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"tremble: for the day of the LORD "cometh, for it is nigh at hand; 2. A "day of darkness and of gloominess, a "day of clouds and of thick darkness, "as the morning spread upon the "mountains: a great people and a 66 strong, there hath not been ever the "like, neither shall be any more after "it, even to the years of many gener❝ations. 3. A fire devoureth before "them, and behind them a flame "burneth the land is as the garden "of Eden (d) before them, and behind "them a desolate wilderness, yea, and "nothing shall escape them. 4. The 66 appearance of them is as the appear"ance of horses (e); and as horse"men, so shall they run. 5. Like the
"noise (e) of chariots on the tops of "mountains shall they leap, like the "noise of a flame of fire that devoureth "the stubble, as a strong people set "in battle array. 6. Before their face "the people shall be much pained (g): "all faces shall gather blackness (g). ❝7. They shall run like mighty men; "they shall climb the wall like men "of war; and they shall march every ❝ one on his ways, and they shall not
"break their ranks. 8. Neither shall "one thrust another, they shall walk
and if so, long before Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Haggai, Zechariah, or Malachi. His prophecies are confined to the kingdom of Judah. A dreadful desolation threatened, (some suppose by locusts and other insects,) a strong exhortation to repentance humiliation and prayer, a promise of future favour and of an effusion of God's Holy Spirit, (probably in the time of the Messiah,) an intimation of a further visitation, (probably the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans,) in which God's people, they who call upon his name, should escape.
(d) v. 3. As the garden of Eden," i. e. "in a state of plenty and abundance :" what they find flourishing, they leave desolate.
(e) v. 4. "Of horses," and v. 5. "the "noise, &c." The description of the locusts denounced in Rev. ix. agrees in some particulars with this account, "The shapes
of the locusts were like unto horses pre"pared unto battle: and they had breast
every one in his path: and when they "fall upon the sword, they shall not "be wounded (h). 9. They shall run "to and fro in the city: they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses: they shall enter in "at the windows like a thief. 10. The "earth shall quake before them, the "heavens shall tremble, the sun and "the moon (i) shall be dark (k), and "the stars (i) shall withdraw their shining (k); 11. And the LORD shall "utter his voice before his army: for "his camp is very great: for he is "strong that executeth his word (1): "for the day of the LORD is great and
very terrible, and who can abide it? "12. Therefore also now, saith the "LORD," Turn ye even to me with "all your heart, and with fasting, and "with weeping, and with mourning. "13. And rend your heart, and not 66 your garments, and turn unto the "LORD your God; for he is gracious "and merciful, slow to anger, and of
great kindness, and repenteth him of "the evil. 14. Who knoweth if he "will return and repent, and leave a "blessing behind him, even a meat"offering (m) and a drink-offering unto "the LORD your God? 15. Blow the
"plates as it were breastplates of iron, "and the sound of their wings was as the "sound of chariots of many horses running "to battle. Rev. ix. 7. 9."
(g) v. 6. "Pained," i. e. "with dread," "gather blackness," i. e. " be downcast "and melancholy."
(h) v. 8. "Not be wounded," a strong expression, to imply they would be irresistible: that all means of opposing them would fail.
(i) v. 10. "The sun and the moon, "and the stars," i. e. "the chiefs and "rulers."
"trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call "a solemn assembly; 16. Gather the "people sanctify the congregation: "assemble the elders: gather the chil"dren (n), and those that suck the "breast let the bridegroom (o) go "forth of his chamber, and the bride "out of her closet. 17. Let the priests, "the ministers of the LORD, weep be"tween the porch and the altar (p), "and let them say, "Spare thy people, "O LORD, and give not thine heritage "to reproach, that the heathen should "rule over (q) them: wherefore should "they say among the people, "Where "is their God?" 18. Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people. 19. Yea, the LORD will answer and say unto his people, "Behold I will send you corn, and "wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied "therewith: and I will no more "make you a reproach among the "heathen: 20. But I will remove far "off from you the northern army, and "will drive him into a land barren "and desolate, with his face toward "the east sea (r), and his hinder part "toward the utmost sea (r), and his ❝stink shall come up, and his ill savour "shall come up, because he hath done great things. 21. Fear not, O land, "be glad and rejoice: for the LORD
tioned in verse 3. of "a desolate wilder"ness." In describing a desolation, (Joel i. 9.) part of the account was, "The meat"offering and drink-offering is cut off from "the house of the Lord."
