World Wide Study Bible

Study

a Bible passage

Click a verse to see commentary

God’s Reply to the Prophet’s Complaint

 2

I will stand at my watchpost,

and station myself on the rampart;

I will keep watch to see what he will say to me,

and what he will answer concerning my complaint.

2

Then the Lord answered me and said:

Write the vision;

make it plain on tablets,

so that a runner may read it.

3

For there is still a vision for the appointed time;

it speaks of the end, and does not lie.

If it seems to tarry, wait for it;

it will surely come, it will not delay.

4

Look at the proud!

Their spirit is not right in them,

but the righteous live by their faith.


Select a resource above

Hab 2:1-20. The Prophet, Waiting Earnestly for an Answer to His Complaints (First Chapter), Receives a Revelation, Which Is to Be Fulfilled, Not Immediately, Yet in Due Time, and Is Therefore to Be Waited for in Faith: The Chaldeans Shall Be Punished for Their Cruel Rapacity, nor Can Their False GodS Avert the Judgment of Jehovah, the Only True God.

1. stand upon … watch—that is, watch-post. The prophets often compare themselves, awaiting the revelations of Jehovah with earnest patience, to watchmen on an eminence watching with intent eye all that comes within their view (Isa 21:8, 11; Jer 6:17; Eze 3:17; 33:2, 3; compare Ps 5:3; 85:8). The "watch-post" is the withdrawal of the whole soul from earthly, and fixing it on heavenly, things. The accumulation of synonyms, "stand upon … watch … set me upon … tower … watch to see" implies persevering fixity of attention.

what he will say unto me—in answer to my complaints (Hab 1:13). Literally, "in me," God speaking, not to the prophet's outward ear, but inwardly. When we have prayed to God, we must observe what answers God gives by His word, His Spirit, and His providences.

what I shall answer when I am reproved—what answer I am to make to the reproof which I anticipate from God on account of the liberty of my expostulation with Him. Maurer translates, "What I am to answer in respect to my complaint against Jehovah" (Hab 1:12-17).

2. Write the vision—which I am about to reveal to thee.

make it plain—(De 27:8). In large legible characters.

upon tables—boxwood tables covered with wax, on which national affairs were engraved with an iron pen, and then hung up in public, at the prophets' own houses, or at the temple, that those who passed might read them. Compare Lu 1:63, "writing table," that is, tablet.

that he may run that readeth it—commonly explained, "so intelligible as to be easily read by any one running past"; but then it would be, "that he that runneth may read it." The true sense is, "so legible that whoever readeth it, may run to tell all whom he can the good news of the foe's coming doom, and Judah's deliverance." Compare Da 12:4, "many shall run to and fro," namely, with the explanation of the prophecy, then unsealed; also, Re 22:17, "let him that heareth (the good news) say (to every one within his reach), Come." "Run" is equivalent to announce the divine revelation (Jer 23:21); as everyone who becomes informed of a divine message is bound to run, that is, use all despatch to make it known to others [Henderson]. Grotius, Ludovicus De Dieu, and Maurer interpret it: "Run" is not literal running, but "that he who reads it may run through it," that is, read it at once without difficulty.

3. for—assigning the cause why it ought to be committed to writing: because its fulfilment belongs to the future.

the vision is yet for an appointed time—(Da 10:14; 11:27, 35). Though the time appointed by God for the fulfilment be yet future, it should be enough for your faith that God hath spoken it (La 3:26).

at the end it shall speakMaurer translates, "it pants for the end." But the antithesis between, "it shall speak," and "not be silent," makes English Version the better rendering. So the Hebrew is translated in Pr 12:17. Literally, "breathe out words," "break forth as a blast."

though it tarry, wait for it—(Ge 49:18).

4. his soul which is lifted up—the Chaldean's [Maurer]. The unbelieving Jew's [Henderson].

is not upright in him—that is, is not accounted upright in God's sight; in antithesis to "shall live." So Heb 10:38, which with inspired authority applies the general sense to the particular case which Paul had in view, "If any man draw back (one result of being 'lifted up' with overweening arrogancy), my soul shall have no pleasure in him."

the just shall live by his faith—the Jewish nation, as opposed to the unbelieving Chaldean (compare Hab 2:5, &c.; Hab 1:6, &c.; Hab 1:13) [Maurer]. Henderson's view is that the believing Jew is meant, as opposed to the unbelieving Jew (compare Ro 1:17; Ga 3:11). The believing Jew, though God's promise tarry, will wait for it; the unbelieving "draws back," as Heb 10:38 expresses it. The sense, in Maurer's view, which accords better with the context (Hab 2:5, &c.). is: the Chaldean, though for a time seeming to prosper, yet being lifted up with haughty unbelief (Hab 1:11, 16), is not upright; that is, has no right stability of soul resting on God, to ensure permanence of prosperity; hence, though for a time executing God's judgments, he at last becomes "lifted up" so as to attribute to his own power what is the work of God, and in this sense "draws back" (Heb 10:38), becoming thereby a type of all backsliders who thereby incur God's displeasure; as the believing Jew is of all who wait for God's promises with patient faith, and so "live" (stand accepted) before God. The Hebrew accents induce Bengel to translate, "he who is just by his faith shall live." Other manuscripts read the accents as English Version, which agrees better with Hebrew syntax.




Advertisements