Habakkuk 1:8
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Their horses are swifter than leopards, more fierce than the evening wolves; their horsemen press proudly on. Their horsemen come from afar; they fly like an eagle swift to devour.

King James Bible
Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat.

American Standard Version
Their horses also are swifter than leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves; and their horsemen press proudly on: yea, their horsemen come from far; they fly as an eagle that hasteth to devour.

Douay-Rheims Bible
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 eat.

English Revised Version
Their horses also are swifter than leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves; and their horsemen spread themselves: yea, their horsemen come from far; they fly as an eagle that hasteth to devour.

Webster's Bible Translation
Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat.

Habakkuk 1:8 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The penetration of the judgment into Judah is now clearly depicted by an individualizing enumeration of a number of cities which will be smitten by it. Micah 1:10. "Go not to Gath to declare it; weeping, weep not. At Beth-Leafra (dust-home) I have strewed dust upon myself. Micah 1:11. Pass thou away, O inhabitress of Shafir (beautiful city), stripped in shame. The inhabitress of Zaanan (departure) has not departed; the lamentation of Beth-Hazel (near-house) takes from you the standing near it. Micah 1:12. For the inhabitress of Maroth (bitterness) writhes for good; for evil has come down from Jehovah to the gate of Jerusalem." The description commences with words borrowed from David's elegy on the death of Saul and Jonathan (2 Samuel 1:20), "Publish it not in Gath," in which there is a play upon the words in begath and taggı̄dū. The Philistines are not to hear of the distress of Judah, lest they should rejoice over it. There is also a play upon words in בּכו אל־תּבכּוּ. The sentence belongs to what precedes, and supplies the fuller definition, that they are not to proclaim the calamity in Gath with weeping, i.e., not to weep over it there.

(Note: On the ground of the Septuagint rendering, καὶ οἱ Ἐνακεὶμ μὴ ἀνοικοδομεῖτε, most of the modern expositors follow Reland (Palaest. ill. p. 534ff.) in the opinion that בּכו is the name of a city, a contraction of בּעכּו, "and weep not at Acco." There is no force in the objection brought against this by Caspari (Mich. p. 110), namely, that in that case the inhabitants of both kingdoms must have stood out before the prophet's mind in hemistich a, which, though not rendered actually impossible by Micah 1:9, and the expression על־זאת in Micah 1:8, is hardly reconcilable with the fact that from Micah 1:11 onwards Judah only stands out before his mind, and that in Micah 1:8-10 the distress of his people, in the stricter sense (i.e., of Judah), is obviously the pre-eminent object of his mourning. For Acco would not be taken into consideration as a city of the kingdom of Israel, but as a city inhabited by heathen, since, according to Judges 1:31, the Canaanites were not driven out of Acco, and it cannot be shown from any passage of the Old Testament that this city ever came into the actual possession of the Israelites. It is evidently a more important objection to the supposed contraction, that not a single analogous case can be pointed out. The forms נשׁקה for נשׁקעה (Amos 8:8) and בּלה for בּעלה (Joshua 19:3 and Joshua 15:29) are of a different kind; and the blending of the preposition ב with the noun עכּו, by dropping the ע, so as to form one word, is altogether unparalleled. The Septuagint translation furnishes no sufficient authority for such an assumption. All that we can infer from the fact that Eusebius has adopted the reading Ἐναχείμ in his Onom. (ed. Lars. p. 188), observing at the same time that this name occurs in Micah, whilst Aq. and Symm. have ἐν κλαυθμῶ (in fletu) instead, is that these Greek fathers regarded the Ἐναχείμ of the lxx as the name of a place; but this does not in the smallest degree prove the correctness of the lxx rendering. Nor does the position of בּכו before אל furnish any tenable ground for maintaining that this word cannot be the inf. abs. of בּכה, but must contain the name of a place. The assertion of Hitzig, that "if the word were regarded as an inf. abs., neither the inf. itself nor אל for לא would be admissible in a negative sentence (Jeremiah 22:10)," has no grammatical foundation. It is by no means a necessary consequence, that because אל cannot be connected with the inf. abs. (Ewald, 350, a), therefore the inf. abs. could not be written before a finite verb with אל for the sake of emphasis.)

