Introductory matter


The Prophet complayneth vnto God, considering the great felicitie of the wicked, and the miserable oppression of the godly, which indure all kinde of affliction and crueltie, and yet can see none ende. Therefore he had this reuelation shewed him of God, that the Caldeans should come and take them away captiues, so that they could looke for none ende of their troubles as yet, because of their stubbernnes and rebellion against the Lorde. And lest the godly should despaire, seeing this horrible confusion, hee comforteth them by this that God will punish the Caldeans their enemies, when their pride and crueltie shall be at height: wherefore he exhorteth the faithfull to pacience by his owne example, and sheweth them a forme of prayer, wherewith they should comfort themselues.


2 A complaint against the wicked that persecute the iust.

1 The burden, which Habakkuk the Prophet did see.

2 O Lorde, howe long shall I crye, and thou wilt not heare! euen crye out vnto thee [Note: [a] The Prophet complayneth vnto God and bewayleth that among the Iewes is left none equitie nor brotherly loue: but in stead hereof reigneth crueltie theft, contention and strife. ] for violence, and thou wilt not helpe!

3 Why doest thou shewe mee iniquitie, and cause me to beholde sorowe? for spoyling, and violence are before me: and there are that rayse vp strife and contention.

4 Therefore the Lawe is dissolued, and iudgement doeth neuer go forth: for the wicked doeth [Note: [b] To suppresse him if any should shew him selfe zealous of Gods cause. ] compasse about the righteous: therefore [Note: [c] Because the iudges which should redresse this excesse, are as euil as the rest. ] wrong iudgement proceedeth.

5 Beholde among the heathen, and regarde, and wonder, and maruaile: for I will worke a worke in your dayes: [Note: [d] As in times past you would not beleeue Gods word, so shall ye not now beleeue ye strange plagues which are at hand. ] yee will not beleeue it, though it be tolde you.

6 For lo, I raise vp the Caldeans, that bitter & furious nation, which shall goe vpon the breadth of the lande to possesse the dwelling places, that are not theirs.

7 They are terrible & fearefull: [Note: [e] They themselues shalbe your iudges in this cause, and none shall haue authoritie ouer them to controlle them. ] their iudgement & their dignitie shal proceede of theselues.

8 Their horses also are swifter then the leopards, and are more fierce then the wolues in the [Note: Zeph.3.3. ] euening: and their horsemen are many: & their horsemen shall come from farre: they shall flie as the eagle hasting to meate.

9 They come all to spoyle: before their faces shalbe an [Note: [f] For the Iewes most feared this winde, because it destroyed their fruites. ] Eastwinde, and they shall gather the captiuitie, [Note: [g] They shall be so many in nomber. ] as the sand.

10 And they shall mocke the Kings, and the princes shalbe a skorne vnto them: they shall deride euery strong holde: for they shall gather [Note: [h] they shall cast vp mounts against it. ] dust, and take it.

11 Then shall they [Note: [i] The Prophet comforteth the faithfull that God will also destroy the Babylonians, because they shall abuse this victorie and become proude and insolent, attributing the prayse hereof to their idoles. ] take a courage, & transgresse & doe wickedly, imputing this their power vnto their god.

12 Art thou not of olde, O Lorde my God, mine holy one? we shall [Note: [k] He assureth the godly of Gods protection, shewing that the enemie can doe no more then God hath appoynted, and also that their sinnes required such a sharpe rod. ] not die: O Lord, thou hast ordeined them for iudgement, and O God, thou hast established them for correction.

13 Thou art of pure eyes, and canst not see euill: thou canst not behold wickednesse: wherefore doest thou looke vpon the transgressors, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked deuoureth the man, that is more righteous then he?

14 And makest men as the [Note: [l] So that the great deuoureth the small and the Caldeans destroy all the world. ] fishes of the sea, and as the creeping things, that haue no ruler ouer them.

[Offring to the net.]

15 They take vp all with the angle: they catch it in their net, and gather it in their yarne, whereof they reioyce and are glad.

16 Therefore they sacrifice vnto their [Note: [m] Meaning, that the enemies flatter themselues, and glory in their owne force, power, and wit. ] net, and burne incense vnto their yarne, because by them their portion is fat & their meat plenteous.

17 Shall they therefore stretch out their net and not spare continually to slay [Note: [n] Meaning, that they should not. ] the nations?


2 A vision, 5 Against pride, couetousnesse, drunkennesse, and idolatrie.

1 I will stand vpon my [Note: [a] I wil renounce mine owne iudgement, and onely depend on God to be instructed what I shall answere them that abuse my preaching, and to be armed against all tentations. ] watch, and set me vpon the towre, and wil looke and see what he would say vnto mee, and what I shall answere to him that rebuketh me.

2 And the Lorde answered me, and sayde, Write the vision, and make it plaine vpon tables, that he may runne [Note: [b] Write it in great letters, that he that runneth, may reade it. ] that readeth it.

