Behold, ye despisers
In ( Habakkuk 1:5 ) from whence these words are taken: we render it with others, "behold ye among the Heathen"; as if the word (Mywgb) , was compounded of (b) "in", and (Mywg) , "nations" or "Heathens"; and so reads the Chaldee paraphrase, "look among the people"; but the Septuagint version renders it, "behold, ye despisers"; which the apostle is thought to follow; wherefore some have imagined a different reading, and that the Septuagint, instead of (Mywgb) reads (Mydgwb) , the singular of which is used in ( Habakkuk 2:5 ) and there rendered a "despiser" in the same version: but it should be observed, that the Septuagint is not the only version that so renders the word; for the Syriac version renders it, "behold, ye impudent"; and the Arabic version, "behold, ye negligent"; and Dr. Pocock F18 has shown that this word comes from the root (agb) which though not to be found in the Bible, yet in the Arabic language, among other things, signifies to behave proudly, or insolently, and so is very properly rendered "despisers", without supposing any different reading or corruption in the text: and as in Habakkuk the proud and haughty Jews are there spoke to, who neglected and despised the law; this is accommodated by the apostle to the Jews in his time, who were very much disposed to despise the Gospel, as they generally did. It follows, "and wonder, and perish"; or disappear, or change countenance, through shame for their sins, and amazement at the judgments of God upon them:
for I work a work in your days, which you shall in no wise believe
though a man declare it unto you;
which, in Habakkuk, refers to the destruction of the city and temple of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans; and here it is suggested, by the citation and application of it, that in a short time a like work would be done in their days; the city and temple of Jerusalem would be destroyed by the Romans, which when told to the Jews in foreign parts, as here in Pisidia, would not be believed by them, though it should be told them by men of probity and credit.
F18 Not. Misc. in Porta Mosis, c. 3. p. 31, 32. &c.