Habakkuk 2:6
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"Will not all of them taunt him with ridicule and scorn, saying, "'Woe to him who piles up stolen goods and makes himself wealthy by extortion! How long must this go on?'

New Living Translation
"But soon their captives will taunt them. They will mock them, saying, 'What sorrow awaits you thieves! Now you will get what you deserve! You've become rich by extortion, but how much longer can this go on?'

English Standard Version
Shall not all these take up their taunt against him, with scoffing and riddles for him, and say, “Woe to him who heaps up what is not his own— for how long?— and loads himself with pledges!”

New American Standard Bible
"Will not all of these take up a taunt-song against him, Even mockery and insinuations against him And say, 'Woe to him who increases what is not his-- For how long-- And makes himself rich with loans?'

King James Bible
Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? and to him that ladeth himself with thick clay!

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Won't all of these take up a taunt against him, with mockery and riddles about him? They will say: Woe to him who amasses what is not his-- how much longer?-- and loads himself with goods taken in pledge.

International Standard Version
"Will not all of these ridicule him with mocking scorn? They will say, 'Woe to the one who hordes for himself what isn't his. How long will you enrich yourself by extortion?'

NET Bible
"But all these nations will someday taunt him and ridicule him with proverbial sayings: 'The one who accumulates what does not belong to him is as good as dead (How long will this go on?)--he who gets rich by extortion!'

New Heart English Bible
Won't all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, 'Woe to him who increases that which is not his, and who enriches himself by extortion. How long?'

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Won't all of them ridicule him, directing clever sayings and riddles at him, like: " 'How horrible it will be for the one who makes himself rich with what is not his own and makes himself wealthy on loans. How long will this go on?'

JPS Tanakh 1917
Shall not all these take up a parable against him, And a taunting riddle against him, And say: 'Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! How long? and that ladeth himself with many pledges!'

New American Standard 1977
“Will not all of these take up a taunt-song against him,
            Even mockery and insinuations against him,
            And say, ‘Woe to him who increases what is not his—
            For how long—
            And makes himself rich with loans?’

Jubilee Bible 2000
Shall not all these take up a parable against him and a taunting enigma against him and say, Woe to him that multiplied that which was not his! And for how long would he pile thick clay upon himself?

King James 2000 Bible
Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increases that which is not his! how long? and to him that loads himself with many pledges!

American King James Version
Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increases that which is not his! how long? and to him that lades himself with thick clay!

American Standard Version
Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? and that ladeth himself with pledges!

Douay-Rheims Bible
Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a dark speech concerning him: and it shall be said: Woe to him that heapeth together that which is not his own? how long also doth he load himself with thick clay?

Darby Bible Translation
Shall not all these take up a proverb about him, and a taunting riddle against him, and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? -- and to him that loadeth himself with pledges!

English Revised Version
Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? and that ladeth himself with pledges!

Webster's Bible Translation
Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? and to him that ladeth himself with thick clay!

World English Bible
Won't all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, 'Woe to him who increases that which is not his, and who enriches himself by extortion! How long?'

Young's Literal Translation
Do not these -- all of them -- against him a simile taken up, And a moral of acute sayings for him, And say, Woe to him who is multiplying what is not his? Till when also is he multiplying to himself heavy pledges?
Study Bible
Woe to the Chaldeans
5"Furthermore, wine betrays the haughty man, So that he does not stay at home. He enlarges his appetite like Sheol, And he is like death, never satisfied. He also gathers to himself all nations And collects to himself all peoples. 6"Will not all of these take up a taunt-song against him, Even mockery and insinuations against him And say, Woe to him who increases what is not his-- For how long-- And makes himself rich with loans?' 7"Will not your creditors rise up suddenly, And those who collect from you awaken? Indeed, you will become plunder for them.…
Cross References
Job 20:15
"He swallows riches, But will vomit them up; God will expel them from his belly.

Isaiah 10:13
For he has said, "By the power of my hand and by my wisdom I did this, For I have understanding; And I removed the boundaries of the peoples And plundered their treasures, And like a mighty man I brought down their inhabitants,

Isaiah 14:4
that you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon, and say, "How the oppressor has ceased, And how fury has ceased!

Jeremiah 50:13
"Because of the indignation of the LORD she will not be inhabited, But she will be completely desolate; Everyone who passes by Babylon will be horrified And will hiss because of all her wounds.

Micah 2:4
"On that day they will take up against you a taunt And utter a bitter lamentation and say, 'We are completely destroyed! He exchanges the portion of my people; How He removes it from me! To the apostate He apportions our fields.'

Habakkuk 2:12
"Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed And founds a town with violence!
Treasury of Scripture

Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increases that which is not his! how long? and to him that lades himself with thick clay!

take.

Numbers 23:7,18 And he took up his parable, and said, Balak the king of Moab has …

Isaiah 14:4-19 That you shall take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, …

Jeremiah 29:22 And of them shall be taken up a curse by all the captivity of Judah …

Jeremiah 50:13 Because of the wrath of the LORD it shall not be inhabited, but it …

Ezekiel 32:21 The strong among the mighty shall speak to him out of the middle …

Micah 2:4 In that day shall one take up a parable against you, and lament with …

Woe to him. or, Ho, he. that increaseth.

