Page images

B. C. cir. 600.

The prophet's firm faith in the HABAKKUK.

mercy and goodness of God. A. M. cir. 3404.

a whirlwind to scatter me: their 17 Although the fig tree shall A. M. cir 3404. B. C. cir. 600. 01. cir. XLV. 1. rejoicing was as to devour the not blossom, neither shall fruit be ol. cir. XLV. 1. Tarquinii Prisci,

Tarquinii Prisei, R. Roman., poor secretly

in the vines; the labour of the R. Roman., cir. annum 17.

15 • Thou didst walk through olive shall i fail, and the fields cir. annum 17. the sea with thine horses, through the heap of shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from great waters.

the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: 16 When I heard, 8 my belly trembled; my 18 Yet I will ? rejoice in the Lord, I will lips quivered at the voice; rottenness entered joy in the God of my salvation.

. into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that 19 The Lord God is m my strength, and he I might rest in the day of trouble : when he will make my feet " like hinds' feet, and he will cometh up unto the people, he will "invade them make me to o walk upon mine high places. To with his troops.

the chief singer on my P stringed instruments. e Ver. 8; Psa. lxxvii. 19.- -Or, mud.—--5 Psa. cxix. 120 ; | Isa. Ixi. 16; Ixi. 10. -m Psa. xxvii. 1.- 2 Sam. xxi. 34; Jer. xxiii. 9. -oh Or, cut them in pieces.- - Heb. lie. k Job Psa. xviii. 33. Deut. xxxii. 13; xxxiii. 29,--Heb. the

ginoth ; Psa. iv. title.

xiii. 15.

,teana bemeimra dayyat atta ואנא במימרא דיי אבוע

upon the poor Israelites, when they appeared to be The Vulgate has :-
hemmed in by sea, and no place for their escape. If Yet I in the Lord will rejoice,
we follow the common reading, it seems to intimate And will exult in Jesus my God.
that the troops of Pharaoh, in their confusion (for God

The Targum countenances this version :shone out upon them from the cloud) fell foul of each

dayai abua, other; and with their staves, or weapons, slew one

“ But in the WORD of the Lord will I rejoice," i. e., another : but the head of the villages or towns, i. e., the personal, substantial Word of Jehovah. Pharaoh, was drowned with his army in the Red Sea.

These two verses give the finest display of resignaVerse 15. Thou didst walk through the sea] There tion and confidence that I have ever met with. He was no occasion to hurry across; all was safe, for saw that evil was at hand, and unavoidable ; he subGod had divided the waters : and his terrible cloud mitted to the dispensation of God, whose Spirit enahad removed from before, and stood behind them, so bled him to paint it in all its calamitous circumstances. that it was between them and the Egyptians. See He knew that God was merciful and gracious. He Exod. xiv. 19, 20.

trusted to his promise, though all appearances were Verse 16. When I heard, my belly trembled] The against its fulfilment; for he knew that the word of prophet, having finished his account of the wonders Jehovah could not fail, and therefore his confidence is done by Jehovah, in bringing their fathers from Egypt unshaken. into the promised land, now returns to the desolate state of his countrymen, who are shortly to be led into is full of inexpressible dignity and elegance, leaving

No paraphrase can add any thing to this hymn, which captivity, and suffer the most grievous afflictions; and

even its unparalleled piety out of the question. although he had a sure word of prophecy that they

Verse 19. The Lord God is my strength] This is should be ultimately delivered, yet the thoughts of the

an imitation, if not a quotation, from Psa. xviii. 32, 33, evils they must previously endure filled his soul with where see the notes. terror and dismay ; so that he wishes to be removed from earth before this tribulation should come, that his last verse is spoken in the person of the people, who

Will make me to walk upon mine high places) This eyes might not behold the desolations of his country.

seem to anticipate their restoration ; and that they shall When he (Nebuchadnezzar) cometh up unto the

once more rejoice in the hills and mountains of Judea. people, (the Jews,) he will invade them (overpower

To the chief singer on my slringed instruments.] and carry them away captive) with his troops.