3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the [Note: [c] Which conteined the destruction of the enemie, and the comfort of the Church: which thing though God execute not according to mans hastie affections, yet the yssue of both is certaine at his time appointed. ] last it shal speake, and not lie: though it tarie, waite: for it shall surely come, and shall not stay.

4 Beholde, [Note: [d] To trust in him selfe or in any worldly thing, is neuer to be quiet: for the onely rest is to stay vpon God by fayth, Rom.1.17. gala.3. 11. hebr.10.38. ] he that lifteth vp himselfe, his minde is not vpright in him, but the iust shal liue by his fayth,

5 Yea, in deede the proude man is as [Note: [e] He compareth the proude, and couetous man to a drunkard that is without reason and sense, whom God will punish, and make him a laughing stocke to all the world: and this he speaketh for the comfort of the godly, and against the Caldeans. ] hee that transgresseth by wine: therefore shal he not endure, because he hath enlarged his desire as the hell, and is as death, and can not be satisfied, but gathereth vnto him all nations, and heapeth vnto him all people.

6 Shall not all these take vp a parable against him, and a tanting prouerbe against him, and say, Ho, he that increaseth that which is not his? [Note: [f] Signifying, that all the world shall wish the destruction of tyrants, and that by their oppression and couetousnes, they heape but vpon themselues more heauie burdens: for the more they get, the more are they troubled. ] howe long? and hee that ladeth himselfe with thicke clay?

7 Shall [Note: [g] That is, the Medes and Persians, that should destroy the Babylonians? ] they not rise vp suddenly, that shall bite thee? and awake, that shal stirre thee? and thou shalt be their praye?

8 Because thou hast spoyled many nations, all the remnant of the people shal spoyle thee, because of mens blood, and for the wrong done in the land, in the citie, and vnto all that dwell therein.

9 Ho, he that coueteth an euil couetousnesse to his house, that he may set his nest on hie, to escape from the power of euil.

10 Thou [Note: [h] Signifying that the couetous man is the ruine of his owne house, when as hee thinketh to enriche it by crueltie and oppression. ] hast consulted shame to thine owne house, by destroying many people, and hast sinned against thine owne soule.

11 For the [Note: [i] The stones of the house shall crie, and say that they are built of blood, and the wood shall answere and say the same of it selfe. ] stone shall crie out of the wall, and the beame out of the timber shal answere it.

12 Wo vnto him that buildeth a towne with blood, and erecteth a citie by iniquitie.

13 Beholde, is it not of the [Note: [k] Meaning, that God wil not deferre his vengeance long, but wil come and destroy all their labours, as though they were consumed with fire. ] Lorde of hostes that the people shal labour in ye very fire? the people shall euen weary themselues for very vanitie.

14 For the earth shall [Note: [l] In the destruction of the Babylonians his glory shal appeare through all the world. ] be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lorde, as the waters couer the sea.

15 Wo vnto him that giueth his neighbour [Note: [m] Hee reprocheth thus the King of Babylon, who as he was drunken with couetousnes and crueltie, so he prouoked others to the same, and inflamed them by his rage, and so in the ende brought them to shame. ] drinke: thou ioynest thine heate, & makest him

[Teachers of lyes.]

drunken also, that thou mayest see their priuities.

16 Thou art filled with shame [Note: [n] Where as thou thoughtest to haue glory of these thy doings, they shall turne to thy shame: for thou shalt drinke of the same cup with others in thy turne. ] for glorie: drinke thou also, and be made naked: the cup of the Lords right hand shall be turned vnto thee, and shamefull spuing shalbe for thy glory.

17 For the [Note: [o] Because the Babylonians were cruell not onely against other nations, but also against the people of God, which is meant by Lebanon, and the beasts therein, he sheweth that the like crueltie shalbe executed against them. ] crueltie of Lebanon shall couer thee: so shall the spoyle of the beastes, which made them afraide, because of mens blood, and for the wrong done in the land, in the citie, and vnto all that dwell therein.

18 What profiteth the [Note: [p] Hee sheweth that the Babylonians gods could nothing auaile them: for they were but blocks or stones, reade Iere.10.8. ] image? for the maker thereof hath made it an image, and a teacher of lies, though he that made it, trust therein, when he maketh dumme idoles.

19 Wo vnto him that sayth to the wood, Awake, and to the dumme stone, Rise vp, it shall teach thee: [Note: [q] If thou wilt consider what it is, and how that it hath neither breath nor life, but is a dead thing. ] beholde, it is layde ouer with golde and siluer, and there is no breath in it.

20 But the Lord is in his holy Temple: let all the earth keepe silence before him.


2 A prayer for the faythfull.

1 A prayer of Habakkuk the Prophet for the [Note: [a] The Prophet instructeth his people to pray vnto God not only for their great sinnes, but also for such as they had committed of ignorance. ] ignorances.

