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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Habakkuk 1:6

 

 

"For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans, That fierce and impetuous people Who march throughout the earth To seize dwelling places which are not theirs.

Adam Clarke Commentary

That bitter and hasty nation - Cruel and oppressive in their disposition; and prompt and speedy in their assaults and conquests.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:6". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/habakkuk-1.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

For lo - So God announces a future, in which His Hand shall be greatly visible, whether more or less distant. In His sight it is present.

I raise up - God uses the free will and evil passions of people or devils to His own ends; and so He is said to “raise up” those whom He allows to be stirred up against His people, since the events which His Providence permits, favor their designs, and it rests with Him to withhold them. They lift themselves up for some end of covetousness or pride. But there is a higher order of things, in which God orders their actions to fulfill His righteousness by their iniquities.

The Chaldaeans, that bitter - מר . In Judges 18:25; 2 Samuel 17:8, the less concise נפשׁ מר.

And hasty nation - נמהר as Isaiah 32:4. Jerome: “To its might and warlike boldness almost all the Greeks who have written histories of the barbarians, witness.”

Which shall march through the breadth of the land - rather, “the earth,” literally “to the breadths of the earth,” reaching to its whole length and breadth, all its dimensions as in the description of Gog and Magog Revelation 20:8-9, “the number of whom is as the sand of the sea; and they went up on the breadth of the earth; unhindered, not pent up, but spreading abroad, where they will, over the whole earth.” All before it, is one wide even plain which it overspreads and covers, like a flood, and yet is not spent nor exhausted.

To possess the dwelling-places that are not theirs - As God‘s people had done, so should it be done to them. Spoiling and violence within Habakkuk 1:2-4 attract oppression from without. The overcharged atmosphere casts down the lightning upon them. They had expelled the weak from their dwelling Micah 2:9; others shall possess theirs. Yet this scourge too shall pass by, since, although the Chaldaean did God‘s Will, He willed it not, but His own (See Isaiah 10:6-7). The words, “not theirs,” literally, “not to him” stand with a mysterious fullness of meaning. The dwelling places not being his by right, shall not remain his, although given to him, while God wills.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:6". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/habakkuk-1.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans,.... A people still of late mean and low, famous only for their soothsaying, divination, and judicial astrology; but now become a powerful and warlike people, rising up under the permission of Providence to universal monarchy, and who would quickly add Judea to the rest of their dominions:

that bitter and hasty nation; a cruel and merciless people in their temper and disposition: "bitter" against the people of God and true religion, and causing bitterness, calamities, and distress, wherever they came: "hasty" and precipitate in their determinations; swift and nimble in their motions; active and vigorous in the prosecution of their designs:

which shall march through the breadth of the land; or "breadths of the land"F20למרחבי ארץ "latitudines terrae", Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. ; through the whole world, as they were attempting to do, having subdued Syria, all Asia, and great part of Africa, through which they boldly marched, bearing down all opposition that was in their way; or through the breadth of the land of Judea, taking all the fenced cities as they went along, and Jerusalem the metropolis of it; see Isaiah 8:7,

to possess the dwellingplaces that are not theirs; the cities of Judea, and houses in them, as well as the palaces and dwellingplaces in Jerusalem, which they had no right unto, but what they got by the sword; what were the legal possessions and inheritances of others from father to son for ages past, these the Chaldeans would dispossess them of; and not only take them, and the spoil and plunder of them, for the present, but retain them in their possession, as an inheritance to be transmitted to their posterity. This may have some respect to the length of the captivity of the Jews, and their land being in the hands of their enemies for the space of seventy years.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:6". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/habakkuk-1.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

I raise up — not referring to God‘s having brought the Chaldeans from their original seats to Babylonia (see on Isaiah 23:13), for they had already been upwards of twenty years (since Nabopolassar‘s era) in political power there; but to His being about now to raise them up as the instruments of God‘s “work” of judgment on the Jews (2 Chronicles 36:6). The Hebrew is future, “I will raise up.”

bitter — that is, cruel (Jeremiah 50:42; compare Judges 18:25, Margin; 2 Samuel 17:8).

hasty — not passionate, but “impetuous.”


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:6". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/habakkuk-1.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not theirs.

Bitter — Cruel, and without mercy.

Hasty — Speedy in executing their merciless purposes.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:6". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/habakkuk-1.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

This verse is added by the Prophet as an explanation; for it was not enough to speak generally of God’s work, without reminding them that their destruction by the Chaldeans was nigh at hand. He does not indeed in this verse explain what would be the character of that judgement which he had mentioned in the last verse Habakkuk 1:5; but he will do this in what follows. Now the Prophets differ from Moses in this respect, for they show, as it were by the finger, what he threatened generally, and they declare the special judgements of God; as it is indeed evident from the demonstrative adverb, “Behold.” How necessary this was, we may gather from the perverseness of that people; for how distinctly soever the Prophets showed to them God’s judgements, so that they saw them with their eyes, yet so great was their insensibility, that they despised denunciations so apparent. What, then, would have been done, if the Prophets had only said in general, ‘God will not spare you!’ This, then, is the reason why the Prophet, having spoken of God’s terrible vengeance, now declares in express terms, that the Chaldeans were already armed by Him to execute His judgement. The rest we leave for tomorrow.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:6". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/habakkuk-1.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Habakkuk 1:6 For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, [that] bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces [that are] not theirs.

Ver. 6. For lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation] The Chaldeans were anciently the philosophers of the Babylonians: Babylon was a province of the Assyrian empire; but not the same with Nineveh (only walled about by Semiramis, and by her called Babylon), as Suidas noteth. Nineveh was the metropolis, Babylon ruled by prefects. One of whom, viz. Merodach-Baladan, rebelling against Esarhaddon, King of Nineveh, translated the whole kingdom to the Babylonians, using the help and counsel of the Chaldeans, famous for their wisdom and authority; which yet was not done without the Lord, who then stirred them up, and now sent them against the Jews, to avenge the quarrel of his covenant. In like manner God hath in these last times raised up the Turks, "that bitter and hasty nation," bitter and bloody, hasty and headlong, υηδεν αναβαλλομενην, pursuing their victories and subduing in a short time many nations and kingdoms to their empire. Hence the Jews are in the former verse called upon to view among the heathen what havoc the Chaldeans had made; that is, should shortly make by overrunning Syria, the greater part of all Asia, and some part also of Africa. In the greatness of the Turkish empire is swallowed up at this day both the name and empire of the Saracens, the most glorious empire of the Greeks, the renowned kingdoms of Macedonia, Peloponnesus, Epirus, Bulgaria, Servia, Bosnia, Armenia, Cyprus, Syria, Egypt, Judaea, Tunis, Algiers, Media, Chaldea, with a great part of Hungary; as also of the Persian kingdom, and all the Churches and places so much spoken of in Scripture (the Roman only excepted, which yet he daily threateneth), and, in brief, so much in Christendom, as far exceedeth that which is thereof at this day left. In fine, no part of the world is left untouched by the Ottoman monarchy but America only; not more happy in her rich mines than in that she is so far from so great and dangerous an enemy. The King of Spain, of all other princes, Mahometan or Christian, that border upon the Turk, is best able to wage war with him. How far and with what bitterness and haste he hath carried on his Catholic monarchy is better known than that it need here to be related. Queen Elizabeth put a stop to him. Captain Drake and his soldiers, when they took Saint Domingo, A.D. 1585 (where his arms were to be seen in the townhall with this inscription, Non sufficit orbis The world is not enough), derided his avarice and ambition; but the poor Indies groan heavily under his cruelty: and Grynaeus commenting upon these words, "that bitter and hasty nation," Tribuuntur illis duo, saith he, Two things are here attributed to the Chaldees’ bitterness and swiftness in undertaking and despatching conquests: quibus dotibus Iberos nostra aetate praeditos, proh dolor, experimur, this by woeful experience we find today too much verified of the Spaniards.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:6". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/habakkuk-1.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Habakkuk 1:6. That bitter and hasty nation That swift nation, which shall hasten its pace, and shall march, &c. Houbigant.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:6". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/habakkuk-1.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

For lo: now the prophet declares particularly what it is that the Lord will work.

I raise up; awaken to action, animate them in it, and strengthen them to accomplish their design.

The Chaldeans, who had subdued other nations, and had already ruined the Assyrian monarchy.

Bitter; cruel, and without mercy, Jeremiah 6:23 21:7.

Hasty; speedy and quick in executing their merciless purposes, as Isaiah 5:26,27.

Which shall march, Heb.

walk without fear, and in order, as a conqueror doth in his conquests.

Through the breadth of the land; through all parts of the land, no corner shall escape his search or cruelty.

To possess; not to spoil and be gone, but to take and keep possession, as lord and proprietor in the right of conquest.

The dwelling-places; houses, towns, cities, Jerusalem itself, which they had no right to, till Jewish sins gave occasion for the dispossessing of the Jews, and the introducing of the Chaldeans.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:6". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/habakkuk-1.html. 1685.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The Lord urged the prophet and his people to see that He was in the process of raising up the Chaldeans as a force and power in their world. The name "Chaldeans" derives from the ruling class that lived in southern Mesopotamia and took leadership in the Neo-Babylonian Empire. The last and greatest dynasty to rule Babylon was of Chaldean origin. Thus "Chaldean" was almost a synonym for "Babylonian." The Chaldeans were Semites, descendants of Kesed, the son of Nahor, Abraham"s brother ( Genesis 22:22). Some modern Iraqis, especially those from southern Iraq, still identify themselves as Chaldeans. The Neo-Babylonian Empire began its rise to world domination with the accession of Nabopolassar to the throne of Babylon in626 B.C. This aggressive king stimulated the Babylonians to become a ruthless and impetuous nation that had already marched through the ancient Near East and conquered several neighboring nations (cf. Ezekiel 28:7; Ezekiel 30:11; Ezekiel 31:12; Ezekiel 32:12). Thus Babylonia would be the rod of God"s punishment of Judah as Assyria had been His instrument of judgment of Israel.

"The seventh-century prophets depicted the Lord as the sovereign ruler over the nations." [Note: Robert B. Chisholm Jeremiah , "A Theology of the Minor Prophets," in A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament, p415.]


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:6". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/habakkuk-1.html. 2012.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Habakkuk 1:6. For lo, I raise up the Chaldeans — This is spoken of as a matter of great wonder and astonishment, because the Chaldeans, in the times of Hezekiah, Manasseh, and Josiah, were allies of the Jewish nation, and seemed linked to them in the greatest friendship; so that they had no fear on that side, but all their fear was from the Egyptians. Therefore the coming of the Chaldeans into the country is spoken of here as a thing entirely new, and as if that people had been called into existence for the very purpose of punishing the Jewish nation. There is a prophecy similar to this in Isaiah, with regard to the Assyrians, in whom the Jewish nation then placed their chief confidence, and thought of nothing less than of the evils which Isaiah threatened should be brought upon them by that nation: so weak and short-sighted often is human policy! see Isaiah 7. That bitter and hasty nation — That people cruel, in their disposition, quick in executing their purposes, and hasty in their marches, Isaiah 5:26-27; Jeremiah 5:16-17. Which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess, &c. — This is spoken of the Chaldeans extending their conquests to a vast distance from the original seat of their empire.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:6". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/habakkuk-1.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Chaldeans. Nabuchodonosor was the first of this nation who attacked Joakim, and having conquered all as far as the Nile, returned to succeed Nabopolassar. He afterwards came upon Jechonias and Sedecias, &c. The prophet might have all this in view, particularly the first invasion. (Calmet) --- Bitter; warlike, as all the Greek historians remark. (St. Jerome) --- The Chaldeans were not yet arrived at such greatness, and of course this is not the Habacuc specified [in] Daniel xiv. (Worthington) --- Yet the same prophet might foresee it. (Haydock)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:6". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/habakkuk-1.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

I raise up, &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 28:49, Deuteronomy 28:5). App-92.

theirs. Hebrew his; and so throughout this chapter.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:6". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/habakkuk-1.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not theirs.

For, lo, I raise up - not referring to God's having brought the Chaldeans from their original seats to Babylonia (note, Isaiah 23:13); for they had already been upwards of twenty years (namely, ever since Nabopolassar's era) in political power there; but to His being about now to raise them up as the instruments of God's "work" of judgment on the Jews (2 Chronicles 36:6, "Against him (Jehoiakim) came up Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and bound him in fetters, to carry him to Babylon"). The Hebrew [ meeqiym (Hebrew #6965)] is future, 'I will raise up.'

The Chaldeans, that bitter - i:e., cruel (Jeremiah 50:42, "A great nation, and many kings shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth: they shall hold the bow and the lance: they are cruel, and will not show mercy," etc.; cf. margin, Judges 18:25, "angry," bitter of soul; 2 Samuel 17:8, "chafed in their minds," bitter of soul).

And hasty - not passionate, but 'impetuous.'


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:6". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/habakkuk-1.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(6) I raise up the Chaldeans—i.e., I am bringing up the Chaldæan or Babylonian armies into Judæa. The phrase implies that the Chaldæans were not yet in Judæa, but there is no occasion to find an allusion to the recent rise of the Chaldæan nation. We notice this point because an ethnological theory (now generally abandoned) has regarded the Chaldæans of the prophetic period as raised to national existence only a little time before the date of Habakkuk. It was supposed that they were a race distinct from the Chaldæans of earlier Scripture; being, in fact, an association of northern hordes who had but recently penetrated the lower Mesopotamian valley. Habakkuk 1:6 and Isaiah 23:13 were therefore interpreted as illustrating the fact that these new nationalities “were on a sudden ‘raised up,’ elevated from their low estate of Assyrian colonists, to be the conquering people which they became under Nebuchadnezzar.” The confutation of this theory may be found in Rawlinson’s Ancient Monarchies, i. 57, 59. It appears that Babylon was peopled at this time, not, as was formerly supposed, with hordes of Armenians, Arabs, Kurds, and Sclaves, but with a mixed population, in which the old Chaldæan and Assyrian elements preponderated. The Chaldæans of the seventh century B.C. were, in fact, as legitimate descendants of the people of Nimrod’s empire as we are of the Saxons. Certainly, the rapidity with which Babylon rose from the position of an Assyrian colony to that of ruler of Asia was marvellous. But the work which is to make the Jews wonder is not God’s choice of an agent, but that agent’s proceeding; not the elevation of one Gentile power in the place of another, but the attack which that new power is to make upon the sacred city.

Bitter and hasty.—Better, fierce and impetuous. The association of these two epithets, mar and nimhâr, is the more forcible, because of their similarity in sound. With respect to the whole passage Habakkuk 1:6-11, Kleinert well remarks, “The present passage is the locus classicus for the characteristics of this warlike people, just as Isaiah 5:26 seq. is for the characteristics of the Assyrians.”


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:6". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/habakkuk-1.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not theirs.
I raise
Deuteronomy 28:49-52; 2 Kings 24:2; 2 Chronicles 36:6,17; Isaiah 23:13; 39:6,7; Jeremiah 1:15,16; Jeremiah 4:6,8; 5:15; 6:22,23; 21:4; 25:9
breadth
Heb. breadths.

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:6". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/habakkuk-1.html.

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