Habakkuk 2:16
Thou art filled with shame for glory: drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered: the cup of the LORD'S right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory.
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2:15-20 A severe woe is pronounced against drunkenness; it is very fearful against all who are guilty of drunkenness at any time, and in any place, from the stately palace to the paltry ale-house. To give one drink who is in want, who is thirsty and poor, or a weary traveller, or ready to perish, is charity; but to give a neighbour drink, that he may expose himself, may disclose secret concerns, or be drawn into a bad bargain, or for any such purpose, this is wickedness. To be guilty of this sin, to take pleasure in it, is to do what we can towards the murder both of soul and body. There is woe to him, and punishment answering to the sin. The folly of worshipping idols is exposed. The Lord is in his holy temple in heaven, where we have access to him in the way he has appointed. May we welcome his salvation, and worship him in his earthly temples, through Christ Jesus, and by the influence of the Holy Spirit.Thou art filled with shame for glory - Oppressors think to make themselves great by bringing others down, to fill themselves with riches, by spoiling others. They loved shame Hosea 4:8, because they loved that, which brought shame; they were filled with shame, in that they sated themselves with shamefulness, which was their shame within, before, in the just judgment of God, shame came on them from without Philippians 3:19. "Their glory was in their shame." They shall be filled, yea, he says, they are already filled; they would satisfy, gorge themselves, with all their hearts' desires; they are "filled to the full," but with shame instead of glory which they sought, or which they already had. "From" and "for" a state of "glory," they were filled with contempt.

Drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered - thy shame like those whom thou puttest to shame, only the greater in being uncircumcised. "The cup of the Lord's Right Hand shall be turned (round) unto thee (or against thee)." It had gone round the circuit of the nations whom God had employed him to chasten, and now, the circle completed, it should be brought round to himself, "With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured unto you again" Matthew 7:2. So Jeremiah says, Jeremiah 25:26, "And the king of Shesbach shall drink after them;" and of Edom, Lamentations 4:21, "To thee also shall the cup be brought round." Thou, a man, madest man to drink of the cup of thine anger: the cup shall be brought round to thee, but not by man; to thee it shall be given by "the Right Hand of the Lord," which thou canst not escape; it shall be "the cup of the wine of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God" Revelation 16:19; as Asaph had said, Psalm 76:8, "There is a cup in the Lord's hand; it is full of mixture, and He poureth out therefrom; but the dregs thereof all the ungodly of the earth shall suck them out, shall drink them."

And shameful spewing shall be on thy glory - Jerome: "With the shame of thy spewing shalt thou bring up all thou hast swallowed down, and from the height of glory shalt thou be brought to the utmost ills." The shame of the ungodly cometh forth from himself; the shame he put others to is doubled upon himself; and the very means which he had used to fill himself with glory and greatness, cover the glory which by nature he had, with the deeper disgrace, so that he should be a loathsome and revolting sight to all. Man veils foul deeds under fair words; God, in His word, unveils the foulness.

16. art filled—now that thou art fallen. "Thou art filled" indeed (though so insatiable), but it is "with shame."

shame for glory—instead of thy former glory (Ho 4:7).

drink thou also—The cup of sorrow is now in thy turn to pass to thee (Jer 25:15-17; La 4:21).

thy foreskin—expressing in Hebrew feeling the most utter contempt. So of Goliath (1Sa 17:36). It is not merely thy "nakedness," as in Hab 2:15, that shall be "uncovered," but the foreskin, the badge of thy being an uncircumcised alien from God. The same shall be done to thee, as thou didst to others, and worse.

cup … shall be turned unto thee—literally, "shall turn itself," namely, from the nations whom thou hast made to drink it. "Thou shalt drink it all, so that it may be turned as being drained" [Grotius].

shameful spewing—that is, vomiting; namely, that of the king of Babylon, compelled to disgorge the spoil he had swallowed. It expresses also the ignominious state of Babylon in its calamity (Jer 25:27). "Be drunken, spew, and fall." Less appropriately it is explained of the foe spewing in the face of the Babylonian king.

Thou, O king of Babylon,

art filled, shortly shalt be, and it is as sure as if already done, with shame for glory; as much filled with shame by the contempt they shall cast upon thee whom thou didst once vilify and contemn; thy shame shall be greater than ever was thy glory, as the Hebrew seems to import.

Drink thou also: thy sin was that thou didst drink, and madest others drink to shameless excess too; now thy punishment shall be to drink of the cup of God’s wrath, which will fill thee with astonishment and calamities.

