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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Habakkuk 1:9

 

 

"All of them come for violence. Their horde of faces moves forward. They collect captives like sand.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Their faces shall sup up as the east wind - This may be an allusion to those electrical winds which prevail in that country. Mr. Jackson, in his overland journey from India, mentions his having bathed in the Tigris. On his coming out of the river one of those winds passed over him, and, in a moment, carried off every particle of water that was on his body and in his bathing dress. So, the Chaldeans shall leave no substance behind them; their faces, their bare appearance, is the proof that nothing good shall be left.

Shall gather the captivity as the sand - They shall carry off innumerable captives.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:9". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/habakkuk-1.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

They shall come all for violence - “Violence” had been the sin of Judah Habakkuk 1:3-4, and now violence shall be her punishment. It had been ever before the prophet; all were full of it. Now should violence be the very end, one by one, of all the savage horde poured out upon them; they all, each one of them come for violence.

Their faces shall sup up as the east wind - קדומה occurs else only in Ezekiel 11:1, and Ezekiel 11:16 times in Ezekiel 4048 of the ideal city and temple as “Eastwards.” But except in the far-fetched explanation of Abarb (mentioned also by Tanchum) that they ravaged, not to settle but to return home with their booty, “Eastwards” would have no meaning. Yet “forwards” is just as insulated a rendering as that adopted by John and D. Kimchi, A. E. Rashi, Oh. Sip., Sal. B. Mel. Arab Tr. (following Jonathan) “the East-wind; קדומה standing as a metaphor instead of a simile the ה being regarded as paragogic, as in לילה . So also Symmachus ἄνεμος καύσων anemos kausōn Jerome: “ventus urens.”) “As at the breath of the burning wind all green things dry up, so at sight of these all shall be wasted.” They shall sweep over everything impetuously, like the east wind, scorching, blackening, blasting, swallowing up all, as they pass over, as the East wind, especially in the Holy Land, sucks up all moisture and freshness.

And they shall gather the captivity - i. e., the captives

As the sand - countless, as the particles which the East wind raises, sweeping over the sand-wastes, where it buries whole caravans in one death.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:9". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/habakkuk-1.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

They shall come all for violence,.... Or, "the whole of it"F19כלה "illa teta", Junius & Tremellius; "sub. gens", Pagninus, Piscator; "totus exercitus", Vatablus; "populus", Calvin. ; the whole army of the Chaldeans, everyone of them; this would be their sole view, not to do themselves justice, as might be pretended, or avenge any injuries or affronts done to them by the Jews; but purely for the sake of spoil and plunder:

their faces shall sup up as the east wind: their countenances will appear so stern and fierce, that their very looks will so frighten, as to cause men to sink and die through terror; just as herbs and plants shrivel up and wither away, when blasted by a nipping east wind. So the Targum,

"the reception or look of their faces is like to a vehement east wind.'

Some render it,

"the look or design of their faces is to the eastF20קדימה "ad orientem", Pagninus, Montanus, Drusius; "orientem versus", Junius & Tremellius, De Dieu, Burkius; so Abarbinel. ;'

when the Chaldeans were on their march to Judea, their faces were to the west or south west; but then their desire and views were, that when they had got the spoil they came for, as in the preceding clause, to carry it to Babylon, which lay eastward or north east of Judea, and thither their faces looked:

and they shall gather the captivity as the sand; or gather up persons, both in Judea, and in other countries conquered by them, as innumerable as the sand of the sea, and carry them captive into their own land. Captivity is put for captives.


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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.
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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:9". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/habakkuk-1.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

They shall come all for violence: their faces shall sup up [as] the f east wind, and they shall gather the captives g as the sand.

(f) For the Jews most feared this wind, because it destroyed their fruits.

(g) They will be so many in number.


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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:9". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/habakkuk-1.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

all for violence — The sole object of all is not to establish just rights, but to get all they can by violence.

their faces shall sup up as the east wind — that is, they shall, as it were, swallow up all before them; so the horse in Job 39:24 is said to “swallow the ground with fierceness and rage.” Maurer takes it from an Arabic root, “the desire of their faces,” that is, the eager desire expressed by their faces. Henderson, with Symmachus and Syriac, translates, “the aspect.”

as the east wind — the simoon, which spreads devastation wherever it passes (Isaiah 27:8). Gesenius translates, “(is) forwards.” The rendering proposed, eastward, as if it referred to the Chaldeans‘ return home eastward from Judea, laden with spoils, is improbable. Their “gathering the sand” accords with the simoon being meant, as it carries with it whirlwinds of sand collected in the desert.


