Habakkuk 1:2
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
How long, O LORD, will I call for help, And You will not hear? I cry out to You, "Violence!" Yet You do not save.

King James Bible
O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save!

Darby Bible Translation
Jehovah, how long shall I cry and thou wilt not hear? I cry out unto thee, Violence! and thou dost not save.

World English Bible
Yahweh, how long will I cry, and you will not hear? I cry out to you "Violence!" and will you not save?

Young's Literal Translation
Till when, O Jehovah, have I cried, And Thou dost not hear? I cry unto Thee -- 'Violence,' and Thou dost not save.

Habakkuk 1:2 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

O Lord, how long shall I cry - Literally, "how long have I cried so intensely to Thee?" Because it is always the cry of the creature to the One who alone can hear or help - its God. Of this cry the Prophet expresses that it had already lasted long. In that long past he had cried out to God but no change had come. There is an undefined past, and this still continues.

How long - as Asaph cries, "how long hast Thou been," and, it is implied, wilt Thou be "wroth against the prayer of Thy people?" as we should say," how long shall Thy wrath continue?" The words which the prophet uses relate to domestic strife and wrong between man and man; violence, iniquity, strife, contention Habakkuk 1:3, nor are any of them used only of the oppression of a foreign enemy. Also, Habakkuk complains of injustice too strong for the law, and the perversion of justice Habakkuk 1:4. And upon this, the sentence is pronounced. The enemy is to be sent for judgment and correction Habakkuk 1:12. They are then the sins of Judah which the prophet rehearses before God, in fellow-suffering with the oppressed. God answers that they shall be removed, but by the punishment of the sinners.

Punishment does not come without sin, nor does sin endure without punishment. It is one object of the Old Testament to exhibit the connection between sin and punishment. Other prophets, as commissioned by God, first denounced the sins and then foretold the punishment of the impenitent. Habakkuk appeals to God's justice, as requiring its infliction. On this ground too this opening of the prophecy cannot be a complaint against the Chaldees, because their wrong would be no ground of the punishment which the prophet denounced, but the punishment itself, requiting wrong to man through human wrong.

Cyril: "The prophet considers the person of the oppressed, enduring the intolerable insolence and contumely of those accustomed to do wrong, and very skillfully doth he attest the unutterable lovingkindness of God, for he exhibits Him as very forbearing, though accustomed to hate wickedness, but that He doth not immediately bring judgment upon the offenders, he showed clearly, saying that so great is His silence and long-suffering, that there needeth a strong cry, in that some practice intolerable covetousness against others, and use an unbridled insolence against the weak, for his very complaints of God's endurance of evil attest the immeasurable loving kindness of God."

Cyril: "You may judge hence of the hatred of evil among the saints. For they speak of the woes of others as their own. So saith the most wise Paul 2 Corinthians 11:29, who is weak and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? and bade us Romans 12:15 weep with those who weep, showing that sympathy and mutual love are especially becoming to the saints."

The prophet, through sympathy or fellow-suffering with the sufferers, is as one of them. He cries for help, as himself needing it, and being in the misery, in behalf of which he prays. He says, "How long shall I cry?" standing, as it were, in the place of all, and gathering all their cries into one, and presenting them before God. It is the cry, in one, of all which is wronged to the God of Justice, of all suffering to the God of love. "When shall this scene of sin, and confusion, and wrong be at an end, and the harmony of God's creation be restored? How long shall evil not exist only, but prevail?" It is the cry of the souls under the altar Revelation 6:10, "How long, O Lord, Holy and True, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?" It is the voice of the oppressed against the oppressor; of the Church against the world; weary of hearing the Lord's Name blasphemed, of seeing wrong set up on high, of holiness trampled underfoot. It is in its highest sense His Voice, who, to sanctify our longings for deliverance, said in the days of His Flesh Psalm 22:2, "I cry in the daytime, but Thou hearest not."

Even cry out - aloud (it is the cry of anguish) Dion.: "We cry the louder, the more we cry from the heart, even without words; for not the moving of the lips, but the love of the heart sounds in the ears of God."

Even cry out unto Thee. - Whether as an exclamation or a continuance of the question, How long? The prophet gathered in one the prolonged cry of past and future. He had cried out; he should cry on, "Violence." He speaks as if the one word, jerked out, as it were, wrung forth from his inmost soul, was, "Violence," as if he said this one word to the God of justice and love.

Habakkuk 1:2 Parallel Commentaries

The accession of Ahaz to the throne brought Isaiah and his associates face to face with conditions more appalling than any that had hitherto existed in the realm of Judah. Many who had formerly withstood the seductive influence of idolatrous practices were now being persuaded to take part in the worship of heathen deities. Princes in Israel were proving untrue to their trust; false prophets were arising with messages to lead astray; even some of the priests were teaching for hire. Yet the leaders
Ellen Gould White—The Story of Prophets and Kings

"But we are all as an Unclean Thing, and all Our Righteousnesses are as Filthy Rags,"
Isaiah lxiv 6, 7.--"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags," &c. This people's condition agreeth well with ours, though the Lord's dealing be very different. The confessory part of this prayer belongeth to us now; and strange it is, that there is such odds of the Lord's dispensations, when there is no difference in our conditions; always we know not how soon the complaint may be ours also. This prayer was prayed long before the judgment and captivity came
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Cross References
Job 19:7
"Behold, I cry, 'Violence!' but I get no answer; I shout for help, but there is no justice.

Psalm 13:1
For the choir director. A Psalm of David. How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?

Psalm 13:2
How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long will my enemy be exalted over me?

Psalm 22:1
For the choir director; upon Aijeleth Hashshahar. A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning.

Psalm 22:2
O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer; And by night, but I have no rest.

Jeremiah 14:9
"Why are You like a man dismayed, Like a mighty man who cannot save? Yet You are in our midst, O LORD, And we are called by Your name; Do not forsake us!"

Zechariah 1:12
Then the angel of the LORD said, "O LORD of hosts, how long will You have no compassion for Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, with which You have been indignant these seventy years?"

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