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Before CHRIST about 713.
fame of the
ruin of Nineveh. CHA P. III.
6 And I will cast abominable filth Before The miserable ruin of Nineveh. upon thee, and make thee vile, and about 713. TOE to the + a bloody city! it will set thee as a gazingstock.
Y is all full of lies and robbery; 7 And it shall come to pass, that Hab. 2. 12. " the prey departeth not;
all they that look upon thee shall flee 2 The noise of a whip, and the from thee, and say, Nineveh is laid noise of the rattling of the wheels, waste: who will bemoan her? whence and of the pransing horses, and of the shall I seek comforters for thee? jumping chariots.
8 Art thou better than || #populous Or, 3 The horseman lifteth up both No, that was situate among the rivers, + Heb. Nə + Heb. the + the bright sword and the glittering that had the waters round about it, sword, and spear : and there is a multitude of whose rampart was the sea, and her
m. slain, and a great number of car- wall was from the sea ?
cases; and there is none end of their 9 Ethiopia and Egypt were her
+ Heb. in thy
her great men were bound in chains. 5 Behold, I am against thee, saith 11 Thou also shalt be drunken : c Jer. 25. 17. b Isai. 47. 3. the LORD of hosts; and I will dis- thou shalt be hid, thou also shalt seek
cover thy skirts upon thy face, and I strength because of the enemy.
the lightning of the spear.
heard.] Thou shalt no more send ambassadours to dis- charm in them to draw others aside : compare Isai. tant countries, either to encourage thine allies, or to xlvii. 9; Rev. xviii. 23. W. Lowth. terrify thine enemies. See Isai. xviii. 2. W. Lowth. - that selleth nations through her whoredoms, &c.]
That makes whole nations a prey to their enemies, by Chap. III. In this chapter the Prophet denounces teaching them the arts of softness and effeminacy, and war against Nineveh for her perfidy and violence; and so rendering them weak and defenceless. “ Families" strongly places before our eyes the number of her cha- are equivalent to kingdoms : see the note on Jer. i. 15; riots and cavalry, her burnished arms, and the great and and compare Amos iii. 2; Zech. xiv. 18. W. Lowth. unrelenting slaughter which she spread around her, ver. ; 5. — I will discover thy skirts &c.] See the note on 1--3. He assigns her idolatries as one cause of her! Jer. xiii. 22. ignominious and unpitied fall, ver. 4—7. He describes 8. - populous No,] Or No Amon, as in the margin ; No Amon, her rival in populousness, confederacies, and a city of Egypt. See Ezek. xxx. 14, 15; Jer. xlvi. 25. situation, as sharing a like fate with herself, ver. 8-11; Bochart thinks it Diospolis near Mendes, which appears and beautifully illustrates the ease with which her strong from Strabo to have been situated near lakes. Herodoholds should be taken, ver. 12; and the feebleness of tus says, that the Egyptians called Jupiter by the name her people during the siege, ver. 13. He pronounces of Amon. Channels of water from the Nile may have that all her preparations, her numbers, her opulence, her passed through this city. Lakes are called “seas" by multitude of chief men, would be of no avail, ver. 14— the Hebrews. Abp. Newcome. See the note on Jer. 17. He foretells that her tributaries would desert her, xlvi. 25. ver. 18. He concludes with a triumphant exclamation - her wall Her waters were as strong a defence the topicks of which are the greatness and incurableness to No, as the proud walls of Nineveh were to her. Dr. of her wound, and the just triumph of others over her, Stokes. on account of her extensive oppressions, ver. 19. Abp. 9. — Put The African Nomades are here meant. Newcome.
