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The Book of Habakkuk
This chapter has an answer from the Lord to the pleadings and reasonings of the prophet, in the name of the people. The preparation of the prophet to receive this answer is described in the first verse, followed by the answer, in which Habakkuk is told to write and make plain the vision he had.
Then a Promise is made, that the Messiah would come; this righteous Man, completely opposed to vain and proud men.
Then the destruction of the enemies of the people of God is threatened for their pride, ambition, covetousness, drunkenness and idolatry. Also the ruin of other enemies is threatened, for drawing men into apostasy, and for their violence and idolatry upon which would follow an universal silence in the Earth.
Habakkuk, waiting for an answer, is showed that he must wait in faith, Hab. 2:2-4. God's judgment would come upon the Chaldeans for their greed, ambition, cruelty, drunkenness, treacherous dealing and idolatry.
Practice Of The Prophet (Hab.2:1)
Habakkuk 2:1 I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. (KJV)
The first chapter ended with the difficult and confusing question: "Why did God permit the wicked for so long to prosper in their aggressive oppressions of the righteous?" This chapter represents the prophet waiting and considering what answer God would give him for all this. The prophet will stand meditating, observing, praying and waiting.
I will stand upon my watch . . . this the prophet said as a "watchman," as were all the prophets . . . and as all TRUE Christians should be as well! Watchmen: (Eze.3:17-19; 33:2-7; 34:7-10; 1 Tim.4:16; 6:20).
A watchman takes the proper place from where he is to watch, especially in times of danger and distress. If he sees anyone bringing good news OR bad, he may notify the people that have appointed him a watchman. The prophet had given himself up to meditation and prayer, and put himself in a watchful, waiting position; looking up only to the Lord, and expecting an answer to his questions about the success of the enemies of God's people, and the calamities that were likely to come upon them, that he might report it to them (Isa.21:5-8). "Upon my watch" . . . I think that the prophet was determined to be a watchman, as all prophets were for the people of God. It required his diligent and persevering hope while observing.
And set me upon the tower . . . a high place from which he could see things at a distance. Habakkuk had many things that rose up in his mind against the divine providences that were about to attend his people. He was plagued with the temptations of Satan, and surrounded with objectors to the words that he had delivered, concerning the Chaldeans being raised up by God to destroy the Jewish nation. In the midst of these difficulties, he determines to read the Word of God, to pray to God for instruction and information on what to do; as Asaph, in a like case, went into the
sanctuary of the Lord, where he received satisfaction (Psalm 73).
It must be stated here of the confidence and trust that the prophet had in God, in His Covenant and His Promises, which were like a fortress and strong tower to him. He stayed in the way of his duty, in the performance of his office, and was humbly and patiently waiting on God, so that he could know more of God's mind and God's will, and then tell the people.
And will watch to see what he will say unto me . . . Habakkuk was anxious to see what the Lord would say to him; what answer he will get to his complaint, his protest.
How would the Lord answer him? #1.Outwardly by an audible voice; #2. inwardly by making an impression on his mind; or #3. in a vision, as to David, "the Spirit of the Lord spoke by me" or "in me" (2 Sam.23:2). Habakkuk was determined to wait patiently for an answer, and to patiently continue and constantly be aware of everything that would be suggested to him.
And what I shall answer when I am reproved . . . the Lord was under NO obligation to give an account of anything He does to the children of men, of objections in the prospering of the wicked and afflictions the righteous. The prophet did not know what God would say or what he would say back to Him.
Men who Had Visions from God
1. Abraham (Gen.15:1). 2. Jacob (Gen.46:2). 3. Balaam (Num.24:4,16). 4. Samuel (1 Sam.3:1,15). 5. Nathan (2 Sam.7:17; 1 Chron.17:15). 6. Isaiah (Isa.1:1; 2 Chron.32:32). 7. Ezekiel (Eze.7:13; 8:1-4; 11:24). 8. Iddo (2 Chron.9:29). 9. Daniel (Dan.2:19; 8:1-27; 9:21-24). 10. Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2). 11. Obadiah (Obadiah 1). 12. Nahum (Nah.1:1). 13. Habakkuk (Hab.2:2-3). 14. Peter (Mat.17:9; Acts 10:19; 11:5). 15. James (Mat.17:9). 16. John (Mat.17:9; Rev.9:17). 17. Zacharias (Luke 1:22). 18. Ananias (Acts 9:10-12). 19. Cornelius (Acts 10:3,17). 20. Paul (Acts 16:9-10; 18:9; 2 Cor.12).
Patience Of The Prophet (Hab.2:2-3)
Habakkuk 2:2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. (KJV)
And the Lord answered me . . . the Lord always answers His TRUE children. Some times we think that He doesn't, but most of those times we are simply very impatient! God's time clock and our time clock are NOT the same (Ps.90:4; 2 Pet.3:8); just as His ways are NOT our ways (Isa.55:8-9). IF we wait on Him, IF we call upon Him with humility, patience and reverence, and with faith and fervency . . . He will answer us!
And said, Write the vision . . . God's answer came to Habakkuk in the form of a vision . . . and it was about the coming of the Messiah, and the destruction of the enemies of the people of God. The prophet is told to WRITE what he sees, NOT just tell it. WHY? I think it was written for you and for me! When something is written, it can be read over and over again, remaining to be used in times to come. The apostle John was told to WRITE what he saw in his vision (Rev.1:11,18-19), and that too is for our learning and warning.
And make it plain upon tables . . . write it in plain, easy to read letters on tables (of stone, wood or metal), on which impressions were easily made, and which would last, and were easy to read. These impressions or letters were formed with an iron style or pen (Jer.17:1).
That he may run that readeth it . . . may read it without difficulty, made so plain, that a man might even read it as he was running. The Lord means for it to be very clear. Write the prophecy, and explain it carefully so that whoever reads it, may hurry to obtain wisdom. The Lord, on whom the prophet had patiently waited, and Who rules all affairs everywhere, answered him, and gave explicit direction what he should do.
Moses was told to go up to God on the mountain to receive "tables of stone, and a law and commandments" (Ex. 24:12), on which the Lord had "written" with His finger on tables of stone (Ex.31:18). After Moses broke the first ones, he was ordered by God to hew two tables of stone like unto the first (Ex.34:1). The word "write" occurs 91 times in 82 verses. Write: (Deut.27:8; 31:19,22; Isa.8:1; 30:8; Jer.36:2-4,27-32; Dan.12:4; Rev.1:11, 18-19; 14:13; 19:9; 21:5-8).
Habakkuk 2:3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. (KJV)
For the vision is yet for an appointed time . . . not the present vision only, but this vision or prophecy in general. The reason why the vision must be written is so it would not be forgotten, because the "appointed time" is afar off. It must be written that it may be preserved in memory. "The vision" . . . the accomplishment of the things shown to Habakkuk, what he saw IS coming, and what he foretells to them, SHALL one day happen. "For an appointed time" . . . determined and fixed by God, though completely unknown to men; the time fixed for the Messiah's Coming, despite the fact that the Jews would be carried captive into another land . . . and thus it was.
A doubt arose in the mind the prophet, and other righteous men, when God's words came through Habakkuk that the Chaldeans would raise up and destroy the Jews; that the law of God would cease, His worship would not continue; vision and prophecy would be no more; it would be all over with the doctrine of the law and the prophets. The Messiah would NOT come to destroy the law or the prophets, He came to FULFILL. Mat.5:17-18 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. (KJV)
There were prophets, such as Daniel and Ezekiel, in the time of the captivity; and after it came Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. YES! The law and the prophets were UNTIL John; because visions and prophecy were to be sealed up by the Messiah, and not before! Luke 16:16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. (KJV)
The present vision or prophecy concerning the Messiah, was NOT to be fulfilled at that time. Considerable time first must elapse; because Almighty God had a special, particular time appointed for this to happen. Messiah's Coming MUST coincide, agree with, ALL that the other prophets of God had spoken . . . but He would come! He would come before the sceptre departed from Judah (Gen.49:10), while the second temple was still standing (Mat.24:1-2), and when Daniel's 70 weeks, or 490 years were come (Dan.9:24-27). The vision: (Jer.27:7; Dan.8:19; 9:24-27; 10:1,14; 11:27,35; Acts 1:7; 17:26-28; Gal.4:2; 2 Thes.2:6-8).
