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Verse 4

Habakkuk 2:4 . Behold, his soul which is lifted up That does not humbly adore and acquiesce in the justice and wisdom of the divine dispensations, but contends against them, and provides for his safety in a way of his own devising. The Vulgate renders this clause, Ecce qui incredulus est, non erit recta anima ejus in semetipso, “Behold he who is unbelieving, his soul will not be right in him.” And the version of the LXX. differs still more from our translation, Εαν υποστειληται , ουκ ευδοκει η ψυχη μον εν αυτω , If he (that is, the just man, as it follows) draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. As these translations do not accord with the present Hebrew text, it is supposed by some learned men that it was written otherwise in the ancient copies; especially as the rendering of the LXX. is sanctioned by the author of the epistle to the Hebrews 10:38. According to this translation the sense of the passage is, that God having, in the foregoing verse, ordered the Jewish nation confidently to expect the fulfilling of the prophecy, and assured them that it would most certainly come to pass, he in this verse declares that his soul should have no pleasure in the man who should draw back, or whose faith should fail him in waiting for the fulfilling of the prophecy; but that the just should live by his faith That is, that the truly righteous man, as both the Hebrew and Greek expression signifies, namely, the humble and upright one, who, adoring the depths of the divine dispensations, and being persuaded of the truth of God’s promises, should confide in him for the fulfilment of them, and remain constant in the expectation thereof, as well as of whatever else God had spoken; that he should thereby be supported under all the seeming irregular and trying dispensations of providence, and also be blessed with God’s favour and peculiar love, through the means of his faith. Our rendering, however, (namely, his soul which is lifted up, &c.,) “furnishes,” as Bishop Newcome observes, “a good sense, if we understand the passage of the Chaldeans; who, as appears from Habakkuk 1:7; Habakkuk 1:12; Habakkuk 1:15-17, may be addressed in the singular number throughout this chapter, though Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar (Daniel 5:0.) may be alluded to at the same time. But the idea of elation of mind does not occur in the ancient versions or paraphrase.”

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