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Category:Book of Habakkuk

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Habakkuk was a native of Bezocher, and prophesied in JUDAH, some time before the invasion of the CHALDEANS, which he foretold. He lived to see this prophecy fulfilled, and for many years after, according to the general opinion, which supposes him to be the same that was brought by the ANGEL to DANIEL in BABYLON, Dan. 14.

Habakkuk Chapter 1

The prophet complains of the wickedness of the people: God reveals to him the vengeance he is going to take of them by the Chaldeans.

1:1. The burden that Habakkuk the prophet saw.

Burden. . .Prophecies that threaten grievous evils and punishments may also be called burdens.

1:2. How long, O Lord, shall I cry, and You will not hear? Shall I cry out to You suffering violence, and You will not save?
1:3. Why have You shown me iniquity and grievance, to see rapine and injustice before me? And there is a judgment, but opposition is more powerful.
1:4. Therefore the law is torn in pieces, and judgment comes not to the end: because the wicked prevails against the just, therefore wrong judgment goes forth.
1:5. Behold among the nations, and see; wonder, and be astonished; for a work is done in your days, which no man will believe when it shall be told.
1:6. For behold, I will raise up the Chaldeans, a bitter and swift nation, marching upon the breadth of the earth, to possess the dwelling places that are not their own.
1:7. They are dreadful and terrible; from themselves shall their judgment and their burden proceed.
1:8. Their horses are lighter than leopards and swifter than evening wolves; and their horsemen shall be spread abroad, for their horsemen shall come from afar, they shall fly as an eagle that makes haste to eat.
1:9. They shall all come to the prey, their face is like a burning wind: and they shall gather together captives as the sand.
1:10. And their prince shall triumph over kings, and princes shall be his laughingstock: and he shall laugh at every strong hold, and shall cast up a mount, and shall take it.
1:11. Then shall his spirit be changed, and he shall pass, and fall: this is his strength of his god.

Then shall his spirit, etc. . .Viz., the spirit of the king of Babylon. It alludes to the judgment of God upon Nebuchadnezzar, recorded Daniel 4., and to the speedy fall of the Chaldean empire.

1:12. Were you not from the beginning, O Lord my God, my holy one, and we shall not die? Lord, you have appointed him for judgment: and made him strong for correction.
1:13. Your eyes are too pure to behold evil, and You cannot look on iniquity. Why do You look upon those who do unjust things, and hold Your peace when the wicked devours the man that is more just than himself?
1:14. And You will make men as the fish of the sea, and as the creeping things that have no ruler.
1:15. He lifted them all up with his hook, he drew them in his drag, and gathered them into his net: for this he will be glad and rejoice.
1:16. Therefore will he offer victims to his drag, and he will sacrifice to his net: because through them his portion is made fat, and his meat dainty.
1:17. For this cause therefore he spreads his net, and will not spare continually to slay the nations.

Habakkuk Chapter 2

The prophet is admonished to wait with faith. The enemies of God's people shall assuredly be punished.

2:1. I will stand upon my watch, and fix my foot upon the tower: and I will watch, to see what will be said to me, and what I may answer to him that reproves me.

Will stand, etc. . .Waiting to see what the Lord will answer to my complaint, viz., that the Chaldeans, who are worse than the Jews, and who attribute all their success to their own strength, or to their idols, should nevertheless prevail over the people of the Lord. The Lord's answer is, that the prophet must wait with patience and faith: that all should be set right in due time; and the enemies of God and His people will be punished according to their deeds.

2:2. And the Lord answered me, and said: Write the vision, and make it plain upon tablets: that he that reads it may run over it.
2:3. For as yet the vision is far off, and it shall appear at the end, and shall not lie: if it make any delay, wait for it: for it shall surely come, and it shall not be slack.
2:4. Behold, he that is unbelieving, his soul shall not be right in himself: but the just shall live in his faith.
2:5. And as wine deceives him that drinks it, so shall the proud man be, and he shall not be honored: who has enlarged his desire like Sheol: and is himself like death, and he is never satisfied: but will gather together unto him all nations, and heap together unto him all people.

