greatness of God during this time. Moses led the Israelites through Teman and Mount Paran. So this scripture to me is describing this event. Not that God is from the area of Teman and Mount Paran but when God was leading Israel and came from the direction of Teman and Mount Paran.

  • thank you for your comment, however, with the background text provided, to me it is clear it relates to a person who is a 'holy one' - clearly does not relate to God as he is above a holy one. Commented Aug 11, 2020 at 12:23

Habakuk prophecy was for the later days. That prophecy not for the Israel people, but for the people of the south. He is going to be a king the east. East is the south of Israel. Paran means south. But before he comes The land has to be clear for him.

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