Christ Jesus fulfilled ALL that the Prophets spoke of Him! EVERYTHING!!!
But at the end it shall speak, and not lie . . . or rather, "he shall speak." Heb.10:37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. (KJV) . . . We are to interpret "it" as a person, not a thing.
He would come "at the end" of the time appointed (at the end of the Jewish state, both civil and ecclesiastic), the Messiah would appear, as He did. Jesus IS the Great Prophet. Deut.18:18-19 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. 19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him. (KJV) . . . SO many people today say that the Way to salvation is too narrow, when they are told that Jesus is the ONLY Way to Heaven (John 3:15-18,36; 5:24; 8:24; 14:6; Acts 4:10-12; 1 Jn.5:10-13). My friend, THAT is what the Bible teaches. Both the New Testament and the Old Testament! "Whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him." Your argument is with GOD, not me or anyone else who teaches the Truth of God's Holy Word!
Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (KJV) . . . Christ Jesus, the Messiah, DID come, this Teacher sent of God, the Wonderful Counsellor, and Faithful Witness; who spoke out the whole mind and will of God (John 10:30); presented the everlasting Gospel (Rev.14:6; Mk.1:1; Rom.1:1-2; 1 Cor.1:17; 9:12,18; 2 Cor.4:4; 9:13; 10:14; 11:4; Gal.1:6-7; Eph.3:6; Phil.1:27; 1 Thes.3:2; 2 Thes.1:8-9; 2 Tim.1:10; 2:8). Christ delivered doctrines of grace and truth (Jn.1:17); and spoke such words of grace as never man did (Jn.7:46); and with such power and authority as the Scribes and Pharisees did not (Lk.4:36; 9:1).
Though it tarry, wait for it . . . or better, "though he tarry, wait for him." Not that He would or did tarry; but because of the lapse of time, people might think He tarried. Waiting: (2 Ki.6:33; Ps.27:14; 130:5-6; Isa.30:18; Lam.3:25-26; Mic.7:7; Lk.2:25; Jam.5:7-8).
The Babylon captivity was not delayed, and as soon the 70 years were up (Isa.23:15,17; Jer.25:11-12; 29:10; Dan.9:2), there was deliverance from it; but the Messiah's Coming was long expected, and it seemed to be delayed, and the patience of the saints was wearing thin; but here they are encouraged to 'hang in there'. This was the case, still to wait for him, like Simeon did (Lk.2:25-32) about the time of His Coming. So too, we today must wait patiently for His Second Coming, because it, like His First Coming, may SEEM to be delayed, but it too has a special and particular time that it shall come.
Because it will surely come, it will not tarry . . . or "for he that is to come will come, and not tarry". When the TIME came, Christ came, at the EXACT appointed time. John the Baptist had a description of Him, "he that is to come" (Mat.11:3). As it was foretold, Christ the Messiah, would come. When fulness of time came, God sent Him, and He came (Gal.4:4-5). And He did NOT stay a minute longer than the time appointed by the Father.
My friend, one thing that you can depend on, is the fact that one day God will give us the answers to all of our questions. That is going to be a great day! I am not interested so much in walking Heaven's golden streets, but in learning the answers to a great many puzzling questions in our day. But, for now, we are to walk by faith.
Pageant For The Prophet (Hab.2:4)
This brings us to one of the most important verses in the Scriptures. It is the key to the little Book of Habakkuk. And, actually, it gives the key to the three great doctrinal epistles in the New Testament that quote this verse: Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; and Hebrews 10:38.
Habakkuk 2:4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. (KJV)
Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him . . . this and the following phrase describe two kinds of people, and how they are SO differently affected by the Messiah, and the Promise of His Coming. Some object and argue with God, being proud, discontent and impatient. Others inquire and seek, humbly, submitting themselves completely to God, and patiently trusting and waiting for Him.
Those whose "soul which is lifted up, and not upright in him" . . . do NOT believe in Christ's Coming. They mock and scoff at the Promise of it; and too, this refers to those that did NOT believe in Him when He came, although He clearly had every single characteristic of the Messiah! http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_messianic_prophecies.htm
Their utter damnation was the sure consequence of their unbelief, meaning the proud and arrogant Scribes and Pharisees, who were simply delighted with themselves . . . but were instead: hard hearted, full of hot air; swelling with pride and vanity, thinking they were something when they were not, claiming holiness and works of righteousness but treating those they thought below them the utmost disdain and contempt (Matthew 23). Luke 14:11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. (KJV) . . . Jesus says: Don't be proud!
But the just shall live by faith . . . this is the other kind of person! The "just" man is the complete opposite of the other one. The just man believes in the Coming of Christ, and believed in Him when He came. He had NO conceited opinion of himself, or of his own righteousness (Isa.64:6). He certainly does NOT trust in his own good works for his justification before God (Rom.5:1-2; Eph.2:8-9), and acceptance with Him (Acts 10:34-35; 2 Cor.5:9. Ep.1:6-7) but in the righteousness of Christ imputed to him (1 Cor.1:30).
To the "watching" prophet comes the response of the vision (Hab. 2:2-20). Three things should be considered: #1. The moral judgment of the Lord upon the evil practiced by Israel (Hab. 2:5-13, 15-19). #2. The future purpose of God that "the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea" (Hab. 2:14). This revelation awaits the return of the Lord in glory is shown (a) by the parallel passage in Isa. 11:9-12; and (b) by the quotation of v. 3 in Heb. 10:37-38, where the "it" of the vision becomes "He" and refers to the return of the Lord. It is then, after the vision is fulfilled, that "the knowledge of the glory," etc. shall fill the earth. But #3. meanwhile, "the just shall live by his faith." These great Scriptural Words are applied to BOTH Jews and Gentiles in Rom. 1:17; to the Gentiles in Gal. 3:11-14; and especially to the Jews in Heb. 10:38.
When we (whosoever) open our life to faith alone, it makes it possible for salvation of the Gentiles (any nation), but also possible for a believing remnant in Israel while the nation, as a whole, is in utter blindness and unbelief (Rom. 11:1,5). There are SOME Jews who are "Christians"! And personally, I think theses people are doubly blessed by God.
Doctrinal Statement of The Christian Jew Foundation in San Antonio, Texas
We believe that the Bible, as given in the Old and New Testaments, is the inspired and infallible Word of God.
We believe in the Triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We believe in the deity, virgin birth, bodily resurrection, and imminent return of Jesus.
We believe that salvation is solely by grace apart from works.
We believe in divine election—that God chose and elected His people to salvation before the beginning of the ages.
We believe in the shed blood of Jesus for the remission of sins.
We believe in the eternal security of the believer.
We believe that the true Church is composed of all born-again believers of this present dispensation.
We believe that the "ecumenical" movement of our day is unscriptural, and that true believers should separate from it.
We believe in the premillennial return of Yeshua and in the literal interpretation of the prophecies which foretell and assure Israel's future regeneration and restoration as a nation.
To the above, I say "Amen."