As wine deceives, etc. . .Viz., by affording only a short passing pleasure; followed by the evils and disgrace that are the usual consequences of drunkenness; so shall it be with the proud enemies of the people of God; whose success affords them only a momentary pleasure, followed by innumerable and everlasting evils.

2:6. Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a dark speech concerning him: and it shall be said: Woe to him that heaps together that which is not his own? How long also does he load himself with thick clay?

Thick clay. . .Ill-gotten goods, that, like mire, both burden and defile the soul.

2:7. Shall they not rise up suddenly that shall bite you: and they be stirred up that shall tear you, and you shall be a spoil to them?
2:8. Because you have spoiled many nations, all that shall be left of the people shall spoil you: because of men's blood, and for the iniquity of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.
2:9. Woe to him that gathers together an evil covetousness to his house, that his nest may be on high, and thinks he may be delivered out of the hand of evil.
2:10. You have devised confusion to your house, you have cut off many people, and your soul has sinned.
2:11. For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the timber that is between the joints of the building shall answer.
2:12. Woe to him that builds a town with blood, and prepares a city by iniquity.
2:13. Are not these things from the Lord of hosts? For the people shall labor in a great fire, and the nations in vain, and they shall faint.

Are not these things, etc. . .That is, shall not these punishments that are here recorded, come from the Lord upon him that is guilty of such crimes.--Ibid. The people shall labor, etc. . .Viz., the enemies of God's people.

2:14. For the earth shall be filled, that men may know the glory of the Lord, as waters covering the sea.
2:15. Woe to him that gives drink to his friend, and presents his gall, and makes him drunk, that he may behold his shame.
2:16. You are filled with shame instead of glory; drink also, and fall fast asleep; the cup of the right hand of the Lord shall compass you, and shameful vomiting shall be on your glory.
2:17. For the iniquity of Lebanon shall cover you, and the ravaging of beasts shall terrify them because of the blood of men, and the iniquity of the land, and of the city, and of all that dwell therein.

The iniquity of Lebanon. . .That is, the iniquity committed by the Chaldeans against the temple of God, signified here by the name of Lebanon.

2:18. What does the graven thing avail, because the maker thereof has graven it, a molten, and a false image? because the forger thereof has trusted in a thing of his own forging, to make dumb idols.
2:19. Woe to him that says to wood, "Awake;" to the dumb stone, "Arise." Can it teach? Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, and there is no spirit on the inside thereof.
2:20. But the Lord is in His holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before Him.

Habakkuk Chapter 3


For ignorances. . .That is, for the sins of his people. In the Hebrew, it is Sigionoth: which some take to signify a musical instrument, or tune; with which this sublime prayer and canticle was to be sung.

3:2. O Lord, I have heard Your hearing, and was afraid. O Lord, Your work, in the midst of the years bring it to life: In the midst of the years You shall make it known; when You are angry, You will remember mercy.

Your hearing, etc. . .That is, Your oracles, the great and wonderful things You have revealed to me; and I was struck with a reverential fear and awe.--Ibid. Your work. . .The great work of the redemption of man, which You will bring to life and light in the midst of the years, when our calamities and miseries shall be at their height.

3:3. God will come from the south, and the Holy One from mount Pharan; His glory covered the heavens, and the earth is full of His praise.

God will come from the south, etc. . .God himself will come to give us His law, and to conduct us into the true land of promise: as heretofore He came from the South (in the Hebrew Theman) and from mount Pharan to give His law to His people in the desert. See Deuteronomy 33:2.

3:4. His brightness shall be as the light, horns are in his hands; there is His strength hid.

Horns, etc. . .That is, strength and power, which, by a Hebrew phrase, are called horns. Or beams of light, which come forth from His hands. Or it may allude to the cross, in the horns of which the hands of Christ were fastened, where His strength was hidden, by which He overcame the world, and drove out death and the devil.

