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CHAP. III. PRAYER of Habakkuk the prophet, upon Shigionoth.
2 O LORD, I have heard thy speech, by and was afraid : O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.
3 God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise.
4 And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand and there was the hiding of his power.
5 Before him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his feet.
6 He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow his ways are everlasting.
7 I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction and the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble.
[of Habakkuk. 8 Was the LORD displeased against the rivers? was thine anger against the rivers? was thy wrath against the sea, that thou didst ride upon thine horses and thy chariots of salvation? 9 Thy bow was made quite naked, according to the oaths of the tribes, even thy word. Selah. Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers.
10 The mountains saw thee, and they trembled: the overflowing of the water passed by: the deep uttered his voice, and lifted up his hands on high.
11 The sun and moon stood still in their habitations: at the light of thine arrows they went, and at the shining of thy glittering spear.
12 Thou didst march through the land in indignation, thou didst thresh the heathen in anger.
13 Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, even for salvation with thine anointed; thou woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neck. Selah.
jugation of the world; shall not all the people whom he has subdued take up a parable against him, saying, Wo to him that increaseth what is not his! How long will he lade himself with thick clay?" &c, Such we take to be the general meaning of this passage, and such was the character of the Chaldean monarch, who was himself,
in his turn, to be subdued, reproached, insulted, and subjugated, partly in his own person, and partly in his immediate suc cessors. The rest of the chapter goes on with exposing the other parts of this character, as a perfect contrast to the humble and pious believer in the true God and his Messiah.
CHAP. III. Ver. 1. Shigionoth. - See Note on the title of Ps. vii. Newcome agrees with those who take this for a musical instrument of great compass; but we know nothing of any such instrument; and had this referred to an instrument, it would doubtless have been connected with the last verse. We are satisfied that the sense given to the term in the above note, is just; namely, that of elegy, a grave and solema poem.
Ver. 2. O Lord, I have heard-Heb. "Hearing, I have heard (and) feared."- -Make known-that is, "make (thyself) known." Bp. Lowth explains "in the midst of the years," to mean," within a ixed time;" i. e. the time predicted.
Ver. 3. God came from Teman- the same able critic considers this as a sudden burst of poetic arlour, referring back to God's wonderful appearances n the behalf of Israel. See Deut. xxxiii. 1, &c. nd Exposition. Teman was in Moab, see Jer. lix. 7; Amos i. 12; Obad. 9. — Selah—see Note n Ps. iii. 2.
Ver. 4. He had horns coming out of his hand.— The Hebrew verb signifies to shine, and the noun, a pencil, or cone of rays, issuing from a point, and iverging into the shape of a horn." Newcome.
Comp. Deut. xxxiii. 2, 3, and Notes. — There (in his hand, or at his right hand, Deut. xxxiii, 3.) was the hiding of his power-that is, the infinity of his power is concealed from us by the immensity of his glory.
Ver.5. And burning coals-Newcome, "Flashes of fire went after him." English readers should remember, that pit-coal (which we burn) was unknown to the Hebrews; when, therefore, we read of coals, we should understand flames, or flaming brands. Ver. 6. Scattered-Newcome," Broken;" namely, by fire and earthquake.
Ver.7, Cushan-or the Arabian Cushites.
Ver. 9. Thy bow was made quite naked, or bare.— Bows were generally kept in cases, to preserve them from the weather.
Ver. 11. Stood still. See Josh. x. 13.-At the light, &c.-Newcome, "By their light," and " "by their shining;" i. e. of the sun and moon.
Ver. 13. Unto the neck-Newcome, "The rock." Ver. 14. Strike through with his staves-Newcome, "Thou didst pierce with thy rod," &c. See Ps. ii. 9.-They (the enemy) came out as a whirlwind to scatter me-Newcome," us."
14 Thou didst strike through with his staves the head of his villages: they came out as a whirlwind to scatter me: their rejoicing was as to devour the poor secretly.
15 Thou didst walk through the sea with thine horses, through the heap of great waters.
16 When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble: when he cometh up unto the people, he will invade them with his troops.