This line, whieh is evidently a superscription, leads Verse 17. Although the fig tree shall not blossom] me to suppose that when the prophet had completed non tiphrach, “shall not flourish,” shall not put forth his short ode, he folded it up, with the abore direction its young figs, for the fig tree does not blossom. The

to the master singer, or leader of the choir, to be sung young figs appear as soon as the old ones are ripe, as in the temple service. Many of the Psalms are diI have often had occasion to observe.

rected in the same way.

“ To the master singer ;" or, This verse most nervously paints the desolate state

“chief musician :” to be sung, according to their of the land of Judea during the captivity. In its

nature, on different kinds of instruments, or with hemistich form, it may be translated thus :

particular airs or tunes. For the fig tree shall not flourish,

Neginoth, nissa) which we translate stringed instru. And there shall be no fruit on the vines ; ments, means such as were struck with a plectrum, or The fruit of the olive shall fail,

excited by some kind of friction or pulsation ; as And the fields shall supply no food :

violins and cymbals, or tambarines are. I do not The flocks shall be cut off from the fold, think that the line makes any part of the prophecy, And no herds shall be found in the stalls : but merely the superscription or direction of the work Yet in Jehovah will I exult;

when it was finished. The ending will appear much I will joy in the God of my salvation.

more dignified, this line being separated from it.




Ζ Ε Ρ Η Α Ν Ι Α Η.

Chronological Notes relative to this book, upon the supposition that it was written in the

twelfth year of the reign of Josiah, king of Judah. Year from the Creation, according to Archbishop Usher, 3374.—Year of the Julian Period, 4084.-Year since

the Flood, 1718.-Year from the vocation of Abram, 1291.-Year from the foundation of Solomon's temple, 382.—Year since the division of Solomon's monarchy into the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, 346. Year since the conquest of Coræbus at Olympia, usually called the first Olympiad, 147.— Third year of the thirty-seventh Olympiad.— Year from the building of Rome, according to the Varronian computation, 124.-Year of the era of Nabonassar, 118.-Year since the destruction of the kingdom of Israel by Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, 92.-Year before the birth of Christ, 626.—Year before the vulgar era of Christ's nativity, 630.-Cycle of the Sun, 24.-Cyele of the Moon, 18.—Eighteenth year of Phraortes, king of Media. This monarch is supposed by some to have been the same with the Arphaxad of the Apocrypha.--Eleventh year of Philip I., king of Macedon.—Twenty-second year of Archidamus, king of Lacedæmon, of the family of the Proclidæ.-Fifteenth year of Eurycrates II., king of Lacedæmon, of the family of the Eurysthenidæ.—Twenty-ninth year of Cypselus, who had seized upon the government of Corinth. Forty-second year of Psammitichus, king of Egypt, according to Helvicus.—Tenth year of Kiniladachus, king of Babylon, according to the same chronologer. This monarch was the immediate predecessor of Nabopolassar, the father of Nebuchadnezzar.-Second year of Sadyattes, king of Lydia.-Eleventh year of Ancus Martius, the fifth king of the Romans. -Twelfth year of Josiah, king of Judah.



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CHAPTER I. This chapter begins with denouncing God's judgments against Judah and Jerusalem, 1-3. Idolaters, and

sinners of several other denominations, are then particularly threatened ; and their approaching visitation

enlarged on, by the enumeration of several circumstances which tend greatly to heighten its terrors, 4-18. A. M. cir. 3374.

THE word of the Lord which of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah 6. M. cir. 3374 B. C. cir. 630. Olymp.

came unto Zephaniah the the of Amon, king of Olymp. cir. XXXVII. 3.

cir. XXXVII. 3. A. U. C. cir. son of Cushi, the son of Geda- Judah.