'Abp. Newcome. See the map of the dispersion and Ver. 1. — the prey departeth not;] They are still car- settling of nations. rying on their conquests, and never cease to get new 10. Yet was she carried away,] The Prophet may spoils from such as they newly conquer. Dr. Wells. i refer to a past taking of No by Sennacherib. Dean
3. — their corpses ;] The dead bodies slain by them. Prideaux. These three verses are a description of Nineveh, as it was 11. Thou also shalt le drunken : thou shalt be hid, in the time of the Prophet. Abp. Newcome. Or else Even so thou also, O Nineveh, shalt drink deep of the they are prophetical of the enemy coming against it : cup of God's vengeance; thou, that wast once renowned and then the sense will be, Vengeance is near thee : I over the world, shalt be glad to be wrapped up in obdo already hear the noise of the Babylonian whips, in scurity and forgetfulness. Bp. Hall. the hands of the charioteers, driving furiously against 12. All thy strong holds shall be like fig trees &c.] As thee, &c. Bp. Hall. See chap. ii. 3, 4 ; and compare ripe figs drop off when they are shaken, so shall thy Jer. xlvii. 3. W. Lowth.
strong holds fall into the hands of the enemy, upon the 4. — the mistress of witchcrafts,] The arts of luxury first assault. W. Lowth. The image, though a coinare called “witchcrafts,” because they have a sort of mon one, is very lively and expressive. Abp. Nerocome.
hey be shaken, they eater.
ruin of Nineveh. c Beforest they be shaken, they shall even fall the cankerworm || spoileth, and fleeth c Befores T
CHRIST about 713. into the mouth of the eater. | away.
about 713. 13 Behold, thy people in the midst 17 Thy crowned are as the locusts, , of thee are women: the gates of thy and thy captains as the great gras. spreadeth
himself. land shall be set wide open unto hoppers, which camp in the hedges in thine enemies: the fire shall devour the cold day, but when the sun ariseth thy bars.
they flee away, and their place is not 14 Draw thee waters for the siege, known where they are. fortify thy strong holds: go into clay, 18 Thy shepherds slumber, O king and tread the morter, make strong of Assyria: thy || nobles shall dwell ! Or, valiant the brickkiln.
in the dust : thy people is scattered 15 There shall the fire devour thee; upon the mountains, and no man gathe sword shall cut thee off, it shall | thereth them. eat thee up like the cankerworm: 19 There is no + healing of thy + Hebr.
wrinkling. make thyself many as the canker- bruise; thy wound is grievous : all worm, make thyself many as the that hear the bruit of thee shall clap locusts.
| the hands over thee: for upon whom 16 Thou hast multiplied thy mer- bath not thy wickedness passed con
chants above the stars of heaven : tinually. i 13. — the fire shall devour thy bars.] See chap. i. 6; foretells the total and entire destruction of this city. ii. 6. According to these prophecies the city was to be The Prophet Zephaniah likewise in the days of Josiah destroyed by fire and water : and we see in Diodorus king of Judah, foretells the same sad event, chap. ii. 13 that by fire and water it was destroyed. See the note -15. But what probability was there, that the capital on chap. ii. 6. Bp. Newton.
city of a great kingdom, a city which was sixty miles in 14. Draw the waters for the siege, &c.) Go to then, circumference, a city which contained so many thousand furnish thyself with provision for a siege; fill thy cis- inhabitants, a city which had walls, according to Diodoterns with water; fortify thy strong holds; make ready rus Siculus, a hundred feet high, and so thick that store of bricks, to repair thy battered walls. Bp. Hali. three chariots could go abreast upon them, and fifteen Though the wall of the city bordered on the river, I hundred towers at proper distances in the walls of two it might not be safe to water there within reach of hundred feet in height : what probability was there the enemy's missile weapons and engines. Abp. New- that such a city should ever be totally destroyed ? And come.
yet so totally was it destroyed, that the place where it 15. — it shall eat thee up like the cankerworm :) Either, was situated is hardly known. the enemy shall eat thee up as easily as the cankerworm The city was taken and destroyed by the Medes and eats the green herb; or, thou shalt as soon be devoured | Babylonians: and what probably helped to complete its as cankerworms are destroyed by storms, rain, fire, or | ruin and devastation was the enlarging and beautifying change of weather. Poole.