After this reminiscence of the mourning of David for Saul, which expresses the greatness of the grief, and is all the more significant, because in the approaching catastrophe Judah is also to lose its king (cf. Micah 4:9), so that David is to experience the fate of Saul (Hengstenberg), Micah mentions places in which Judah will mourn, or, at any rate, experience something very painful. From Micah 1:10 to Micah 1:15 he mentions ten places, whose names, with a very slight alteration, were adapted for jeux de mots, with which to depict what would happen to them or take place within them. The number ten (the stamp of completeness, pointing to the fact that the judgment would be a complete one, spreading over the whole kingdom) is divided into twice five by the statement, which is repeated in Micah 1:12, that the calamity would come to the fate of Jerusalem; five places being mentioned before Jerusalem (Micah 1:10-12), and five after (Micah 1:13-15). This division makes Hengstenberg's conjecture a very natural one, viz., that the five places mentioned before Jerusalem are to be sought for to the north of Jerusalem, and the others to the south or south-west, and that in this way Micah indicates that the judgment will proceed from the north to the south. On the other hand, Caspari's opinion, that the prophet simply enumerates certain places in the neighbourhood of Moresheth, his own home, rests upon no firm foundation.

בּית לעפרה is probably the Ophrah of Benjamin (עפרה, Joshua 18:23), which was situated, according to Eusebius, not far from Bethel (see comm. on Josh. l.c.). It is pointed with pathach here for the sake of the paronomasia with עפר. The chethib התפּלּשׁתּי is the correct reading, the keri התפּלּשׁי being merely an emendation springing out of a misunderstanding of the true meaning. התפּלּשׁ does not mean to revolve, but to bestrew one's self. Bestrewing with dust or ashes was a sign of deep mourning (Jeremiah 6:26; 2 Samuel 13:19). The prophet speaks in the name of the people of what the people will do. The inhabitants of Shafir are to go stripped into captivity. עבר, to pass by, here in the sense of moving forwards. The plural לכם is to be accounted for from the fact that yōshebheth is the population. Shâphı̄r, i.e., beautiful city, is not the same as the Shâmı̄r in Joshua 15:48, for this was situated in the south-west of the mountains of Judah; nor the same as the Shâmı̄r in the mountains of Ephraim (Judges 10:1), which did not belong to the kingdom of Judah; but is a place to the north of Jerusalem, of which nothing further is known. The statement in the Onomast. s.v. Σαφείρ ἐν γῆ ὀρεινῆ between Eleutheropolis and Askalon - is probably intended to apply to the Shâmı̄r of Joshua; but this is evidently erroneous, as the country between Eleutheropolis and Askalon did not belong to the mountains of Judah, but to the Shephelah. עריה־בשׁת, a combination like ענוה־צדק in Psalm 45:5, equivalent to stripping which is shame, shame-nakedness equals ignominious stripping. עריה is an accusative defining the manner in which they would go out. The next two clauses are difficult to explain. צאנן, a play upon words with יצאה, is traceable to this verb, so far as its meaning is concerned. The primary meaning of the name is uncertain; the more modern commentators combine it with צאן, in the sense of rich in flocks. The situation of Zaanan is quite unknown. The supposed identity with Zenân see at Joshua 15:37) must be given up, as Zenân was in the plain, and Zaanan was most probably to the north of Jerusalem. The meaning of the clause can hardly be any other than this, that the population of Zaanan had not gone out of their city to this war from fear of the enemy, but, on the contrary, had fallen back behind their walls (Ros., Casp., Hitzig). בּית האצל is most likely the same as אצל in Zechariah 14:5, a place in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem, to the east of the Mount of Olives, as Beth is frequently omitted in the names of places (see Ges. Thes. p. 193). Etsel signifies side, and as an adverb or preposition, "by the side of." This meaning comes into consideration there. The thought of the words mispad bēth, etc., might be: "The lamentation of Beth-Haezel will take away its standing (the standing by the side of it, 'etslō) from you (Judaeans), i.e., will not allow you to tarry there as fugitives (cf. Jeremiah 48:45). The distress into which the enemy staying there has plunged Beth-Haezel, will make it impossible for you to stop there" (Hitzig, Caspari). But the next clause, which is connected by כּי, does not suit this explanation (Micah 1:12). The only way in which this clause can be made to follow suitably as an explanation is by taking the words thus: "The lamentation of Beth-Haezel will take its standing (the stopping of the calamity or judgment) from you, i.e., stop near it, as we should expect from its name; for (Micah 1:12) Maroth, which stands further off, will feel pain," etc. With this view, which Caspari also suggests, Hengstenberg (on Zechariah 14:5) agrees in the main, except that he refers the suffix in עמדּתו to מספּד, and renders the words thus: "The lamentation of Beth-Haezel will take its stopping away from you, i.e., the calamity will not stop at Beth-Haezel (at the near house), i.e., stop near it, as we should expect from its name; for (Micah 1:12) Maroth, which stands further off, will feel pain," etc. With this view, which Caspari also suggests, Hengstenberg (on Zechariah 14:5) agrees in the main, except that he refers the suffix in עמדתו to מספּד, and renders the words thus: "The lamentation of Beth-Haezel will take its stopping away from you, i.e., will not allow you the stopping of the lamentation." Grammatically considered, this connection is the more natural one; but there is this objection, that it cannot be shown that עמד is used in the sense of the stopping or ceasing of a lamentation, whereas the supposition that the suffix refers to the calamity simply by constructio ad sensum has all the less difficulty, inasmuch as the calamity has already been hinted at in the verb נגע in Micah 1:9, and in Micah 1:10 also it forms the object to be supplied in thought. Maroth (lit., something bitter, bitternesses) is quite unknown; it is simply evident, from the explanatory clause כּי ירד וגו, that it was situated in the immediate neighbourhood of Jerusalem. The inhabitants of Maroth writhe (châlâh, from chūl, to writhe with pain, like a woman in child-birth), because they are also smitten with the calamity, when it comes down to the gate of Jerusalem. לטוב, "on account of the good," which they have lost, or are about to lose.