2 [Note: [b] Thus the people were afraide when they heard Gods threatnings, and prayed. ] O Lord, I haue heard thy voyce, and was afraide: O Lord, reuiue thy [Note: [c] That is, the state of thy Church which is now ready to perish, before it come to halfe a perfect age, which should be vnder Christ. ] worke in the mids of the people, in the mids of the yeeres make it knowen: in wrath remember mercy.

3 God commeth from [Note: [d] Teman and Paran were neere Sinai where the Law was giuen: whereby is signified that his deliuerance was as present now as it was the. ] Teman, & the holy one from mount Paran, Selah. His glory couereth the heauens, & the earth is full of his prayse,

4 And his brightnes was as the light: [Note: [e] Whereby is meant a power, that was ioyned with his brightnes, which was hid to the rest of the world, but was reueiled in mount Sinai to his people, Psal. 31.16. ] he had hornes comming out of his hands, and there was the hiding of his power.

5 Before him went the pestilence, and burning coales went forth before his feete.

6 He stoode and measured the earth: he behelde and dissolued the nations and the euerlasting mountaines were broken, and the ancient hilles did bowe: his [Note: [f] Signifying that God hath wonderfull meanes, and euer had a marueilous power when he would deliuer his Church. ] wayes are euerlasting.

7 [Note: [g] The iniquitie of this King of Syria in vexing thy people was made manifest by thy iudgement, to the comfort of thy Church, Iudg.3.10. and also of the Midianites, which destroyed themselues, Iudg. 7.22. ] For his iniquitie I sawe the tentes of Cushan, and the curtaines of the land of Midian did tremble.

8 Was the Lorde angry against the [Note: [h] Meaning, that God was not angry with the waters, but that by this meanes he would destroy his enemies and deliuer his Church. ] riuers? or was thine anger against the floods? or was thy wrath against the sea, that thou diddest ride [Note: [i] And so didst vse al the elements as instruments for the destruction of thine enemies. ] vpon thine horses? thy charets brought saluation.

9 Thy [Note: [k] That is, thy power. ] bowe was manifestly reueiled, and the [Note: [l] For he had not onely made a couenant with Abraham, but renued it with his posteritie. ] othes of the tribes were a sure worde, Selah. thou [Note: [m] Reade Nomb.20.11. ] diddest cleaue the earth with riuers.

10 The mountaines sawe thee, & they trembled: the streame of the water [Note: [n] He alludeth to the red sea and Iorden, which gaue passage to Gods people, and shewed signes of their obedience, as it were by lifting vp of their hands. ] passed by: the deepe made a noyse, and lift vp his hand on hie.

11 The [Note: [o] As appeareth, Iosh.10.12. ] sunne and moone stood still in their habitation: [Note: [p] According to thy commandement the sunne was directed by the weapons of thy people, that fought in thy cause, as though it durst not go forward. ] at the light of thine arrowes they went, and at the bright shining of thy speares.

12 Thou trodest downe the land in anger,

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[Threatnings against Iudah.]

and didest thresh the heathen in displeasure.
13 Thou wentest foorth for the saluation of thy people, euen for saluation with thine [Note: [q] Signifying that there is no saluation, but by Christ. ] Anointed: thou hast wounded the head of the house of the wicked, and discoueredst the foundations vnto the [Note: [r] From the toppe to the toe thou hast destroyed the enemies. ] necke, Selah.

14 Thou didest [Note: [s] God destroyed his enemies both great and small with their owne weapons, though they were neuer so fierce against his Church. ] strike thorowe with his owne staues the heades of his villages: they came out as a whirle winde to scatter me: their reioycing was as to deuoure the poore secretly.

15 Thou didest walke in the sea with thine horses vpon the heape of great waters.

16 When I [Note: [t] He returneth to that which he spake in the second verse, and sheweth how he was afraide of Gods iudgements. ] heard, my bellie trembled: my lippes shooke at the voyce: rottennesse entred into my bones, and I trembled in my selfe, that I might rest in [Note: [u] He sheweth that the faithfull can neuer haue true rest, except they feele before the weight of Gods iudgements. ] the day of trouble: for whe he commeth vp [Note: [x] That is, the enemie: but the godly shall be quiet, knowing that all things shall turne to good vnto them. ] vnto the people, he shall destroy them.

17 For the figtree shall not flourish, neither shall fruite be in the vines: the labour of the oliue shall faile, and the fieldes shall yeelde no meate: the sheepe shalbe cut off from the folde, and there shalbe no bullocke in the stalles.

18 But I will reioyce in the Lorde: I will ioy [Note: [y] He declareth wherein standeth the comfort and ioy of the faithfull, though they see neuer so great afflictions prepared. ] in the God of my saluation.

19 The Lorde God is my strength: hee will make my feete like hindes feete, and he will make me to walke vpon mine hie places. [Note: [z] The chiefe singer vpon the instruments of musike shall haue occasion to praise God for this great deliuerance of his Church. ] To the chiefe singer on Neginothai.