Chaldeans Used to Punish Judah

The (A)pronouncement which Habakkuk the prophet saw:

(B)How long, Lord, have I called for help,
And You do not hear?
I cry out to You, “Violence!”
Yet You do (C)not save.
Why do You make me (D)see disaster,
And make me look at destitution?
Yes, (E)devastation and violence are before me;
(F)Strife exists and contention arises.
Therefore the (G)Law [a]is ignored,
And justice [b]is never upheld.
For the wicked (H)surround the righteous;
Therefore justice comes out (I)confused.

(J)Look among the nations! Watch!
Be horrified! (K)Be frightened speechless!
For I am accomplishing (L)a work in your days—
You would not believe it even if [c]you were told!
For behold, I am (M)raising up the Chaldeans,
That [d]grim and impetuous people
Who march [e]throughout the earth,
To (N)take possession of dwelling places that are not theirs.
They are terrifying and (O)feared;
Their (P)justice and [f]authority [g]originate with themselves.
Their (Q)horses are faster than leopards,
And quicker than (R)wolves in the evening.
Their [h]horsemen charge along,
Their [i]horsemen come from afar;
They fly like an (S)eagle [j]swooping down to devour.
All of them come for violence.
[k]Their horde of (T)faces moves forward.
They gather captives like sand.
10 They (U)make fun of kings,
And dignitaries are an object of laughter to them.
They (V)laugh at every fortress,
Then (W)heap up dirt and [l]capture it.
11 Then they fly along like the (X)wind and pass on.
But they will be held (Y)guilty,
They whose (Z)strength is their god.”

12 Are You not from (AA)time everlasting,
Lord, my God, my Holy One?
We will not die.
You, Lord, have (AB)appointed them to deliver judgment;
And You, O (AC)Rock, have destined them to punish.
13 Your eyes are too (AD)pure to look at evil,
And You cannot look at harm favorably.
Why do You (AE)look favorably
At those who deal (AF)treacherously?
Why are You (AG)silent when the wicked (AH)swallow up
Those more righteous than they?
14 Why have You made people like the fish of the sea,
Like crawling things that have no ruler over them?
15 The Chaldeans (AI)bring all of them up with a hook,
(AJ)Drag them away with their net,
And gather them together in their fishing net.
Therefore they rejoice and are joyful.
16 Therefore they offer a sacrifice to their net
And [m]burn incense to their fishing net,
Because through (AK)these things their [n]catch is [o]large,
And their food is [p]plentiful.
17 Will they therefore empty their (AL)net,
And continually (AM)slay nations without sparing?

God Answers the Prophet

I will (AN)stand at my guard post
And station myself on the watchtower;
And I will (AO)keep watch to see (AP)what He will say to me,
And how I may reply [q]when I am reprimanded.
Then the Lord answered me and said,
(AQ)Write down the vision
And inscribe it clearly on tablets,
So that one who [r]reads it may run.
For the vision is yet for the (AR)appointed time;
It [s]hurries toward the goal and it will not [t]fail.
Though it delays, (AS)wait for it;
For it will certainly come, it (AT)will not delay long.

“Behold, as for the (AU)impudent one,
His soul is not right within him;
But the (AV)righteous one will live by his [u]faith.
Furthermore, (AW)wine betrays an (AX)arrogant man,
So that he does not (AY)achieve his objective.
He (AZ)enlarges his appetite like Sheol,
And he is like death, never satisfied.
He also gathers to himself all the nations
And collects to himself all the peoples.

“Will all of these not (BA)take up a song of ridicule against him,
Even a saying and insinuations against him
And say, ‘(BB)Woe to him who increases what is not his—
For how long—
And makes himself [v]rich with debts!’
Will [w]your creditors not (BC)rise up suddenly,
And those who [x]collect from you awaken?
Indeed, you will become plunder for them.
Since you have (BD)looted many nations,
All the rest of the peoples will loot you—
Because of human bloodshed and violence [y]done to the land,
To the town and all its inhabitants.

“Woe to him who makes (BE)evil profit for his household,
To (BF)put his nest on high,
To be saved from the hand of catastrophe!
10 You have planned a (BG)shameful thing for your house
By bringing many peoples to an end;
So you are (BH)sinning against yourself.
11 For the (BI)stone will cry out from the wall,
And the rafter will answer it from the [z]framework.

12 “Woe to him who (BJ)builds a city with bloodshed,
And founds a town with [aa]violence!
13 Is it not indeed from the Lord of armies
That peoples (BK)labor merely for fire,
And nations become weary for nothing?
14 For the earth will be (BL)filled
With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,
As the waters cover the sea.