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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 1:9". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/habakkuk-1.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

They shall come all for violence: their faces shall sup up as the east wind, and they shall gather the captivity as the sand.

For violence — To enrich themselves by making a prey of all.

Their faces — Their very countenances shall be as blasting as the east-wind.


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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 1:9". "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

By saying that they would come to the prey, he means that they would have no trouble or labor, for they would be victorious before they had any contest, or had any war with their enemies. The meaning then is, that the Chaldeans would not come to spend much time in warfare, as when there is a strong power to resist; but that they would only come for the booty, for the Jews would be frightened, and instantly submit themselves. And by these words the Prophet intimates, that there would be neither strength nor courage in a people so refractory: for God thus debilitates the hearts of those who fiercely resist his word. Whenever, then, men become strong against God, he so melts their hearts, that they cannot resist their fellow-mortals; and thus he mocks their confidence, or rather their madness. Lest then the Jews should still harbor any hope from the chance of war, the Prophet says that the Chaldeans would only come for the prey, for all would become subject to them.

He afterwards adds, that the meeting of their faces would be like the oriental wind. The word גמה, gime, means what is opposite; and its derivative signifies meeting or opposition (occursus.) We indeed know that the east wind was very injurious to the land of Judea, that it dried up vegetation, yea, that it consumed as it were the whole produce of the earth. The violence of that wind was also very great. Hence whenever the Prophets wished to express a violent impetuosity, they added this comparison of the east wind. It was therefore the same as though the Prophet had said that the Jews would now in vain flatter themselves; for as soon as they perceived the blowing of the east wind, they would flee away, knowing that they would be wholly unable to stand against it. (15)

Hence follows what is added by the Prophets, He shall gather the captivity like the sand; that is, the king of Babylon shall without any trouble subdue all the people, and collect captives innumerable as the sand; for by the sand of the sea is meant an immense number of men. In short, the Prophet shows that the Jews were already conquered; because their striving and their contest had been with God, whom they had so often and so obstinately provoked; and also, because God had chosen for himself such servants as excelled in quickness, and power, and cruelty. This is the sum of the whole. He afterwards adds—

The version of Henderson, which is essentially that of Symmachus, is the following,—

The aspect of their faces is like the east wind.

He owns the difficulty as to the last word, and views it here as in an irregular form. Dathius gives this paraphrase,—

It will have its face direct towards the east.

He says that the word [ קדום ], by itself never means the pestilential wind from the east; but that when it means this, it has another word attached to it.—Ed.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:9". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/habakkuk-1.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Habakkuk 1:9 They shall come all for violence: their faces shall sup up [as] the east wind, and they shall gather the captivity as the sand.

Ver. 9. They shall come all for violence] That by force and violence they may carry all before them. Fit via vi, Cedit viribus aequum. They are set upon it, and will have it so.

Their faces shall sup up as the east wind] That ventus urens et exsiccans, they shall blast all they look upon; Euroclydon-like, they shall overturn all, Acts 27:14. Navigantium pestem, the mariner’s misery, Pliny calleth this wind, for the hurt it doeth by sea. Some read it, their faces shall look towards the east, viz. towards Babylon, whither they carry the booty they get.

And they shall gather the captivity as the sand] So many shall be their captives, and so little accounted for as the dust or sand they tread upon. Thus the Turks carry out of Hungary and other Christian countries near unto them innumerable booties and captives, fifteen thousand at a time. And so the Spaniards, when they had taken the island Hispaniola, in the Indies, within a few months they rid it clean of the inhabitants and natives, while they gathered unto themselves captives and slaves.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:9". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/habakkuk-1.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Habakkuk 1:9. Their faces shall sup, &c.— A burning wind goes before them, and gathers captives as the sand. Houbigant. They shall carry desolation, destruction, and fire every where before them. The winds which blew from Arabia the Desert were extremely hot, and very dangerous, not only on account of their own heat, but on account of the dust and sand which they brought with them. See Jeremiah 4:11; Jeremiah 18:17. Ezekiel 17:10; Ezekiel 19:12.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:9". 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

They, Chaldeans, and in particular these fierce and swift horsemen, shall come all, with one purpose, on the same design, to enrich themselves by making a prey of all.