Habakkuk 1:9,10,15 They shall come all for violence: their faces shall sup up as the …

Job 20:15-29 He has swallowed down riches, and he shall vomit them up again: God …

Job 22:6-10 For you have taken a pledge from your brother for nothing, and stripped …

Proverbs 22:16 He that oppresses the poor to increase his riches, and he that gives …

Jeremiah 51:34,35 Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon has devoured me, he has crushed …

James 5:1-4 Go to now, you rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall …

how.

Psalm 94:3 LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph?

Luke 12:20 But God said to him, You fool, this night your soul shall be required …

1 Corinthians 7:29-31 But this I say, brothers, the time is short: it remains, that both …

1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be you therefore sober, and …

ladeth.

Habakkuk 2:13 Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts that the people shall labor …

Isaiah 44:20 He feeds on ashes: a deceived heart has turned him aside, that he …

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

(6-20) The destruction of the Chaldans has hitherto been only implied. It is now plainly foretold in a denunciatory song, put into the mouths of the invader's victims. In this song there are five strophes, of three verses each, 6-8; 9-11; 12-14; 15-17; 18-20.

(6-8) Woe on the reckless rapacity which has spared neither life nor property.

(6) How long?--i.e., how long shall this continual annexation be witnessed?

That ladeth himself with thick clay.--Better, That accumulates to himself usury. So the Targum. The rendering "thick clay" originates in a false etymology of the word abtt, which the student will find in Rashi's Commentary. For the true derivation see Frst's Lexicon.

Verses 6-8. - § 8. The destruction of the Babylonians is announced by the mouth of the vanquished nations, who utter five woes against their oppressor. The first woe: for their rapacity. Verse 6. - All these. All the nations and peoples who have been subjugated and barbarously treated by the Babylonians (comp. Isaiah 14:4). A parable. A sententious song (see note on Micah 2:4). A taunting proverb. The Anglican Version combines the two Hebrew words, which stand unconnected, into one notion. So the Vulgate, loquelam aenigmatum. The latter of the two generally means "riddle," "enigma;" the other word (melitzah) is by some translated, "a derisive satirical song," or "an obscure, dark saying;" but, as Keil and Delitzsch have shown, is better understood of a bright, clear, brilliant speech. So the two terms signify "a speech containing enigmas," or a song which has double or ambiguous meanings (comp. Proverbs 1:6). Septuagint, Πρόβλημα εἰς διήγησις, αὐτοῦ. Woe (Nahum 3:1). This is the first of the five "woes," which consist of three verses each, arranged in strophical form. Increaseth that which is not his. He continues to add to his conquests and possessions, which are not his, because they are acquired by injustice and violence. This is the first denunciation of the Chaldeans for their insatiable rapacity. How long? The question comes in interjectionally - How long is this state of things to continue unpunished (comp. Psalm 6:3; Psalm 90:13)? That ladeth himself with thick clay; Septuagint, βαρύνων τὸν κλοιὸν αὐτοῦ στιβαρῶς, "who loadeth his yoke heavily;" Vulgate, aggravat contra se densum lutum. The renderings of the Anglican and Latin Versions signify that the riches and spoils with which the conquerors load themselves are no more than burdens of clay, which are in themselves worthless, and only harass the bearers. The Greek Version seems to point to the weight of the yoke imposed by the Chaldeans on them; but Jerome explains it differently, "Ad hoc tantum saevit ut devoret et iniquitatis et praedarum onere quasi gravissima torque se deprimat." The difficulty lies in the ἄπαξ λεγόμενον αβτιτ, which forms an enigma, or dark saying, because, taken as two words, it might pass current for "thick clay," or "a mass of dirt," while regarded as one word it means "a mass of pledges," "many pledges." That the latter is the signification primarily intended is the view of many modern commentators, who explain the clause thus: The quantity of treasure and booty amassed by the Chaldeans is regarded as a mass of pledges taken from the conquered nations a burden of debt to be discharged one day with heavy retribution. Pusey, "He does in truth increase against himself a strong pledge, whereby not others are debtors to him, but he is a debtor to Almighty God, who careth for the oppressed (Jeremiah 17:11)." Shall not all these take up a parable against him,.... A proverbial expression, a short sentence, a laconic speech, delivered in a few words, which contains much in them concerning the vices of these emperors, and imprecating judgments upon them for them; took up and expressed by the nations brought into subjection unto them, and especially by the Christians in those nations spoiled and persecuted by them:

and a taunting proverb against him; or, "whose explanation are riddles to him" (y); the proverb, when explained, would be a riddle to him, which he could not understand, nor would give any credit to; taking it not to belong to him or them, and in which they had no concern; though afterwards would find they had, to their great mortification:

