Habakkuk 2:13
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Has not the LORD Almighty determined that the people's labor is only fuel for the fire, that the nations exhaust themselves for nothing?

New Living Translation
Has not the LORD of Heaven's Armies promised that the wealth of nations will turn to ashes? They work so hard, but all in vain!

English Standard Version
Behold, is it not from the LORD of hosts that peoples labor merely for fire, and nations weary themselves for nothing?

New American Standard Bible
"Is it not indeed from the LORD of hosts That peoples toil for fire, And nations grow weary for nothing?

King James Bible
Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts that the people shall labour in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Is it not from the LORD of Hosts that the peoples labor only to fuel the fire and countries exhaust themselves for nothing?

International Standard Version
Is it not because of the LORD of the Heavenly Armies that people grow tired putting out fires, and nations weary themselves over nothing?

NET Bible
Be sure of this! The LORD who commands armies has decreed: The nations' efforts will go up in smoke; their exhausting work will be for nothing.

New Heart English Bible
Look, isn't it of the LORD of hosts that the peoples labor for the fire, and the nations weary themselves for vanity?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Isn't it from the LORD of Armies that people grow tired only to feed the flames and nations exhaust themselves for nothing?

JPS Tanakh 1917
Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts That the peoples labour for the fire, And the nations weary themselves for vanity?

New American Standard 1977
“Is it not indeed from the LORD of hosts
            That peoples toil for fire,
            And nations grow weary for nothing?

Jubilee Bible 2000
Is this not of the LORD of the hosts? Therefore the peoples shall labour for the fire, and the Gentiles shall weary themselves in vain.

King James 2000 Bible
Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts that the people shall labor to feed the fire, and the people shall weary themselves in vain?

American King James Version
Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts that the people shall labor in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity?

American Standard Version
Behold, is it not of Jehovah of hosts that the peoples labor for the fire, and the nations weary themselves for vanity?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Are not these things from the Lord of hosts? for the people shall labour in a great fire: and the nations in vain, and they shall faint.

Darby Bible Translation
Behold, is it not of Jehovah of hosts that the peoples labour for the fire, and the nations weary themselves in vain?

English Revised Version
Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts that the peoples labour for the fire, and the nations weary themselves for vanity?

Webster's Bible Translation
Behold, is it not from the LORD of hosts that the people shall labor in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity?

World English Bible
Behold, isn't it of Yahweh of Armies that the peoples labor for the fire, and the nations weary themselves for vanity?

Young's Literal Translation
Lo, is it not from Jehovah of Hosts And peoples are fatigued for fire, And nations for vanity are weary?
Study Bible
Woe to the Chaldeans
12"Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed And founds a town with violence! 13"Is it not indeed from the LORD of hosts That peoples toil for fire, And nations grow weary for nothing? 14"For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea.…
Cross References
Isaiah 50:11
Behold, all you who kindle a fire, Who encircle yourselves with firebrands, Walk in the light of your fire And among the brands you have set ablaze. This you will have from My hand: You will lie down in torment.

Jeremiah 51:58
Thus says the LORD of hosts, "The broad wall of Babylon will be completely razed And her high gates will be set on fire; So the peoples will toil for nothing, And the nations become exhausted only for fire."
Treasury of Scripture

Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts that the people shall labor in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity?

is it.

Genesis 11:6-9 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one …

2 Samuel 15:31 And one told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators …

Job 5:13,14 He takes the wise in their own craftiness: and the counsel of the …

Psalm 39:6 Surely every man walks in a vain show: surely they are disquieted …

Psalm 127:1,2 Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it: …

Proverbs 21:30 There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.

Isaiah 41:5-8 The isles saw it, and feared; the ends of the earth were afraid, …

Isaiah 50:11 Behold, all you that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about …

Isaiah 55:2 Why do you spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor …

Jeremiah 51:58,64 Thus said the LORD of hosts; The broad walls of Babylon shall be …

Malachi 1:4 Whereas Edom said, We are impoverished, but we will return and build …

for very vanity. or, in vain.

(13) In the very fire . . . for very vanity. The preposition is the same in both clauses, and means "for an equivalent in." The sense is sufficiently conveyed if we render "labour only for the fire . . . weary themselves all for nothing." The same expressions occur in Jeremiah's denunciation of Babylon (Jeremiah 51:58). Both prophets predict that Jehovah shall render all this compulsory service fruitless. Jeremiah adds the explanatory clauses, "the broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burned with fire."