3:5. Death shall go before His face, and the devil shall go forth before His feet.

Death shall go before His face, etc. . .Both death and the devil shall be the executioners of His justice against His enemies: as they were heretofore against the Egyptians and Canaanites.

3:6. He stood and measured the earth. He beheld, and melted the nations, and the ancient mountains were crushed to pieces. The hills of the world were bowed down by the journeys of His eternity.

He beheld, etc. . .One look of His eye is enough to melt all the nations, and to reduce them to nothing. For all heaven and earth disappear when they come before His light. Revelation 20:11. Ibid. The ancient mountains, etc. . .By the mountains and hills are signified the great ones of the world, that persecute the church, whose power was quickly crushed by the Almighty.

3:7. I saw the tents of Ethiopia for their iniquity, the curtains of the land of Madian shall be troubled.
3:8. Were You angry, O Lord, with the rivers, or was Your wrath upon the rivers, or Your indignation in the sea? Who will ride upon Your horses: and Your chariots are salvation.
Location of the Jordan River

With the rivers, etc. . .He alludes to the wonders wrought heretofore by the Lord in favor of His people Israel, when the waters of the rivers, viz., of Arnon and Jordan, and of the Red Sea, retired before their face: when He came as it were with His horses and chariots to save them when He took up his bow for their defense, in consequence of the oath He had made to their tribes: when the mountains trembled, and the deep stood with its waves raised up in a heap, as with hands lifted up to heaven: when the sun and the moon stood still at His command, etc., to comply with His anger, not against the rivers and sea, but against the enemies of His people.

3:9. You will surely take up Your bow: according to the oaths which You have spoken to the tribes. You will divide the rivers of the earth.
3:10. The mountains saw You, and were grieved; the great body of waters passed away. The deep put forth its voice; the deep lifted up its hands.
3:11. The sun and the moon stood still in their habitation, in the light of Your arrows, they shall go in the brightness of Your glittering spear.
3:12. In Your anger You will tread the earth underfoot: in Your wrath you will astonish the nations.
3:13. You went forth for the salvation of Your people: for salvation with Your Anointed. You struck the head of the house of the wicked: You have laid bare his foundation even to the neck.

The head of the house of the wicked. . .Such was Pharaoh heretofore: such shall Antichrist be hereafter.

3:14. You have cursed his scepters, the head of his warriors, those who came out as a whirlwind to scatter me. Their joy was like that of him that devours the poor man in secret.
3:15. You made a way in the sea for Your horses, in the mud of many waters.

You made a way in the sea, etc. . .To deliver Your people from the Egyptian bondage.

3:16. I have heard and my heart was troubled; my lips trembled at the voice. Let rottenness enter into my bones, and swarm under me. That I may rest in the day of tribulation: that I may go up to our people that are girded.

I have heard, etc. . .Viz., the evils that are now coming upon the Israelites for their sins; and that shall come hereafter upon all impenitent sinners; and the foresight that I have of these miseries makes me willing to die, that I may be at rest, before this general tribulation comes, in which all good things shall be withdrawn from the wicked.--Ibid. That I may go up to our people, etc. . .That I may join the happy company in the bosom of Abraham, that are girded, that is, prepared for their journey, by which they shall attend their Lord, when he shall ascend into Heaven. To which high and happy place, my Jesus, that is, my Savior, the great conqueror of death and hell, shall one day conduct me rejoicing and singing psalms of praise, ver. 18 and 19.

3:17. For the fig tree shall not blossom: and there shall be no spring in the vines. The labor of the olive tree shall fail: and the fields shall yield no food: the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls.
3:18. But I will exalt in the Lord, and I will rejoice in God my Savior.
3:19. The Lord God is my strength: and He will make my feet like the feet of harts: and he the conqueror will lead me upon my high places singing psalms.

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