A. U. C. cir. liah, the son of Amariah, the son 2 I will utterly consume all

a Heb. By taking away I will make an end. NOTES ON CHAP. I.

his time, it is evident that he must have prophesied Verse 1. The word of the Lord which came unto before the reformation made by Josiah, which was in Zephaniah] Though this prophet has given us so the eighteenth year of his reign. And as he predicts large a list of his ancestors, yet little concerning him the destruction of Nineveh, chap. ii. 13, which, as is known, because we know nothing certain relative to Calmet remarks, could not have taken place before the persons of the family whose names are here the sixteenth of Josiah, allowing with Berosus twentyintroduced. We have one chronological note which one years for the reign of Nabopolassar over the is of more value for the correct understanding of his Chaldeans; we must, therefore, place this prophecy prophecy than the other could have been, how cir- about the beginning of the reign of Josiah, or from cumstantially soever it had been delivered; viz., that B. C. 640 to B. C. 609. But see the chronological he prophesied in the days of Josiah, son of Amon, notes. king of Judah ; and from the description which he Verse 2. I will utterly consume all things) All gives of the disorders which prevailed in Judea in being now ripe for destruction, I will shortly bring a

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B. 630



Destruction by the


Babylonians threatened. M. cir

. 3374. things from off b the land, saith | 6 And n them that are turned A M. cir. 3374. B. C. . Olymp. the LORD.

back from the LORD; and those Olymp. cir. XXXVII. 3.

cir. XXXVII. 3. A. U. C. cir. 3 "I will consume man and that have not sought the LORD, A. U. C. cir.

beast, I will consume the fowls of nor inquired for him. the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the 7 P Hold thy peace at the presence of the * stumbling-blocks with the wicked ; and I Lord God : 4 for the day of the Lord is at will cut off man from off the land, saith the hand : for the Lord hath prepared a sacri

fice, he hath bid his guests. 4. I will also stretch out mine hand upon 8 And it shall come to pass in the day of Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusa- the Lord's sacrifice, that I will * punish " the lem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal princes, and the king's children, and all such from this place, and the name of 8 the Chem- as are clothed with strange apparel. arims with the priests;

9 In the same day also will I punish all And them that worship the host of hea- those that leap on the threshold, which fill ven upon the housetops : i and them that wor- their masters' houses with violence and deceit. ship and k that swear by the Lord, and that 10 And it shall come to pass in that day, by Malcham :

saith the LORD, that there shall be the noise


Swear m

b Heb. the face of the land. - Hos. iv. 3. d Ezek. vii. 19; ? Or, to the LORD. — um Josh. xxiii. 7; 1 Kings ri. 33. xiv. 3, 4, 7; Mait. xii. 41. Le Or, idols.

f Fulilled, cir. n Isa. i. 4 ; Jer. ii. 13, 17; xv. 6.- Hos. vii. 7.—p Hab. ii. 624 ; 2 Kings xxiii. 4, 5. - Hos. X. 5. Ch 2 Kings xxii. 20; Zech. ii. 13.--4 Isa. xii. 6.- - Isa. xxxiv. 6; Jer. Ivi. 10; 12; Jer. xix. 13.-i i Kings xviii. 21 ; 2 Kings xvii. 33, 41. Ezek. xxxix. 17; Rev. xix. 17. Heb. sanctified, or prepared. k Isa. xlviii. 1 ; Hos. iv. 15.

'Heb. visit upon.- Jer. xxxix, 6.

to recom

universal scourge upon the land. He speaks particu- to God, and their blood poured out before the altar. larly of the idolaters.

2. The people who were invited feasted upon the · Verse 3. I will consume man and beast] By war, sacrifice. See on Isa. xxxiv. 6. and by pestilence. Even the waters shall be infected, Verse 8. I will punish the princes, and the king's and the fish destroyed ; the air become contaminated, children] After the death of Josiah the kingdom of and the fowls die.

Judah saw no prosperity, and every reign terminated Verse 4. I will cut of the remnant of Baal] I think miserably; until at last King Zedekiah and the king's he refers here, partly at least, to the reformation children were cruelly massacred at Riblah, when which Josiah was to bring about. See the account, Nebuchadnezzar had taken Jerusalem. 2 Kings xxiii. 5.

