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 queen talked about the importance of Daniel (Dan 5:11-5:12)

“There is a man

In your kingdom,

Who is endowed

With a spirit

Of the holy gods.

In the days

Of your father,

He was found to have

Enlightenment,

Understanding,

Wisdom,

Like the wisdom

Of the gods.

Your father,

King Nebuchadnezzar,

Made him chief

Of the magicians,

Of the enchanters,

Of the Chaldeans,

Of the diviners.

He had

An excellent spirit,

Knowledge,

Understanding.

He was able

To interpret dreams,

To explain riddles,

To solve problems.

These were found

In this Daniel,

Whom the king named

Belteshazzar.

Now let Daniel

Be called!

He will give

The interpretation.’”

This queen seemed to know all about Daniel and his ability to interpret dreams, probably because she was the queen mother. She reminded King Belshazzar that his father or grandfather, King Nebuchadnezzar, had found Daniel to have enlightenment, understanding, and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods. Thus, he made Daniel the chief of the magicians, the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the diviners. It is not clear why he was not still the chief. This Daniel had an excellent spirit, like that of gods, to interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve problems. The former king gave him a new name, Belteshazzar. She said that this Belteshazzar should be called to give an interpretation to this mysterious writing.

The king called all his wise men (Dan 4:6-4:7)

“Therefore,

I made a decree

That all the wise men

Of Babylon

Should be brought

Before me.

Thus,

They might tell me

The interpretation

Of the dream.

Then the magicians,

The enchanters,

The Chaldeans,

The diviners,

Came in.

I told them

The dream.

But they could not

Tell me

Its interpretation.”

Continuing with the first-person singular, the king called all the wise men of Babylon. He wanted them all to come to him to give him an interpretation of his dream. Thus, he called for the Babylonian magicians, the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the diviners. However, none of them could give him an interpretation of his dream. He, at least, told them the dream this time.

The king summons his court people (Dan 2:2-2:2)

“Then the king

Commanded

That the magicians,

The enchanters,

The sorcerers,

The Chaldeans,

Be summoned

To tell the king

His dreams.

When they came in,

They stood

Before the king.”

King Nebuchadnezzar summoned all his court people. This included the magicians, the enchanters, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans. These were the so-called wise men of his kingdom. These magicians, enchanters, sorcerers were believed to have special powers, while the Chaldeans were the traditional erudite men of Chaldea. They all stood before the king to help him understand his dream.

The attackers of Jerusalem (Ezek 23:23-23:24)

“The Babylonians,

All the Chaldeans,

With Pekod,

Shoa,

Koa,

Will come.

All the Assyrians

Will be with them.

The handsome young men,

The governors,

The commanders

All of them,

Officers,

Warriors,

All of them

Riding on horses

Will come.

They shall come

Against you

From the north

With chariots,

With wagons,

With a host of people.

They shall set themselves

Against you

On every side

With buckler,

With shield,

With helmet.

I will commit

The judgment

To them.

They shall judge you

According to their ordinances.”

The Babylonians, all the Chaldeans, including their mercenaries from Pekod, Shoa, and Koa would come against Jerusalem. All the Assyrians would be with them, including those handsome young men, the governors, and the commanders. All the officers, warriors, and those riding on horses would come against Jerusalem from the north with their chariots, wagons, and a whole army of people. They would be on every side of Jerusalem with their hand shields or bucklers, large shields, and helmets. Yahweh was going to leave the judgment of Jerusalem up to them. They would judge Jerusalem according to their own laws.