15 “Woe to him who makes his neighbor drink;
[ab]To you who mix in your venom even to make your neighbors drunk,
So as to look at their genitalia!
16 You will be filled with disgrace rather than honor.
(BM)Drink, you yourself, and [ac]expose your own foreskin!
The (BN)cup in the Lords right hand will come around to you,
And (BO)utter disgrace will come upon your glory.
17 For the (BP)violence [ad]done to Lebanon will [ae]overwhelm you,
And the devastation of its animals [af]by which you terrified them,
(BQ)Because of human bloodshed and (BR)violence [ag]done to the land,
To the town and all its inhabitants.

18 “What (BS)benefit is a carved image when its maker has carved it,
Or a cast metal image, a (BT)teacher of falsehood?
For its maker (BU)trusts in his own handiwork
When he fashions speechless idols.
19 Woe to him who (BV)says to a piece of wood, ‘(BW)Awake!’
To a mute stone, ‘Arise!’
That is your teacher?
Behold, it is overlaid with (BX)gold and silver,
Yet there is (BY)no breath at all inside it.
20 But the (BZ)Lord is in His holy temple.
[ah]Let all the earth (CA)be silent before Him.”

God’s People Saved

A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, according to [ai]Shigionoth.

Lord, I have (CB)heard [aj]the report about You, and [ak]I was (CC)afraid.
Lord, (CD)revive (CE)Your work in the midst of the years,
In the midst of the years make it known.
In anger remember [al](CF)mercy.

God comes from (CG)Teman,
And the Holy One from Mount (CH)Paran. Selah
His (CI)splendor covers the heavens,
And the (CJ)earth is full of His praise.
His (CK)radiance is like the sunlight;
He has rays flashing from His hand,
And the hiding of His (CL)might is there.
Before Him goes (CM)plague,
And (CN)plague comes forth [am]after Him.
He stood and caused the earth to shudder;
He looked and (CO)caused the nations to jump.
Yes, the everlasting mountains were shattered,
The ancient hills [an]collapsed.
His paths are (CP)everlasting.
I saw the tents of Cushan under (CQ)distress,
The tent curtains of the land of (CR)Midian were trembling.

Did the Lord rage against the (CS)rivers,
Or was Your anger against the rivers,
Or was Your rage against the (CT)sea,
That You (CU)rode on Your horses,
On Your (CV)chariots of salvation?
You removed Your (CW)bow from its holder,
The arrows of Your word were [ao]sworn. Selah
You (CX)divided the earth with rivers.
10 The mountains saw You and quaked;
The downpour of waters swept by.
The deep (CY)raised its voice,
It lifted high its hands.
11 (CZ)Sun and moon stood in their lofty places;
They went away at the (DA)light of Your arrows,
At the radiance of Your flashing spear.
12 In indignation You (DB)marched through the earth;
In anger You [ap](DC)trampled the nations.
13 You went forth for the (DD)salvation of Your people,
For the salvation of Your (DE)anointed.
You smashed the (DF)head of the house of evil
To uncover him from [aq]foot to neck. Selah
14 You pierced with his (DG)own [ar]arrows
The head of his [as]leaders.
They (DH)stormed in to scatter [at]us;
Their arrogance was like those
Who (DI)devour the oppressed in secret.
15 You (DJ)trampled on the sea with Your horses,
On the (DK)foam of many waters.

16 I heard, and my [au]inner parts (DL)trembled;
At the sound, my lips quivered.
Decay enters my (DM)bones,
And in my place I tremble;
Because I [av]must (DN)wait quietly for the day of distress,
[aw]For the (DO)people to arise who will attack us.
17 Even if the (DP)fig tree does not blossom,
And there is no [ax]fruit on the vines,
If the yield of the (DQ)olive fails,
And the fields produce no food,
Even if the (DR)flock disappears from the fold,
And there are (DS)no cattle in the stalls,
18 Yet I will (DT)triumph in the Lord,
I will (DU)rejoice in the (DV)God of my salvation.
19 The Lord [ay]God is my (DW)strength,
And (DX)He has made my feet like deer’s feet,
And has me walk on my (DY)high places.

For the choir director, on my stringed instruments.


  1. Habakkuk 1:4 Or is ineffective; lit turns cold
  2. Habakkuk 1:4 Lit never goes forth
  3. Habakkuk 1:5 Lit it
  4. Habakkuk 1:6 Lit bitter
  5. