13 Be sure of this! The Lord of Heaven’s Armies has decreed: The nations’ efforts will go up in smoke; their exhausting work will be for nothing. 14 For recognition of the Lord’s sovereign majesty will fill the earth just as the waters fill up the sea. 15 “Woe to you who force your neighbor to drink wine—you who make others intoxicated by forcing them to drink from the bowl of your furious anger so you can look at their naked bodies. 16 But you will become drunk with shame, not majesty. Now it is your turn to drink and expose your uncircumcised foreskin! The cup of wine in the Lord’s right hand is coming to you, and disgrace will replace your majestic glory! 17 For you will pay in full for your violent acts against Lebanon; terrifying judgment will come upon you because of the way you destroyed the wild animals living there. You have shed human blood and committed violent acts against lands, cities, and those who live in them.
5 “For Israel and Judah will not be forsaken by their God, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. For the land of Babylonia is full of guilt against the Holy One of Israel. 6 Get out of Babylonia quickly, you foreign people. Flee to save your lives. Do not let yourselves be killed because of her sins, for it is time for the Lord to wreak his revenge. He will pay Babylonia back for what she has done. 7 Babylonia had been a gold cup in the Lord’s hand; she had made the whole world drunk. The nations had drunk from the wine of her wrath, so they have all gone mad. 8 But suddenly Babylonia will fall and be destroyed. Cry out in mourning over it! Get medicine for her wounds; perhaps she can be healed! 9 Foreigners living there will say, ‘We tried to heal her, but she could not be healed. Let’s leave Babylonia and each go back to his own country. For judgment on her will be vast in its proportions. It will be like it is piled up to heaven, stacked up into the clouds.’
Notes and References
"... This stanza employs the imagery of drinking to portray the immorality of the Chaldeans, 'Woe to the one who makes his neighbor drink, pouring out your wrath and even make them drunk so as to gaze upon their nakedness.' In the first strophe of this stanza, the Chaldeans are described as a host who gives drinks to his friend, with the intention of intoxicating the unsuspecting victim so as to exploit and shame him. The meaning of the phrase has some ambiguity. But since 'pouring out wrath' is a common usage in Old Testament, and that it would make a good ironic contrast when the oppressor would be forced to drink from "the cup from the right hand of the Lord" in verse 16, I translate it as 'pouring out your wrath.' The purpose of Babylon pouring out drink to his neighbors is to get them drunk (In Jeremiah 51:7, Babylon is portrayed as the golden cup in the hand of the Lord, making all the earth drunken) so as to humiliate them. To gaze at others' nakedness is to humiliate and to shame them. In Genesis 9:20-24, the word 'nakedness' is used three times to describe Noah's condition when he gets drunk. And as a result of Ham's indecent act (or lack of action), it brings on a curse to Canaan. This incident shows the seriousness of the offense of gazing at another's nakedness. Andersen thinks that it is not just humiliation, 'but something closer to sexual licentiousness seems to be in mind.' ..."
Ko, Grace Theodicy in Habakkuk (pp. 106-107) University of St. Michael's College, 2009
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