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Verses 13-17

Habakkuk 1:13-17. Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil Thou art of too just and pure a nature to approve of wickedness: it must ever be an abomination to thee. Thou canst not look upon iniquity Except with infinite abhorrence. Wherefore lookest thou upon them Seemest to connive at, or dost not show any particular dislike at the violence of those idolatrous Chaldeans? And makest men as the fishes of the sea, &c. By delivering them to Nebuchadnezzar, who takes them in his net, as a fisherman takes fishes; which creatures suffer themselves to be taken without resistance, because they have no power to defend themselves. As the creeping things that have no ruler, &c. No chief to conduct or guard them. The Hebrews give the common name of reptiles to all fishes. They take up all of them with the angle The prophet, having in the preceding verse compared men to fishes, continues here, by way of metaphor, to describe the advantages which the Chaldeans gained over other nations, by the several ways used by fishermen in taking fishes, as by catching them with the angle, enclosing them in nets, and gathering them in drags. Therefore they rejoice and are glad On account of the prey they take; that is, the Chaldeans rejoice in taking a great number of captives, and gathering rich spoils, as fishermen rejoice when they catch a great number of fishes. Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, &c. They impute all their victories to their own strength and skill, or to idols of their own making, and render no acknowledgments to God for their success. Because by them their portion is fat, &c. Because by means of their victories they get abundance of rich spoil. Shall they therefore empty their net Carry away the riches and spoils of their conquests, (see 2 Kings 24:13,) in order to undertake more; just as fishermen empty their nets to fill them again. But the words may be properly rendered, Shall he therefore spread his net? in which sense the Vulgate, as also the Greek and Chaldee, here interpret the Hebrew verb ירוק , a word often used of drawing or unsheathing a sword or spear. And not spare continually to slay the nations Wilt thou suffer them to go on to make havoc continually of all other nations? Shall they never be stopped in their career?

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