Habakkuk 2

God Answers the Prophet

1 I will 1stand on my guard post And station myself on the rampart; And I will 2keep watch to see 3what He will speak to me, And how I may reply [a]when I am reproved.
2 Then the LORD answered me and said, "4Record the vision And inscribe it on tablets, That [b]the one who [c]reads it may run.
3 "For the vision is yet for the 5appointed time; It [d]hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, 6wait for it; For it will certainly come, it 7will not delay.
4 "Behold, as for the 8proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the 9righteous will live by his faith.
5 "Furthermore, 10wine betrays the 11haughty man, So that he does not 12stay at home. He 13enlarges his appetite like Sheol, And he is like death, never satisfied. He also gathers to himself all nations And collects to himself all peoples.
6 "Will not all of these 14take up a taunt-song against him, Even mockery and insinuations against him And say, '15Woe to him who increases what is not his- For how long * - And makes himself rich with loans?'
7 "Will not your creditors 16rise up suddenly, And those who collect from you awaken? Indeed, you will become plunder for them.
8 "Because you have 17looted many nations, All the remainder of the peoples will loot you- Because of human bloodshed and violence done to the land, To the town and all its inhabitants.
9 "Woe to him who gets 18evil gain for his house To 19put his nest on high, To be delivered from the hand of calamity!
10 "You have devised a 20shameful thing for your house By cutting off many peoples; So you are 21sinning against yourself.
11 "Surely the 22stone will cry out from the wall, And the rafter will answer it from the framework.
12 "Woe to him who 23builds a city with bloodshed And founds a town with violence!
13 "Is it not indeed from the LORD of hosts That peoples 24toil for fire, And nations grow weary for nothing?
14 "For the earth will be 25filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea.
15 "Woe to you who make your neighbors drink, Who mix in your venom even to make them drunk So as to look on their nakedness!
16 "You will be filled with disgrace rather than honor. Now you yourself 26drink and expose your own nakedness. The 27cup in the LORD'S right hand will come around to you, And 28utter disgrace will come upon your glory.
17 "For the 29violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you, And the devastation of its beasts by which you terrified them, 30Because of human bloodshed and 31violence done to the land, To the town and all its inhabitants.
18 "What 32profit is the idol when its maker has carved it, Or an image, a 33teacher of falsehood? For its maker 34trusts in his own handiwork When he fashions speechless idols.
19 "Woe to him who 35says to a piece of wood, '36Awake!' To a mute stone, 'Arise!' And that is your teacher? Behold, it is overlaid with 37gold and silver, And there is 38no breath at all inside it.
20 "But the 39LORD is in His holy temple. Let all the earth 40be silent before * Him."

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Habakkuk 2 Commentary

Chapter 2

Habakkuk must wait in faith. (1-4) Judgments upon the Chaldeans. (5-14) Also upon drunkenness and idolatry. (15-20)

Verses 1-4 When tossed and perplexed with doubts about the methods of Providence, we must watch against temptations to be impatient. When we have poured out complaints and requests before God, we must observe the answers God gives by his word, his Spirit, and providences; what the Lord will say to our case. God will not disappoint the believing expectations of those who wait to hear what he will say unto them. All are concerned in the truths of God's word. Though the promised favour be deferred long, it will come at last, and abundantly recompense us for waiting. The humble, broken-hearted, repenting sinner, alone seeks to obtain an interest in this salvation. He will rest his soul on the promise, and on Christ, in and through whom it is given. Thus he walks and works, as well as lives by faith, perseveres to the end, and is exalted to glory; while those who distrust or despise God's all-sufficiency will not walk uprightly with him. The just shall live by faith in these precious promises, while the performance of them is deferred. Only those made just by faith, shall live, shall be happy here and for ever.

Verses 5-14 The prophet reads the doom of all proud and oppressive powers that bear hard upon God's people. The lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, are the entangling snares of men; and we find him that led Israel captive, himself led captive by each of these. No more of what we have is to be reckoned ours, than what we come honestly by. Riches are but clay, thick clay; what are gold and silver but white and yellow earth? Those who travel through thick clay, are hindered and dirtied in their journey; so are those who go through the world in the midst of abundance of wealth. And what fools are those that burden themselves with continual care about it; with a great deal of guilt in getting, saving, and spending it, and with a heavy account which they must give another day! They overload themselves with this thick clay, and so sink themselves down into destruction and perdition. See what will be the end hereof; what is gotten by violence from others, others shall take away by violence. Covetousness brings disquiet and uneasiness into a family; he that is greedy of gain troubles his own house; what is worse, it brings the curse of God upon all the affairs of it. There is a lawful gain, which, by the blessing of God, may be a comfort to a house; but what is got by fraud and injustice, will bring poverty and ruin upon a family. Yet that is not the worst; Thou hast sinned against thine own soul, hast endangered it. Those who wrong their neighbours, do much greater wrong to their own souls. If the sinner thinks he has managed his frauds and violence with art and contrivance, the riches and possessions he heaped together will witness against him. There are not greater drudges in the world than those who are slaves to mere wordly pursuits. And what comes of it? They find themselves disappointed of it, and disappointed in it; they will own it is worse than vanity, it is vexation of spirit. By staining and sinking earthly glory, God manifests and magnifies his own glory, and fills the earth with the knowledge of it, as plentifully as waters cover the sea, which are deep, and spread far and wide.

