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Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at

Habakkuk Chapter 1

Habakkuk 1:1

hab 1:1

The burden - The prophet seems to speak of these grievous things, as a burden which he himself groaned under.

Habakkuk 1:4

hab 1:4

Therefore - 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.

Habakkuk 1:5

hab 1:5

Behold ye - Here God begins to answer the prophet. Among the heathen - See what judgments have been executed upon the heathen for like sins.

Habakkuk 1:6

hab 1:6

Bitter - Cruel, and without mercy. Hasty - Speedy in executing their merciless purposes.

Habakkuk 1:7

hab 1:7

Their 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.

Habakkuk 1:8

hab 1:8

The evening wolves - Which with fasting in the day, came out in the evening, fierce and ravenous. Shall spread - All over the land.

Habakkuk 1:9

hab 1:9

For violence - To enrich themselves by making a prey of all. Their faces - Their very countenances shall be as blasting as the east - wind.

Habakkuk 1:10

hab 1:10

At the kings - Which opposed their designs. And take it - By mighty mounts cast up.

Habakkuk 1:12

hab 1:12

Shall 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.

Habakkuk 1:14

hab 1:14

And 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.

Habakkuk 1:15

hab 1:15

They - 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.

Habakkuk 1:16

hab 1:16

They sacrifice - Ascribe the praise of their victories. Their net - To their own contrivances, diligence, and power.

Habakkuk 1:17

hab 1:17

Empty their net - As fisher - men empty the full net to fill it again.

Next: Habakkuk Chapter 2