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Bible Commentaries

Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Habakkuk 1

Verse 1

Burden. Such prophecies more especially are called burdens, as threaten grievous evils and punishments. (Challoner) --- He says not against whom, because the menace is directed to persecutors in general. (Worthington)

Verse 2

Save. Some think that he expresses the sentiments of the weak, like David, (Psalms lxxii. 2.) or what he had formerly entertained. The language of the prophets is very bold, Exodus xxxii. 32., Job iii. 3., Jeremias xx. 14., and Jonas iv. 8. (Calmet)

Verse 3

Opposition. Septuagint, "the judge receives" bribes. (Haydock) --- Such was the state of Juda after Josias, Jeremias xxi. 12.

Verse 5

Among. Septuagint ye despisers. St. Paul nearly agrees with this version, Acts xiii. 41. The copies vary, as the Hebrew has done. (Calmet) --- The apostle gives the mystical sense; the literal is very obscure. (Worthington) --- God answers the prophet's complaints, and shews that the Chaldeans shall punish the guilty, and afterwards be themselves chastised.

Verse 6

Chaldeans. Nabuchodonosor was the first of this nation who attacked Joakim, and having conquered all as far as the Nile, returned to succeed Nabopolassar. He afterwards came upon Jechonias and Sedecias, &c. The prophet might have all this in view, particularly the first invasion. (Calmet) --- Bitter; warlike, as all the Greek historians remark. (St. Jerome) --- The Chaldeans were not yet arrived at such greatness, and of course this is not the Habacuc specified [in] Daniel xiv. (Worthington) --- Yet the same prophet might foresee it. (Haydock)

Verse 7

Proceed. They admit no authority but their own. (Calmet) --- This pride will prove their ruin. (Haydock)

Verse 8

Leopards: the swiftest quadrupeds. (Calmet) --- The horses near the Euphrates were swift and warlike. (Oppian.) --- Swifter. Hebrew, "sharper" (Haydock) in seeing, even when there is no moon. (Elian x. 26.) --- Evening. Septuagint, "Arabian." (Haydock) --- It may denote the hyena of that country, which is most terrible. (Guevar.)

Verse 9

Burning. Hebrew also, "eastern," which is hot, and raises the sand of Arabia so as to be very detrimental. (Calmet) --- Out of 2,000 travellers from Mecca to Aleppo, only twenty-nine escaped such a storm, or kamsin, in that vast desert, August 23, 1813. (Rock. 312.) (Haydock) --- Sand, from various countries, Isaias xx. 4. (Berosus cited [by Josephus,] contra Apion i.)

Verse 10

Prince, or "it," the nation, ver. 10. Hebrew, "They," &c. --- Laughingstock, ( ridicule .) Nabuchodonosor raised or deposed princes as in jest. (Haydock) --- Sennacherib's officers were or had been kings, Isaias x. 8. --- Mount. Thus cities were chiefly taken, Ezechiel iv. 1. (Calmet)

Verse 11

Spirit; viz., the spirit of the king of Babylon. It alludes to the judgment of God upon Nabuchodonosor, recorded [in] Daniel iv., and to the speedy fall of the Chaldean empire. (Challoner) --- It shall yield to the Medes, &c., after conquering the Assyrians. (Worthington) --- Fall. Hebrew, "sin." Septuagint, "obtain pardon." --- God: "idol," Chaldean. "This is the strength of my God," Septuagint. God forced the proud king to confess that his great exploits were not to be attributed to himself or to idols. (Haydock)

Verse 12

Die? We hope that this scourge will not entirely ruin us. --- Correction, like Pharao, Exodus ix. 16.

Verse 13

Look, with approbation (Calmet) or connivance.

Verse 14

Ruler. People are subdued by Nabuchodouosor. (Haydock) --- They make little resistance. (Calmet)

Verse 16

Drag, adoring his own arms and prowess, (Sanct.) like Mezentius and Capaneus: ------ Dextra mihi Deus, (Virgil, 'c6neid x.)

Te voco, te solum, superum contemptor, adoro. (Stat. x.)

--- Guevare thinks fishes were adored, as they were among the Syrians. Nabuchodonosor attributed all to his own genius, or to Bel, whose statue he set up, Daniel iii. (Calmet) --- Victorious nations thus honour themselves and not God.

Verse 17

Nations, of every country. (Worthington) --- Few have been so much addicted to war as Nabuchodonosor. (Calmet)

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Habakkuk 1". "Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". 1859.