Douay-Rheims, Book 40: Habacuc

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Title: The Bible, Douay-Rheims Version, Book 40: Habacuc
       The Challoner Revision
Release Date: June 2005  [EBook #8340]
[This file was first posted on July 4, 2003]

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Book 40        Habacuc


HABACUC was a native of Bezocher, and prophesied in JUDA, some time
before the invasion of the CHALDEANS, which he foretold. He lived to see
this prophecy fulfilled, and for many years after, according to the
general opinion, which supposes him to be the same that was brought by
the ANGEL to DANIEL in BABYLON, Dan. 14.

Habacuc Chapter 1

The prophet complains of the wickedness of the people: God reveals to
him the vengeance he is going to take of them by the Chaldeans.

1:1. The burden that Habacuc the prophet saw.

Burden... Such prophecies more especially are called burdens, as
threaten grievous evils and punishments.

1:2. How long, O Lord, shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear? shall I cry
out to thee suffering violence, and thou wilt not save?

1:3. Why hast thou shewn me iniquity and grievance, to see rapine and
injustice before me? and there is a judgment, but opposition is more

1:4. Therefore the law is torn in pieces, and judgment cometh not to the
end: because the wicked prevaileth against the just, therefore wrong
judgment goeth forth.

1:5. Behold ye among the nations, and see: wonder, and be astonished:
for a work is done in your days, which no man will believe when it shall
be told.

1:6. For behold, I will raise up the Chaldeans, a bitter and swift
nation, marching upon the breadth of the earth, to possess the dwelling
places that are not their own.

1:7. They are dreadful, and terrible: from themselves shall their
judgment, and their burden proceed.

1:8. Their horses are lighter than leopards, and swifter than evening
wolves; and their horsemen shall be spread abroad: for their horsemen
shall come from afar, they shall fly as an eagle that maketh haste to

1:9. They shall all come to the prey, their face is like a burning wind:
and they shall gather together captives as the sand.

1:10. And their prince shall triumph over kings, and princes shall be
his laughingstock: and he shall laugh at every strong hold, and shall
cast up a mount, and shall take it.

1:11. Then shall his spirit be changed, and he shall pass, and fall:
this is his strength of his god.

Then shall his spirit, etc... Viz., the spirit of the king of Babylon.
It alludes to the judgment of God upon Nabuchodonosor, recorded Dan. 4.,
and to the speedy fall of the Chaldean empire.

1:12. Wast thou not from the beginning, O Lord my God, my holy one, and
we shall not die? Lord, thou hast appointed him for judgment: and made
him strong for correction.

1:13. Thy eyes are too pure to behold evil, and thou canst not look on
iniquity. Why lookest thou upon them that do unjust things, and holdest
thy peace when the wicked devoureth the man that is more just than

1:14. And thou wilt make men as the fishes of the sea, and as the
creeping things that have no ruler.

1:15. He lifted up all them with his hook, he drew them in his drag, and
gathered them into his net: for this he will be glad and rejoice.

1:16. Therefore will he offer victims to his drag, and he will sacrifice
to his net: because through them his portion is made fat, and his meat

1:17. For this cause therefore he spreadeth his net, and will not spare
continually to slay the nations.

Habacuc Chapter 2

The prophet is admonished to wait with faith. The enemies of God's
people shall assuredly be punished.

2:1. I will stand upon my watch, and fix my foot upon the tower: and I
will watch, to see what will be said to me, and what I may answer to him
that reproveth me.

Will stand, etc... Waiting to see what the Lord will answer to my
complaint, viz., that the Chaldeans, who are worse than the Jews, and
who attribute all their success to their own strength, or to their
idols, should nevertheless prevail over the people of the Lord. The
Lord's answer is, that the prophet must wait with patience and faith:
that all should be set right in due time; and the enemies of God and his
people punished according to their deserts.

2:2. And the Lord answered me, and said: Write the vision, and make it
plain upon tables: that he that readeth it may run over it.

2:3. For as yet the vision is far off, and it shall appear at the end,
and shall notlie: if it make any delay, wait for it: for it shall surely
come, and it shall not be slack.

2:4. Behold, he that is unbelieving, his soul shall not be right in
himself: but the just shall live in his faith.

