Hab 2:5 “Moreover, wine [or wealth] is a traitor, an arrogant man who is never at rest. His greed is as wide as Sheol; like death he has never enough. He gathers for himself all nations and collects as his own all peoples.”
Although the text may indicate wine (Masoretic text) or wealth (Dead Sea Scrolls) is the traitor, either works equally well as a metaphor. Both represent the fruit of labor. By conquest the king of Babylon was vastly wealthy, arrogant, and thought himself invincible. Like anyone addicted to acquisition, enough was never enough. His greed was insatiable. He sought to unite and rule the whole world. The description of the king of Babylon was accurate, but as a metaphor it describes perfectly Satan and all who follow after the prince of darkness in the pursuit of worldly conquest. Death itself seeks to gather all humanity. Satan tempted man to sin and therefore to death. Were it not for the grace of our Lord all humanity would suffer the fullness of God’s just wrath. In the greed of Babylon we learn a lesson God wants us to learn. Greed blinds us to righteousness and makes us deaf to God’s call to repentance and the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.