Let thy foreskin be uncovered; let thy shame be laid open before all; this retaliation is just and necessary.

The cup; a Scripture phrase, expressing the just judgments and corrections of sinners.

Of the Lord’s right hand; it is said to be in his right hand here, and in his hand, Psalm 75:8.

Shall be turned unto thee: they turned the cup of pleasure about, God will carry the cup of indignation about also, and make them drink deep of it, they shall not escape.

Shameful spewing shall be upon thy glory; then shalt thou be as much loathed as a shameful drunkard is in his vomit.

Thou art filled with shame for glory,.... This is said by the Lord to the man that gives his neighbour drink to intoxicate him, that he may draw him into uncleanness, and please himself with it; who, instead of being filled with the glory of the Lord, and the knowledge of it, as the earth is before said to be, such are filled with shameful doctrines and abominable practices, as those of the church of Rome are; and instead of seeking the glory of God, and the honour of their neighbours, they are satiated with the shameful spectacle of their apostasy, they have been the instruments of; and yet, instead of taking shame to themselves, as they ought to do, they glory in their shame; count it an honour they have been the instruments of bringing them into such uncleanness and idolatry; and glut themselves with the delightful sight; which in the esteem of God, was filling themselves with shame, instead of bringing any glory to him, to themselves, or their neighbours; and therefore should severely smart for it:

drink thou also: of another cup, the cup "of the wine of the wrath of God"; as a just retaliation for giving to others "the wine of wrath of fornication" to drink, and to intoxicate men with; which will be given to mystical Babylon at the time she comes into remembrance before God, or when the time to punish her is come, and to all the followers and worshippers of the beast; see Revelation 14:10,

and let thy foreskin be uncovered; in retaliation for uncovering the nakedness of others, and looking with pleasure on it; by which it will appear that the men here spoken of, that take all the above methods to draw or force others into the communion of their church, are no other than heathens; their religion consisting greatly of Gentilism; or what has a very great likeness to it; hence the Papists are sometimes called Heathens and Gentiles; see Psalm 10:16,

the cup of the Lord's right hand shall be turned unto thee; who, in their turn, shall drink of it, when his right hand, in which it is, shall reach it out; for there is no resisting the power of that; when he gives the orders to drink it, they must; and this cup in his right hand is a cup of red wine, of the wrath, fury, and indignation of God, the dregs of which these wicked men must wring out, and drink up; see Psalm 75:8. It is no unusual thing in Scripture for the wrath, vengeance, and judgments of God to be represented by a cup, as in Isaiah 51:17,

and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory: signifying that they should be like a man intoxicated with wine, that vomits it up again; and which, falling on his fine clothes, spoils the glory of them: so when this cup of wrath and vengeance should be given unto them, and they be made to drink of it, they should be so full of it, that all their glory should be covered with shame; or all their glorious things should be spoiled, and they deprived of all their riches and honours, their titles and grandeur; the magnificence of their temples, altars, idols, and vestments, &c.

Thou art filled with shame {n} for glory: drink thou also, and let thy shame come upon thee: the cup of the LORD'S right hand shall be turned to thee, and utter shame shall be on thy glory.

(n) Whereas you thought to have the glory of these your doings, they will turn to your shame: for you will drink of the same cup with others in your turn.

16. filled with shame for glory] with shame and not with glory, the construction as Hosea 6:6, “mercy and not sacrifices,” cf. Psalm 52:3. The term “art filled” or sated must have the meaning: “thou hast feasted thyself on shame,” i.e. on the shame of his victims, or more generally, on that which is shameful, rather than on what is decorous and honourable. Such a sense seems nowhere else expressed by the verb to be sated. The text may be uncertain.

cup … turned unto thee] Lamentations 4:21; Jeremiah 25:15; Jeremiah 51:7; Isaiah 51:17.

shameful spuing] Or, as R.V., foul shame. The word, like “thick clay” (Habakkuk 2:6), has been taken as two words: spuing of shame, with the sense of A.V. It is no doubt an intensive form of the word shame.

