2016-03-26 - Habakkuk
God now moves from a general statement of the Babylonian’s insatiable commitment to sin to specific examples which are designated by “woes.” As we saw already, this is similar to what we read in Isaiah. These are comments about God’s standards. They were and are still reflections of His perfect standard.
The discussion of the unreliable nature of wine is used as a transition to these woes. Armerding describes this transition in the following way:
“The reference to “wine” is unexpected … . However, it is appropriate to the present verse, being associated with arrogance, unfulfilled greed, and social injustice elsewhere in the OT … . Isaiah 5:8-30 – with its six woes directed against human drunkenness, greed, rapacity, and pride – offers a close parallel to Habakkuk 2:4-20. The object of this betrayal is implicit in v.5, the pronoun “him” being absent in the Hebrew. His identity is clarified by the references to arrogance … and restless ambition, clearly referring to the Babylonians (cf. 1:6-11, 13), as do the following clauses of this verse. And, indeed, the Babylonian regime was to be overthrown in just the circumstances of drunken pride portrayed here (cf. Dan 5:1-31)-such drunkenness being attested among ancient historians as characteristic of the Babylonians.” 1
To be continued.
All verses are from the English Standard Version (ESV) unless otherwise noted.