The Meaning of Habakkuk 2:6 Explained

Habakkuk 2:6

KJV: Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? and to him that ladeth himself with thick clay!

YLT: Do not these -- all of them -- against him a simile taken up, And a moral of acute sayings for him, And say, Woe to him who is multiplying what is not his? Till when also is he multiplying to himself heavy pledges?

Darby: Shall not all these take up a proverb about him, and a taunting riddle against him, and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? and to him that loadeth himself with pledges!

ASV: Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? and that ladeth himself with pledges!

What does Habakkuk 2:6 Mean?

Verse Meaning

Because of the Babylonians" sins it was inevitable that the righteous would taunt and mock them. They would pronounce woe on them for increasing what was not theirs just to have more and for making themselves rich by charging exorbitant interest on loans. How long would this go on, they asked themselves (cf. Habakkuk 1:2). When would God judge Babylon?

Context Summary

Habakkuk 2:1-20 - "the Just Shall Live By Faith"
Having prayed, the prophet expected an answer and looked out for it. When it came, there would be no mistaking it. But until we see eye to eye, we must live by simple faith in God. Note that wonderful clause in Habakkuk 2:4, which is referred to so often afterward. See Romans 1:17; Galatians 2:16; Galatians 3:11. Life in this age, as in that, may be obtained and maintained by faith in the ever-living God. Through long waiting-times the only source of continued life is the faith which draws all from God. From Habakkuk 2:5 onwards, the prophet enumerates Babylon's sins: her pride, love of strong drink, rapacity, and violence. It could not be God's will that the mighty city should flourish on the anguish of the world.
From scenes of anarchy and riot which foretell Chaldea's doom, we pass into Jehovah's temple, where peaceful silence reigns! Let us live in that secret place! "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him!" [source]

Chapter Summary: Habakkuk 2

1  Unto Habakkuk, waiting for an answer, is shown that he must wait by faith
5  The judgment upon the Chaldean for unsatiableness,
9  for covetousness,
12  for cruelty,
15  for drunkenness,
18  and for idolatry

What do the individual words in Habakkuk 2:6 mean?

Will not these all against him a proverb take up and taunting a riddle against him and say Woe to him who increases not [What] is his how long and who loads himself to him with many pledges
הֲלוֹא־ אֵ֣לֶּה כֻלָּ֗ם עָלָיו֙ מָשָׁ֣ל יִשָּׂ֔אוּ וּמְלִיצָ֖ה חִיד֣וֹת ל֑וֹ וְיֹאמַ֗ר ה֚וֹי הַמַּרְבֶּ֣ה לֹּא־ ל֔וֹ עַד־ מָתַ֕י וּמַכְבִּ֥יד עָלָ֖יו ! עַבְטִֽיט

הֲלוֹא־  Will  not 
Parse: Adverb, Negative particle
Root: הֲלֹא 
Sense: not, no.
אֵ֣לֶּה  these 
Parse: Pronoun, common plural
Root: אֵהֶל 
Sense: these.
עָלָיו֙  against  him 
Parse: Preposition, third person masculine singular
Root: עַל 
Sense: upon, on the ground of, according to, on account of, on behalf of, concerning, beside, in addition to, together with, beyond, above, over, by, on to, towards, to, against.
מָשָׁ֣ל  a  proverb 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: מָשָׁל  
Sense: proverb, parable.
יִשָּׂ֔אוּ  take  up 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Imperfect, third person masculine plural
Root: נָשָׂא  
Sense: to lift, bear up, carry, take.
וּמְלִיצָ֖ה  and  taunting 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Noun, feminine singular
Root: מְלִיצָה  
Sense: satire, mocking poem, mocking song, taunting, figure, enigma.
חִיד֣וֹת  a  riddle 
Parse: Noun, feminine plural
Root: חִידָה  
Sense: riddle, difficult question, parable, enigmatic saying or question, perplexing saying or question.
ל֑וֹ  against  him 
Parse: Preposition, third person masculine singular
וְיֹאמַ֗ר  and  say 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Conjunctive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: אָמַר 
Sense: to say, speak, utter.
ה֚וֹי  Woe 
Parse: Interjection
Root: הֹוי  
Sense: ah!, alas!, ha!, ho!, O!, woe!.
הַמַּרְבֶּ֣ה  to  him  who  increases 
Parse: Article, Verb, Hifil, Participle, masculine singular
Root: הַרְבָּה 
Sense: be or become great, be or become many, be or become much, be or become numerous.
ל֔וֹ  [What]  is  his 
Parse: Preposition, third person masculine singular
עַד־  how 
Parse: Preposition
Root: עַד  
Sense: as far as, even to, until, up to, while, as far as.
מָתַ֕י  long 
Parse: Interrogative
Root: מָתַי  
Sense: when?.
וּמַכְבִּ֥יד  and  who  loads  himself 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Hifil, Participle, masculine singular
Root: כָּבֵד  
Sense: to be heavy, be weighty, be grievous, be hard, be rich, be honourable, be glorious, be burdensome, be honoured.
עָלָ֖יו  to  him 
Parse: Preposition, third person masculine singular
Root: עַל 
Sense: upon, on the ground of, according to, on account of, on behalf of, concerning, beside, in addition to, together with, beyond, above, over, by, on to, towards, to, against.
! עַבְטִֽיט  with  many  pledges 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: עַבְטִיט  
Sense: weight of pledges, heavy debts.