of Babylon soon after by Nebuchadnezzar. From that 16. Thou hast multiplied thy merchants) Neither art time no mention is made of Nineveh by any of the thou any better for those multitudes of merchants, that sacred writers : and the most ancient of the heathen pertain unto thee: for they, like to those cankerworms, authors, who have occasion to say any thing about it, when they have spoiled what they may in their deceitful speak of it as a city that was once great and flourishing, trade, fly away from thee, and leave thee destitute. So but now destroyed and desolate. Great as it was foralso ver. 17. Bp. Hall.
merly, so little of it was remaining, that authors are not 17. Thy crowned are as the locusts,] Thy rulers. Bp. agreed even about its situation : probably we may conHall. The word appears to signify the officers in the clude, from the general suffrage of ancient historians Ninevites' army. These the Prophet compares to lo- | and geographers, that it was situated upon the river custs and grashoppers. W. Lowth. On cold days the Tigris : but yet no less authors than Ctesias and Diolocusts lie inactive in the inclosures of fertile spots : but dorus Siculus represent it as situated on the river on the shining of the sun, which dries their wings and Euphrates. Lucian, who flourished in the second cenenables them to fly, they disappear. The word “gras-tury after Christ, affirms, that Nineveh was utterly hoppers,” though not accurate, we are obliged to use for perished, and there was no footstep of it remaining, nor variety. The Hebrews have many names for the dif- could you tell where it was once situated : and the ferent species of locusts. Abp. Newcome.
greater regard is to be paid to Lucian's testimony, as he 18. Thy shepherds slumber, king of Assyria :7 Dio- was a native of Samosata, a city upon the river Eudorus Siculus, speaking of the siege in which Nineveh phrates ; and coming from a neighbouring country, he fell, says, that when the enemy had shut up the king must in all likelihood have known whether there were in the city, many nations revolted, each going over to any remains of Nineveh or not. There is at this time a the besieger, for the sake of their liberty : that the king city called Mosul, situate upon the western side of the despatched messengers to all his subjects, requiring Tigris, and on the opposite eastern shore are ruins of a forces from them to assist him: and that he thought great extent, which are said to be the ruins of Nineveh. himself able to endure the siege, and remained in ex- But it is more than probable, that these ruins are the pectation of the armies which were to be raised through- | remains of the Persian Nineveh, built between the third out the empire; relying on an oracle, that the city could and the seventh century after Christ, and not of the not be taken till the river should become its enemy. Assyrian. Even the ruins of old Nineveh have been, as Abp. Newcome.
| I may say, long ago ruined and destroyed ; such “an 19. There is no healing of thy bruise ;) In this pas- utter end” hath been made of it, and such is the truth sage, as well as in chap. i. 8, and ii. 11, 13, the Prophet of the Divine predictions ! Bp. Newton.
H A B A K K U K.
SOME writers, whose relations are probably founded on traditionary accounts, describe Habakkuk as a native of
Bethzakar ; and affirm, that he was of the tribe of Simeon. Some suppose him to have flourished in the reign of Manasseh; others in that of Josiah; and some have placed him so late as Zedekiah : but the most approved opinion is, that he prophesied under Jehoiakim, who ascended the throne in the year of the world 3395, and reigned over Judah eleven years.
As the Prophet makes no mention of the Assyrians, and speaks of the Chaldean invasions as near at hand, chap.
i. 5; ii. 3; iii. 2, 16–19, he probably lived after the destruction of the Assyrian empire in the fall of Nineveh, in the year of the world 3392, and not long before the devastation of Judea by the victories of Nebuchadnezzar. Habakkuk was then nearly contemporary with, and predicted the same events as Jeremiah ; and he probably lived to witness the completion of that part of his prophecy which related to the afflictions of his country. Dr.
of his prophecy, its diction, imagery, spirit, and sublimity, cannot be too much admired. Abp. Newcome.