Parable To The Prophet (Hab.2:5-20)
Judgment upon the Chaldean for his greed
Habakkuk 2:5 Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people: (KJV)
Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine . . . wine betrays the proud and arrogant man, and a mighty man sins when he is drunk. Nebuchadnezzar is here mentioned in his usual character: proud, arrogant and ambitious; drunk with his successes, and determined to gain more, more, more victories. Because of the king of Babylon, every one of the Chaldeans transgresseth by wine; which sin destroys kings and kingdoms, and in the extremes of luxury the Babylonian king Belshazzar (Dan.5:2), his city and kingdom of Babylon, fell a prey to Darius and Cyrus. Ye also: (Pro.20:1; 23:29-33; 31:4-5; Isa.5:11-12,22-23; 21:5; Jer.51:39; Dan.5:1-4,23; Nah.1:9-10).
Some say that the Babylonian monarchs, Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar and the Chaldeans, are not meant here, but instead this means the enemies of Christ, and His Kingdom, from his First to His Second Coming.
He is a proud man . . . the Roman emperors were extremely proud, much like the unjust judge (Lk.18:1-8). They neither feared God, nor regarded man, but set up themselves as gods, and demanded to be worshipped (Rev.13:12-17). ALL such pride shall have its fall (Pro.16:18). Pride: (Hab.2:4; Ps.138:6; Pro.30:13-14; Isa.2:11-12,17; 16:6; Jer.50:29; Dan.5:20-23; Jam.4:6).
Neither keepeth at home . . . Nebuchadnezzar was always somewhere warring with some nation, which although it enlarged his holdings, it weakened his kingdom and gave advantages to conspirators, plus it exposed him to imminent and continual dangers.
Another way to look at this is: neither keepeth at home . . . or "dwells not in the fold," in the sheepfold of Christ, not being His sheep (Jn.10:26). This means an infidel, a heathen; a fit character for the Pagan emperors, who had no place in the house of God. Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom would not be continued; for he would be driven from his palace, from among men, to live with beasts (Dan.4:29-33). But, it is the character, not the punishment, of the person that is meant here.
Who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied . . . death and the grave, though huge numbers are continually slain by the king who was most so very greedy to devour all, yet was never satisfied (Pro.27:20). This also describes the insatiable thirst of the Roman emperors after glory, honor, riches and universal dominion; who were never satisfied with what they obtained. "Is as death" . . . as deadly and ravenous. "Cannot be satisfied" . . . all is NOT enough! There is no way to satisfy his appetite. The more they have, the more they want. Never full: (Pro.23:5; 27:20; 30:15-16; Ecc.1:8; 2:10-11; 5:10-11; 6:7; Jer.22:17; 1 Jn.2:16)
But gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people . . . meaning he subdued them, and made them provinces of the Roman empire, and branches of it, nearly all of the then known world; hence the Roman empire is called the whole world (Lk.2:1), so Agrippa, in his proclamation to the Jews, mentions all nations as subject to the Romans. "Gathereth" . . . added one nation after another to his kingdom. "All nations" . . . that are round about him; all that he plans to suck into his kingdom. "Heapeth unto him all people" . . . repeating the same thing.
This foretold the future character of the Babylon kings and kingdoms, and is a sure prediction of the end of their continuing in grandeur, and that very soon, Divine vengeance will overtake them.
The charges: #1. they transgressed by wine; #2. they were proud; #3. their desire was to go forth and conquer; #4. never satisfied; #5. kept gathering nations; #6. and people; #7. they were inflamed with ambition for conquest.
They were never satisfied but kept attacking nation after nation, gathering spoil and captives. Babylon became the first great world power. They wanted to rule the world. BUT . . . that really has been the ambition of many nations of the world, including the United States, who is always sticking its nose in other people's business!
This has been the delusion of the nations of the world, and it was the delusion of Babylon. They were lifted up with pride and felt they were capable of ruling the world. And then later, it was Rome!
God mentions their sin of drunkenness. This comes up often in the writings of the minor prophets: in Amos, Hosea, Joel, Micah, Nahum and now Habakkuk (Hos.4:11; 7:5,14; Joel 1:5; 3:3; Am.2:8,12; 6:1,6; Mic.2:11; Nah.1:10). It is also mentioned often elsewhere in God's Word: (Deut. 21:20; 29:19-21; 1 Sam. 1:14; Ps. 69:12; Pro.20:1; 21:17; 23:20-21,29-35; 31:4-7; Isa.5:11-12,22; 19:14; 24:9,11; 28:1,3,7-8; 28:8; 56:12; Jer. 25:27).
Nahum says it was drunkenness that brought down the kingdom of Assyria. Amos tells us that it was drunkenness that caused God to send the northern kingdom into captivity. Now Habakkuk says that it is drunkenness that will cause God to destroy Babylon. It seems plain that drunkenness works out its own destruction. Drunkenness characterized Babylon; in Daniel 5, it tells of Belshazzar's great feast. That was the night that Babylon fell. WHY? They were drunk! It was a night of revelry and drunkenness. They felt perfectly safe and secure in their fortified city. Drunkenness also brought down Rome. And my friend, drunkenness will destroy our nation. How long can a nation possibly last, that has millions of alcoholics?
In this little Book of Habakkuk, God says that drunkenness leads to pride and that can make you like "hell" or sheol . . . never satisfied (Pro.27:20). Proverbs 30:15-16 The horseleach hath two daughters, crying, Give, give. There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough: 16 The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough. (KJV)
God now spells out the five woes upon Babylon.
Habakkuk 2:6 Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? and to him that ladeth himself with thick clay! (KJV)
#1. Woe #1 is a taunting proverb against Babylon because they were seizing by force that which was not theirs.
Shall not all these take up a parable against him . . . a parable is proverbial expression; a short but to the point sentence, spoken in just a few words containing the vices of the emperors, and the pronouncing judgments upon them. "Take up a parable" means to turn him and his state into a by-word and scorn. "Against him" . . . the king of Babylon is now the scorn of nations. "All these" probably means the nations that have been victims of Babylon's aggression. Take up a parable: (Num.23:7,18; Isa.14:4-19; Jer.29:22; 50:13; Eze.32:21; Mic.2:4).
And a taunting proverb against him . . . taunting; short, but cutting; NOT the bewailing and grieving the mishaps of great, brave and just kings or kingdoms . . . BUT instead, ALL people would be overjoyed and triumph in the miseries of this oppressive, luxurious, unjust and vile kingdom.
And say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! . . . captives, substance, goods, not his own, which they had no right to. They were guilty of a great injustice in the seizure of things not belonging to them, so they might justly expect God's vengeance would come down on them for it. "Woe" is a threat of like vengeance on Babylon, and on all such transgressors. "To him that increaseth" . . . by seizure, robbing, frauds and hurtful dealings, to multiply his treasures, as the king of Babylon did. "Not his" . . . stealing from others what was not his.
How long? . . . just how long shall they go on increasing their substance by such unjust and unlawful methods? How long shall they keep what they so wrongfully took? This suggests it would be a long time, and seems to apply to both the Babylonian as the Roman empires.
And to him that ladeth himself with thick clay . . . It is one thing to buy property and pay for it, but it is WRONG to take it by force. God is pronouncing a "woe" against this nation for wanting more and more and taking and taking that which does not belong to them. Juts as clay dirties and defiles, so too are silver and gold when ill gotten, or ill used or when the heart is too set upon them.
Our precious Lord says: "How hard it is for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God" (Mark 10:24). Riches are a weight, something that clogs our brain. YES! We do have to have money in today's world to live. BUT . . . we must NOT let wealth and possessions take control of our minds and hearts!
Thick clay, seems to point to the meanness of them, as well as the hurt they cause, in comparison of the true riches. To have a load of earth or thick clay, seems to imply the heaviest punishment.
To him that ladeth himself . . . while he burdens himself with amassed treasures gathered by extortion and grievous, unjust taxes, woe (disaster, judgment) shall fall to him because he is a burden to others.
The Perils Of Having Too Much: (Deut.8:13-14; 17:17; Job 31:25; Pro.23:4; 28:20; Isa. 2:7; Eze.28:5; Zec.11:5; Mat.13:22; 19:23; Mark 4:19; 10:23; Luke 6:24; 8:14; 16:19; 18:24; 19:2; 1 Tim.6:9; Jam.5:1).
