1The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see. 2O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! 3Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention. 4Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.1.4 wrong: or, wrested
5¶ Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you. 6For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not theirs.1.6 breadth: Heb. breadths 7They are terrible and dreadful: their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves.1.7 their judgment…: or, from them shall proceed the judgment of these, and the captivity of these 8Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat.1.8 fierce: Heb. sharp 9They shall come all for violence: their faces shall sup up as the east wind, and they shall gather the captivity as the sand.1.9 their…: or, the supping up of their faces, etc: or, their faces shall look (Heb. the opposition of their faces) toward the east 10And they shall scoff at the kings, and the princes shall be a scorn unto them: they shall deride every strong hold; for they shall heap dust, and take it. 11Then shall his mind change, and he shall pass over, and offend, imputing this his power unto his god.
12¶ Art thou not from everlasting, O LORD my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O LORD, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction.1.12 mighty…: Heb. rock1.12 established: Heb. founded 13Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?1.13 iniquity: or, grievance 14And makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them?1.14 creeping: or, moving 15They take up all of them with the angle, they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag: therefore they rejoice and are glad.1.15 drag: or, flue net 16Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag; because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous.1.16 plenteous: or, dainty: Heb. fat 17Shall they therefore empty their net, and not spare continually to slay the nations?
1This is a prophecy that Habakkuk the prophet received from the Lord. Here is what Habakkuk said.
Habakkuk Complains to the Lord
2Lord, 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?
3Why 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.
4The 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
5The 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.
6I 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.
7They terrify others.
They do not recognize any laws but their own.
That is how proud they are.
8Their 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.
9All 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.
10They 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.
11They 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
12Lord, 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.
13Your 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?
14You have made people to be like the fish in the sea.
They are like the sea creatures that don’t have a ruler.
15The 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.
16They offer sacrifices to their nets.
They burn incense to them.
Their nets allow them to live in great comfort.
They enjoy the finest food.
17Are you going to let them
keep on emptying their nets?
Will they go on destroying nations
without showing them any mercy?