Verse 13. - Is it not of the Lord of hosts? Hath not God ordained that this, about to be mentioned, should be the issue of all this evil splendour? That the people shall labour in the very fire; rather, that the peoples labour for the fire; i.e. that the Chaldees and such like nations expended all this toil on cities and fortresses only to supply food for fire, which, the prophet sees, will be their end (Isaiah 40:16). Jeremiah (Jeremiah 51:58) applies these and the following words to the destruction of Babylon. This is indeed to weary themselves for very vanity. Babylon, when it was finally taken, was given over to fire and sword (comp. Jeremiah 50:32; Jeremiah 51:30, etc.). Behold, is it not of the Lord of hosts?.... That which follows; the judgments of God upon the bloody city, which they that labour to prevent labour in vain. So the Targum,

"lo, strong and mighty blows or judgments come from the Lord of hosts;''

the mighty God, the Lord of armies, whose hand when stretched out none can turn back; he does what he pleases, and none can hinder him; when the decree is gone forth from him, it is in vain to attempt to stop it:

that the people shall labour in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity? words of the same import, and expressed in much the same language, were used of the destruction of literal Babylon by fire, and of the vain attempts of the Chaldeans in labouring and wearying themselves to quench it, Jeremiah 51:58 and here of mystical Babylon, and the vanity of the people of it, in labouring to support it by their wars, for recovering the holy land from the Turks, and against the Waldenses, Hussites, and Bohemians; for, notwithstanding all their successes, and the vast number of persons slain by them, yet they could never prevail so as to root out the kingdom and interest of Christ: and their city and state shall fall, and they will not be able to uphold it; and a considerable blow and shock it received at the time of the Reformation; and this great city Babylon will be destroyed by fire, which its best friends cannot prevent; even the ten kings that have given their kingdom to the beast will hate the whore, and burn her with fire; and those antichristian kings that will continue friends to her, when they see her burning, will find it in vain to attempt to help her, and will stand afar off lamenting her case, Revelation 17:16. Kimchi begins here to see that this section and paragraph does not belong to Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldeans, but to the times of the Messiah; and interprets it of the vengeance of God that shall come upon all the nations that come along with Gog against Jerusalem in the latter day; but he is mistaken: it designs what will come on mystical Babylon; so Abarbinel owns, that, from Habakkuk 2:12, what is said belongs to the Roman empire, which he calls the kingdom of Edom. 13. is it not of the Lord of hosts—Jehovah, who has at His command all the hosts of heaven and earth, is the righteous author of Babylon's destruction. "Shall not God have His turn, when cruel rapacious men have triumphed so long, though He seem now to be still?" [Calvin].

people … labour in the … fire … weary themselves for … vanity—The Chaldeans labor at what is to be food for the fire, namely, their city and fortresses which shall be burnt. Jer 51:58 adopts the same phraseology to express the vanity of the Chaldean's labor on Babylon, as doomed to the flames.2:5-14 The prophet reads the doom of all proud and oppressive powers that bear hard upon God's people. The lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, are the entangling snares of men; and we find him that led Israel captive, himself led captive by each of these. No more of what we have is to be reckoned ours, than what we come honestly by. Riches are but clay, thick clay; what are gold and silver but white and yellow earth? Those who travel through thick clay, are hindered and dirtied in their journey; so are those who go through the world in the midst of abundance of wealth. And what fools are those that burden themselves with continual care about it; with a great deal of guilt in getting, saving, and spending it, and with a heavy account which they must give another day! They overload themselves with this thick clay, and so sink themselves down into destruction and perdition. See what will be the end hereof; what is gotten by violence from others, others shall take away by violence. Covetousness brings disquiet and uneasiness into a family; he that is greedy of gain troubles his own house; what is worse, it brings the curse of God upon all the affairs of it. There is a lawful gain, which, by the blessing of God, may be a comfort to a house; but what is got by fraud and injustice, will bring poverty and ruin upon a family. Yet that is not the worst; Thou hast sinned against thine own soul, hast endangered it. Those who wrong their neighbours, do much greater wrong to their own souls. If the sinner thinks he has managed his frauds and violence with art and contrivance, the riches and possessions he heaped together will witness against him. There are not greater drudges in the world than those who are slaves to mere wordly pursuits. And what comes of it? They find themselves disappointed of it, and disappointed in it; they will own it is worse than vanity, it is vexation of spirit. By staining and sinking earthly glory, God manifests and magnifies his own glory, and fills the earth with the knowledge of it, as plentifully as waters cover the sea, which are deep, and spread far and wide.
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