True Riches: (Eph.1:7,18; 3:8,16; Rom.2:4; 9:23; 11:33; Phil.4:19; Col.1:27; 2:2; Heb.11:26).
Woe to him: (Hab.1:9-10,15; Job 20:15-29; 22:6-10; Pro.22:16; Jer.51:34-35; Jam.5:1-4).
Habakkuk 2:7 Shall they not rise up suddenly that shall bite thee, and awake that shall vex thee, and thou shalt be for booties unto them? (KJV)
Shall not they rise up suddenly that shall bite thee . . . those around you may rise up suddenly, and you become plunder for them instead. Whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap (Gal.6:7-8). God is saying, "You took away from others, now they will take away from you." When Media-Persia became a great nation, they took Babylon. By night the River Euphrates, which flowed through the city of Babylon, was cut off and the water diverted into other channels, leaving a dry riverbed through the city. And Gobryas, the Median general, marched his army along that riverbed into the city and took it by surprise. "Suddenly" . . . and surprise in security, for they did not see themselves falling. "Bite thee" . . . devour and eat thee up. They: (Pro.29:1; Isa.13:1-5, 16-18; 21:2-9; 41:25; 45:1-3; 46:11; 47:11; 48:14; Jer.50:21-32; 51:27-28,57; Dan.5:25-31; Nah.1:9-10; 1 Thes.5:3). Bite: (Ecc.10:8,11; Jer.8:17; Am.9:3; Mic.3:5; Gal.5:15).
And awake that shall vex thee . . . how long will it be before your victims wake up, and make you the victim? The emperor, from the throne of the empire; and other lesser magistrates from their places of dignity, trust, and profit; the priests out of their temples; and change the face of things everywhere is expressed well in the following. Rev.6:14-15 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; (KJV) . . . Which is to be understood of the fall of the Pagan Roman empire.
And thou shalt be for booties unto them? . . . then you will become spoil for them. The wealth and riches found in the Roman empire, fell into the hands of Constantine. Thou shalt be for booties . . . not only their lands, houses and goods, but the people, shall be taken and sold for slaves, to the profit of them, Medes and Persians. (Rev.18:13).
Habakkuk 2:8 Because thou hast spoiled many nations, all the remnant of the people shall spoil thee; because of men's blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein. (KJV)
The prophet proceeds to give the reasons why the Divine vengeance of the Almighty God moves in this affair . . . plus my friend, it is something ALL of us must consider! (Rom.3:10,23).
#2. The second woe is for their covetousness and their self-enhancement . . . me, me,me . . . look what I did! Man is bloodthirsty, and man is covetous.
Because thou hast spoiled many nations, all the remnant of the people shall spoil thee . . . because of the men's blood, violence, injustice and oppressions; this violence done by Babylon especially to the land of Judea.
And all that dwell therein: this also, as understood actively or passively, is applicable to either Babylon's or Jerusalem's citizens and inhabitants. There were great numbers put to death by the Roman emperors. Those that survived the persecutions of the Roman emperors; those under Constantine rose up, and by just retaliation spoiled them of all their power and wealth. "Thou hast spoiled many nations" . . . they killed people, sacked their cities, robbed their treasuries, led captive the subjects, and unseated kings, and their cry is come up to heaven (Jer. 25:9; 27:3). It is likely all the nations that lay round about this kingdom were spoiled by it. Now shalt thou be paid in thine own coin. The remnant of the nations unspoiled by thee, shall combine against thee, and execute the Lord's just sentence, and spoil the spoiler.
Thou: (Hab.2:10,17; Isa.33:1,4; Jer.27:7; 30:16; 50:10,37; 51:13,44,48.55-56; Zec.2:8-9).
Their cry: (Ex.2:23; 3:7,23; Isa.9:16; Neh.5:1,6; 9:9; Ps.34:15,17; 106:44; 107:19,28; 145:19; Jer.14:12; Mic.3:4).
Read about Jerusalem and its fall in 70 AD
Because of men's blood . . . the blood of the saints and martyrs of Jesus, of those under the altar, whose blood cried for vengeance (Rev.6:9), which was shed under the ten bloody persecutions. To read about the Ten Bloody Persecutions that the Christians suffered under the Heathen emperors of Rome, beginning with Nero in 66 AD, see: http://www.homecomers.org/mirror/martyrs011.htm
Men's blood, violence: (Hab.2:17; Ps.137:8; Isa.47:6; Jer.50:11,17-18,28,33-34; 51:8,24,34-35; Mic.4:11-13; Zec.1:15; 2:8; 12:2-4,12; Rev.6:10; 18:20-24).
And for the violence of the land, and of the city, and of all that dwell therein . . . meaning the violence and injuries done to the land of Israel and city of Jerusalem which were done by the Romans under Titus Vespasian, when he invaded Judea, and made it desolate; besieged and took Jerusalem, and burnt it with fire. He destroyed great numbers of its inhabitants, and carried them captive, and sent multitudes of them to the mines as slaves; as well as for what was done to the Christians in every country and city where they lived.
Read about Titus: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/14412-titus
Habakkuk lists the reason of the woes he had just pronounced. "Woe to thee that spoilest" (Isa.33:1). Boundless as his conquests were, all that remained would be his enemy. Even thought he had subdued many, he would be destroyed by a few. For they who long endured their tyranny, would arise as from sleep, and shall destroy them. They would pay the penalty of their countless slaughters and horrid ungodliness and senseless violence to cities.
"Because of men's blood and of the violence of" . . . the violence to Judah and Jerusalem, the cruelty condemned should not be limited, to these. The violence was dealt out to the whole land or earth, and in it, to cities, and in each, one by one, to all its inhabitants. Babylon is called "the hammer of the whole earth" (Jer.50:23). "A golden cup in the LORD'S hand, that made all the earth drunken" (Jer.51:7). "A destroying mountain, which destroyeth the whole earth" (Jer.51:25). BUT . . . "the whole earth is at rest and is quiet" (Isa.14:7), after Babylon, "which made it to tremble" (Isa.14:16) is overthrown.
Habakkuk 2:9 Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of evil! (KJV)
Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house . . . "woe" = how terrible it shall be; what sorrow awaits; you are doomed; a curse upon you. Who do they think they are? The bishops of Rome, were made rich by the donations of Constantine, but were not satisfied, still wanting more. These are the "greedy dogs" Isaiah speaks of, that could never have enough (Isa.56:11). They were still lusting after more. "Woe" is a general and far reaching threat against all tyrants and oppressors. "To him" . . . every one that is guilty of the sin; to those who covet an "evil covetousness" or make a trade of oppression, to gain by whatever means, right or wrong. This is evil and will end in big trouble. Evil covetousness: (Gen.13:10-13; 19:26-38; Deut.7:25-26; Josh.7:21-26; 1Ki.21:2-4,19-24; 2 Ki.5:20-27; Job 20:19-28; Jer.22:13-19; Zec.5:1-4; Acts 1:17-25; Jude 1:11).
That he may set his nest on high . . . this refers birds, especially the eagle, that builds its nest in high places (Ob.1:3-4), that it may be secure from any that would disturb it, or take it away. So too these covetous and pushy bishops, grasping great wealth, riches and large territories into their hands; secular power and authority, as well as ecclesiastical, set themselves up, not only above all other bishops, but even above the kings and princes of the earth, above all that are called gods (2 Thes.2:4), and by such means strived to gain their point. Their greatness and advanced estate gotten by oppression, robbery and prey may seem but never can be, a security to any monarch. "On high" . . . they set themselves higher than Almighty God Himself. Minds set: (Ps.10:3-6; 49:11; 52:7; 18:11-12; Isa.28:15; 47:7-9; Jer.49:16; Ob.1:4).