2:5. And as wine deceiveth him that drinketh it: so shall the proud man
be, and he shall not be honoured: who hath enlarged his desire like
hell: and is himself like death, and he is never satisfied: but will
gather together unto him all nations, and heap together unto him all

As wine deceiveth, etc... Viz., by affording only a short passing
pleasure; followed by the evils and disgrace that are the usual
consequences of drunkenness; so shall it be with the proud enemies of
the people of God; whose success affordeth them only a momentary
pleasure, followed by innumerable and everlasting evils.

2:6. Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a dark
speech concerning him: and it shall be said: Woe to him that heapeth
together that which is not his own? how long also doth he load himself
with thick clay?

Thick clay... Ill-gotten goods, that, like mire, both burden and defile
the soul.

2:7. Shall they not rise up suddenly that shall bite thee: and they be
stirred up that shall tear thee, and thou shalt be a spoil to them?

2:8. Because thou hast spoiled many nations, all that shall be left of
the people shall spoil thee: because of men's blood, and for the
iniquity of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.

2:9. Woe to him that gathereth together an evil covetousness to his
house, that his nest may be on high, and thinketh he may be delivered
out of the hand of evil.

2:10. Thou hast devised confusion to thy house, thou hast cut off many
people, and thy soul hath sinned.

2:11. For the stone shall cry out of the wall: and the timber that is
between the joints of the building, shall answer.

2:12. Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and prepareth a city
by iniquity.

2:13. Are not these things from the Lord of hosts? for the people shall
labour in a great fire: and the nations in vain, and they shall faint.

Are not these things, etc... That is, shall not these punishments that
are here recorded, come from the Lord upon him that is guilty of such
crimes.-Ibid. The people shall labour, etc... Viz., the enemies of God's

2:14. For the earth shall be filled, that men may know the glory of the
Lord, as waters covering the sea.

2:15. Woe to him that giveth drink to his friend, and presenteth his
gall, and maketh him drunk, that he may behold his nakedness.

2:16. Thou art filled with shame instead of glory: drink thou also, and
fall fast asleep: the cup of the right hand of the Lord shall compass
thee, and shameful vomiting shall be on thy glory.

2:17. For the iniquity of Libanus shall cover thee, and the ravaging of
beasts shall terrify them because of the blood of men, and the iniquity
of the land, and of the city, and of all that dwell therein.

The iniquity of Libanus... That is, the iniquity committed by the
Chaldeans against the temple of God, signified here by the name of

2:18. What doth the graven thing avail, because the maker thereof hath
graven it, a molten, and a false image? because the forger thereof hath
trusted in a thing of his own forging, to make dumb idols.

2:19. Woe to him that saith to wood: Awake: to the dumb stone: Arise:
can it teach? Behold, it is laid over with gold, and silver, and there
is no spirit in the bowels thereof.

2:20. But the Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence
before him.

Habacuc Chapter 3


For ignorances... That is, for the sins of his people. In the Hebrew, it
is Sigionoth: which some take to signify a musical instrument, or tune;
with which this sublime prayer and canticle was to be sung.

3:2. O Lord, I have heard thy hearing, and was afraid.  O Lord, thy
work, in the midst of the years bring it to life: In the midst of the
years thou shalt make it known: when thou art angry, thou wilt remember

Thy hearing, etc... That is, thy oracles, the great and wonderful things
thou hast revealed to me; and I was struck with a reverential fear and
awe.-Ibid. Thy work... The great work of the redemption of man, which
thou wilt bring to life and light in the midst of the years, when our
calamities and miseries shall be at their height.

3:3. God will come from the south, and the holy one from mount Pharan:
His glory covered the heavens, and the earth is full of his praise.

God will come from the south, etc... God himself will come to give us
his law, and to conduct us into the true land of promise: as heretofore
he came from the South (in the Hebrew Theman) and from mount Pharan to
give his law to his people in the desert. See Deut. 33.2.

3:4. His brightness shall be as the light: horns are in his hands: There
is his strength hid:

Horns, etc... That is, strength and power, which, by a Hebrew phrase,
are called horns. Or beams of light, which come forth from his hands. Or
it may allude to the cross, in the horns of which the hands of Christ
were fastened, where his strength was hidden, by which he overcame the
world, and drove out death and the devil.