It should seem from the title prefixed, and from the intimation subjoined to the last verse of the Prayer in the third
chapter, as well as from the word Selah, which occurs three times in the chapter, that the Prayer was set to musick ; and perhaps performed in the service of the temple; and it was possibly delivered in a kind of measure. The style of the whole book is poetical ; but more especially this beautiful and perfect ode, which is decorated with every kind of imagery and poetical embellishment. Habakkuk is imitated by succeeding Prophets, and is cited as an inspired person by the Evangelical writers, Heb. x. 37, 38; Rom. i. 17; Gal. iii. 11; Acts xiii. 41; compared with Hab. i. 5. Dr. Gray.
Before CHRIST about 626.
Before CHRIST about 626.
before me: and there are that raisec CHAP. I.
up strife and contention.
I 4 Therefore the law is slacked, and
of the land, 5 is shewed the fearful venge- the a wicked doth compass about the a Job 21, 7.
5 Behold ye among the hea- b Acts 13. 41. THE burden which Habakkuk then, and regard, and wonder mar1 the prophet did see.
vellously: for I will work a work in 2 O Lord, how long shall I cry, your days, which ye will not believe, and thou wilt not hear ! even cry out though it be told you. unto thee of violence, and thou wilt 6 For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, , Fulfilles not save !
that bitter and hasty nation, which 6. 3 Why dost thou shew me iniqui- shall march through the + breadth of treba ty, and cause me to behold griev- the land, to possess the dwellingance? for spoiling and violence are places that are not their's.
Chap. I. ver. 2. O Lord, how long shall I cry, and that, which I will bring to pass by their hands against thou wilt not hear!] The Prophet proposes the common you, even a work, which to your incredulity and selfobjections against Providence, taken from the prospe- confidence will appear incredible. Bp. Hall. rity of the wicked, and the oppression of the righteous, 6. — I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty which has been a stumblingblock even to good men. I nation, l Who shall make several incursions into Judea, Sze Jer. xii. 1; Job xii. 6; xxi. 7; Ps. xxxvii. and and at last utterly conquer it. See 2 Kings xxiv, XXV. Ixxiii. W. Lowth.
They are here said to be cruel in their temper, and 5. Behold ye among the heathen, &c.) But, to take vigorous in their warlike enterprises ; compare ver. 8. away the ground of all this complaint, behold, 0 ye, W. Lowth. degenerated people of the Jews, and look upon those The Prophet, having set forth the deplorable state of heathens whom ye hate and contemn; and wonder at his nation by reason of their incorrigible sins, here pro
these, and the captivity of
The fearful vengeance
by the Chaldeans. Before 7 They are terrible and dreadful:1 + mighty God, thou hast + established Before about 626. |their judgment and their dignity them for correction.
shall proceed of themselves. | 13 Thou art of purer eyes than to them shall 8 Their horses also are swifter than behold evil, and canst not look on + hleb. judgment of the leopards, and are more + fierce | || iniquity: wherefore lookest thou 1 or,
he than the evening wolves: and their upon them that deal treacherously, grievance. these: .. horsemen shall spread themselves, and and holdest thy tongue when the c Zeph. 3. 3." their horsemen shall come from far; wicked devoureth the man that is
they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth more righteous than he ?
14 And makest men as the fishes 9 They shall come all for violence: of the sea, as the || creeping things, | Or, moring. ! Or, the of II † their faces shall sup up as the east that have no ruler over them? their faces,"wind, and they shall gather the cap- 15 They take up all of them with
the angle, they catch them in their net, 10 And they shall scoff at the and gather them in their || drag: there. || Or, fiue net. + Heb, the kings, and the princes shall be a scorn fore they rejoice and are glad.
unto them : they shall deride every 16 Therefore they sacrifice unto
drag; because by them their portion
12 | Art thou not from everlasting, the nations ?