That he may be delivered from the power of evil . . . some rich and powerful people (then and now) think that they might be safe and secure against all worldly power, and be out of the jurisdiction of the princes of the Earth, and in no danger of being dispossessed or crushed by them. They think their wealth, power and fame will keep them from God's vengeance and woeful judgment that shall come on ALL evil doers. They are wrong! Even if they were to escape judgment in THIS life, they will NOT escape it in the life to come! God says so in His Book!
Job 21:30 That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath. (KJV)
Psalm 1:6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. (KJV)
Psalm 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. (KJV)
Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: (KJV)
Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: (KJV)
Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (KJV)
"Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house" . . . whoever covets seeks gain, and is evil "to his house," destroying both himself and his whole family with him. Such people do NOT repent (Jer.20:16). They sit high, like an eagle looking for prey (Hab.1:8; Ob.1:4).
Babylon, with its walls, and hanging gardens were among "the seven wonders of the world." It supposedly encompassed at least 100 square miles, the walls 330 feet high, and 85 feet broad; a fortified palace, nearly 7 miles in circumference; gardens, a temple to its god, said to have been at least 600 feet high. For more on Babylon, read: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/2285-babylon
Nebuchadnezzar's boast surely must have been true (Dan.4:30). He had built an eagle's nest, which no human arm could reach, enclosed by walls which laughed at its invaders, because at that time, no skill could scale or shatter.
Evil is spoken of as some sort of living power, which would seize him. This power was indeed a living power, since it was the will of Almighty God, whose servant and instrument Cyrus was, to chasten Babylon, when its sins were full (Mat.23:32-33; 25:41,46; Rom.2:5). The "evil covetousness" which he did, brought upon him the evil, from which, in that "nest" built by the hard toil of his captives, he thought he could deliver himself.
Habakkuk 2:10 Thou hast consulted shame to thy house by cutting off many people, and hast sinned against thy soul. (KJV)
Thou hast consulted shame to thy house by cutting off many people . . . Babylon brought the judgment of God down on them because of their greed and bloodshed. Even the stones would cry out against them. Compare this to the time when the religious rulers tried to silence the crowd who were singing hosannas to Christ Jesus. He said, ". . . I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out" (Luke 19:40). "By cutting off many people" . . . by making war with the saints, and killing great multitudes with the sword, and also by cutting off all such they called heretics with their anathemas and excommunications; neither of which were to their honor, but only to their eternal disgrace. Consulted (asked, brought, invited): (2 Ki.9:26; 10:7; Isa.14:20-22; Jer.22:30; 36:31; Nah.1:14; Mat.27:25).
And hast sinned against thy soul . . . and exposed it to eternal damnation; meaning they sinned against the light of their own consciences (Rom.1:20), which aggravated their sin, and would justly cause shame and confusion of mind. "Hast sinned" . . . it was their sin, no matter what you think! SO many today sin against God, thinking they do not. "Against thy soul" . . . when a person sins against their soul, they are in BIG trouble!
The wicked, be it out of passion or deliberate choice, brings shame to himself and his house, according to the law of God. He "visits the iniquities of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Him" (Ex.20:5). Anyone "greedy of gain troubleth his own house" (Pro.15:27). These people provoke God's anger (Jer.7:19). Whatever these wicked people had in mind: to satisfy ambition, avarice, lust; they were "lovers of pleasure more than the lovers of God" (2 Tim.3:4), and the end of all this is shame and death. He "consulted" to cut off many people and was thereby by one and the same act, guilty of "wronging his OWN soul." Proverbs 8:36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death. (KJV)
Sinned: (Num.16:38; 1 Ki.2:23; Pro.1:18; 8:36; Isa.33:11).
Soul, that which is eternal and can be lost, destroyed, saved: (Mat.10:28; 16:26; Mark 8:36-37; Luke 12:20; 21:19; 1 Thes. 2:8; 5:23; Heb.4:12; 6:19; 10:39; 13:17; Jam.1:21; 1 Pet.1:9; 2:11,25; 4:19)
Habakkuk 2:11 For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it. (KJV)
For the stone shall cry out of the wall . . . of their own house. Could this be some from among themselves (remnant), that truly feared God? Or could it be the very wall itself seeing the evil practices done among them, and abhorring their wickedness: covetousness, drunkenness, ambition, murders, excommunications and curses, should cry out against them? The stone: (Gen.4:10; Josh.24:27; Job 31:38-40; Luke 19:40; Heb.12:24; Jam.5:3-4; Rev.6:10).
And the beam out of the timber shall answer it . . . this could refer to the ancient way that they built walls; two or three rows of stone, then one row of timber (1 Ki.6:36), like the way the Solomon's temple was built. The beautiful and costly buildings of Babylon have been widely celebrated. But . . . HOW were these buildings built? By the spoils of conquered nations, and the expense of the blood of multitudes. So it could well be that the stones and the timber are represented as calling out for vengeance against this ruthless conqueror. Houses, temple built with stone, timbers: (1 Ki.5:17-18; 7:9-12; Isa. 9:10; Am.5:11; Mat.24:2; Luke 19:44; 21:5-6).
Matthew 3:9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. (KJV) . . . God could make stones talk IF He so desired. NOTHING is impossible for God! (Mat.19:26)
Luke 19:40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. (KJV)
Numbers 22:28 And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? (KJV) . . . Anything is possible for God!
"For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it" . . . all things have a voice, in that they are. God's works speak out, for the fact that He made them. "The heavens declare the glory of God" (Ps.19:1; Rom.1:20). "The valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy, they also sing" (Ps.65:13). Creation itself proclaims the glory of the Maker (Rom.1:20). There ARE voices in things, even though there are not words.
Consider that man's works speak out of that which is in him. Also consider that works of mercy go up for a memorial before God, and plead there; BUT then there are terrible works: cruelty, murder, oppression, wickedness and man's ambition, greed and pride . . . these have a voice too, and cry out to God, calling down His vengeance on the oppressor. Here the stones of the wall, and the beam, answer one another in deep heart wrenching cries, before God and the whole world. Against Belshazzar, the wall had words to speak from God (Dan.5:23-28).
Habakkuk 2:12 Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and stablisheth a city by iniquity! (KJV)
#3. The third woe has to do with murder and pillage, slaughter and violence. The third woe refers to the building of towns and cities with the blood and property of innocent people.
Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and establisheth a city by iniquity! . . . this is what the stone and beam would say, if others kept silent. Whoever lays foundations in blood is here threatened, warned. There would be NONE, no matter how great that would escape God's judgment (woe). Babylon's greatness was built on and by the blood of the innocents they oppressed and slaughtered. These things refer to the vast fortunes gained and the majestic buildings erected, by means of the slave-trade. Him: (Gen.4:11-17; Josh.6:26; 1 Ki.16:34; Jer.22:13-17; Eze.24:9; Dan.4:27-31; Mic.3:10; Nah.3:1; Jn.11:47-50; Rev.17:6).
Nebuchadnezzar surrounded the inner city with three walls and the outer city also with three, all of burnt brick. After fortifying the city, he adorned the gates like temples. Then he built another palace near the palace of his fathers, surpassing it in height and its great magnificence. He strengthened the city, and established its outward defenses . . . BUT it was built through cruelty to conquered nations by oppression and bloodshed, especially to God's people. The king went completely against God's holy Will, so there was an INWARD rottenness and decay in what SEEMED to be strong and majestic, and although it stood out in beauty to man's OUTWARD eye; it would not stand! It FELL!
So, Babylon, which had stood since the Flood (Gen.7:17-24), was enlarged by opposing and disobeying the eternal laws of God. Such shall be ALL empires and ALL greatness, that are built by opposing God, by ALL unlawful conquests, and ALL those oppressing the poor. ALL seeming strength shall fall.
