New American Standard Bible

Habakkuk 1

Chaldeans Used to Punish Judah

1The [a]oracle which Habakkuk the prophet saw.

How long, O Lord, 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?
Yes, destruction and violence are before me;
Strife exists and contention arises.
Therefore the law is [b]ignored
And justice [c]is never upheld.
For the wicked surround the righteous;
Therefore justice comes out perverted.

“Look among the nations! Observe!
Be astonished! Wonder!
Because I am doing something in your days—
You would not believe if [d]you were told.
“For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans,
That [e]fierce and impetuous people
Who march [f]throughout the earth
To [g]seize dwelling places which are not theirs.
“They are dreaded and feared;
Their justice and [h]authority [i]originate with themselves.
“Their horses are swifter than leopards
And [j]keener than wolves in the evening.
Their [k]horsemen come galloping,
Their horsemen come from afar;
They fly like an eagle swooping down to devour.
“All of them come for violence.
[l]Their horde of faces moves forward.
They collect captives like sand.
10 “They mock at kings
And rulers are a laughing matter to them.
They laugh at every fortress
And heap up rubble to capture it.
11 “Then they will sweep through like the wind and pass on.
But they will be held guilty,
They whose strength is their god.”

12 Are You not from everlasting,
O Lord, my God, my Holy One?
We will not die.
You, O Lord, have appointed them to judge;
And You, O Rock, have established them to correct.
13 Your eyes are too pure to [m]approve evil,
And You can not look on wickedness with favor.
Why do You look with favor
On those who deal treacherously?
Why are You silent when the wicked swallow up
Those more righteous than they?
14 Why have You made men like the fish of the sea,
Like creeping things without a ruler over them?
15 The Chaldeans bring all of them up with a hook,
Drag them away with their net,
And gather them together in their fishing net.
Therefore they rejoice and are glad.
16 Therefore they offer a sacrifice to their net
And [n]burn incense to their fishing net;
Because through these things their [o]catch is [p]large,
And their food is [q]plentiful.
17 Will they therefore empty their net
And continually slay nations without sparing?

Notas al pie

  1. Habakkuk 1:1 Or burden
  2. Habakkuk 1:4 Or ineffective; lit numbed
  3. Habakkuk 1:4 Lit never goes forth
  4. Habakkuk 1:5 Lit it
  5. Habakkuk 1:6 Lit bitter
  6. Habakkuk 1:6 Lit the breadth of
  7. Habakkuk 1:6 Lit take possession of
  8. Habakkuk 1:7 Lit eminence
  9. Habakkuk 1:7 Lit proceeds from
  10. Habakkuk 1:8 Or more eager to attack
  11. Habakkuk 1:8 Or steeds paw the ground
  12. Habakkuk 1:9 Or The eagerness of their faces
  13. Habakkuk 1:13 Lit look at
  14. Habakkuk 1:16 Or sacrifice
  15. Habakkuk 1:16 Lit portion
  16. Habakkuk 1:16 Lit fat; or plentiful
  17. Habakkuk 1:16 Lit the fat portion

The Message

Habakkuk 1

Justice Is a Joke

11-4 The problem as God gave Habakkuk to see it:

God, how long do I have to cry out for help
    before you listen?
How many times do I have to yell, “Help! Murder! Police!”
    before you come to the rescue?
Why do you force me to look at evil,
    stare trouble in the face day after day?
Anarchy and violence break out,
    quarrels and fights all over the place.
Law and order fall to pieces.
    Justice is a joke.
The wicked have the righteous hamstrung
    and stand justice on its head.

God Says, “Look!”

5-11 “Look around at the godless nations.
    Look long and hard. Brace yourself for a shock.
Something’s about to take place
    and you’re going to find it hard to believe.
I’m about to raise up Babylonians to punish you,
    Babylonians, fierce and ferocious—
World-conquering Babylon,
    grabbing up nations right and left,
A dreadful and terrible people,
    making up its own rules as it goes.
Their horses run like the wind,
    attack like bloodthirsty wolves.
A stampede of galloping horses
    thunders out of nowhere.
They descend like vultures
    circling in on carrion.
They’re out to kill. Death is on their minds.
    They collect victims like squirrels gathering nuts.
They mock kings,
    poke fun at generals,
Spit on forts,
    and leave them in the dust.
They’ll all be blown away by the wind.
    Brazen in sin, they call strength their god.”

Why Is God Silent Now?

12-13 God, you’re from eternity, aren’t you?
    Holy God, we aren’t going to die, are we?
God, you chose Babylonians for your judgment work?
    Rock-Solid God, you gave them the job of discipline?
But you can’t be serious!
    You can’t condone evil!
So why don’t you do something about this?
    Why are you silent now?
This outrage! Evil men swallow up the righteous
    and you stand around and watch!

14-16 You’re treating men and women
    as so many fish in the ocean,
Swimming without direction,
    swimming but not getting anywhere.
Then this evil Babylonian arrives and goes fishing.
    He pulls in a good catch.
He catches his limit and fills his creel—
    a good day of fishing! He’s happy!
He praises his rod and reel,
    piles his fishing gear on an altar and worships it!
It’s made his day,
    and he’s going to eat well tonight!

17 Are you going to let this go on and on?
    Will you let this Babylonian fisherman
Fish like a weekend angler,
    killing people as if they’re nothing but fish?