and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! substance or goods, not his own, as the Targum explains it; which they had no right unto, nor property in, but were another's; and therefore guilty of great injustice in taking it from them, and might justly expect vengeance would pursue them for it; such were the goods they spoiled the Christians of for not worshipping their idols, and for professing and abiding by the Christian religion:

how long? that is, how long shall they go on increasing their substance by such unjust and unlawful methods? how long shall they keep that which they have so unjustly got? this suggests as if it was a long time, which, as Cocceius observes, does not so well agree with the Babylonian as the Roman empire, which stood much longer:

and to him that ladeth himself with thick clay: such is gold and silver, no other than yellow and white dust and dirt; and may be called clay, because dug out of the earth, as that; and as clay is defiling, so are gold and silver, when ill gotten, or ill used, or the heart set too much upon them; and as that is very ponderous and troublesome to carry, so an abundance of riches bring much care with them, and often are very troublesome to the owners of them, and frequently hinder their sleep, rest, and ease; and as clay when it sticks to the heels hinders walking, so riches, when the affections are too much set on them, are great obstacles in the way of true religion and godliness; hence our Lord observes, "how hard it is them, that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God", Mark 10:24 they are even a weight, a clog to good men. The phrase seems to point at the meanness of them, as well as the hurt that sometimes comes by them, and the contempt they should be had in, in comparison of the true riches; hence, agreeable to this way of speaking, a good man Drusius makes mention of used to call gold "yellow earth": and a certain Greek writer (z) says gold is ashes, and so is silver. The word used is a compound; and, as Kimchi observes, signifies an abundance of riches; but our countryman Mr. Fuller (a) chooses rather to render it an "abundance of pledges"; and thinks it has respect to the many pledges which the person here spoken of, by whom he supposes is meant the Babylonian monarch, had in an unjust manner took of several nations, and heaped up like an usurer; and which should in due time be taken from him, by those whom he had plundered of them: but this expresses the greedy desire of the Romans after money, as well as the unlawful methods they took to acquire wealth, and the vast sums they became masters of, so that they were even loaded with it; but, getting it in an unrighteous manner, it brought the curses and imprecations of the people upon them, especially those they defrauded of it. Joseph Kimchi, as his son David observes, interprets it,

"he shall make thick clay lie heavy on his grave;''

and it was a custom with the Romans, as Drusius (b) relates, that when one imprecated evil upon another, he used to wish a heavy load of earth upon him, that is, when he was dead; as, on the contrary, when one was wished well after death, it was desired he might have a light earth upon him: so Julian the emperor, speaking of Constantius, says (c),

"when he is become happy, or departs out of this life, may the earth be light upon him;''

which is wishing all felicity, and freedom from punishment; whereas the contrary, to have a load of earth or thick clay, is an imprecation of the heaviest punishment.

(y) "et interpretationem aenigmata ei", Drusius, Burkius; "et interpretatio erit aenigmata ipsi", Cocceius; "cujus explicatio illi erit aenigmatum loco", Van Till. (z) , , Naumachius apud Grotium in loc. (a) Miscel. Sacr. l. 5. c. 8. (b) Observat. l. 15. c. 18. (c) Epist. Hermogeni, Ephesians 23. p. 141. 6. Shall not all these—the "nations" and "peoples" (Hab 2:5) "heaped unto him" by the Chaldean.

take up a parable—a derisive song. Habakkuk follows Isaiah (Isa 14:4) and Micah (Mic 2:4) in the phraseology.

against him—when dislodged from his former eminence.

Woe—The "derisive song" here begins, and continues to the end of the chapter. It is a symmetrical whole, and consists of five stanzas, the first three consisting of three verses each, the fourth of four verses, and the last of two. Each stanza has its own subject, and all except the last begin with "Woe"; and all have a closing verse introduced with "for," "because," or "but."

how long?—how long destined to retain his ill-gotten gains? But for a short time, as his fall now proves [Maurer]. "Covetousness is the greatest bane to men. For they who invade others' goods, often lose even their own" [Menander]. Calvin makes "how long?" to be the cry of those groaning under the Chaldean oppression while it still lasted: How long shall such oppression be permitted to continue? But it is plainly part of the derisive song, after the Chaldean tyranny had passed away.

ladeth himself with thick clay—namely, gold and silver dug out of the "clay," of which they are a part. The covetous man in heaping them together is only lading himself with a clay burden, as he dares not enjoy them, and is always anxious about them. Lee and Fuller translate the Hebrew as a reduplicated single noun, and not two words, "an accumulation of pledges" (De 24:10-13). The Chaldean is compared to a harsh usurer, and his ill-gotten treasures to heaps of pledges in the hands of a usurer.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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Alphabetical: a against all and by Even extortion go goods him himself his-For How increases insinuations is loans' long long-And makes mockery must not of on' piles rich ridicule say saying scorn stolen take taunt taunt-song them these this to up wealthy what who Will with Woe

OT Prophets: Habakkuk 2:6 Won't all these take up a parable (Hab Hb) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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