Daniel's warning to Nebuchadnezzar "break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor" (Dan.4:27), seems to imply that being oppressive was his chief sin.
Read more about Nebuchadnezzar: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/11407-nebuchadnezzar
But, my friend this could also be referring to the town and city that are the church of Rome (Rev.17:1) . . . Babylon, the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt (Rev.11:8). The builder of THIS city is the pope of Rome, who also built it with blood. The pope of Rome received his title as head of the church from Phocas, that murdered the emperor Mauritius; hence the foundation of the church of Rome is the blood of the saints, shed in persecutions and wars. She is said to be drunk with the blood of them, and to have the blood of prophets and saints found in her (Rev.17:6). The apostle Peter was NEVER a pope as the Catholic church claims! Peter would NEVER allow anyone to bow before him as does the pope! Acts 10:25-26 5 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.
26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man. (KJV)
Both Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon and the Catholic church were established by unjust exactions of tribute from all countries subject to it, and by indulgences, processions and various methods taken to extort money from the people, to support its pageantry, pomp and grandeur . . . BUT there is a "woe" condemning against ALL such that are guilty, and which will take place in due time. "Blood" . . . the cruelty of murdering innocents is the worst possible 'cement' that could be used in building! And the Catholic religion killed millions, although, most "Catholics" will not admit this fact.
Habakkuk 2:13 Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts that the people shall labour in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity? (KJV)
Behold, is it not of the Lord of hosts? . . . "behold" is similar to Jesus' "verily" meaning "pay attention." The prophet wants our attention, that we observe WHO it is that will execute vengeance on bloody cities and kingdoms. Babylon is a mighty city, over and above any other kingdom, and most think that none can bring Babylon down. But, the prophet knows better! Although men CANNOT, the Lord of hosts CAN and shall! Is not this vengeance His? Will He not repay? The mighty God, whose hand when stretched out, NONE can turn back! He does what He pleases, when He pleases and NO one can hinder or stop Him! When the decree is gone forth from Him, it is stupid to try to stop Him! (Jer.51:58). It is: (Gen.11:6-9; 2 Sam.15:31; Job.5:13-14; Ps.39:6; 127:1-2; Pro.21:30; Isa.41:5-8; 50:11; 55:2; Jer.51:58,64; Mal.1:4).
Also, this great spiritual city Babylon will be destroyed by fire, which its best friends cannot prevent; even the ten kings that have given their kingdom to the beast will hate the "whore," and burn her with fire. Those ungodly kings that will see her burning, will find it in vain to try to help her, and will stand afar off, and lament for her (Rev.18:9).
That the people shall labour in the very fire . . . either the Babylonians and their confederates labor to stop the fire that shall consume; OR the adversaries of Babylon shall be able to endure a service for God against Babylon, hot as if they labored in the fire. Either of these taken literally or symbolically would go well with the text.
The people, either Medes and Persians against Babylon, or the Chaldeans for Babylon, shall weary themselves, spend their strength and life, for mere vanity; the one to preserve what shall never profit them, which they laid up in vain, the other to destroy all, even though they lose their booty by destroying it in the fire; yet all this from the Lord of hosts, justly punishing Babylon for all her cruelties. Jeremiah 51:58 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and the people shall labour in vain, and the folk in the fire, and they shall be weary. (KJV)
Habakkuk 2:14 For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. (KJV)
For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord . . . the Earth; the land of Chaldea, of the Medes and Persians, and their confederates, the lands oppressed by the Chaldeans, but Judea more particularly. "Shall be filled" . . . every eye shall see, every ear hear, every tongue speak of the glory of the Lord. One day this shall be so! "With the knowledge" . . . of the just and glorious proceedings of God against Babylon; for when God shall appear to execute His just judgments upon His own and his people's enemies, He will appear glorious indeed. "The Lord" . . . is the Lord God of Israel, their Holy One (Hab.1:12).
Of the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ . . . of the glory of His Person, as the only begotten Son of God, and being truly God and One with Him (John 10:30). Christ Jesus IS God! . . . http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_is_jesus_god.1.htm
As the waters cover the sea . . . (Isa.11:9) this is a proverbial phrase, expressing the deep sense that ALL should have God's justice, mercy, truth, power and zeal against mighty oppressors, such as Babylon. Just as the waters cover the sea; we, when expressing the truth of the Gospel, reveal the glory of Christ and His amazing grace, much like the waters which refresh and make fruitful; and too, the force and power of waters, tearing down all before them, like a flooding river when it breaks down its banks. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is one of the many "deep things of God" (1 Cor.2:10) and we as His people should spread them, and the blessed knowledge conveyed by them.
For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD . . . so that unlearned and ignorant people can become wise. Anyone who knows and declares the glory of the LORD is wise indeed! The knowledge of the glory of the LORD must also include the judgments of God. John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (KJV) . . . The Gospel of Jesus Christ states what to do to be saved . . . and what happens if this Truth is rejected!
For the earth shall be filled . . . this may be first applied to Babylon. God's power and providence shall be widely displayed in the destruction of this city and empire, in the humiliation of Nebuchadnezzar (Dan.4:37), and the captivity and restoration of His people.
It may also be applied to the glorious days of the Messiah. The land of Judea should by His preaching, and that of His disciples, be filled with the knowledge of God . . . God's great design being fully discovered, and the plan of salvation amply explained.
It may also be applied to the universal spread of the Gospel over the Earth when the fullness of the Gentiles would be brought in (Rom.11:25), and the Jews gathered in with that fullness. The Earth cannot perish till every continent, island and inhabitant, is illuminated with the light of the Gospel.
Habakkuk 2:15 Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness! (KJV)
#4. The fourth woe is a little different from the drunkenness mentioned in verse 5. There God says, "He transgresseth by wine." Here it says, "Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink." The tragedy is that liquor leads to gross immorality, the breaking down of morals. When drunk, people commit sins they otherwise probably would not commit.
Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink . . . another public and horrible sin of this Chaldean kingdom was excessive drinking, plus making others drunk, and for this God will severely punish. He that "giveth his neighbour drink" is good, when drink is given to a person to quench his thirst . . . BUT when this is done to intoxicate him, and draw him into sin, it is evil!
We knew a man once that was an alcoholic. He had not had a drink for years. He, and a 'friend' of his were invited to a BBQ. This 'friend' tried and tried to get this man to take a drink. He did not take it. I think this is one way that this verse applies.
That puttest thy bottle to him . . . giving not only a glass or cup at a time, but a whole bottle to drink in order to make him drunk. "Puttest thy bottle to him" . . . pressing people by insistent demands or threats to drink more than they can handle.
And makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness! . . . just as Ham saw his father's nakedness when he was drunk (Gen. 9:21-23). Liquor makes some people vile and loathsome, others become happy, yet others become senseless when they drink; not knowing what they are doing. Then there are sex orgies that come from drunkenness.
Liquor is like poison which rightly expresses the fatal doctrines of the church of Rome, which men insensibly drink in, infused in her "wine of her fornication" (Rev.17:2), or drink in through the alluring and ensnaring methods taken. Just as a garment is cast off, as men when drunk are very likely to do; people reject the doctrine of justification by the righteousness of Christ (1 Cor.1:30), which is the only robe to cover the nakedness of men. In the New Testament, false doctrine it is called "the wine of the wrath of her fornication" (Rev.14:8).
Drunkenness is a very alarming problem in many of large corporations today, and in our government as well. "Social drinking" is highly accepted in today's world! Liquor in homes makes it easy for kids to start drinking at a very early age. Personally, I think drunkenness has much to do with the drug problem today. I know that this is not being said today, and I know that many do not like to hear it, but it is true. Alcoholism is NOT a disease! It is a SIN! God condemns drunkenness and God condemns making drunkards of others.
