Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at sacred-texts.com
hab 1:1The burden - The prophet seems to speak of these grievous things, as a burden which he himself groaned under.
hab 1:4Therefore - Because the wicked go on with impunity. The law - The whole law, moral, ceremonial, and judicial. Is slacked - Is slighted, and not observed. Go forth - From magistrates, judges, and public officers. Doth compass about - As it were besieges, with design to oppress and ruin.
hab 1:5Behold ye - Here God begins to answer the prophet. Among the heathen - See what judgments have been executed upon the heathen for like sins.
hab 1:6Bitter - Cruel, and without mercy. Hasty - Speedy in executing their merciless purposes.
hab 1:7Their judgment - The law they observe, is their own will. Their dignity - Their authority is all from themselves, without respect to any other law or rule whatever.
hab 1:8The evening wolves - Which with fasting in the day, came out in the evening, fierce and ravenous. Shall spread - All over the land.
hab 1:9For violence - To enrich themselves by making a prey of all. Their faces - Their very countenances shall be as blasting as the east - wind.
hab 1:10At the kings - Which opposed their designs. And take it - By mighty mounts cast up.
hab 1:12Shall not die - Be utterly destroyed. Ordained - Set up, and designed. Them - The Chaldean kingdom. For judgment - To execute this judgment, which is tempered with mercy. For correction - To chastise, not to destroy.
hab 1:14And makest - Not infusing cruel appetites, but permitting them to act according to such appetite which was already in them. As the fishes - Of which the greater greedily devour the smaller. Creeping things - Which in the waters are food for the lesser fry; so the world, like the sea, is wholly oppression. No ruler - None to defend the weak, or restrain the mighty.
hab 1:15They - The Chaldeans draw out all alike, good or bad. In their net - Destroying many together. And gather - As if they could never have enough, they drive men into their nets.
hab 1:16They sacrifice - Ascribe the praise of their victories. Their net - To their own contrivances, diligence, and power.
hab 1:17Empty their net - As fisher - men empty the full net to fill it again.