on Habakkuk 1 :10
They shall scoff at the kings - No power shall be able to stand before them. It will be only as pastime to them to take the strongest places. They will have no need to build formidable ramparts: by sweeping the dust together they shall make mounts sufficient to pass over the walls and take the city.
on Habakkuk 1 :10
And they - literally, "he," the word stands emphatically, he, alone against all the kings of the earth
Shall scoff at the kings - and all their might taking them away or setting them up at his pleasure and caprice, subduing them as though in sport
And princes - literally, grave and majestic
Shall be a scorn unto them - i. e. him. Compare Job 41:29. So Nebuchadnezzar bound Jehoiakim 2 Chronicles 36:6; Daniel 1:2 "in fetters to carry him to Babylon;" then, on his submission made him for three years a tributary king 2 Kings 24:1, then on his rebellion sent bands of Chaldees and other tributaries against him 2 Kings 24:2; and then, or when Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin, Jeremiah's prophecy was fulfilled, that he should "be buried with the burial of an ass, dragged and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem Jeremiah 22:19, his dead body cast out in the day to the heat and in the night to the frost" Jeremiah 36:30. On the one hand, the expression "slept with his fathers" does not necessarily imply that Jehoiakim died a peaceful death, since it is used of Ahab 1 Kings 22:40 and Amaziah 2 Kings 14:20, 2 Kings 14:22 (in the other, Jeremiah's prophecy was equally fulfilled, if the insult to his corpse took place when Nebuchadnezzar took away Jehoiachin three months after his father's death. See Daniel. Josephus attributes both the death and disgrace to Nebuchadnezzar: Ant. x. 6. 3), then Nebuchadnezzar took away Jehoiachin; then Zedekiah. He had also many kings captive with him in Babylon. For on his decease Evil-Merodach brought Jehoiachin out of his prison after 27 years of imprisonment, "and set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon" 2 Kings 25:27-28. Daniel says also to Nebuchadnezzar Daniel 2:37-38; Daniel 4:22, "Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power and strength and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of heaven hath He given into thine hand and hath made thee ruler over all."
They (he) shall deride every strong hold - as, aforetime, when God helped her, Jerusalem laughed the Assyrian to scorn Isaiah 38:22.
For they (he) shall heap dust, and take it - as Nebuchadnezzar did Tyre, whose very name (Rock) betokened its strength. Jerome: "He shall come to Tyre, and, casting a mound in the sea, shall make an island a peninsula, and, amid the waves of the sea, land shall give an entrance to the city."
The mount, or heaped-up earth, by which the besiegers fought on a level with the besieged, or planted their engines at advantage, was an old and simple form of siege, especially adapted to the great masses of the Eastern armies. It was used in David's time 2 Samuel 20:15; and by the Assyrians 2 Kings 19:32, Egyptians Ezra 17:17, Babylonians (Jeremiah 6:6; Jeremiah 32:24; Jeremiah 33:4; Ezekiel 4:2; Ezekiel 21:22 (Ezekiel 21:27 in Hebrew), Ezekiel 26:8), and afterward, the Persians (Herodotus i. 162). Here he describes the rapidity of the siege. To heap up dust and to capture were one and the same thing.
It needed no great means; things slight as the dust sufficed in the hands of those employed by God. Portion by portion 2 Kings 24:7, "the King of Babylon took; all that pertained to the king of Egypt, from the river of Egypt unto the river Euphrates."
on Habakkuk 1 :10
1:10 At the kings - Which opposed their designs. And take it - By mighty mounts cast up.