Woe unto drunkenness: (Gen.9:20-22; 19:32-35; Ex.32:25; 2 Sam.11:13; 13:26-28; Jer.25:15; 51:7; Hos.7:5; Rev.17:2,6).
Habakkuk 2:16 Thou art filled with shame for glory: drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered: the cup of the LORD'S right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory. (KJV)
Thou art filled with shame for glory . . . this is said by the Lord to anyone that gives his neighbor drink to intoxicate him, that he may draw him into immoral sin . . . they will be filled with disgrace, NOT honor. Instead of being filled with the glory of the Lord, and the knowledge of it, as the earth is before said to be (Isa.6:3), anyone who is filled with shameful and abominable practices, instead of seeking the glory of God, and the honor of their neighbors, they are shameful spectacles of their drunkenness, being instruments of uncleanness and idolatry. Remember . . . idolatry is ANYTHING you place above God, including booze and sex. These fill themselves with shame, instead of bringing any glory to God . . . woe be unto such as these, the Lord says.
Drink thou also . . . the Lord says that anyone who does this, will also of another cup drink, the cup "of the wine of the wrath of God" (Rev.14:10). This will be as a rightful retaliation for giving to others "the wine of wrath of fornication" to drink, and with which to intoxicate men. This speaks of which will be given to spiritual Babylon at the time she comes into remembrance before God (Rev.16:19), or when the time to punish her is come, and to all the followers and worshippers of the beast (Rev.14:9-11).
And let thy foreskin be uncovered . . . in retaliation for uncovering the nakedness of others, and looking with lustful pleasure on it, the cup in the LORD 's right hand will come down on them, bringing utter disgrace unto them (Lam.4:21; Mat.7:2).
The cup of the Lord's right hand shall be turned unto thee . . . when His right Hand reaches out, there shall be NO resisting that power, and when He gives orders to drink it, they will do it! The cup of what they considered pleasure, will be totally turned around, and God will carry the cup of indignation and make them drink deep of it, and they shall not escape. This cup in his right Hand is a cup of red wine, of the wrath, fury, and indignation of God, the dregs of which these wicked men must wring out, and drink. It is NOT unusual in Scripture for the wrath, vengeance and judgments of God to be represented by a cup (Ps.75:8; Isa.51:17). The Chaldeans gave to the neighboring nations the cup of idolatry and of deceitful alliance: and in return they received from the Lord the cup of His fury.
And shameful spewing shall be on thy glory . . . meaning like a drunk man that vomits it up . . . all over his clean clothes, getting them filthy. So too, when this cup of wrath and vengeance should be given unto them, and they be made to drink of it, they should be so full of it, that all their glory would be covered with shame; or all their glorious things should be spoiled, for they will be deprived of all their riches and honors, their titles and grandeur; the magnificence of their temples, altars, idols, and vestments. They shall be just as loathed as a shameful drunkard is in his vomit. Thou art filled with shame for glory (Hos.4:8; Phil.3:19).
Drunkenness leads to gross immorality. It leads to divorce and the breaking up of homes. It leads to a life of sin. I have all lost respect for men in government. These people talk about honesty and truth, while it is a well-known fact that many of them are actually alcoholics or on drugs. How can we have respect for government when none of them keep their promises? It makes me sick to see what is happening in this great land of ours. Habakkuk spoke truth those years ago. He said: "The reason God will bring Babylon down is because of these sins." But I ask you to consider this country, and your own life. We need to be careful how we live!
Shame for glory: (Pro.3:35; Isa.20:4; 28:7-8; 47:3; Hos.4:7; 7:5; Phil.3:19;
Drink: (Ps.75:8; Isa.49:26; 51:21-23; Jer.25:26-29; 51:57; Nah.3:5; Rev.18:6).
For our poem: "More Shame Than Glory" . . . http://www.hisservantsministry.org/Poems_M.html
Habakkuk 2:17 For the violence of Lebanon shall cover thee, and the spoil of beasts, which made them afraid, because of men's blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein. (KJV)
For the violence of Lebanon shall cover thee . . . Lebanon was a mountain on the border of Israel, from where cedar was brought in for the building of the temple (Zec.11:1). "The violence of Lebanon shall cover thee" . . . this is added to all the rest, that God's people might know this was the time of recompenses for Zion, that the violence by Babylon done to Judea and its inhabitants would be avenged and no longer put off, but now would overwhelm Babylon. The great destruction that she made in the fruitful and beautiful mountain Lebanon (Deut.3:25), means the land of Canaan; or else by Lebanon may be meant the temple, and house of the sanctuary, because it was built of the cedars of Lebanon (1 Kings 6:9,15,18,36; 7:2,12).
The violence can be considered also of the early church, for which it suffered; the death, injuries, oppressions and persecutions by the popes; who shall be surrounded with the judgments of God, and covered with His wrath and vengeance for the violence done to His people, as a man is covered with a garment.
And the spoil of beasts, which made them afraid . . . in the 13th chapter of Revelation, we read of two beasts, one rising out of the sea (Rev.13:1), and the other out of the earth (Rev.13:11). BOTH are the plan of Satan and the "whore" (Rev.17:1-5), but in different capacities. Having become as beasts, they acted as such. The Chaldeans laid waste Judea, scared and wasted its inhabitants; the end of its plunder should be, not to adorn, but to cover them, as in ruins, so that they should not lift up their heads again. Violence always seem to return to the head of the one who did it; they seem to raise a lofty structure, but are buried beneath it.
Because of men's blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein . . . much the same that is said in (Hab.2:8), and here repeated, as respecting another body of men, guilty of the same or similar crimes. Pagan Rome was concerned with the crucifixion of Christ, the desolation of the land of Judea, and city of Jerusalem, and their inhabitants, as well as in persecuting the saints. The blood of the saints and martyrs of Jesus was shed in great abundance, in violent persecutions of the Christian churches (Rev.6:9; 11:8). Because of these things, God's vengeance and judgments shall come upon them.
The violence: (Hab.2:8; Ps.55:23; 137:8; Pro.28:17; Jer.50:28,33-34; 51:24,34-37; ; Zec.11:1; Rev.18:20-24).
Violence is another of the horrid sins that comes from drunkenness. All kinds of immoralities spring up from drunkenness: illegal drugs, gross sexual immorality, divorce, robbery, murder . . . on and on and on! ALL these sins are widespread in our land today, all coming from drunkenness.
Habakkuk 2:18 What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? (KJV)
#5. The fifth woe is God's condemnation of the greatest sin of all . . . idolatry!
What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it . . . Habakkuk removes the confidences of Babylon or anyone else who would boast of their stupid idols and foolishly depend on them. The graven image is carved in wood or stone. NO "graven image" can be profitable in ANY way, nor can these idols help these persons. The graven images the church of Rome instructs and commands the worship of the images of the Virgin Mary, of angels and saints departed . . . which are still continued this day since the Reformation. What possible advantage and profit are they? They are profitable ONLY to the maker who sells them!
What profiteth? . . .
Samuel warned the people! 1 Sam.12:20-21 And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart; 21 And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain. (KJV)
Also Jeremiah! Jer.2:11 Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. (KJV) Jer.10:5-6 They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good. 6 Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might. (KJV)
Isaiah too! Isaiah 44:9-10 They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed. 10 Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing? (KJV)
The molten image, and a teacher of lies . . . neither is a molten image is in any way profitable! A "molten image" is made of liquid gold or silver, melted and poured into a desired mold. Again, it can only profit its maker! Both the graven and molten images are "a teacher of lies" (Zec.10:2). They teach NO truth; they teach NOT what God is in His nature and perfections; they teach NOT what Christ is in His Person and offices; they teach NOT what angels are, who are spiritual (no physical body); they teach NOT of the saints, neither describing the shape and features of their body, NOT expressing their characters, minds or manners! They teach instead that men believe lies; they teach worship of false deities, as they are.