(n) v. 16. "The children, &c." "sons of all ages."
(o)" The bridegroom, &c." "one make excuse; let the assembly be "universal."
(p) v. 17. "Between the porch and the "altar," where the priest usually attended, and where they could best be heard by the people.
(9) "Rule over," or "insult." (r) v. 20. "The east sea," i. e. "the sea of Sodom,” ""the utmost sea," i. e. "the Mediterranean."
(s) v. 22. "Ye beasts, &c." An intimation of plenty, not famine: looking forward (probably) to spiritual blessings.
"will do great things. 22. Be not "afraid, ye beasts (s) of the field: for "the pastures of the wilderness do "spring (t), for the tree beareth (?) "her fruit, the fig tree and the vine "do yield (t) their strength. 23. Be
glad then, ye children of Zion, and "rejoice in the LORD your God: for "he hath given you the former rain " moderately; and he will cause to "come down for you the rain, the "former rain and the latter rain in the "first month. 24. And the floors shall "be full of wheat, and the fats shall "overflow with wine and oil. 25. And "I will restore to you the years that "the locust hath eaten, the canker"worm, and the caterpiller, and the "palmer-worm, my great army which "I sent among you. 26. And ye shall "eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and 66 praise the name of the LORD your "God, that hath dealt wondrously "with you: and my people shall never "be ashamed. 27. And ye shall know "that I am in the midst of Israel, and "that I am the LORD your God, and "none else: and my people (u) shall "never be ashamed (x). 28. And it "shall come to pass afterward (y), that "I will pour out my Spirit upon all "flesh, and your sons (2) and your "daughters (2) shall prophesy, your
(t) v. 22. "Do spring," "beareth," and "do yield," the present for the future.
(u) v. 27. “My people,” i. e. "they "who trust in me."
(x)" Be ashamed," i. e. "have cause "to be ashamed."
(y) v. 28. " Afterward," or " in the "last days." St. Paul so quotes it, when he applies this passage to the first effusion of the Holy Ghost, (Acts ii. 16 to 21) "This is that which was spoken by the "prophet Joel, "and it shall come to pass "in the last days, saith God, I will pour "out of my Spirit upon all flesh, &c." "The last days" mean "the times of the "Messiah," or "the last days of the Jew"ish state, 2 Lightf. 1024."
(z) v. 28, 29. "Sons;" " daughters, "old men, young men, servants, hand"maids," i. e. "without regard to age, sex, or station."
CHAP. VI. (g)
HEAR EAR ye now what the LORD saith, "Arise, contend thou before the moun"tains (h), and let the hills (h) hear thy "voice. 2. Hear ye, O mountains, the "LORD's controversy, and ye_strong "foundations of the earth for the "LORD hath a controversy with his "people, and he will plead with Israel. "3. O my people, what have I done "unto thee, and wherein have I wearied "thee? testify against me. 4. For I
(a) v. 31. "The sun shall be turned "into darkness, and the moon into blood." Figurative expressions, to intimate the calamities and dismay which should fall upon the great.
(b) "The great and the terrible day, "&c." i. e. (probably) "the time of the "destruction of Jerusalem." Our Saviour says, with reference to the destruction of Jerusalem, "These be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. Luke xxi. 22."
(c) v. 32. "Shall call on the name of "the Lord," i. e. "profess the true re"ligion, and put their trust in God." It is supposed that at the destruction of Jerusalem, not a single Christian was included: Our Saviour gave them this advice; "when ye shall see Jerusalem 66 compassed with armies, then know that "the desolation thereof is nigh: then let "them which are in Judea flee to the "mountains, and let them which are in the "midst depart out. Luke xxi. 20, 21." An opportunity occurred after the first commencement of the siege, and at that time every Christian is supposed to have escaped. See ante, 76. note on Matt. xxiv. 31.
