Habakkuk 1:8
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Their horses are swifter than leopards, fiercer than wolves at dusk. Their cavalry gallops headlong; their horsemen come from afar. They fly like an eagle swooping to devour;

New Living Translation
Their horses are swifter than cheetahs and fiercer than wolves at dusk. Their charioteers charge from far away. Like eagles, they swoop down to devour their prey.

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.

New American Standard Bible
"Their horses are swifter than leopards And keener than wolves in the evening. Their horsemen come galloping, Their horsemen come from afar; They fly like an eagle swooping down 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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Their horses are swifter than leopards and more fierce than wolves of the night. Their horsemen charge ahead; their horsemen come from distant lands. They fly like an eagle, swooping to devour.

International Standard Version
Their horses are swifter than leopards, and more cunning than wolves that attack at night. Their horsemen are galloping as they approach from far away. They swoop in like ravenous vultures.

NET Bible
Their horses are faster than leopards and more alert than wolves in the desert. Their horses gallop, their horses come a great distance; like a vulture they swoop down quickly to devour their prey.

New Heart English Bible
Their horses also are swifter than leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves. Their horsemen press proudly on. Yes, their horsemen come from afar. They fly as an eagle that hurries to devour.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Their horses will be faster than leopards and quicker than wolves in the evening. Their riders will gallop along proudly. Their riders will come from far away. They will fly like an eagle that swoops down for its prey.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Their horses also are swifter than leopards, And are more fierce than the wolves of the desert; And their horsemen spread themselves; Yea, their horsemen come from far, They fly as a vulture that hasteth to devour.

New American Standard 1977
“Their horses are swifter than leopards
            And keener than wolves in the evening.
            Their horsemen come galloping,
            Their horsemen come from afar;
            They fly like an eagle swooping down to devour.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Their horses shall be swifter than tigers and are sharper than the evening wolves, and their horsemen shall multiply themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as eagles that hasten to eat.

King James 2000 Bible
Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen press proudly on, their horsemen shall come from afar; they shall fly as the eagle that hastens to eat.

American King James Version
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 hastens 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.

Darby Bible Translation
And their horses are swifter than the leopards, and are more agile than the evening wolves; and their horsemen prance proudly, and their horsemen come from afar: they fly as an eagle that hasteth to devour.

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.

World English Bible
Their horses also are swifter than leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves. Their horsemen press proudly on. Yes, their horsemen come from afar. They fly as an eagle that hurries to devour.

Young's Literal Translation
Swifter than leopards have been its horses, And sharper than evening wolves, And increased have its horsemen, Even its horsemen from afar come in, They fly as an eagle, hasting to consume.
Study Bible
The Lord's Answer
7"They are dreaded and feared; Their justice and authority originate with themselves. 8"Their horses are swifter than leopards And keener than wolves in the evening. Their horsemen come galloping, Their horsemen come from afar; They fly like an eagle swooping down to devour. 9"All of them come for violence. Their horde of faces moves forward. They collect captives like sand.…
Cross References
Matthew 24:28
Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

Job 9:26
"They slip by like reed boats, Like an eagle that swoops on its prey.

Isaiah 11:14
They will swoop down on the slopes of the Philistines on the west; Together they will plunder the sons of the east; They will possess Edom and Moab, And the sons of Ammon will be subject to them.

Jeremiah 4:13
"Behold, he goes up like clouds, And 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 will slay them, A wolf of the deserts will destroy them, A leopard is watching their cities. Everyone who goes out of them will be torn in pieces, Because their transgressions are many, Their apostasies are numerous.

Jeremiah 48:40
For thus says the LORD: "Behold, one will fly swiftly like an eagle And spread out his wings against Moab.

Jeremiah 50:42
"They seize their bow and javelin; They are cruel and have no mercy. Their voice roars like the sea; And they ride on horses, Marshalled like a man for the battle Against you, O daughter of Babylon.

Lamentations 4:19
Our pursuers were swifter Than the eagles of the sky; They chased us on the mountains, They waited in ambush for us in the wilderness.

Ezekiel 17:3
saying, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "A great eagle with great wings, long pinions and a full plumage of many colors came to Lebanon and took away the top of the cedar.

Ezekiel 26:11
"With the hoofs of his horses he will trample all your streets. He will slay your people with the sword; and your strong pillars will come down to the ground.
Treasury of Scripture

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 hastens to eat.

horses.

Deuteronomy 28:49 The LORD shall bring a nation against you from far, from the end …

Isaiah 5:26-28 And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, and will hiss …

fierce. Heb. sharp. evening.

Jeremiah 5:6 Why a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the evenings …

Zephaniah 3:3 Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening …

they.

