| 1 ¶ The burden which
Habakkuk the prophet did see.
.2 O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save!
.3 Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention.
4 Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.
| 2 -
long Like David, Habakkuk does not understand why the righteous
suffer at the expense of the wicked. The Lord then reveals the future end
of the wicked and the prophet has written it for us to understand.
3 - Why ... show ... iniquity As time on this earth continues so does evil which is a burden for those who love God to witness. We long for Jesus to return.
4 - Law is slacked We tire of seeing injustice. We may draw close to the Lord so that we are not drawn into the evil.
¶ Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously:
for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though
it be told you.
.6 For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not theirs.
7 They are terrible and dreadful: their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves.
.8 Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat.
| 5 -
will work The Lord responds.
6 - Chaldeans The major ethnic group of Babylon.
7 - Their judgment They were successful and became arrogant.
8 - Horses swifter They may have classed leopards with chetas. The word translated "eagle." nesher, may be any large bird of prey. It could be a vulture.
| 9 They shall come
all for violence: their faces shall sup up as the east wind, and they shall
gather the captivity as the sand.
10 And they shall scoff at the kings, and the princes shall be a scorn unto them: they shall deride every strong hold; for they shall heap dust, and take it.
11 Then shall his mind change, and he shall pass over, and offend, imputing this his power unto his god.
| 9 -
up The word occurs only here in the Bible
and its meaning is uncertain.
10 - Scoff See on v7.
10 - Heap up The picture is of an earthen ramp prepared for conquering a city.
11- Offend An offence to the God of heaven.
¶ 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.
13 Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?
- From everlasting God is from eternity past. ps09002.
13 - Purer eyes ... evil We would not understand this to mean that God doesn't know about the evil because He closes His eyes. The intent here is that He does not look on evil with approval. Compare pr1503.
And makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things, that have
no ruler over them?
.15 They take up all of them with the angle, they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag: therefore they rejoice and are glad.
16 Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag; because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous.
17 Shall they therefore empty their net, and not spare continually to slay the nations?
|14 - Men as fishes By allowing oppressors to go unpunished (verses 12, 13) "Thou makest men as the fishes ... that have no ruler"; that is, no defender. All may fish in the sea with impunity; so the Chaldeans with impunity afflict Thy people, as these have no longer the God of the theocracy, their King, to defend them. Thou reducest men to such a state of anarchy, by wrong going unpunished, as if there were no God. He compares the world to the sea; men to fishes; Nebuchadnezzar to a fisherman ..." (JFB)|