(d) "In mount Zion, and in Jerusalem,"
brought thee up out of the land of "Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the "house of servants, and I sent before "thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. "5. O my people, remember now what "Balak king of Moab consulted (i), "and what Balaam the son of Beor "answered him from Shittim unto Gilgal, that ye may know the righteousness of the LORD. 6. "Wherewith "shall I come before the LORD, and "bow myself before the high God? i. e. (perhaps) figuratively, "for the true "worshippers of God."
(e) "The remnant whom the Lord shall "call," i. e. "those who shall listen to his "voice, and profess his religion."
(g) Micah prophesied in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, (Mic. i. 1. and see Jer. xxvi. 18.) and was therefore living in the times of Isaiah, Hosea, Amos, and Zephaniah, long before Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Haggai, Zechariah or Malachi. An expostulation from God with his people, and a denunciation against them for their sins.
(h) v. 1. "The mountains," and "the "hills, &c." i. e. " even the most senseless things will be convinced of the iniquity " of your ways."
(i) v. 5. "What Balak consulted, &c." The best interpretation of this and the next three verses seems to be this: verses 6 and 7 contain a question from Balak to Balaam; and verse 8. Balaam's answer; and by "the righteousness of the Lord" in verse 5. is meant "the righteousness he "requires," viz. " to do justly, &c." Bishop Butler and Dr. Hales adopt this construction. Butler's Serm. 121.2 Hales, 129.
"shall I come before him with burnt"offerings, with calves of a year old? "7. Will the LORD be pleased with "thousands of rams, or with ten thou"sands of rivers of oil? shall I give "my first-born for my transgression, "the fruit of my body for the sin of my "soul? 8. He hath shewed thee, Ŏ "man, what is good; and what doth "the LORD require of thee, but to do "justly (k), and to love mercy, and to "walk humbly with thy God? 9. The "LORD's voice crieth (1) unto the city, "and the man of wisdom shall see thy "name (m): hear ye the rod (n), and "who hath appointed it. 10. Are there "yet (o) the treasures of wickedness "in the house of the wicked, and "the scant measure that is abominable. "11. Shall I count them pure with "wicked balances, and with the bag of "deceitful weights? 12. For the rich "men thereof (p) are full of violence, and
"the inhabitants thereof have spoken "lies, and their tongue is deceitful in "their mouth. 13. Therefore also will "I make thee sick in smiting thee, in "making thee desolate because of thy "sins. 14. Thou shalt eat (q), but not "be satisfied, and thy casting down (r) "shall be in the midst of thee, and thou "shalt take hold (s), but shalt not de"liver: and that which thou deliverest "will I give up to the sword: 15. Thou "shalt sow (t) but thou shalt not reap: "thou shalt tread the olives, but thou "shalt not anoint thee with oil; and "sweet wine (u), but shalt not drink "wine. 16. For the statutes of Omri (r) "are kept, and all the works of the "house of Ahab, and ye walk in their "counsels; that I should make thee a "desolation, and the inhabitants thereof "an hissing: therefore ye shall bear the reproach of my people (y).”
CHAP. II. (z)
WILL stand (a) upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch
(k) v. 8. "Justly," or "justice," 2 Hales, 220. A fine summary of man's duties!!
() v. 9. "Crieth," i. e. "takes extra"ordinary pains to make known what he "requires; proclaims it aloud, so that every one must hear it."
(m) See thy name," i. e. (perhaps) "perceive thy name stamped upon the "command; be satisfied of its authen"ticity."
(n)" The rod," i. e. " the punishment "for disobedience."
(o) v. 10. "Yet," "after this warning; "after God hath cried to the city!"
(p) v. 12. "Thereof," i. e. " of the city, "of Jerusalem."
(q) v. 14. "Eat, &c." i. e. either "thy "food shall not give thee nourishment," "thou shalt not have enough to nourish "thee."
(r)" Thy casting down, &c." i. e. (perhaps)" thou shalt be visited with in"ward sickness."
