Amplified Bible

Habakkuk 1

Chaldeans Used to Punish Judah

1The [a]oracle (a burdensome message—a pronouncement from God) which Habakkuk the prophet saw.


O Lord, how long will I call for help
And You will not hear?
I cry out to You, “Violence!”
Yet You do not save.

Why do You make me see iniquity,
And cause me to look on wickedness?
For destruction and violence are before me;
Strife continues and contention arises.

Therefore, the law is ineffective and ignored
And justice is never upheld,
For the wicked surround the righteous;
Therefore, justice becomes perverted.


[The Lord replied,] “Look among the nations! See!
Be astonished! Wonder!
For I am doing something in your days—
You would not believe it if you were told.

“For behold, I am raising up the [b]Chaldeans [who rule in [c]Babylon],
That fierce and impetuous nation
Who march throughout the earth
To take possession of dwelling places that do not belong to them.

“The Chaldeans are dreaded and feared;
Their justice and authority originate with themselves and are defined only by their decree.

“Their horses are swifter than leopards
And keener than [hungry] wolves in the evening,
Their horsemen come galloping,
Their horsemen come from far away;
They fly like an eagle swooping down to devour.

“They all come for violence;
Their horde of faces moves [eagerly] forward,
They gather prisoners like sand.
10 
“They make fun of kings
And rulers are a laughing matter to them.
They ridicule every stronghold
And heap up rubble [for earth mounds] and capture it.
11 
“Then they will sweep by like the wind and pass on.
But they will be held guilty,
They [and all men] whose own power and strength is their god.”

12 
Are You not from everlasting,
O Lord, my God, My Holy One?
We will not die.
O Lord, You have appointed the Chaldeans [who rule in Babylon] to execute [Your] judgment,
And You, O Rock, have established them to correct and chastise.
13 
Your eyes are too pure to approve evil,
And You cannot look favorably on wickedness.
Why then do You look favorably
On those who act treacherously?
Why are you silent when the wicked (Chaldean oppressors) destroy
Those more righteous than they?
14 
Why do You make men like the fish of the sea,
Like reptiles and creeping things that have no ruler [and are helpless against their enemies]?
15 
The Chaldeans bring all of them up with a hook,
And drag them away with a net,
And gather them together in their fishing net;
So they rejoice and are glad.
16 
Therefore, they offer sacrifices to their net
And burn incense to their fishing net;
Because through these things their catch is large and they live luxuriously,
And their food is plentiful.
17 
Will they continue to empty their net
And [mercilessly] go on destroying nations without sparing?

Notas al pie

  1. Habakkuk 1:1 I.e. an urgent message the prophet is under compulsion to proclaim.
  2. Habakkuk 1:6 The Chaldeans were the dominant people in Babylonia. Originally from a small part of southern Babylonia near the head of the Persian Gulf, they were an aggressive tribe and completely controlled the country after 625 b.c. Babylon was their capital city and became the scholarly and scientific center of western Asia. The words “Chaldean” and “Babylonian” are used interchangeably.
  3. Habakkuk 1:6 “Babylon” was the name of the magnificent capital city of Babylonia, and the name of the city was commonly used to refer to the entire area which was located at the eastern end of the Fertile Crescent. Both the plain of Shinar and Chaldea (land of the Chaldeans) were part of ancient Babylonia.

New International Reader's Version

Habakkuk 1

1This is a prophecy that Habakkuk the prophet received from the Lord. Here is what Habakkuk said.

Habakkuk Complains to the Lord

Lord, how long do I have to call out for help?
    Why don’t you listen to me?
How long must I keep telling you
    that things are terrible?
    Why don’t you save us?
Why do you make me watch while
    people treat others so unfairly?
Why do you put up with the wrong things
    they are doing?
I have to look at death.
    People are harming others.
    They are arguing and fighting all the time.
The law can’t do what it’s supposed to do.
    Fairness never comes out on top.
Sinful people surround those
    who do what is right.
    So people are never treated fairly.

The Lord Replies to Habakkuk

The Lord replies,

“Look at the nations. Watch them.
    Be totally amazed at what you see.
I am going to do something in your days
    that you would never believe.
You would not believe it
    even if someone told you about it.
I am going to send the armies of Babylon to attack you.
    They are very mean. They move quickly.
They sweep across the whole earth.
    They take over homes
    that do not belong to them.
They terrify others.
    They do not recognize any laws but their own.
    That is how proud they are.
Their horses are faster than leopards.
    They are meaner than wolves at sunset.
Their horsemen charge straight into battle.
    They ride in from far away.
They come down like an eagle
    diving for its food.
All of them are ready and willing to destroy others.
    Their huge armies advance like a wind out of the desert.
    They gather prisoners like sand.
10 They mock kings
    and make fun of rulers.
They laugh at all the cities
    that have high walls around them.
They build dirt ramps against the walls
    and capture the cities.
11 They sweep past like the wind.
    Then they go on their way.
They are guilty.
    They worship their own strength.”

Habakkuk Complains to the Lord Again

12 Lord, haven’t you existed forever?
    You are my holy God.
    You will never die.
Lord, you have appointed the Babylonians
    to punish your people.
    My Rock, you have chosen them to judge us.
13 Your eyes are too pure to look at what is evil.
    You can’t put up with the wrong things people do.
So why do you put up
    with those who can’t be trusted?
The evil Babylonians swallow up
    those who are more godly than themselves.
    So why are you silent?
14 You have made people to be like the fish in the sea.
    They are like the sea creatures that don’t have a ruler.
15 The evil Babylonians pull all of them up with hooks.
    They catch them in their nets.
They gather them up.
    So they celebrate.
    They are glad.
16 They offer sacrifices to their nets.
    They burn incense to them.
Their nets allow them to live in great comfort.
    They enjoy the finest food.
17 Are you going to let them
    keep on emptying their nets?
Will they go on destroying nations
    without showing them any mercy?