&c. or, their faces shall look toward the east.
opposilion of their faces toward the cast.
ceeds to denounce the sword of God's judgments, which after all the victories which Thou givest them, they was unsheathing against them, and points out the quar- have no notion of Thy providence, but impute their ter whence it appeared. Reading.
success to the power and wisdom of their own false 7.- their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of gods ? Reading. themselves.] They will be their own judges of what is 13. Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil,] The right or wrong. W. Lowth.
holy and pure nature of God is at the greatest distance 8. — swifter than the leopards,] When the leopard from evil, and at the greatest contrariety to it. He is so leaps, he throws himself seventeen or eighteen feet at a | far from having any inclination to evil, that it is the time. Harmer.
only thing in the world, to which He hath an irrecon- the evening wolves :) See the note on Jer. v. 6. cilable antipathy. This the Scripture frequently declares
- their horsemen shall spread themselves, 7 These to us, and that in a very emphatical manner. Ps. v. 4: words are illustrated by the description given by Baron - Thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: du Tott of an army of modern Tartars, « dividing into neither shall evil dwell with Thee." The words are a several columns, subdividing successively, and thus diminution, and less is said than is intended by them: overspreading New Servia, burning the villages, corn, the meaning is, that God is so far from taking pleasure and fodder, and carrying off the inhabitants and cattle,” in sin, that He hath a perfect hatred and abhorrence of &c. Harmer.
it. And here in the Prophet Habakkuk, “ Thou art 9. They shall come all for violence : &c.] They shall of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on come purposely to waste and spoil : their very looks iniquity.” As, when men hate a thing to the highest shall blast all before them, like an east wind : and they degree, they turn away their eyes, and cannot endure to shall carry away a number of captives, as the sand of look upon it. Light and darkness are not more oppothe sea for multitude. Bp. Hall.
site to one another, than the holy nature of God is to 10. — they shall heap dust, and take it.] They shall sin. “What communion hath light with darkness? cast ap mounds against the strong holds, and so take and what concord hath Christ with Belial ?” 2 Cor. vi. them : see Jer. xxxii. 24 ; xxxiii. 4. W. Lowth. 14, 15. Abp. Tillotson.
11. Then shall his mind change, &c.] This may be 16. Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, &c.] They spoken of the Chaldean nation at large. Abp. Newcome. boast themselves in their strength, and deify themselves
12. Art thou not from everlasting, &c.] The Prophet, for their valour. Abp. Newcome. having had this revelation from God, that the Chaldeans 17. Shall they therefore empty their net, &c.] Wilt should be the ministers of His vengeance against sinful Thou therefore, O Lord, still suffer them to empty their Judah, falls into an holy expostulation with Himi about net for a new draught? Wilt Thou not restrain them these dispensations. As if he had said, O everlasting from making spoil of the nations round about continuGod, whose word is unchangeable as Thyself; “ Thou | ally? Bp. Hall. art of purer eyes, than to behold evil” in Thine own chosen people; why hast Thou ordained these Chal- Chap. II. To the expostulation, which closes the deans for their judges, a faithless race of men, who former chapter, the Prophet tells us here in the second, without scruple devour those that are more righteous that he waited most attentively for the answer of God, than themselves, and prey upon them as freely as the and received it with a command to write it upon tables fisherman, who takes all that comes to his net; and 'so plain, “ that he may run that readeth it,” or may
CHRIST about 626.
The prophet must wait by faith. HABAKKUK. The judgment upon the Chaldeans Before judgment upon the Chaldean for unsatiable- | neither keepeth at home, who enlarg. Before
ness, 9 for covetousness, 12 for cruelty, leth his desire as hell, and is as death. about 626. 15 for drunkenness, 18 and for idolatry.
y and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth a Isai. 21. 8. T WILL a stand upon my watch, unto him all nations, and heapeth unto + Heb. fenced 1 and set me upon the + tower, and him all people : place.
will watch to see what he will say 6 Shall not all these take up a pa| Or, in me. unto me, and what I shall answer rable against him, and a taunting proW Or, when I || + when I am reproved.
verb against him, and say, || Woe to 101, Ho, he.
plain upon tables, that he may run that himself with thick clay!