[of faith 17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
19 The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments. (C)
(C) An Ode of prayer and praise." The Prophet having seen the calamities which were to be brought on his country by the ministry of the Chaldeans, and the punishments which awaited the Chaldeans themselves, partly struck with terror, and partly revived with hope and confidence in the divine mercy, beseeches God to hasten the redemption of his people. Such a petition would naturally lead his thoughts to the astonishing deliverance which God vouchsafed to the same people of old; and the inference from it was obvious, that he I could, with the same ease, deliver their posterity now. But hurried on by the fire and impetuosity of his spirit, he disdains to wait the process of connecting these ideas, and bounds at once into the midst of his subject: "God came from Teman," &c. He goes on to describe the majesty and might which God displayed in conducting his people to the land of promise; selecting the most remarkable circumstances, and clothing them in the most lofty language. As he goes along, his fancy becomes more glowing, till at length he is transported to the scene of action, and becomes an eye-witness of the wonders he describes: "I beheld the tents of Cu
shan in affliction." After having touched on the principal circumstances of that de liverance which he celebrates, he returs to what passed before them in Egypt, bis enthusiasm having led him to begin in the midst of his subject; and at last he ends the hymn as he began it, with expressing his awe of the divine judgments, and his firm trust in the mercy and goodness of God while under them; and that in terms of such singular beauty, elegance, and sublimity, as to form a very proper conclu sion to this admirable piece of divine composition. It would seem, from the title, and from the note annexed to the end, that it was set to music, and sung in the ser vice of the temple." Dr. Jn. Smith.
This last idea receives confirmation from the repeated use of the term Selak in this Ode, which marked certain pauses in the music. (See Note.) It is generally agreed that Habakkuk prophesied before the captivity, though but a short time; and it is probable that when Jehoiakim was carried off to Babylon, with all the chief people (2 Kings xxiv. 14.), the musical establishment of the Temple was broken up: this prophecy was, therefore, probably written and sung in the Temple before this period.
NOTES-Chap. III. Cou.
Ver. 19. He will make my feet like hinds' feetthat is, he will renew my strength and activity.
Ibid. To the chief singer, &c.-We have before seen, 1 Kings x. 12., that Solomon "made harps and
psalteries for singers; and from comparing these passages we may infer, that the principal singers in the temple, like the Grecian bards, accompanied them selves in singing. See Exposition of Psalm iv.
ZEPHANIAH prophesied about the same time as Jeremiah, and in his method and subject much resembles him. He directs his speech chiefly to the people of Judah, and foretels their captivity by the Chaldeans, on account of their idolatry and other sins, of which he earnestly exhorts them to repent. He then denounces judgments against other neighbouring nations, and from them returns to the people of his charge. Afterwards he exhorts all the good and faithful among them to patience, and comforts them with the promise of God's restoring his ancient people, and enlarging his church in the days of the Messiah.
THE word of the LORD which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah.
2 I will utterly consume all things From off the land, saith the LORD. 3 I will consume man and beast; I ill consume the fowls of the heaven, nd the fishes of the sea, and the stumlingblocks with the wicked; and I ill cut off man from off the land, ith the LORD.
4 I will also stretch out mine hand on Judah, and upon all the inbitants of Jerusalem; and I will t off the remnant of Baal from this ace, and the name of the Chemarims th the priests;
5 And them that worship the host heaven upon the house-tops; and m that worship and that swear by LORD, and that swear by Mal
6 And them that are turned back from the LORD; and those that have not sought the LORD, nor enquired for him.
7 Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD is at hand for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests.
8 And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORD's sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king's children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel.
9 In the same day also will I punish all those that leap on the threshold, which fill their masters' houses with violence and deceit.
10 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD, that there shall be the noise of a cry from the fish gate, and an howling from the second, and a great crashing from the hills.
11 Howl, ye inhabitants of Maktesh, for all the merchant people are cut down; all they that bear silver are cut off.
HAP. I. Ver. 2. I will utterly consume-Heb. nsuming I will consume" all things; i. e. man east, ver.3. —— From off the land: Heb. "From ace of the land." T. 3.
The stumbling-blocks with (Newcome, 7) the wicked-that is, their idols. .4. Chemarims-Newcome," Sacrificers;"'i. e. al. See Hos. x. 5, and Note. The name imthat they were clothed in black, which was ally the case with the idolatrous priests. See t. Lit. No. 1697.
5. Malcham-or" Malchom," or "Moloch;"
i. e. "the king," the same idol, probably, as Baal, both pointing to the sun, the king, or lord of heaven. Ver. 7. He hath bid (or bidden) kis guests.-See Rev. xix. 17, 18.
Ver. 8. Strange apparel-The idolaters appear to have worn a peculiar dress in their worship. See 2 Kings x. 22.
Ver. 9. Leap on (or over) the threshold-that is, to invade their neighbour's premises: but query? May not this refer to some idolatrous or superstitious rite now unknown.
Ver. 10. Crashing-Newcome, "Breach,"
12 And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The LORD will not do good, neither will he do evil.
13 Therefore their goods shall become a booty, and their houses a desolation: they shall also build houses, but not inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, but not drink the wine thereof.
14 The great day of the LORD is near, it is near and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.
15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness,
16 A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.
17 And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung.
18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD's wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the
[and repentance urged.
fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land. (A)
2 Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, befüre the fierce anger of the LORD COL upon you, before the day of the LORD'S anger come upon you.