Strange apparel) I really think this refers more The Chemarims] The black-robed priests of dif- to their embracing idolatrous customs and heathen ferent idols. See the note on 2 Kings xxiii. 5. These usages, than to their changing their dress. They were put down by Josiah.

acquired new habits, as we would say ; customs, that Verse 5. The host of heaven] Sun, moon, planets, they used as they did their clothing--at all times, and and stars. This worship was one of the most ancient in every thing. and the most common of all species of idolatry ; and Verse 9. That leap on the threshold] Or, that leap it had a greater semblance of reason

over the threshold. It is most probable that the Phimend it. See 2 Kings xxiii. 5, 12; Jer. xix. 13, listines are here meant. After the time that Dagon xxxii. 29.

fell before the ark, and his hands were broken off on That swear by the Lord, and that swear by Mal- the threshold of his temple, his worshippers would cham] Associating the name of an idol with that of no more set a foot upon the threshold, but stepped the Most High. For Malcham, see on Hos. iv. 15, and or leaped over it, when they entered into his temple. Amos v. 26.

The Chaldee understands this of the Philistines, Verse 6. Them that are turned back] Who have without giving this reason for it. Some understand forsaken the true God, and become idolaters.

it of haughtiness and pride : others think that leaping Nor inquired for him] Have not desired to know on the threshold refers to the customs of the Arabs, his will,

who used to ride into people's houses, and take away Verse 7. Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord whatever they could carry; and that this is the reason God) on has, the same as hush, hist, among us. why, in several parts of the East, they have their Remonstrances are now useless. You had time to doors made very low, to prevent those depredators acquaint yourselves with God ; you would not : you from entering. In this manner, we learn the Percry now in vain ; destruction is at the door.

sians have frequently oppressed the poor Armenians, The Lord hath prepared a sacrifice] A slaughter going on horseback into their houses, and taking of the people.

whatever they thought proper. Mr. Harmer anderHe hath bid his guests] The Babylonians, to stands it in this way. whom he has given a commission to destroy you. Verse 10. A cry from the fish-gale] This gate, In all festival sacrifices, 1. The victims were offered / which is mentioned Neh. iii. 3, was opposite to 754

( 48 )

B. C. cir. 630.

B. C. .

cir. XXXVII. 3. A. U. C. cir.


A. U. C. cir


Destruction by the


Babylonians threatened, 4. M. cir

. 3374. of a cry from the fish-gate, 15 That day is a day of 4, M. cir. 3374. Olymp. and a howling from the second, and wrath,' a day of trouble and Olymp.

cir. XXXVII.3 the great crashing from the hills. distress, a day of wasteness

11 w Howl, ye inhabitants of and desolation, a day of darkness Maktesh, for all the merchant people are cut and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick down; all they that bear silver are cut off. darkness.

12 And it shall come to pass at that time, 16 A day of the trumpet and alarm against that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and the fenced cities,

cities, and against the high punish the men that are x settled y on their towers. lees : ? that say in their heart, The LORD will 17 And I will bring distress upon men, that not do good, neither will he do evil.

they shall walk like blind men, because they 13 Therefore their goods shall become a have sinned against the LORD: and their booty, and their houses a desolation : they shall blood shall be poured out as dust, and their also build houses, but not inhabit them; and flesh has the dung. . they shall plant vineyards, but not drink the 18 i Neither their silver nor their gold shall wine thereof.

be able to deliver them in the day of the 14 • The great day of the Lord is near, it is Lord's wrath ; but the whole land shall be near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for ? he the day of the Lord: the mighty man shall shall make even a speedy riddance of all them cry there bitterly.

that dwell in the land.

* 2 Chron. xxxiii. 14.- x James v. I. * Heb. curded, or d Isa. xxii. 5; Jer. xxx. 7 ; Joel ii. 2, 11; Amos v. 18; ver. thickened. :- Jer. xlviii. 11; Amos vi. 1.—2 Psa. xciv. 7. 18.— Jer, iv. 19.-- Deut. xxvii. 29; Isa. lix. 10.- - Psa. a Deut. xxviii, 30, 39; Amos. v. 11.__ Mic. vi. 15.- Joel lxxix. 3. ch Psa. Ixxxiii. 10; Jer. ix. 22; xvi. 4.-i Prov. xi. ii. I, 11.

