The third curse against their towns (Hab 2:12-2:14)

“Woe to you!

You build a town

By bloodshed!

You found a city

On iniquity!

Is it not from Yahweh of hosts

That people labor,

Only to feed the flames?

Do nations weary themselves

For nothing?

The earth will be filled

With the knowledge

Of the glory of Yahweh,

As the waters cover the sea.”

Habakkuk issued his 3rd woe or curse against the Chaldeans, because they built their towns with bloodshed and founded their cities on iniquity.  They forced the people into building their cities with free labor.  However, the flames of a fire would come to destroy them.  They were wasting their time, because these towns and cities would not last.  The end result was that the earth would be filled with the knowledge and glory of Yahweh, just as water covered the sea.

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The second curse against their evil gains (Hab 2:9-2:11)

“Woe to you!

You get evil gain

For your houses!

You set your nest

On high,

To be safe

From the reach of harm.

You have devised shame

For your house,

By cutting off many people.

You have forfeited

Your life.

The very stones

Will cry out

From the wall.

The plaster

Will respond

From the woodwork.”

Habakkuk’s 2nd woe or curse against the Chaldeans was about their house or dynasty.  They had gathered evil things, so that they could build up their dynasty or houses.  They set their houses on high perches, safe from the reach of any harm.  By cutting off so many people to protect their own lives, they have brought shame to their dynasty.  Thus, the very stones and the plaster of their walls and woodwork would respond and cry out to them.

The first curse against their greed (Hab 2:6-2:8)

“Shall not everyone

Taunt such people,

With mocking riddles?

Let them say about them!

‘Woe to you!

You heap up

What is not your own!’

How long will you

Load yourselves

With goods

Taken in pledge?

Will not your own creditors

Suddenly rise up?

Those who make you tremble

Will wake up.

Then you will be booty

For them.

Because you have plundered

Many nations,

All that survive of the peoples

Shall plunder you.

Human bloodshed,

With the violence

To the earth,

Is in the cities,

As well as to all

Who live in them.”

Habakkuk has a series of taunts against the Chaldeans because of their behavior.  These 5 woes or curses were delivered in mocking riddles.  First of all, they have stored up things that were not their own.  How long would they continue to take things as pledges for the future?  Those creditors would rise up against them, and make them tremble and shake.  Then, they would become the booty of the people whom they plundered.  They have plundered so many countries, that the surviving countries would plunder them.  There was so much violence and bloodshed in the cities where people lived.  Does that sound familiar?

The proud and wealthy (Hab 2:4-2:5)

“Look at the proud!

Their spirit is not right

In them.

But the righteous

Live by their faith.

Moreover,

Wealth is treacherous.

The arrogant

Do not endure.

They open

Their throats wide

As in Sheol.

Just like death,

They never have enough.

They gather all nations

For themselves.

They collect

All people

As their own.”

Yahweh warned that these proud people would have a hard time, because their spirit was not right.  The main theme of this simple response was that the righteous live by their faith.  On the other hand, wealth was treacherous for the greedy.  Thus, the arrogant ones would not endure, because they were more open to the shadowy afterlife of Sheol.  These greedy people never had enough.  Just like death itself, they were always looking for more people.  They had tried to gather all people and countries to themselves as their own, but they were never satisfied.

The response of Yahweh (Hab 2:2-2:3)

“Yahweh answered me.

He said.

‘Write the vision!

Make it plain

On tablets!

Thus,

A runner

May read it.

There is still a vision

For the appointed time.

It speaks of the end.

It does not lie.

If it seems slow,

Wait for it!

It will surely come.

It will not delay.’”

Yahweh did answer Habakkuk.  He told him to write down the vision on a plain tablet, so that a runner or messenger could read it.  This vision had a specific time for the end times that would not lie.  It might seem slow, but Habakkuk was to wait for it, because it would surely come without any great delay.

Waiting for Yahweh (Hab 2:1-2:1)

“I will stand

At my watch post.

I will station myself

On the rampart tower.

I will keep watch

To see

What he will answer

Concerning my complaint.”

Habakkuk was going to wait for Yahweh to respond to his complaint about the wicked ones.  He was going to stand at the watch post or guard shack.  He would station himself at the ramparts to the town in the tower.  He was going to watch to see if Yahweh was going to respond to his complaints.

The nets of the enemy (Hab 1:14-1:17)

“You have made people

Like the fish of the sea,

Like crawling things

That have no ruler.

The enemy brings

All of them up

With a hook.

He drags them out,

With his net.

He gathers them

In his seine.

Thus,

He rejoices.

He exults.

Therefore,

He sacrifices

To his net.

He makes sacrifices

To his seine.

His portion is lavish

By them.

His food is rich.

Is he then to keep on

Emptying his net?

Will he keep destroying nations

Without mercy?”

This enemy would keep devouring the people.  Yahweh has made people like fish in the sea, since they have no ruler, much like crawling things.  Thus, this enemy has a hook with a net.  He has dragged the people out of the sea, as if they were fish in a net.  He has gathered them in his seine, which is a great big net.  Thus, this enemy is happy and exulted about his big catch of humans, much like a proud fisherman.  Then, this enemy would sacrifice offerings to his big nets, because they have contributed to his lavish life style with rich food.  He has become wealthy by catching all these humans in his big fish nets.  Thus, he kept emptying his nets and catching more humans in them.  He continued to destroy nations and countries without any mercy for anyone.  His evil ways just went on and on.