Verse 16. - Just retribution falls on Babylon. Thou art filled with shame for glory. Thou art satiated, indeed, but With shame, not with glory. Thou hast revelled in thy shameless conduct to the defencelses, but this redounds to thy dishonour, and will only add to the disgrace of thy fall The Septuagint joins this clause with part of the following: "Drink thou also fulness of shame for glory." Drink thou also the cup of wrath and retribution. Let thy foreskin be uncovered. Be thou in turn treated with the same ignominy with which thou hast treated others, the figure in ver. 15 being here repeated (comp. Lamentations 4:21). It is otherwise translated, "Be thou," or "show thyself, uncircumcised." This, in a Jew's eyes, would be the very climax of degradation. The Vulgate has consopire, from a slightly different reading. The LXX., Καρδία σαλεύθητι καὶ σείσθητι "Be tossed, O my heart, and shaken." The present text is much more appropriate, though the Syriac and Arabic follow the Greek here. The cup of the Lord's right hand. Retributive vengeance is often thus figured (comp. Psalm 60:3; Psalm 75:8; Isaiah 51:17, 22; Jeremiah 25:15, etc.). Shall be turned unto thee. God himself shall bring round the cup of suffering and vengeance to thee in thy turn, and thou shalt be made to drink it to the dregs, so that shameful spewing (foul shame) shall be on thy glory. The ἅπαξ λεγόμενον kikalon is regarded as an intensive signifying "the utmost ignominy" (ἀτιμία, Septuagint), or as two words, or a compound word, meaning vomitus ignominiae (Vulgate). It was probably used by the prophet to suggest both ideas. Habakkuk 2:16The fourth woe is an exclamation uttered concerning the cruelty of the Chaldaean in the treatment of the conquered nations. Habakkuk 2:15. "Woe to him that giveth his neighbour to drink, mixing thy burning wrath, and also making drunk, to look at their nakedness. Habakkuk 2:16. Thou hast satisfied thyself with shame instead of with honour; then drink thou also, and show the foreskin. The cup of Jehovah's right hand will turn to thee, and the vomiting of shame upon thy glory. Habakkuk 2:17. For the wickedness at Lebanon will cover thee, and the dispersion of the animals which frightened them; for the blood of the men and the wickedness on the earth, upon the city and all its inhabitants." The description in Habakkuk 2:15 and Habakkuk 2:16 is figurative, and the figure is taken from ordinary life, where one man gives another drink, so as to intoxicate him, for the purpose of indulging his own wantonness at his expense, or taking delight in his shame. This helps to explain the משׁקה רעהוּ, who gives his neighbour to drink. The singular is used with indefinite generality, or in a collective, or speaking more correctly, a distributive sense. The next two circumstantial clauses are subordinate to הוי משׁקה, defining more closely the mode of the drinking. ספּח does not mean to pour in, after the Arabic sfḥ; for this, which is another form for Arab. sfk, answers to the Hebrew שׁפך, to pour out (compare שׁפך חמתו, to pour out, or empty out His wrath: Psalm 79:6; Jeremiah 10:25), but has merely the meaning to add or associate, with the sole exception of Job 14:19, where it is apparently used to answer to the Arabic sfḥ; consequently here, where drink is spoken of, it means to mix wrath with the wine poured out. Through the suffix חמתך the woe is addressed directly to the Chaldaean himself, - a change from the third person to the second, which would be opposed to the genius of our language. The thought is sharpened by ואף שׁכּר, "and also (in addition) making drunk" (shakkēr, inf. abs.). To look upon their nakednesses: the plural מעוריהם is used because רעהוּ has a collective meaning. The prostrate condition of the drunken man is a figurative representation of the overthrow of a conquered nation (Nahum 3:11), and the uncovering of the shame a figure denoting the ignominy that has fallen upon it (Nahum 3:5; Isaiah 47:3). This allegory, in which the conquest and subjugation of the nations are represented as making them drink of the cup of wrath, does not refer to the open violence with which the Chaldaean enslaves the nations, but points to the artifices with which he overpowers them, "the cunning with which he entices them into his alliance, to put them to shame" (Delitzsch). But he has thereby simply prepared shame for himself, which will fall back upon him (Habakkuk 2:16). The perfect שׂבעתּ does not apply prophetically to the certain future; but, as in the earlier strophes (Habakkuk 2:8 and Habakkuk 2:10) which are formed in a similar manner, to what the Chaldaean has done, to bring upon himself the punishment mentioned in what follows. The shame with which he has satisfied himself is the shamefulness of his conduct; and שׂבע, to satisfy himself, is equivalent to revelling in shame. מכּבוד, far away from honour, i.e., and not in honour. מן is the negative, as in Psalm 52:5, in the sense of ולא, with which it alternates in Hosea 6:6. For this he is now also to drink the cup of wrath, so as to fall down intoxicated, and show himself as having a foreskin, i.e., as uncircumcised ( הערל from ערלה ). This goblet Jehovah will hand to him. Tissōbh, he will turn. על (upon thee, or to thee). This is said, because the cup which the Chaldaean had reached to other nations was also handed over to him by Jehovah. The nations have hitherto been obliged to drink it out of the hand of the Chaldaean. Now it is his turn, and he must drink it out of the hand of Jehovah (see Jeremiah 25:26). וקיקלון, and shameful vomiting, (sc., יהיה) will be over thine honour, i.e., will cover over thine honour or glory, i.e., will destroy thee. The ἁπ. λεγ. קיקלון is formed from the pilpal קלקל from קלל, and softened down from קלקלון, and signifies extreme or the greatest contempt. This form of the word, however, is chosen for the sake of the play upon קיא קלון, vomiting of shame, vomitus ignominiae (Vulg.; cf. קיא צאה in Isaiah 28:8), and in order that, when the word was heard, it should call up the subordinate meaning, which suggests itself the more naturally, because excessive drinking is followed by vomiting (cf. Jeremiah 25:26-27).

