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?

Footnotes

  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

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?

Footnotes

  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