3:5. Death shall go before his face.  And the devil shall go forth
before his feet.

Death shall go before his face, etc... Both death and the devil shall be
the executioners of his justice against his enemies: as they were
heretofore against the Egyptians and Chanaanites.

3:6. He stood and measured the earth.  He beheld, and melted the
nations: and the ancient mountains were crushed to pieces.  The hills of
the world were bowed down by the journeys of his eternity.

He beheld, etc... One look of his eye is enough to melt all the nations,
and to reduce them to nothing. For all heaven and earth disappear when
they come before his light. Apoc. 20.11. Ibid. The ancient mountains,
etc... By the mountains and hills are signified the great ones of the
world, that persecute the church, whose power was quickly crushed by the

3:7. I saw the tents of Ethiopia for their iniquity, the curtains of the
land of Madian shall be troubled.

Ethiopia... the land of the Blacks, and Madian, are here taken for the
enemies of God and his people: who shall perish for their iniquity.

3:8. Wast thou angry, O Lord, with the rivers? or was thy wrath upon the
rivers? or thy indignation in the sea?  Who will ride upon thy horses:
and thy chariots are salvation.

With the rivers, etc... He alludes to the wonders wrought heretofore by
the Lord in favour of his people Israel, when the waters of the rivers,
viz., of Arnon and Jordan, and of the Red Sea, retired before their
face: when he came as it were with his horses and chariots to save them
when he took up his bow for their defence, in consequene of the oath he
had made to their tribes: when the mountains trembled, and the deep
stood with its waves raised up in a heap, as with hands lifted up to
heaven: when the sun and the moon stood still at his command, etc., to
comply with his anger, not against the rivers and sea, but against the
enemies of his people. How much more will he do in favour of his Son:
and against the enemies of his church?

3:9. Thou wilt surely take up thy bow: according to the oaths which thou
hast spoken to the tribes.  Thou wilt divide the rivers of the earth.

3:10. The mountains saw thee, and were grieved: the great body of waters
passed away.  The deep put forth its voice: the deep lifted up its

3:11. The sun and the moon stood still in their habitation, in the light
of thy arrows, they shall go in the brightness of thy glittering spear.

3:12. In thy anger thou wilt tread the earth under foot: in thy wrath
thou wilt astonish the nations.

3:13. Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people: for salvation
with thy Christ.  Thou struckest the head of the house of the wicked:
thou hast laid bare his foundation even to the neck.

The head of the house of the wicked... Such was Pharao heretofore: such
shall Antichrist be hereafter.

3:14. Thou hast cursed his sceptres, the head of his warriors, them that
came out as a whirlwind to scatter me. Their joy was like that of him
that devoureth the poor man in secret.

3:15. Thou madest a way in the sea for thy horses, in the mud of many

Thou madest a way in the sea, etc... To deliver thy people from the
Egyptian bondage: and thou shalt work the like wonders in the spiritual
way, to rescue the children of the church from their enemies.

3:16. I have heard and my bowels were troubled: my lips trembled at the
voice.  Let rottenness enter into my bones, and swarm under me.  That I
may rest in the day of tribulation: that I may go up to our people that
are girded.

I have heard, etc... Viz., the evils that are now coming upon the
Israelites for their sins; and that shall come hereafter upon all
impenitent sinners; and the foresight that I have of these miseries
makes me willing to die, that I may be at rest, before this general
tribulation comes, in which all good things shall be withdrawn from the
wicked. Ibid. That I may go up to our people, etc... That I may join the
happy company in the bosom of Abraham, that are girded, that is,
prepared for their journey, by which they shall attend their Lord, when
he shall ascend into heaven. To which high and happy place, my Jesus,
that is, my Saviour, the great conqueror of death and hell, shall one
day conduct me rejoicing and singing psalms of praise, ver. 18 and 19.

3:17. For the fig tree shall not blossom: and there shall be no spring
in the vines. The labour of the olive tree shall fail: and the fields
shall yield no food: the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there
shall be no herd in the stalls.

3:18. But I will rejoice in the Lord: and I will joy in God my Jesus.

3:19. The Lord God is my strength: and he will make my feet like the
feet of harts: and he the conqueror will lead me upon my high places
singing psalms.

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