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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
Habakkuk 1

 

 

Verse 1

burden. See note on Nahum 1:1. did see. The Hebrew accent places the chief pause on this verb, to emphasize the fact that the giving of the vision was of more importance than what was revealed by it. A second and lesser pause is placed on "burden", leaving "Habakkuk" as being less important. The verse therefore should read, "The burden which he saw, Habakkuk the prophet".


Verse 2

LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4.

cry = cry for help in distress; as in Psalms 18:6, Psalms 18:41; Psalms 22:24. Compare Job 19:7. Jeremiah 20:8. Showing that the cry is not personal, but made in the name of all who suffered from the evil times.

cry out = cry with a loud voice, implying the complaint.


Verse 3

iniquity. Hebrew. "avert. (App-44.) = trouble, having special reference to the nature and consequences of evil-doing.

grievance = oppression, or injustice. Hebrew. "amal. App-44.

there are that raise up. A reading is found in some codices (named in the Massorah), "I had to endure".

strife and contention. There should not be a comma after "strife", as in the Revised Version. The Hebrew accents indicate the one act, "and contention rising up", like "spoiling and violence are before me" in the preceding clause.


Verse 4

slacked = benumbed.

judgment = justice.

the wicked = a lawless one: looking forward from the Chaldeans to the future Antichrist. Hebrew. rasha". App-44.

the righteous = the just one (Art. with Hebrew. "eth)

wrong = perverted.

proceedeth = goeth forth.


Verse 5

Behold = Look ye. For emphasis, introducing the change to Jehovah"s answer. Quoted in Acts 13:41. Compare Isaiah 29:14.

Behold . . . regard . . . wonder. Note the Figure of speech Anabasis (App-6).

heathen = nations.

which ye -will not believe. Some codices read "yet ye will not believe".


Verse 6

I raise up, &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 28:49, Deuteronomy 28:5). App-92.

theirs. Hebrew his; and so throughout this chapter.


Verse 7

They = It.

judgment = decision.

dignity = elevation. themselves = itself. Compare Isaiah 10:8-11, Isaiah 10:13, Isaiah 10:14.


Verse 8

more fierce = keener.

shall fly as the eagle. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 28:49, Deuteronomy 28:50). App-92.


Verse 9

all for violence: i.e. not for conquest, but for destruction.

faces = aspect, intent, or eagerness,

sup up, &c. = swallow up (as in Job 39:24), as the Palestine burning east wind withers up and destroys all green things.

as the sand. Figure of speech Paroemia. App-6.


Verse 10

them = it, as above (Habakkuk 1:6). heap

dust = heap up mounds.

take it = capture it: i.e. every stronghold.


Verse 11

mind = spirit. Hebrew. ruach. App-9.

over = through.

god. Hebrew. "eloah (App-4. V): i.e. his object of worship.


Verse 12

Art Thou not . . . ? Note the change of subject, as shown in the Structure above.

God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4.

we shall not die. This is one of the eighteen emendations of the Sopherim (see App-33), which they say they made because it was considered offensive to say this of Jehovah; hence, the one word of the primitive text "who diest not" was changed to "who die not" (rendered in Authorized Version, Revised Version, and American Revised Version, "we shall not die"). This is the only one of the eighteen emendations which the Revised Version and American Revised Version notice, and speak of it in the margin as "an ancient Jewish tradition", whereas a list of such emendations is given in the Massorah. The change from the second person to the first did more than avoid the supposed irreverent expression; it transferred to mortal men the truth which, apart from resurrection, pertains to God alone, "Who only hath immortality" (1 Timothy 6:16). Compare 1 Corinthians 15:53, 1 Corinthians 15:54.

O mighty God = O Rock. Compare Deuteronomy 32:4, Deuteronomy 32:15, Deuteronomy 32:18, Deuteronomy 32:30; 1 Samuel 2:2. 2 Samuel 23:3. Psalms 18:2, Psalms 18:31, Psalms 18:46; Psalms 19:14, &c.


Verse 13

Thou art, &c. Note the Fig, Synchoresis (App-6).

evil. Hebrew. ra"a". App-44.

iniquity = perverseness, or wrong. Hebrew. "amal. App-44. Not the same word as in Habakkuk 1:3, or Habakkuk 2:12.

the wicked = a lawless one. Hebrew. rasha". App-44. Looking forward to the Antichrist.


Verse 14

men. Hebrew. "adam. App-14.


Verse 15

angle = hook.

drag = a fish-net. Occurs only here (verses: Habakkuk 1:15, Habakkuk 1:16) and in Isaiah 19:8. Greek. sagene. See App-122. Italian seine sagena, whence (with a different vowel) the Greek verb sageneuo = to sweep [a country] clear.


Verse 16

fat = fertile, or rich.

plenteous = fat.

 


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/habakkuk-1.html. 1909-1922.

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