English Standard Version
So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted.
King James Bible
Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.
American Standard Version
Therefore the law is slacked, and justice doth never go forth; for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore justice goeth forth perverted.
Therefore the law is torn in pieces, and judgment cometh not to the end: because the wicked prevaileth against the just, therefore wrong judgment goeth forth.
English Revised Version
Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore judgment goeth forth perverted.
Webster's Bible Translation
Therefore the law is slackened, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth encompass the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.
Habakkuk 1:4 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
This judicial interposition on the part of God is occasioned by the sin of Israel. Micah 1:5. "For the apostasy of Jacob (is) all this, and for the sins of the house of Israel. Who is Jacob's apostasy? is it not Samaria? And who Judah's high places? is it not Jerusalem? Micah 1:6. Therefore I make Samaria into a stone-heap of the field, into plantations of vines; and I pour her stones into the valley, and I will lay bare her foundations. Micah 1:7. And all her stone images will be beaten to pieces, and all her lovers' gifts be burned with fire, and all her idols will I make into a waste: for she has gathered them of prostitute's hire, and to prostitute's hire shall they return." "All this" refers to the coming of Jehovah to judgment announced in Micah 1:3, Micah 1:4. This takes place on account of the apostasy and the sins of Israel. ב (for) used to denote reward or wages, as in 2 Samuel 3:27 compared with 2 Samuel 3:30. Jacob and Israel in Micah 1:5 are synonymous, signifying the whole of the covenant nation, as we may see from the fact that in Micah 1:5 Jacob and not Israel is the epithet applied to the ten tribes in distinction from Judah. מי, who? - referring to the author. The apostasy of Israel originates with Samaria; the worship on the high places with Jerusalem. The capitals of the two kingdoms are the authors of the apostasy, as the centres and sources of the corruption which has spread from them over the kingdoms. The allusion to the bâmōth of the illegal worship of the high places, which even the most godly kings were unable to abolish (see at 1 Kings 15:14), shows, moreover, that פּשׁע denotes that religious apostasy from Jehovah which was formally sanctioned in the kingdom of the ten tribes by the introduction of the calf-worship. But because this apostasy commenced in the kingdom of the ten tribes, the punishment would fall upon this kingdom first, and Samaria would be utterly destroyed. Stone-heaps of the field and vineyard plantations harmonize badly, in Hitzig's view: he therefore proposes to alter the text. But there is no necessity for this. The point of comparison is simply that Samaria will be so destroyed, that not a single trace of a city will be left, and the site thereof will become like a ploughed field or plain. השּׂדה is added to עי, a heap of ruins or stones, to strengthen it. Samaria shall become like a heap, not of ruins of building stones, but of stones collected from the field. למטּעי כרם, i.e., into arable land upon which you can plant vineyards. The figure answers to the situation of Samaria upon a hill in a very fruitful region, which was well adapted for planting vineyards (see at Amos 3:9). The situation of the city helps to explain the casting of its stones into the valley. Laying bare the foundations denotes destruction to the very foundation (cf. Psalm 137:7). On the destruction of the city all its idols will be annihilated. Pesı̄lı̄m, idols, as in Isaiah 10:10; not wooden idols, however, to which the expression yukkattū, smitten to pieces, would not apply, but stone idols, from pâsal (Exodus 34:1). By the lovers' gifts ('ethnân, see at Hosea 9:1) we are to understand, not "the riches of the city or their possessions, inasmuch as the idolaters regarded their wealth and prosperity as a reward from their gods, according to Hosea 2:7, Hosea 2:14" (Rashi, Hitzig, and others), but the temple gifts, "gifts suspended in the temples and sacred places in honour of the gods" (Rosenmller), by which the temple worship with its apparatus were maintained; so that by 'ethnân we may understand the entire apparatus of religious worship. For the parallelism of the clauses requires that the word should be restricted to this. עצבּים are also idolatrous images. "To make them into a waste," i.e., not only to divest them of their ornament, but so utterly to destroy them that the place where they once stood becomes waste. The next clause, containing the reason, must not be restricted to the ‛ătsabbı̄m, as Hitzig supposes, but refers to the two clauses of the first hemistich, so that pesı̄lı̄m and ‛ătsabbı̄m are to be supplied as objects to qibbâtsâh (she gathered), and to be regarded as the subject to yâshūbhū (shall return). Samaria gathered together the entire apparatus of her idolatrous worship from prostitute's gifts (the wages of prostitution), namely, through gifts presented by the idolaters. The acquisition of all this is described as the gain of prostitute's wages, according to the scriptural view that idolatry was spiritual whoredom. There is no ground for thinking of literal wages of prostitution, or money which flowed into the temples from the voluptuous worship of Aphrodite, because Micah had in his mind not literal (heathenish) idolatry, but simply the transformation of the Jehovah-worship into idolatry by the worship of Jehovah under the symbols of the golden calves. These things return back to the wagers of prostitution, i.e., they become this once more (cf. Genesis 3:19) by being carried away by the enemies, who conquer the city and destroy it, and being applied to their idolatrous worship. On the capture of cities, the idols and temple treasures were carried away (cf. Isaiah 46:1-2; Daniel 1:3).
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
wrong. or, wrested.
Many bulls encompass me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
Do you indeed decree what is right, you gods? Do you judge the children of man uprightly?
No, in your hearts you devise wrongs; your hands deal out violence on earth.
It is time for the LORD to act, for your law has been broken.
How the faithful city has become a whore, she who was full of justice! Righteousness lodged in her, but now murderers.
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
For our transgressions are multiplied before you, and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us, and we know our iniquities:
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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.