That the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? . . . anyone making dumb idols is stupid indeed ! Anyone that makes an image, or casts an idol . . . which are lifeless stupid things, that can neither move nor speak, and are his workmanship, and he puts his trust and confidence in them, that can do NO service, CANNOT help in distress, CANNOT save him out of his troubles . . . WHAT PROFIT is there?
Deut. 5:7-10 Thou shalt have none other gods before me. 8 Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth: 9 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, 10 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments. (KJV) . . . WHY won't people BELIEVE God?
Idolatry: (Hab.2:8; Ps.115:4-8; 135:15-18; Isa.1:31; 37:38; 42:17; 44:9-10,14-20; 45:16; 46:1-2,6-8; Jer.2:27-28; 10:3-5,8,14-15; 50:2; Zec.10:2; Rom.1:23-25; 6:21-22; 1 Cor.12:2; Rev.13:11-13; 19:20).
Habakkuk 2:19 Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it. (KJV)
Woe to him that saith to the wood, Awake . . . the prophet had stated the uselessness and unprofitableness of the idols of Babylon, now he threatens the idolaters with a "woe." These people had sinned greatly by placing their confidence in idols, and the prophet says they shall be sorry for it. NO wooded idol can possible deliver from danger; save from enemies; or pray and intercede for anyone that they be delivered and saved. NO one can speak to a piece of wood as they would God Himself (Ps.44:23). "The wood" . . . no matter what shape it is, or whatever reverence that blind, stupid idolaters give to it, it is still just a chunk of wood, a worthless block that is a very sleepy FALSE "god," a god who shall NOT awaken! This has to be extremely displeasing and detestable to Almighty God, and therefore a "woe" is threatened to ANY such idol worshippers . . . then and now!
To the dumb stone, Arise . . . the dumb stone is yet another sort of useless idols, useless as the stones, and completely unable to rise or help . . . just as worthless as an idol "god" be it graven and carved. It is a stone, NOT god. Be it an idol of wood or stone or gold or silver or brass . . . it still remains just that . . . a stupid idol that CANNOT awaken or rise up or speak!
For more on worship of idols, see:
It shall teach . . . such stupid people! Anyone that has hope that lifeless idols could counsel and direct them are stupid! "Idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk" (Rev.9:20) . . . HOW can they possible TEACH?
It is laid over with gold and silver . . . it is made of wood or stone, and covered with gold and silver (Jer.10:4); how could it teach?
And there is no breath at all in the midst of it . . . no breath, no spirit, NO life whatsoever! It does not have the spirit of a man in it, nor even the spirit of a brute beast. It has NO breath, NO life, NO activity whatsoever . . . yet they reverence it. Ridiculous! ANY idol is as dead as a door nail! Comparing these "nothings" to Almighty God, Who is very much alive, Who cares for us, Who hears us when we pray, Who answers the prayers of His children, there is NO comparison!
NO breath in them: (1 Ki.18:26-27; Ps.115:5; Jer.10:4-5,14; 51:17; 1 Cor.12:2).
Woe because of idolatry: (Hab.1:5; 1 Ki.18:26-29; Ps.97:7; 135:17; Isa.40:19; 44:17; 46:6; 51:47; Dan.3:1,7,18,29; 5:23; Jer.10:4,9; Acts 17:29; Rev.17:4).
Drunkenness is BAD, but it is NOT the greatest sin to God. The greatest sin to Him is idolatry, false religion, turning to an idol instead of turning to God. IDOLATRY is the worst sin of all, and the world is full of it, then and now!
There are three steps in the downfall of a nation: #1. First of all, there is religious apostasy. #2. The second step is gross immorality. #3. And the third step is political disorder and rebellion. These are the three steps by which nations pass away.
It all starts with apostasy, turning away from the living and true God.
See our articles:
This has happened to America today. The laws and regulations now in place for immorality are awful! From our president on down!
Web sites where President Obama has instructed officials across government to “ensure that US diplomacy and foreign assistance promote and protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, and transgender persons” around the world.
What Habakkuk has again restated in the Word of God, was fulfilled in the nation of Babylon. Apostasy and idolatry was the downfall of Babylon and other nations. Don't think that idolatry has gone out of style, that no one today in this country is bowing down to an idol, because THAT is NOT true. Many today worship the almighty dollar. Many worship sex. Many worship pleasure. Many women (and men) have cast off their virtue in order to become a famous star or to be promoted. My friend. ANYTHING that you give yourself to, or that takes all your time or energy, THAT is your idol, THAT is what you worship, THAT is your god, and THAT is what God condemns. God says that He is a jealous God (Ex.20:5; Deut.4:24; 5:7-9; 6:15). God made us, redeemed us, and He does NOT want us to worship anything except Him! Wen a person turns his back on God, he is doing the worst thing anyone can possibly do.
Habakkuk 2:20 But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him. (KJV)
But the Lord is in his holy temple . . . NOT in graven and molten images; NOT in idols of wood and stone, covered with gold and silver . . . BUT in Heaven, the place of His holiness, where He resides, where He is seen and worshipped by the holy angels and glorified saints (Luke 12:8; 15:10; Rev.4:4; 6:9-11; 14:17; 18:1; 20:1). It is from Heaven that God watches and considers all people and their actions. He observes the absolute stupidity of idol worshippers; and He hears and answers the prayers of His own people. It is from there that He grants His gracious, loving and merciful Presence to all those who "worship Him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). And it is from there that He will come and appear as King of saints, in a most glorious manner, when these "woes" have taken place. His holy temple: (Ps.11:4; Mic.1:2). God IS in His holy temple, place of His holiness. He NOT like stupid idols, He is in His temple and in Heaven, and everywhere else! http://www.hisservants.org/describing_god_h_s.htm
Let all the earth keep silence before him. . . stand in awe of Him, reverence Him; be subject to Him, and most humbly adore Him . . . as shall ALL people of the Earth one day (Isa.45:23; Rom.14:11-12). This is NOT the case now, far from it! Nor was there ever such a time on Earth, proving that this prophecy is yet to come. People do NOT reverence God! People do NOT fear God' wrath.
Habakkuk does well in stating the nothingness of all that is NOT God! The vain power of man and/or his gods CANNOT stand before the awesome Presence of the glorious magnificence of Almighty God, the Creator of ALL things! (Gen.1:1,31; Jn.1:3,10; 1 Cor.8:6; Eph.3:9; Col.1:16-17; Heb.1:2,10; 3:4; 4:11; Rev.3:14; 4:11).
The Lord is in His holy temple . . . waiting in great patience to bring righteous judgment ALL sinners! There is no difference in His Divine grace and mercy, be it in His temple on earth, or His temple in Heaven. He is NEVER more present in Heaven than He is on Earth. We must NOT think of God, as confined, or localized just in Heaven, for He is EVERYWHERE!
Solomon knew that "the heaven and heaven of heavens could not contain God" (1 Ki.8:27). The "holy temple" on Earth could be damaged, defiled or destroyed (Ps.79:1), where God's people went to pray (Ps.5:7; 138:2; Jon.2:4), and where the temple was visible (1 Ki.8:29-30,38, 42,44,48).
The LORD: (Hab.2:4,7; Ps.11:4; 46:10; 76:8-9; 115:3; 132:13-14; Isa.6:1; 66:1,6; Zep.1:7; Zec.2:13; Eph.2:21-22).
"The Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him." But the second psalm opens with a question mark . . . Why? Just like Habakkuk's questions, the psalmist asks: Psalms 2:1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? (KJV) . . . Why all the uproar? Why all the protest? Because they are far, far from God. The nations have forgotten God! Our problem today is a problem of man's relationship to God. There is only one way out: "The just shall live by his faith" (Hab.2:4).
Book of Habakkuk
Ch.1 . Ch.2 . Ch.3