New International Version

Habakkuk 1

1The prophecy that Habakkuk the prophet received.

Habakkuk’s Complaint

How long, Lord, must I call for help,
    but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!”
    but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
    Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?
Destruction and violence are before me;
    there is strife, and conflict abounds.
Therefore the law is paralyzed,
    and justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous,
    so that justice is perverted.

The Lord’s Answer

“Look at the nations and watch—
    and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
    that you would not believe,
    even if you were told.
I am raising up the Babylonians,[a]
    that ruthless and impetuous people,
who sweep across the whole earth
    to seize dwellings not their own.
They are a feared and dreaded people;
    they are a law to themselves
    and promote their own honor.
Their horses are swifter than leopards,
    fiercer than wolves at dusk.
Their cavalry gallops headlong;
    their horsemen come from afar.
They fly like an eagle swooping to devour;
    they all come intent on violence.
Their hordes[b] advance like a desert wind
    and gather prisoners like sand.
10 They mock kings
    and scoff at rulers.
They laugh at all fortified cities;
    by building earthen ramps they capture them.
11 Then they sweep past like the wind and go on—
    guilty people, whose own strength is their god.”

Habakkuk’s Second Complaint

12 Lord, are you not from everlasting?
    My God, my Holy One, you[c] will never die.
You, Lord, have appointed them to execute judgment;
    you, my Rock, have ordained them to punish.
13 Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
    you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.
Why then do you tolerate the treacherous?
    Why are you silent while the wicked
    swallow up those more righteous than themselves?
14 You have made people like the fish in the sea,
    like the sea creatures that have no ruler.
15 The wicked foe pulls all of them up with hooks,
    he catches them in his net,
he gathers them up in his dragnet;
    and so he rejoices and is glad.
16 Therefore he sacrifices to his net
    and burns incense to his dragnet,
for by his net he lives in luxury
    and enjoys the choicest food.
17 Is he to keep on emptying his net,
    destroying nations without mercy?

Notas al pie

  1. Habakkuk 1:6 Or Chaldeans
  2. Habakkuk 1:9 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  3. Habakkuk 1:12 An ancient Hebrew scribal tradition; Masoretic Text we

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.