Habakkuk 1:8 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

horses.

Deuteronomy 28:49 The LORD shall bring a nation against you from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flies...

Isaiah 5:26-28 And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, and will hiss to them from the end of the earth: and, behold...

fierce. Heb. sharp. evening.

Jeremiah 5:6 Why a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the evenings shall spoil them, a leopard shall watch over their cities...

Zephaniah 3:3 Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow.

they.

Jeremiah 4:13 Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles...

Lamentations 4:19 Our persecutors are swifter than the eagles of the heaven: they pursued us on the mountains, they laid wait for us in the wilderness.

Ezekiel 17:3,12 And say, Thus said the Lord GOD; A great eagle with great wings, long winged, full of feathers, which had divers colors...

Hosea 8:1 Set the trumpet to your mouth. He shall come as an eagle against the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed my covenant...

Matthew 24:28 For wherever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

Luke 17:37 And they answered and said to him, Where, Lord? And he said to them, Wherever the body is...

Cross References
Matthew 24:28
Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

Job 9:26
They go by like skiffs of reed, like an eagle swooping on the prey.

Isaiah 11:14
But they shall swoop down on the shoulder of the Philistines in the west, and together they shall plunder the people of the east. They shall put out their hand against Edom and Moab, and the Ammonites shall obey them.

Jeremiah 4:13
Behold, he comes up like clouds; his chariots like the whirlwind; his horses are swifter than eagles-- woe to us, for we are ruined!

Jeremiah 5:6
Therefore a lion from the forest shall strike them down; a wolf from the desert shall devastate them. A leopard is watching their cities; everyone who goes out of them shall be torn in pieces, because their transgressions are many, their apostasies are great.

Jeremiah 48:40
For thus says the LORD: "Behold, one shall fly swiftly like an eagle and spread his wings against Moab;

Jeremiah 50:42
They lay hold of bow and spear; they are cruel and have no mercy. The sound of them is like the roaring of the sea; they ride on horses, arrayed as a man for battle against you, O daughter of Babylon!

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