Jeremiah 4:13 Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as …

Lamentations 4:19 Our persecutors are swifter than the eagles of the heaven: they pursued …

Ezekiel 17:3,12 And say, Thus said the Lord GOD; A great eagle with great wings, …

Hosea 8:1 Set the trumpet to your mouth. He shall come as an eagle against …

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, …

(8) Are more fierce.--Better, are sharper. This is the literal meaning of the verb. The ideas intended are those of activity and ferocity, both prompted by hunger. The evening wolf coming out of his lair to find prey is elsewhere an illustration of ravenous greediness. (See Zephaniah 3:3 and Psalm 59:7). In Jeremiah 5:6 God's punishment is likened to "a wolf of the evening," "a lion out of the forest." Jeremiah 4:13 "his chariots shall be as a whirlwind; his horses are swifter than eagles," is similar to Habakkuk 1:8, but it is not necessary to regard it either as its original or its echo. Both passages are to some extent based on 2Samuel 1:23.

Verse 8. - Their horses, etc. Jeremiah (Jeremiah 4:13) compares their horses to eagles (comp. Job 39:19, etc.). The punishment predicted in Deuteronomy 28:49, etc., is to come upon the Jews. We often read of the cavalry and chariots of the Chaldeans (Jeremiah 4:29; Jeremiah 6:23; Ezekiel 23:23, 24). Evening wolves. Wolves that prowl for food in the evening, and are then fiercest (Jeremiah 5:6; Zephaniah 3:3). Septuagint (with a different pointing), "wolves of Arabia." Their horsemen shall spread themselves. The verb is also rendered, "bear themselves proudly," or "gallop." Septuagint, ἐξιππάσονται. The Anglican Version seems correct implying that the cavalry, like Cossacks or Uhlans, swept the whole country for plunder. The verbs throughout vers. 8-11 should be rendered in the present tense. From far. From Babylonia (Isaiah 39:3). The preceding clause was of general import; the present one refers to the invasion of Judaea. As the eagle. This is a favourite comparison of Jeremiah, as quoted above (comp. also Jeremiah 48:40; Jeremiah 49:22; Lamentations 4:19). Their horses also are swifter than the leopards,.... Creatures remarkable for their swiftness: these are creatures born of the mating of a he panther and a lioness, and not of a lion and a she panther, as some have affirmed; and which adultery is highly resented by the lion; nor will he suffer it to go unrevenged, as Pliny (u) and Philostratus (w) observe: those thus begotten differ from common lions in this, that they have no manes: the panthers are the creatures here meant, which are very swift, as Bochart (x) from various authors has observed. Lucan (y) calls this creature "celerem pardum", t"he swift panther"; and Jerom says (z) nothing is swifter than the panther; and Aelianus (a) observes that the panther, by the swiftness of its running, will overtake most creatures, and particularly apes; and Eustathius (b) confirms the same, saying that it exceeds other creatures in swiftness, and as it were flies before the eyes of hunters; and Osorius (c) relates, that the king of Portugal once sent to the pope of Rome a panther tamed, which being had into the woods a hunting by a Persian hunter, with wonderful swiftness leaped upon the boars and deer, and killed them at once; and the Septuagint version here is, "their horses will leap above the panthers": or exceed them in leaping, for which these panthers are very famous too: an Arabic writer (d), whom Bochart mentions, says it will leap above forty cubits at a leap. Pliny (e) reports, that the panthers in Africa will get up into thick trees, and hide themselves in the branches, and leap from thence on those that pass by; and because of the swiftness of this creature, with other qualities of it, the third beast or Grecian monarchy, especially in its first head Alexander the great, is represented by it, Daniel 7:6 he making such a swift and rapid progress in his conquests; and yet the Chaldean horses would exceed them in swiftness, and be very speedy in their march into the land of Judea; and therefore it was in vain for the Jews to please themselves with the thoughts that these people were a great way off, and so they secure from them, when they could and would be upon them presently, ere they were aware:

and are more fierce than ravening wolves; which creatures are naturally fierce, and especially when they are hungry, and particularly at evening; when, having had no food all the day, their appetites are very keen, and they go in quest of their prey; and, when they meet with it, fall upon it with greater eagerness and fierceness. The Septuagint and Arabic versions render it, than the wolves of Arabia; that there are wolves very frequent in Arabia, is observed by Diodorus Siculus (f), and Strabo (g); but that these are remarkable for their fierceness does not appear; rather those in colder climates are more fierce; so Pliny (h) says, they are little and sluggish in Africa and Egypt, but rough and fierce in cold climates. It is, in the original text, "more sharp" (i); which some interpret of the sharpness of their sight. Aelianus says (k), it is a most quick and sharp sighted creature; and can see in the night season, even though the moon shines not: the reason of which Pliny (l) gives is, because the eyes of wolves are shining, and dart light; hence Aelianus (m) observes, that that time of the night in which the wolf only by nature enjoys the light is called wolf light; and that Homer (n) calls a night which has some glimmering of light, or a sort of twilight, such as the wolves can see themselves walk by, , which is that light that precedes the rising sun; and he also observes that the wolf is sacred to the sun, and to Apollo, which are the same; and there was an image of one at Delphos; and so Macrobias (o) says, that the inhabitants of Lycopolis, a city of Thebais in Egypt, alike worship Apollo and a wolf, and in both the sun, because this animal takes and consumes all things like the sun; and, because perceiving much by the quick sight of its eyes, overcomes the darkness of the night; and observes, that some think they have their name from light, though they would have it be from the morning light; because those creatures especially observe that time for seizing on cattle, after a nights hunger, when before day light they are turned out of the stables into pasture; but it is for the most part at evening, and in the night, that wolves prowl about for their prey (p); and from whence they have the name of evening wolves, to which the Chaldean horses are here compared: and yet there seems to be an antipathy between these, if what some naturalists (q) say is true; as that if a horse by chance treads in the footsteps of a wolf, a numbness will immediately seize it, yea, even its belly will burst; (This sounds like a fable. Ed.) and that, if the hip bone of a wolf is thrown under horses drawing a chariot full speed, and they tread upon it, they will stop and stand stone still, immovable: whether respect is here had to the quick sight or sharp hunger of these creatures is not easy to say; though rather, since the comparison of them is with horses, it seems to respect the fierceness of them, for which the war horse is famous, Job 39:24 and may be better understood of the sharpness of the appetite of evening wolves, when hunger bitten:

