Habakkuk 2:19

Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it.

Woe to him that saith to the wood, Awake,.... That saith to a wooden image, let him go by what name he will; saint such an one, or such an one; awake, arise, exert thyself on our behalf; deliver us from present danger; save us from our enemies; or pray and intercede for us, that we may be delivered and saved, as the Papists do; addressing a block of wood as they would God himself, or as his people do, Psalms 44:23. This must be very displeasing and detestable to God, and therefore a woe is threatened to such idol worshippers: who also say

to the dumb stone, Arise; to the idol of stone, as the Targum; the stone statue, an image made of stone, such as the Papists have even of wood, and of stone, as well as of gold, and silver, and brass, Revelation 9:20 and so stupid as to say to such stocks and stones, arise, stand up, and help us:

it shall teach; the stone itself would teach them better, would they but consider what it is, look upon it, and handle it, when they would find it to be a mere stone, and no deity: or, "shall it teach?" so Jarchi, Kimchi, and Ben Melech; no, it cannot teach any true doctrine, or direct to right worship; it cannot teach men their duty, or where they may have help; it is a dumb idol; it cannot teach men the nature of God, and the knowledge of him; or instruct in his mind and will; or inform of things secret or future:

it is laid over with gold and silver; it is made of stone, and covered with gold and silver; how should it teach?

and there is no breath at all in the midst of it; or, "no spirit" {o}; so far from having the spirit of divinity in it, or the Spirit of God, that it has not the spirit of a man in it, nor even the spirit of a brute creature; it has not so much as animal breath, and so no life, motion, or activity in it; and therefore must be quite unprofitable to the worshipper of it; incapable of teaching those who apply to it; and they must be stupid that do it, and most righteously bring themselves under the displeasure and wrath of God, and expose themselves to the woe here denounced against such persons.

{o} xwr "spiritus", Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius, Burkius.