3 Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness; it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD's anger.
4 For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up.
5 Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coasts, the nation of the Chere thites! The word of the LORD is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant.
6 And the sea coast shall be dwel lings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks.
7 And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed thereupon: in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the
(A) God's judgments denounced against Judah. Idolaters, and sinners of several other denominations, are particularly threatened, and the approaching visitation enlarged on, by the addition of several aggravating circumstances. These idolaters, it seems, had not wholly renounced the service of Jehovah; but they united
with it idol worship: they served God end Baal, or rather Malchom (both represen tatives of the sun), whom they honoured as the king of heaven. He had also his priests and sacrificers, who worshipped him upon the house tops. We may, how ever, depend upon it, that all attempts to serve God and Baal, or Moloch, or Mam mon, will only bring confusion and destruction on the worshippers.
NOTES-Chap. I. Con.
Ver. 11. Maktesh-" Lower city," houses in the valleys, between the hills, where the lower order of tradesmen dwelt. They that bear silver-that is, the money-changers. Newcome.
Ver. 12. With candles-Newcome, "Lights," perhaps torches," implying a strict search. — Settled on their lees-Heb. "Curdled," like wine not cleared. See Jer. xlviii. 11.
Ver. 13. Build houses, &c.-Amos v. 11.
Ver. 17. Like blind men.-Isa. lix 9, 10. CHAP. II. Ver. 1. Not desired - that is, hated. Newcome.
Ver. 3. Hid, or hidden.-See Isa. xxvi. 20 Ver. 4. Gaza, &c.-These were cities of the Che listines.At the noon day:-This implies disgrun, as well as discomfiture. See Jer. vi. 4, x. 8 Ver. 5. Cherethites.-See 1 Sam. xxx. 14. Ver. 7. In the houses-that is, in their ruin
evening for the LORD their God shall visit them, and turn away their captivity.
8 I have heard the reproach of Moab, and the revilings of the children of Ammon, whereby they have reproached my people, and magnified themselves against their border.
9 Therefore as I live, saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah; even the breeding of nettles, and saltpits, and a perpetual desolation: the residue of my people shall spoil them, and the remnant of my people shall
10 This shall they have for their pride, because they have reproached and magnified themselves against the people of the LORD of hosts.
11 The LORD will be terrible unto hem: for he will famish all the gods of the earth; and men shall worship im, every one from his place, even all the isles of the heathen.
12 Ye Ethiopians also, ye shall be lain by my sword.
13 And he will stretch out his hand gainst the north, and destroy Assyria; nd will make Nineveh a desolation, nd dry like a wilderness.
14 And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the
nations: both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; their voice shall sing in the windows: desolation shall be in the thresholds: for he shall uncover the cedar work.
15 This is the rejoicing city that dwelt carelessly, that said in her heart, I am, and there is none beside me how is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in! every one that passeth by her shall hiss, and wag his hand. (B)
WOE to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city!
2 She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the LORD; she drew not near to her God.
3 Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow.
4 Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law.
5 The just LORD is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity: every morning doth he bring his judgment to the light, he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame.
(B) Judgments on the Philistines, and her nations.-The Prophet, having deared the judgments which were ready to Il upon his people, exhorts them to sincere pentance, before these judgments overke them. He then foretels the fate of aer neighbouring and hostile nations, e Philistines, Moabites, and Ammonites, hiopians and Assyrians. In the close of
the chapter, Nineveh, reduced to ruins, is beautifully contrasted with its former flourishing condition. Ah! what is all the strength and riches, the pomp and splendour of Nineveh, or Babylon, when the Almighty enters into judgment with it! For many years, no doubt, every passing stranger was ready to point with his hand, and say, "There was Nineveh, and there Babylon!" But now the very site of those mighty cities is only known by conjecture.
er. 9. Moab and Ammon. — See Amos i. 13; ii. 3. —— The breeding-Lowth, "The possession" nettles.
er. 11. Famish all the gods-that is, by causing r sacrifices to be withdrawn. See Deut. xxxii. 38.
er 12. Ye Ethiopians-Heb. " Cushites." Neadnezzar subdued them, Jer. xivi. 9; Ezek. .4, 10.
r. 13. Assyria and Nineveh,-See the prophecy
of Nahum, just considered.
Ver. 14. The cormorant and the bittern.-Newcome, "The pelican and the porcupine."A voice shall sing-Newcome," A cry shall resound" in the windows.Uncover-that is, lay bare.
Ver. 15. Wag-" Move," or wave his hand.
CHAP. III. Ver. 1. Filthy-Newcome, "Rebellious."
Ver. 3. They gnaw not that is, they carry the