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 Living Translation

Habakkuk 1

1This is the message that the prophet Habakkuk received in a vision.

Habakkuk’s Complaint

How long, O Lord, must I call for help?
    But you do not listen!
“Violence is everywhere!” I cry,
    but you do not come to save.
Must I forever see these evil deeds?
    Why must I watch all this misery?
Wherever I look,
    I see destruction and violence.
I am surrounded by people
    who love to argue and fight.
The law has become paralyzed,
    and there is no justice in the courts.
The wicked far outnumber the righteous,
    so that justice has become perverted.

The Lord’s Reply

The Lord replied,

“Look around at the nations;
    look and be amazed![a]
For I am doing something in your own day,
    something you wouldn’t believe
    even if someone told you about it.
I am raising up the Babylonians,[b]
    a cruel and violent people.
They will march across the world
    and conquer other lands.
They are notorious for their cruelty
    and do whatever they like.
Their horses are swifter than cheetahs[c]
    and fiercer than wolves at dusk.
Their charioteers charge from far away.
    Like eagles, they swoop down to devour their prey.

“On they come, all bent on violence.
    Their hordes advance like a desert wind,
    sweeping captives ahead of them like sand.
10 They scoff at kings and princes
    and scorn all their fortresses.
They simply pile ramps of earth
    against their walls and capture them!
11 They sweep past like the wind
    and are gone.
But they are deeply guilty,
    for their own strength is their god.”

Habakkuk’s Second Complaint

12 O Lord my God, my Holy One, you who are eternal—
    surely you do not plan to wipe us out?
O Lord, our Rock, you have sent these Babylonians to correct us,
    to punish us for our many sins.
13 But you are pure and cannot stand the sight of evil.
    Will you wink at their treachery?
Should you be silent while the wicked
    swallow up people more righteous than they?

14 Are we only fish to be caught and killed?
    Are we only sea creatures that have no leader?
15 Must we be strung up on their hooks
    and caught in their nets while they rejoice and celebrate?
16 Then they will worship their nets
    and burn incense in front of them.
“These nets are the gods who have made us rich!”
    they will claim.
17 Will you let them get away with this forever?
    Will they succeed forever in their heartless conquests?

Notas al pie

  1. 1:5 Greek version reads Look, you mockers; / look and be amazed and die. Compare Acts 13:41.
  2. 1:6 Or Chaldeans.
  3. 1:8 Or leopards.