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And they mock at kings,
and rulers are a laughing matter to them.
They laugh at every fortress,
for they build up an earthen ramp and capture it. Bible

“build up an earthen ramp.” The Hebrew is more literally, “they pile up dirt,” but the reference is to the building of siege ramps by piling up huge amounts of dirt and rock, so we have followed the pattern of many other versions and nuanced the text for ease of understanding. Without a knowledge of ancient warfare, the reader might not know why piling up dirt was a way to conquer a city. Building earthen siege ramps was a common way that ancient walled cities were taken, and it is described in many ancient texts. Also, there are remains of them from the ancient world. One very good example is the siege ramp the Roman army built so they could conquer the Jewish fortress of Masada.


Commentary for: Habakkuk 1:10