Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.
The Prophet Questions God’s Judgments
Habakkuk 1:1 The burden (oracle, prophecy) which the prophet Habakkuk saw.
The Prophet’s Question
Habakkuk 1:2 O Lord (Yᵊhōvâ), how long shall I cry,
And You will not hear?
Even cry out to You, “Violence!”
And You will not save.
- The Hebrew word for violence is ḥāmās
- What is the deal with Israel and Hamas? A ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants is holding, after three days of violence in which at least 44 people have died. It’s the most serious flare-up since an 11-day conflict in May 2021. The ceasefire was mediated by Egypt – which has acted as an intermediary between Israel and Gaza in the past.Aug 8, 2022
Habakkuk 1:3 Why do You show me iniquity,
And cause me to see trouble (Or toil)?
- Habakkuk is like Job:
Job 3:3 “May the day perish on which I was born,
And the night in which it was said,
A male child is conceived.
4 May that day be darkness;
May God above not seek it,
Nor the light shine upon it.
Job 3:26 I am not at ease, nor am I quiet;
I have no rest, for trouble comes.”
Job 5:7 Yet man is born to trouble,
As the sparks fly upward.
For plundering and violence are before me;
There is strife, and contention arises.
- “Only in death doth toil cease” ~BG
Habakkuk 1:4 Therefore the law is powerless,
And justice never goes forth.
For the wicked surround the righteous;
Therefore perverse judgment proceeds.
- Laws cannot stop the lawless.
The Lord’s Reply
Habakkuk 1:5 “Look among the nations and watch—
Be utterly astounded!
For I will work a work in your days
Which you would not believe, though it were told you.
- In the last days it will be Jesus ruling from Jerusalem after battling the Arab nations at Armageddon. He will be judging the nations, those who support Israel and those who are her enemies.
Habakkuk 1:6 For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans,
A bitter and hasty nation
Which marches through the breadth of the earth,
To possess dwelling places that are not theirs.
- The Chaldeans are the Babylonians.
Habakkuk 1:7 They are terrible and dreadful;
Their judgment and their dignity proceed from themselves.
Habakkuk 1:8 Their horses also are swifter than leopards,
And more fierce than evening wolves.
Their chargers (Lit. horsemen) charge ahead (Lit. spring about);
Their cavalry comes from afar;
They fly as the eagle that hastens to eat.
Habakkuk 1:9 “They all come for violence (hamas);
Their faces are set like the east wind.
They gather captives like sand (a multitude of Jewish people).
- The multitude of Abraham’s descendants are compared to the sand of the seashore.
- Genesis 22:17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.
- Hebrews 11:12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.
- Scriptural history is like a coiled “slinky” where events come around and repeat themselves. This prophecy is not only for Habakkuk’s time but for end days. Remember, evil spirits never die, they just wait for another opportunity. An example:
Habakkuk 1:10 They scoff at kings,
And princes are scorned by them.
They deride every stronghold,
For they heap up earthen mounds and seize it.
Habakkuk 1:11 Then his mind (Lit. spirit or wind) changes, and he transgresses;
He commits offense,
Ascribing this power to his god.”
The Prophet’s Second Question
Habakkuk 1:12 Are You not from everlasting,
O Lord my God (Yᵊhōvâ ‘ĕlōhîm), my Holy One (qāḏôš)?
- qāḏôš h6918
sacred, holy, Holy One, set apart
We shall not die.
O Lord (Yᵊhōvâ), You have appointed them for judgment;
O Rock (ṣûr), You have marked them for correction.
- See Jesus as a Rock and a Stone
- ṣûr H6697 properly, a cliff (or sharp rock, as compressed); generally, a rock or boulder; figuratively, a refuge; also an edge (as precipitous):—edge, (mighty) God (one), rock, sharp, stone, strength, strong
Habakkuk 1:13 You are of purer eyes than to behold evil,
And cannot look on wickedness.
- God is separated from man … Holy means to be separated … God is Holy.
Why do You look on those who deal treacherously,
And hold Your tongue when the wicked devours
A person more righteous than he?
Habakkuk 1:14 Why do You make men like fish of the sea,
Like creeping things that have no ruler over them?
- Matthew 4:19 Then He (Jesus) said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”