Their faces shall sup up as the east wind: either thus, their very countenances shall be as blasting, pestiferous, and dangerous as is the east wind in those countries; or thus, all they can sup up, or lay hold on, they will carry eastward; or thus, when you are devoured, they shall set their faces eastward to devour others in those coasts.

They shall gather the captivity; prisoners or captives, called here the captivity, to express the extremity thereof.

As the sand, both for easiness of gathering, and the multitudes of captives gathered.

They, Chaldeans, and in particular these fierce and swift horsemen, shall come all, with one purpose, on the same design, to enrich themselves by making a prey of all.

Their faces shall sup up as the east wind: either thus, their very countenances shall be as blasting, pestiferous, and dangerous as is the east wind in those countries; or thus, all they can sup up, or lay hold on, they will carry eastward; or thus, when you are devoured, they shall set their faces eastward to devour others in those coasts.

They shall gather the captivity; prisoners or captives, called here the captivity, to express the extremity thereof.

As the sand, both for easiness of gathering, and the multitudes of captives gathered.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:9". 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 Babylonians loved violence. The faces of their warriors showed their love for battle as they moved irresistibly forward in conquest. They were as effective at collecting captives from other countries as the sirocco winds from the East were at driving dust before them (cf. Jeremiah 18:17; Ezekiel 17:10; Ezekiel 19:12; Jonah 4:8). This enemy was advancing like a whirlwind and gathering captives as innumerable as the sand.


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:9". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/habakkuk-1.html. 2012.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Burning. Hebrew also, "eastern," which is hot, and raises the sand of Arabia so as to be very detrimental. (Calmet) --- Out of 2,000 travellers from Mecca to Aleppo, only twenty-nine escaped such a storm, or kamsin, in that vast desert, August 23, 1813. (Rock. 312.) (Haydock) --- Sand, from various countries, Isaias xx. 4. (Berosus cited [by Josephus,] contra Apion i.)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:9". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/habakkuk-1.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

all for violence: i.e. not for conquest, but for destruction.

faces = aspect, intent, or eagerness,

sup up, &c. = swallow up (as in Job 39:24), as the Palestine burning east wind withers up and destroys all green things.

as the sand. Figure of speech Paroemia. App-6.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:9". "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

They shall come all for violence: their faces shall sup up as the east wind, and they shall gather the captivity as the sand.

They shall come all for violence - the sole object of all is, not to establish just rights, but to get all they can by violence.

Their faces shall sup up as the east wind - i:e., they shall, as it were, swallow up all before them; so the horse, in Job 39:24, is said to "swallow the ground with fierceness and rage" [from gamaa', to swallow up]. Maurer takes the Hebrew [ m


Copyright Statement
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:9". "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

(9) Their faces shall sup up as the east wind.—Literally, if we could accept this interpretation, the eagerness of their faces is eastward. The passage, however, is beset with philological difficulties. If the word kâdîmâh could be translated “east wind,” the invading Chaldæan host would be compared to a blast from the east, passing over the land, and leaving it scorched and blighted. The captives (“captivity,” Authorised Version) whom the invader carries off would then be likened to the cloud of dust, sand, &c., which accompanies this withering blast. This gives a good sense. Unfortunately, however, according to all analogy, kâdîmâh must mean either “eastwards” or “forwards.” The meaning of m’gammath (used here only) is probably either “crowd” or “eager desire.” Two plausible renderings are thus presented for our choice—“There is a crowd of their faces pressing forwards;” “Their faces turn eagerly forwards.” For other interpretations, we must refer the Hebrew student to the critical commentaries.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:9". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/habakkuk-1.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

They shall come all for violence: their faces shall sup up as the east wind, and they shall gather the captivity as the sand.
for
6; 2:5-13; Deuteronomy 28:51,52; Jeremiah 4:7; 5:15-17; 25:9
their faces shall sup up as the east
or, the supping up of their faces, as, etc. or, their faces shall look toward the east. Heb. the opposition of their faces shall be toward the east.
Isaiah 27:8; Jeremiah 4:11; Ezekiel 17:10; 19:12; Hosea 13:15
they shall gather
2:5; Genesis 41:49; Judges 7:12; Job 29:18; Psalms 139:18; Jeremiah 15:8; 34:22; Hosea 1:10; Romans 9:27

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Habakkuk 1:9". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/habakkuk-1.html.

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