(s) "Thou shalt take hold, &c." i. e. (perhaps) "what you most value, what you
to see what he (6) will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. 2. And the LORD answered me, and said,
"most would wish to save, shall either be "wrested from you, or given to the "sword."
(t) v. 15. "Sow, &c." "Shalt have the "toil, not the produce." Like the denunciation, Deut. xxviii. 38 to 40.
(u) "Sweet wine," or "thou shalt have " vineyards."
(x) v. 16. "Omri," one of the wicked kings of Israel, Ahab's father; "he wrought "evil in the sight of the Lord, worse than "all that were before him. 1 Kings xvi. "25."
(y)" My people," or "the heathen. Sept."
(z) The exact time when Habakkuk lived is not known: probably before the commencement of the Babylonish captivity: for he says, Hab. i. 6. ́“Lo, I raise "up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty "nation;" and enters into a more minute description of their strength and martial qualities than would have been likely had they before been known in Judea.-A prophecy of the great deliverance by the Mes
"Write (c) the vision, and make (c) it "plain upon tables, that he may run (d) "that readeth it. 3. For the vision (e) "is yet (g) for an appointed time, but at "the end it (h) shall speak, and not "lie () though it (h) tarry, wait for "it(); because it (h) will surely come, "it (h) will not tarry. 4. Behold, his "soul which is lifted up (k) is not upright in him: but the just shall live "by his faith (1). 5. Yea also (m), because (n) he (o) transgresseth by wine, "he is a proud man, neither keepeth at "home (p), who enlargeth his desire as "hell, and is as death, and cannot be
(b)" He," i. e. “God.”
(c) v. 2. "Write," or "engrave," and "make it plain," or "cut it deeply." Intimations that it was of great importance, and that persons not then born were concerned in knowing it.
(d)" May run, &c." or "that he who runs may read it." So that it was to be short as well as clear, that it might be seen and understood at a single glance.
(e) v. 3. "The vision," i. e. (probably) "the great subject of prophecy, the deliverance by the Messiah.'"
(g) "Yet, &c." i. e. (probably) "there "is an interval, a fixed and settled time "which must elapse before this great " event."
(h) "It," or "he," "him;" so in all the ancient versions, (Bp. Chandler's Defence of Christianity, 163. and so cited Hebr. x. 37.) The ancient rabbins considered this a prophecy of the Messiah, and the Talmudists do the same. Chandl.166,7. Bp. Chandler thus renders the passage: "And at the end he shall break forth," (i.e. as the sun,)" and not deceive: though "he tarry, expect him, because he that "cometh will come, he will not go beyond "[God's appointed time.] Behold, if any "man draw back, the soul of him (God)
"satisfied, but gathereth (q) 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, "Woe "to him that increaseth (r) that which is "not his how long (s)? and to him "that ladeth himself with thick clay (1). "7. Shall they not rise up suddenly (u) "that shall bite thee, and awake that "shall vex thee, and thou shalt be for "booties unto them? 8. Because (x) "thou hast spoiled many nations; "all the remnant of the people shall spoil thee: because of men's blood,
"shall have no pleasure in, but the just "shall live by faith. Chandl. Def. 162." The citation Hebr. x. 37, 38. as far as it goes, agrees nearly with Bp. Chandler. "For yet a little time, and he that shall
come, will come, and will not tarry: now "the just shall live by faith; but if any "man draw back, my soul shall have no "pleasure in him.”
(i) "Speak, and not lie," or "appear, " and not deceive."
(k) v. 4. "Lifted up," i. e. with pride, or drawn aside," doubting God's promises.
()" Shall live by his faith," i. e. (probably) "his confidence in God shall secure "him life."
(m) v. 5. "Also," i. e. (probably)" in "addition to this prophecy as to Christ, "I will state what shall happen to the "Babylonians."
(n) Because, &c." reasons fully justi fying the judgment upon them.
(o) "He," i.e. "the Babylonish nation," spoken of as one man.
(p) "Neither keepeth at home," i. e. "does not confine himself within his own "limits."
(q)" Gathereth, &c." extending his dominions far and wide.