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 1

The oracle that the prophet Habakkuk saw.

 

The Prophet’s Complaint

2

O Lord, how long shall I cry for help,

and you will not listen?

Or cry to you “Violence!”

and you will not save?

3

Why do you make me see wrongdoing

and look at trouble?

Destruction and violence are before me;

strife and contention arise.

4

So the law becomes slack

and justice never prevails.

The wicked surround the righteous—

therefore judgment comes forth perverted.

 


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Hab 1:1-17. Habakkuk's Expostulation with Jehovah on Account of the Prevalence of Injustice: Jehovah Summons Attention to His Purpose of Sending the Chaldeans as the Avengers. The Prophet Complains, that These Are Worse than Those on Whom Vengeance Was to Be Taken.

1. burden—the prophetic sentence.

2, 3. violence … Why dost thou show me iniquity?—Similar language is used of the Chaldeans (Hab 1:9, 13), as here is used of the Jews: implying, that as the Jews sinned by violence and injustice, so they should be punished by violence and injustice (Pr 1:31). Jehoiakim's reign was marked by injustice, treachery, and bloodshed (Jer 22:3, 13-17). Therefore the Chaldeans should be sent to deal with him and his nobles according to their dealings with others (Hab 1:6, 10, 11, 17). Compare Jeremiah's expostulation with Jehovah, Jer 12:1; 20:8; and Job 19:7, 8.

3. cause me to behold grievanceMaurer denies that the Hebrew verb is ever active; he translates, "(Wherefore) dost Thou behold (without doing aught to check) grievance?" The context favors English Version.

there are that raise up strife and contention—so Calvin. But Maurer, not so well, translates, "There is strife, and contention raises itself."

4. Therefore—because Thou dost suffer such crimes to go unpunished.

law is slacked—is chilled. It has no authority and secures no respect.

judgment—justice.

wrong judgment proceedeth—Decisions are given contrary to right.




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