and their horsemen shall spread themselves; or be multiplied, as the Targum; they shall be many, and spread themselves all over the country, so that there will be no escaping; all will fall into their hands:

and their horsemen shall come from far; as Chaldea was reckoned from Judea, and especially in comparison of neighbouring nations, who used to be troublesome, as Moab, Edom, &c. see Jeremiah 5:15,

they shall flee as the eagle that hasteth to eat; those horsemen shall be so speedy in their march, that they shall seem rather to fly than ride, and even to fly as swift as the eagle, the swiftest of birds, and which itself flies swiftest when hungry, and in sight of its prey; and the rather this bird is mentioned, because used by many nations, as the Persians, and others, for a military sign (r).

(u) Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 16. (w) De Vita Apollonii, l. 2. c. 7. (x) Hierozoic. par. 1. l. 3. c. 7. col. 788. (y) Pharsalia, l. 6. (z) Comment. in Hos. v. 14. fol. 10. L. (a) Hist. Animal. l. 8. c. 6. (b) In Hexaemeron. (c) De Rebus Portugall. l. 9. apud Frantz. Hist. Animal. Sacr. par. 1. 8. p. 90. (d) Damir apud Bochart, ut supra. (Hierozoic. par. 1. l. 3. c. 7. col. 788.) (e) Nat. Hist. l. 10. c. 73. (f) Bibliothec. l. 3. p. 177. (g) Geograph. l. 16. p. 534. (h) Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 22. (i) "et acuti erunt", Montanus, Cocceius; "et acutiores", Pagninus, Calvin, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Drusius, Grotius; so Ben Melech; "et acuti sunt", Burkius. (k) De Animal. l. 10. c. 26. (l) Nat. Hist. l. 11. c. 37. (m) Ut supra. (De Animal. l. 10. c. 26.) (n) Iliad. 7. prope finem. (o) Saturnal. l. 1. c. 17. (p) "Vesper ubi e pastu vitulos ad tecta reducit, Auditisque lupos acuunt balatibus agni." Virgil. Georgic. l. 4. "Ac veluti pleno lupus insidiatus ovili Nocte super media-----", Ibid. Aeneid. l. 8. (q) Aelian. de Animal. l. 1. c. 36. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 28. c. 20. (r) Vid. Lydium de Re Militari, l. 3. c. 7. p. 87. 8. swifter than the leopards—Oppian [Cynegeticks, 3.76], says of the leopard, "It runs most swiftly straight on: you would fancy it was flying through the air."

more fierce—rather, "more keen"; literally, "sharp."

evening wolves—wolves famished with fasting all day and so most keen in attacking the fold under covert of the approaching night (Jer 5:6; Zep 3:3; compare Ge 49:27). Hence "twilight" is termed in Arabic and Persian "the wolf's tail"; and in French, entre chien et loup.

spread themselves—proudly; as in Jer 50:11, and Mal 4:2, it implies strength and vigor. So also the Arabic cognate word [Maurer].

their horsemen … come from far—and yet are not wearied by the long journey.1:1-11 The servants of the Lord are deeply afflicted by seeing ungodliness and violence prevail; especially among those who profess the truth. No man scrupled doing wrong to his neighbour. We should long to remove to the world where holiness and love reign for ever, and no violence shall be before us. God has good reasons for his long-suffering towards bad men, and the rebukes of good men. The day will come when the cry of sin will be heard against those that do wrong, and the cry of prayer for those that suffer wrong. They were to notice what was going forward among the heathen by the Chaldeans, and to consider themselves a nation to be scourged by them. But most men presume on continued prosperity, or that calamities will not come in their days. They are a bitter and hasty nation, fierce, cruel, and bearing down all before them. They shall overcome all that oppose them. But it is a great offence, and the common offence of proud people, to take glory to themselves. The closing words give a glimpse of comfort.
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OT Prophets: Habakkuk 1:8 Their horses also are swifter than leopards (Hab Hb) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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