This threat is explained in Habakkuk 2:17, in the statement that the wickedness practised by the Chaldaean on Lebanon and its beasts will cover or fall back upon itself. Lebanon with its beasts is taken by most commentators allegorically, as a figurative representation of the holy land and its inhabitants. But although it may be pleaded, in support of this view, that Lebanon, and indeed the summit of its cedar forest, is used in Jeremiah 22:6 as a symbol of the royal family of Judaea, and in Jeremiah 22:23 as a figure denoting Jerusalem, and that in Isaiah 37:24, and probably also in Zechariah 11:1, the mountains of Lebanon, as the northern frontier of the Israelitish land, are mentioned synecdochically for the land itself, and the hewing of its cedars and cypresses may be a figurative representation of the devastation of the land and its inhabitants; these passages do not, for all that, furnish any conclusive evidence of the correctness of this view, inasmuch as in Isaiah 10:33-34, Lebanon with its forest is also a figure employed to denote the grand Assyrian army and its leaders, and in Isaiah 60:13 is a symbol of the great men of the earth generally; whilst in the verse before us, the allusion to the Israelitish land and nation is neither indicated, nor even favoured, by the context of the words. Apart, for example, from the fact that such a thought as this, "the wickedness committed upon the holy land will cover thee, because of the wickedness committed upon the earth," not only appears lame, but would be very difficult to sustain on biblical grounds, inasmuch as the wickedness committed upon the earth and its inhabitants would be declared to be a greater crime than that committed upon the land and people of the Lord; this view does not answer to the train of thought in the whole of the ode, since the previous strophes do not contain any special allusion to the devastation of the holy land, or the subjugation and ill-treatment of the holy people, but simply to the plundering of many nations, and the gain forced out of their sweat and blood, as being the great crime of the Chaldaean (cf. Habakkuk 2:8, Habakkuk 2:10, Habakkuk 2:13), for which he would be visited with retribution and destruction. Consequently we must take the words literally, as referring to the wickedness practised by the Chaldaean upon nature and the animal world, as the glorious creation of God, represented by the cedars and cypresses of Lebanon, and the animals living in the forests upon those mountains. Not satisfied with robbing men and nations, and with oppressing and ill-treating them, the Chaldaean committed wickedness upon the cedars and cypresses also, and the wild animals of Lebanon, cutting down the wood either for military purposes or for state buildings, so that the wild animals were unsparingly exterminated. There is a parallel to this in Isaiah 14:8, where the cypresses and cedars of Lebanon rejoice at the fall of the Chaldaean, because they will be no more hewn down. Shōd behēmōth, devastation upon (among) the animals (with the gen. obj., as in Isaiah 22:4 and Psalm 12:6). יחיתן is a relative clause, and the subject, shōd, the devastation which terrified the animals. The form יחיתן for יחתּן, from יחת, hiphil of חתת, is anomalous, the syllable with dagesh being resolved into an extended one, like התימך for התמּך in Isaiah 33:1; and the tsere of the final syllable is exchanged for pathach because of the pause, as, for example, in התעלּם in Psalm 55:2 (see Olshausen, Gramm. p. 576). There is no necessity to alter it into יחיתך (Ewald and Olshausen after the lxx, Syr., and Vulg.), and it only weakens the idea of the talio. The second hemistich is repeated as a refrain from Habakkuk 2:8.

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