4; Ezek, vii. 19. * Chap. iii. 8.

1 Ver. 2, 3.

Joppa; and perhaps the way in which the news no profit of all their labours. - The houses they have came of the irruption of the Chaldean army, the great built they shall not inhabit; of the wine of the vinecrashing from the hills.

yards they have planted, they shall not drink. See The second] Or second city, may here mean part Amos v. 11, where we find the same evils threatof Jerusalem, mentioned 2 Kings xxii. 14, 2 Chron. ened. xxxiv. 22.

Verse 14. The great day of the Lord is near] It Verse 11. Maktesh] Calmel says this signifies a commenced with the death of the good king Josiah; mortar, or a rock in form of a mortar, and was the who was slain by Pharaoh-necho” at Megiddo, and name of a quarter of Jerusalem where they hulled continued to the destruction of Jerusalem by Neburice, corn, &c., according to St. Jerome. Some think chadnezzar. the city of Jerusalem is meant, where the inhabitants Verse 15. That day is a day of wrath] See the should be beat and pounded to death as grain is parallel passages in the margin, and the notes there. pounded in a mortar.

From the fourteenth to the sixteenth verse inclusive Newcome translates it, the lower city, and considers there is a most beautiful amplification of the disasters it the valley in Jerusalem, which divided the upper that were coming on Jersusalem ; the invasion, incurfrom the lower city.

sion, attack, carnage, confusion, horrible din occasioned They that bear silver) The merchants, money- by the sound of the trumpet, the cries of the people, changers, usurers, rich inen.

and the shrieks and groans of the dying, are pointed Verse 12. I will search Jerusalem with candles] I out with great force and mighty effect. will make a universal and thorough search.

Verse 17. They shall walk like blind men] Be in That are settled on their lees] Those who are the most perplexing doubt and uncertainty; and careless, satisfied with the goods of this life ; who while in this state, have their blood poured out by trust in their riches, and are completely irreligious; the sword of their enemies, and their flesh trodden who, while they acknowledge that there is a God, under foot. think, like the Aristotelians, that he is so supremely Verse 18. Their silver nor their gold] In which happy in the contemplation of his own excellences, they trusted, and from which they expected happi that he feels it beneath his dignity to concern himself ness; these shall not profit them in this awful day. with the affairs of mortals.

And God will bring this about speedily ; and a speedy Verse 13. Their goods (in which they trust) shall riddance—a universal desolation, shall in a short time become a booty) To the Chaldeans. They shall have take place in every part of the land.


An earnest exhortation


to repentance




The prophet, having declared the judgments which were ready to fall on his people, earnestly exhorts them to

repentance, that these judgments may be averted, 1-3. He then foretells the fate of other neighbouring and hostile nations : the Philistines, 4-7; Moabites and Ammonites, 8-11; Ethiopians, 12 ; and Assyrians, 13.

In the close of the chapter we have a prophecy against Nineveh. These predictions were accomplished chiefly by the conquests of Nebuchadnezzar. 1. cir

. 330. GATHER "yourselves to-thee, that there shall be no in- 4. M. cir. 3374 Olymp. gether, yea, gather together, habitant.

Olyinp: cir. XXXVII. 3.

cir. XXXVII. 3. A. U. C. cir. () nation not desired;

6 And the sea-coasts shall be A. U. C. cir. 2 Before the decree bring forth, dwellings and cottages for shepbefore the day pass as the chaff, before the herds, m and folds for flocks. fierce anger

of the Lord come upon you, be- 7 And the coast shall be for the remnant of fore the day of the Lord's anger come upon the house of Judah ; they shall feed thereupon:

in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down 3 Seek ye the Lord, all ye mcek of the in the evening : for the Lord their God shall earth, which have wrought his judgment, seek P visit them, and a turn away their captivity. righteousness, seek meekness : & it may be ye 8 "I have heard the reproach of Moab, and shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger. * the revilings of the children of Ammon,