Verses 15-20 A severe woe is pronounced against drunkenness; it is very fearful against all who are guilty of drunkenness at any time, and in any place, from the stately palace to the paltry ale-house. To give one drink who is in want, who is thirsty and poor, or a weary traveller, or ready to perish, is charity; but to give a neighbour drink, that he may expose himself, may disclose secret concerns, or be drawn into a bad bargain, or for any such purpose, this is wickedness. To be guilty of this sin, to take pleasure in it, is to do what we can towards the murder both of soul and body. There is woe to him, and punishment answering to the sin. The folly of worshipping idols is exposed. The Lord is in his holy temple in heaven, where we have access to him in the way he has appointed. May we welcome his salvation, and worship him in his earthly temples, through Christ Jesus, and by the influence of the Holy Spirit.

Cross References 40

  • 1. Isaiah 21:8
  • 2. Psalms 5:3
  • 3. Psalms 85:8
  • 4. Deuteronomy 27:8; Romans 15:4; Revelation 1:19
  • 5. Daniel 8:17, 19; Daniel 10:14
  • 6. Psalms 27:14
  • 7. Ezekiel 12:25; Hebrews 10:37
  • 8. Psalms 49:18; Isaiah 13:11
  • 9. Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38
  • 10. Proverbs 20:1
  • 11. Proverbs 21:24
  • 12. 2 Kings 14:10
  • 13. Proverbs 27:20; Proverbs 30:16; Isaiah 5:11-15
  • 14. Isaiah 14:4-10; Jeremiah 50:13
  • 15. Job 20:15-29; Habakkuk 2:12
  • 16. Proverbs 29:1
  • 17. Isaiah 33:1; Jeremiah 27:7; Zechariah 2:8
  • 18. Jeremiah 22:13; Ezekiel 22:27
  • 19. Jeremiah 49:16
  • 20. 2 Kings 9:26; Nahum 1:14; Habakkuk 2:16
  • 21. Jeremiah 26:19
  • 22. Joshua 24:27; Luke 19:40
  • 23. Micah 3:10; Nahum 3:1
  • 24. Isaiah 50:11; Jeremiah 51:58
  • 25. Psalms 22:27; Isaiah 11:9; Zechariah 14:9
  • 26. Lamentations 4:21
  • 27. Jeremiah 25:15, 17
  • 28. Nahum 3:6
  • 29. Joel 3:19; Zechariah 11:1
  • 30. Psalms 55:23; Habakkuk 2:8
  • 31. Jeremiah 51:35; Habakkuk 2:8
  • 32. Isaiah 42:17; Isaiah 44:9; Jeremiah 2:27, 28
  • 33. Jeremiah 10:8, 14; Zechariah 10:2
  • 34. Psalms 115:4, 8
  • 35. Jeremiah 2:27, 28; Jeremiah 10:3
  • 36. 1 Kings 18:26-29
  • 37. Psalms 135:15-18; Jer 10:4, 9, 14
  • 38. Psalms 135:17
  • 39. Micah 1:2
  • 40. Zephaniah 1:7; Zechariah 2:13

Footnotes 21

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains an answer from the Lord to the expostulations, pleadings, and reasonings of the prophet, in the name of the people. The preparation of the prophet to receive this answer is described, Hab 2:1 then follows the answer itself, in which he is bid to write and make plain the vision he had, that it might be easily read, Hab 2:2 and a promise is made, that vision should still be continued to the appointed time, at which time the Messiah would come; and this the righteous man, in opposition to the vain and proud man, is encouraged to live in the faith of, Hab 2:3,4 and then the destruction of the enemies of the people of God is threatened for their pride, ambition, covetousness, oppression, and murder, Hab 2:5-12 which would be unavoidable, Hab 2:13 and issue in the spread of the knowledge of the glory of God in the world, Hab 2:14 and also the ruin of other enemies is threatened, for drawing men into apostasy, and for their violence and idolatry, Hab 2:15-19 upon which would follow an universal silence in the earth, Hab 2:20.

Habakkuk 2 Commentaries