Habakkuk 2:5-20 - G. Campbell Morgan's Exposition on the Whole Bible

Bible Comments

The proclamations fall into two parts. The first is concerned with the "puffed up," the second concerns the righteous.

The "puffed up" are described as haughty, ambitious, conquering, against whom the prophet pronounces certain woes.

In considering these the progress is to be carefully noted. The first was against ambition, which was described. The judgment pronounced against it was a revolt of the oppressed, and retribution in kind. The second was against covetousness, that lust for possession at the expense of others. Judgment was to be the subjugated people rising against the oppressor, the stones and beams of the house testifying. The third was against violence, the infliction of cruel sufferings on the subjugated. Judgment was that the very cities so built should be destroyed. The fourth was against insolence, the brutal act of making a man drunk, and then making sport of him. Its judgment was to be retribution in kind. The fifth was against idolatry, the description of which was wholly satirical. Its judgment was declared to be unanswering gods.

The final statement of the prophet in this connection declared that he had found the solution, "The Lord is in His holy temple." The apparent strength of wickedness is false. Jehovah reigns.

Habakkuk 2:5-20

5 Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people:

6 Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woeb to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? and to him that ladeth himself with thick clay!

7 Shall they not rise up suddenly that shall bite thee, and awake that shall vex thee, and thou shalt be for booties unto them?

8 Because thou hast spoiled many nations, all the remnant of the people shall spoil thee; because of men's blood,c and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.

9 Woe to him that covetethd an evil covetousness to his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of evil!

10 Thou hast consulted shame to thy house by cutting off many people, and hast sinned against thy soul.

11 For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it.

12 Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood,e and stablisheth a city by iniquity!

13 Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts that the people shall labour in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity?

14 For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

15 Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!

16 Thou art filled with shame for glory: drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered: the cup of the LORD'S right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory.

17 For the violence of Lebanon shall cover thee, and the spoil of beasts, which made them afraid, because of men's blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.

18 What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols?

19 Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it.

20 But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.