Habakkuk 1:13
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?

New Living Translation
But you are pure and cannot stand the sight of evil. Will you wink at their treachery? Should you be silent while the wicked swallow up people more righteous than they?

English Standard Version
You who are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, why do you idly look at traitors and remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he?

New American Standard Bible
Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, And You can not look on wickedness with favor. Why do You look with favor On those who deal treacherously? Why are You silent when the wicked swallow up Those more righteous than they?

King James Bible
Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Your eyes are too pure to look on evil, and You cannot tolerate wrongdoing. So why do You tolerate those who are treacherous? Why are You silent while one who is wicked swallows up one who is more righteous than himself?

International Standard Version
Your eyes are too pure to gaze upon evil; and you cannot tolerate wickedness. So why do you tolerate the treacherous? And why do you stay silent while the wicked devour those who are more righteous than they are?

NET Bible
You are too just to tolerate evil; you are unable to condone wrongdoing. So why do you put up with such treacherous people? Why do you say nothing when the wicked devour those more righteous than they are?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Your eyes are too pure to look at evil. You can't watch wickedness. Why do you keep watching treacherous people? Why are you silent when wicked people swallow those who are more righteous than they are?

Jubilee Bible 2000
Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil and canst not look on iniquity: why dost thou look upon those that deal treacherously and hold thy tongue when the wicked devour the man that is more righteous than he?

King James 2000 Bible
You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and can not look on iniquity: why do you look upon them that deal treacherously, and hold your tongue when the wicked devours the man that is more righteous than he?

American King James Version
You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and can not look on iniquity: why look you on them that deal treacherously, and hold your tongue when the wicked devours the man that is more righteous than he?

American Standard Version
Thou that art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and that canst not look on perverseness, wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy peace when the wicked swalloweth up the man that is more righteous than he;

Douay-Rheims Bible
Thy eyes are too pure to behold evil, and thou canst not look on iniquity. Why lookest thou upon them that do unjust things, and holdest thy peace when the wicked devoureth the man that is more just than himself?

Darby Bible Translation
[Thou art] of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on mischief: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, [and] keepest silence when the wicked swalloweth up a [man] more righteous than he?

English Revised Version
Thou that art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and that canst not look on perverseness, wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy peace when the wicked swalloweth up the man that is more righteous than he;

Webster's Bible Translation
Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: why lookest thou on them that deal treacherously, and keepest silence when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?

World English Bible
You who have purer eyes than to see evil, and who cannot look on perversity, why do you tolerate those who deal treacherously, and keep silent when the wicked swallows up the man who is more righteous than he,

Young's Literal Translation
Purer of eyes than to behold evil, To look on perverseness Thou art not able, Why dost Thou behold the treacherous? Thou keepest silent when the wicked Doth swallow the more righteous than he,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:12-17 However matters may be, yet God is the Lord our God, our Holy One. We are an offending people, he is an offended God, yet we will not entertain hard thoughts of him, or of his service. It is great comfort that, whatever mischief men design, the Lord designs good, and we are sure that his counsel shall stand. Though wickedness may prosper a while, yet God is holy, and does not approve the wickedness. As he cannot do iniquity himself, so he is of purer eyes than to behold it with any approval. By this principle we must abide, though the dispensations of his providence may for a time, in some cases, seem to us not to agree with it. The prophet complains that God's patience was abused; and because sentence against these evil works and workers was not executed speedily, their hearts were the more fully set in them to do evil. Some they take up as with the angle, one by one; others they catch in shoals, as in their net, and gather them in their drag, their enclosing net. They admire their own cleverness and contrivance: there is great proneness in us to take the glory of outward prosperity to ourselves. This is idolizing ourselves, sacrificing to the drag-net because it is our own. God will soon end successful and splendid robberies. Death and judgment shall make men cease to prey on others, and they shall be preyed on themselves. Let us remember, whatever advantages we possess, we must give all the glory to God.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 13. - Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil (comp. Habakkuk 1:3). God cannot look with complacency on evil (Psalm 5:5, 6). Iniquity; Septuagint, πόνους ὀδύνης, "labours of pain." Injustice and the distress occasioned by it. God's holiness cannot endure the sight of wickedness, nor his mercy the sight of man's misery. And yet he permits these evil men to afflict the holy seed. This is the prophet's perplexity, which he lays before the Lord. Them that deal treacherously. The Chaldeans, so called from their faithless and rapacious conduct (Isaiah 21:2; Isaiah 24:16). More righteous. The Israelites, wicked as they were, were more righteous than the Chaldeans (comp. Ezekiel 16:51, etc.). Delitzsch and Keil think that the persons intended are the godly portion of Israel, who will suffer with the guilty.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look upon iniquity,.... The Lord with his eyes of omniscience beholds all things good and evil, and all men good and bad, with all their actions; but then he does not look upon the sins of men with pleasure and approbation; since they are contrary to his nature, repugnant to his will, and breaches of his righteous law: and though sin in general may be included here, yet there seems to be a particular respect had to the "evil" or injury done by the Chaldeans to the Jews, in invading their land, spoiling their substance, and slaying their persons; and to the "iniquity", labour, or grievance, by which may be meant the oppression and violence the same people exercised upon the inhabitants of Judea; which, though permitted by the Lord, could not be well pleasing in his sight. The Targum interprets it of persons, workers of evil, and workers of the labour of falsehood; see Psalm 5:4,

wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously; the Chaldeans, who dealt treacherously with God, by worshipping idols; and with the Jews, pretending to be their good friends and allies, when they meditated their ruin and destruction; and yet the Lord in his providence seemed to look favourably on these perfidious persons, since they succeeded in all their enterprises: this was stumbling to the prophet, and all good men; and they knew not how, or at least found great difficulty, to reconcile this to the purity and holiness of God, and to his justice and faithfulness; see Jeremiah 12:1,

and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he? the comparison does not lie so much personally between Nebuchadnezzar and Zedekiah the last king of the Jews, whose eyes the king of Babylon put out, and whom he used in a cruel manner; who was, no doubt, comparatively speaking, a more righteous person than the Chaldean monarch was; being not the worst of the kings of Judea, and whose name has the signification of righteousness in it: but rather between the Chaldeans and the Jews; who, though there were many wicked persons among them, yet there were some truly righteous, who fell in the common calamity; and, as to the bulk of them, were a more righteous people, at the worst, than their enemies were, who devoured them, destroyed many with the sword, plundered them of their substance, and carried them captive; and the Lord was silent all this while, said nothing in his providence against them, put no stop to their proceedings; and by his silence seemed to approve of, at least to connive at, what they did; and this the prophet in the name of good men reasons with the Lord about.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

13. purer … than to behold evil—without being displeased at it.

canst not look on iniquity—unjust injuries done to Thy people. The prophet checks himself from being carried too far in his expostulatory complaint, by putting before himself honorable sentiments of God.

them that deal treacherously—the Chaldeans, once allies of the Jews, but now their violent oppressors. Compare "treacherous dealers," (Isa 21:2; 24:16). Instead of speaking evil against God, he goes to God Himself for the remedy for his perplexity (Ps 73:11-17).

devoureth the man that is more righteous—The Chaldean oppresses the Jew, who with all his faults, is better than his oppressor (compare Eze 16:51, 52).

Habakkuk 1:13 Additional Commentaries
Context
Habakkuk's Second Complaint
12Are You not from everlasting, O LORD, my God, my Holy One? We will not die. You, O LORD, have appointed them to judge; And You, O Rock, have established them to correct. 13Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, And You can not look on wickedness with favor. Why do You look with favor On those who deal treacherously? Why are You silent when the wicked swallow up Those more righteous than they? 14Why have You made men like the fish of the sea, Like creeping things without a ruler over them?…
Cross References
Job 21:7
Why do the wicked live on, growing old and increasing in power?

Psalm 11:4
The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD is on his heavenly throne. He observes everyone on earth; his eyes examine them.

Psalm 18:26
to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.

Psalm 25:3
No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause.

Psalm 34:15
The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry;

Psalm 34:16
but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth.

Psalm 35:17
How long, Lord, will you look on? Rescue me from their ravages, my precious life from these lions.

Psalm 35:25
Do not let them think, "Aha, just what we wanted!" or say, "We have swallowed him up."

Psalm 50:21
When you did these things and I kept silent, you thought I was exactly like you. But I now arraign you and set my accusations before you.

Isaiah 24:16
From the ends of the earth we hear singing: "Glory to the Righteous One." But I said, "I waste away, I waste away! Woe to me! The treacherous betray! With treachery the treacherous betray!"

Jeremiah 12:1
You are always righteous, LORD, when I bring a case before you. Yet I would speak with you about your justice: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease?

Jeremiah 12:2
You have planted them, and they have taken root; they grow and bear fruit. You are always on their lips but far from their hearts.

Lamentations 3:36
to deprive them of justice-- would not the Lord see such things?

Habakkuk 1:14
You have made people like the fish in the sea, like the sea creatures that have no ruler.

Zechariah 8:17
do not plot evil against each other, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this," declares the LORD.
Treasury of Scripture

You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and can not look on iniquity: why look you on them that deal treacherously, and hold your tongue when the wicked devours the man that is more righteous than he?

of.

Job 15:15 Behold, he puts no trust in his saints; yes, the heavens are not …

Psalm 5:4,5 For you are not a God that has pleasure in wickedness: neither shall …

Psalm 11:4-7 The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD's throne is in heaven: his …

Psalm 34:15,16 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry…

1 Peter 1:15,16 But as he which has called you is holy, so be you holy in all manner …

iniquity. or, grievance. wherefore.

Psalm 10:1,2,15 Why stand you afar off, O LORD? why hide you yourself in times of trouble…

Psalm 73:3 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

Jeremiah 12:1,2 Righteous are you, O LORD, when I plead with you: yet let me talk …

deal.

Isaiah 21:2 A grievous vision is declared to me; the treacherous dealer deals …

Isaiah 33:1 Woe to you that spoil, and you were not spoiled; and deal treacherously…

holdest.

Esther 4:14 For if you altogether hold your peace at this time, then shall there …

Psalm 35:22 This you have seen, O LORD: keep not silence: O Lord, be not far from me.

Psalm 50:3,21 Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour …

Psalm 83:1 Keep not you silence, O God: hold not your peace, and be not still, O God.

Proverbs 31:8,9 Open your mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed …

Isaiah 64:12 Will you refrain yourself for these things, O LORD? will you hold …

the wicked.

Habakkuk 1:3,4 Why do you show me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for …

2 Samuel 4:11 How much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his …

1 Kings 2:32 And the LORD shall return his blood on his own head, who fell on …

Psalm 37:12-15,32,33 The wicked plots against the just, and gnashes on him with his teeth…

Psalm 56:1,2 Be merciful to me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting …

Acts 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge …

Acts 3:13-15 The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, …

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