7 Shall they not rise up suddenly
speak, and not lie: though it tarry, booties unto them? b Heb. 10. 37. wait for it; because it will b surely 8 Because thou hast spoiled many come, it will not tarry.
nations, all the remnant of the people 4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up shall spoil thee; because of men's c John 3. 36. is not upright in him: but the just + blood, and for the violence of the Heb. bloods. Gal. 3. 11.'' shall live by his faith.
land, of the city, and of all that dwell 5 1 Yea also, because he trans- therein.
| Or, much more. gresseth by wine, he is a proud man, 9 I Woe to him that || coveteth
Rom. 1. 17.
d Jer. 22. 13.
easily run it over without hesitation, it being so legible. to God, so is he accordingly displeasing to Him: but And the substance of the Divine answer is this : That the just and upright man will depend upon the prothe Chaldeans were indeed such men, as the Prophet mises of God, and speed thereafter; for his faith in God had represented them; and that therefore, when God shall both uphold his life here, and crown it with glory had used them as rods for the chastisement of His hereafter. Bp. Hall. people, He would throw them into the fire and utterly
the just shall live by his faith.] A Christian's life consume them. This burden of the Babylonians be- is a life of faith, according to this saying of the Prophet, gins at the fifth verse. The low and shameful condi- which is thrice quoted by the Apostle, with reference to tion, into which the king of Babylon should sink, is the life that now is, as well as that which is to come. described in the following verses by the remarks, which As it is by faith that the just shall come to heaven, and his conquered and captive nations should make upon live there, so it is by faith that they live here upon earth him, “taking up a taunting proverb against him, and too. And it is their living by faith upon earth whereby saying, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not they come to live in heaven. There they live by sight his !” &c. Reading.
and not by faith : but that we shall never do, except we Ver. 1. I will stand upon my watch, - tower, &c.] It first live by faith and not by sight. Bp. Beveridge. was the business of a watchman in the time of war to 5. Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, &c.] descry from an eminent station what messengers were Know therefore, that this proud Babylonian, under coming, and to make known the message as soon as whom thy nation shall suffer, shall at last be punished possible : see 2 Kings ix. 17, &c. The Prophet puts in his own kind, &c. Bp. Hall. The Prophet, having himself in such a posture, that he may receive God's assured the Jews of a deliverance in God's appointed answer to the foregoing complaints. W. Lowth.
time, proceeds now to denounce His judgment against 2. — make it plain upon tables,] Things were written the Babylonian monarchy, speaking of it as comprised on tables of wood, stone, or brass, on purpose to pre- | under one person at the head of it: see the note upon serve the knowledge of them to posterity: these tables chap. i. 11. Here he describes him as one intoxicated were hung up in publick places, for the cognizance of with his successes, and not knowing how to set any every person, that frequented those places ; as laws and bounds to his ambition; but still as his conquests treaties were wont to be posted up in temples and mar- enlarge, his desire of having more increases. Hell ket-houses, where was the greatest concourse of people. or death, and the grave, are proverbial emblems of Bp. Chandler.
an insatiable temper: see Prov. xxvii. 20: xxx. 16. W. that he may run that readeth it.] Let the charac- | Lowth. ters be so legible, that one, who hastily passes on, may - he is a proud man,] That is, he is intoxicated read them. This may have been a proverbial expression. with his power and dominion; compare Dan. iv. 30: Abp. Newcome,
“ neither keepeth at home," meaning, that the king of 3.- the vision] Or prophecy, which follows from the Babylon confines not himself to a peaceable settlement fourth to the twentieth verse. Abp. Secker.
or residence in his own dominions; but “who," as it For this vision is not presently to be fulfilled, but follows, “ enlargeth his desire as hell," &c, Parkhath a time set and determined, wherein it shall be hurst. accomplished : at the expiring whereof it shall be mani. 6. — ladeth himself with thick clay !His gold and festly verified to the world. Bp. Hall.
silver, which is nothing originally but earth or clay, 4. Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in shall turn to no benefit, but be rather his burden; addhim : &c.] In any case, give thou full belief to this word ing weight to his sins and punishment. W. Lowth, of the Lord : for behold, that man who withdraweth his 8. - because of men's blood,] Shed by thee. “The soul from trusting unto God, and will be raising to him- / land" is the land of Judea : “ the city," the city of self projects of his own, as he is unsound and faithless / Jerusalem. Abp. Newcome. “ The violence of the land,"