4 For " Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashke- whereby they have reproached my people, and lon a desolation : they shall drive out Ashdod magnified themselves against their border. at the noonday, and Ekron shall be rooted up. 9 Therefore as I live, saith the Lord of

5 Wo unto the inhabitants of k the sea- hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab shall coasts, the nation of llie Cherethites; the be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as word of the Lord is against you ; 0 Canaan, Gomorrah, w even the breeding of neules, and the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy salt-pits, and a perpetual desolation : "the


a Joel ii. 16.- Or, not desirous.—_ Job xxi. 18; Psa. o Isa. xi. 11 ; Mic. iv. 7 ; v. 7, 8; Hag. i. 12; ii, 2; perse i. 4; Isa. xvii. 13; Hos. xii. 3. d 2 Kings xxiii. 26. 9.-- Or, when, &c.-Þ Exod. iv. 31; Luke i. 63. - Psg. < Psa. cv.'4; Amos v. 6. - Psa. lxxvi. 9.-_-5 Joel ii. 14 ; cxxvi. l; Jer. xxix. 14; chap. 111. 20. - Jer. xlvin. 27; Ezek. Amos v. 15; Jonah ini. 9. Ch Jer. xlvii. 4, 5; Ezek. xxv.

XXV. 8.

Ezek. xxv. 3, 6. - Jer. xlix. I.-Isa. xv.; Jer. 15; Amos i. 6, 7, 8; Zech. ix. 5, 6.-- Jer. vi. 4 ; xv. 8. xlviii. ; Ezek. xxv. 9; Amos ii. l.- - Amos i. 13.-" Gen. * Ezek. . xxv. 16. - Josh. xii. 3. um See Isa. xvii. 2; xix. 25; Deut. xxix. 23; Isa. xiii. 19; xxxix. 13; Jer. xlix. 18; Ver. 11.

1. 40.-- Ver. 7.


bably a colony of the Phænicians. See on 1 Sam. Verse 1. Gather yourselves) Others, sift your- xxx. 14, and Amos ix. 7. selves. Separate the chaff from the wheat, before the Verse 6. And the sea-coasts shall be dwellings] judgments of God fall upon you. O nation not de- Newcome considers 17 keroth as a proper name, not siredunlovely, not delighted in ; hated because of cottages or folds. The Septuagint have Konin, Crete, your sin. The Israelites are addressed.

and so has the Syriac. Abp. Secker notes, Alibi non Verse 3. Ye meek of the earth] 92Y anarey, ye extat 72, et forte notat patriam Tuv Dinn. * The oppressed and humbled of the land.

word nya is not found elsewhere, and probably it is the - It may be ye shall be hid] The sword has not a name of the country of the Cherethim." commission against you. Ask God, and he will Verse 7. The coast shall be for the remnant) Sereral be a refuge to you from the storm and from the devastations fell on the Philistines. Gaza was ruined tempest.

by the army of Alexander the Great, and the MaccaVerse 4. Gaza shall be forsaken] This prophecy bees finally accomplished all that was predicted by the is against the Philistines. They had been greatly prophets against this invariably wicked people. They harassed by the kings of Egypt; but were com- lost their polity, and were at last obliged to receive pletely ruined by Nebuchadnezzar, who took all circumcision. Phænicia from the Egyptians; and about the time Verse 8. I have heard the reproach of Moab] God of his taking Tyre, devastated all the seignories of punished them for the cruel part they had taken in the the Philistines. This ruin we have seen foretold by persecutions of the Jews ; for when they lay under the the other prophets, and have already remarked its displeasure of God, these nations insulted them in the exact fulfilment.

most provoking manner. See on Amos i. 13, and the Verse 5. The sea-coasts, the nation of the Che- parallel texts in the margin. rethites] The sea-coasts mean all the country lying on Verse 9. The breeding of nettles] That is, their the Mediterranean coast from Egypt to Joppa and land shall become desolate, and be a place for nettles, Gaza. The Cherethitesthe Cretans, who were pro- thorns, &c., to flourish in, for want of cultivation.

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