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.

5 Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously: 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 their's.

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.

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.

12 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?

14 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?

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Habakkuk
Book: Habakkuk
Chapter: 1

The wickedness of the land. The fearful vengeance to be
executed. (1-11) These judgments to be inflicted By a nation
more wicked than themselves. (12-17)

1-11 The servants of the Lord are deeply afflicted By seeing
ungodliness and violence prevail; especially among those who
profess the Truth. No Man scrupled doing wrong to his neighbour.
We should long to remove to the world where Holiness and Love
reign for ever, and No violence shall be before us. God has good
reasons for his long-suffering towards bad men, and the rebukes
of good men. The Day will come when the cry of Sin will be heard
against those that do wrong, and the cry of Prayer for those
that suffer wrong. They were to notice what was going forward
among the Heathen By the Chaldeans, and to consider themselves a
nation to be scourged By them. But most men presume On continued
prosperity, or that calamities will not come in their days. They
are a Bitter and hasty nation, fierce, cruel, and bearing down
all before them. They shall overcome all that oppose them. But
it is a great Offence, and the common Offence of proud people,
to take Glory to themselves. The closing words give a glimpse of

12-17 However matters may be, yet God is the Lord our God, our
Holy One. We are an offending people, he is an offended God, yet
we will not Entertain hard thoughts of him, or of his service.
It is great comfort that, whatever mischief men design, the Lord
designs good, and we are sure that his counsel shall stand.
Though wickedness may prosper a while, yet God is holy, and does
not approve the wickedness. As he cannot do iniquity himself, So
he is of purer eyes than to behold it with any approval. By this
principle we must abide, though the dispensations of his
Providence may for a time, in some cases, seem to us not to
agree with it. The Prophet complains that God's patience was
abused; and because sentence against these evil Works and
workers was not executed speedily, their hearts were the more
fully set in them to do evil. Some they take up as with the
angle, one By one; others they catch in shoals, as in their Net,
and gather them in their drag, their enclosing Net. They admire
their own cleverness and contrivance: there is great proneness
in us to take the Glory of outward prosperity to ourselves. This
is idolizing ourselves, sacrificing to the drag-Net because it
is our own. God will soon End successful and splendid robberies.
Death and Judgment shall make men cease to prey On others, and
they shall be preyed On themselves. Let us remember, whatever
advantages we possess, we must give all the Glory to God.

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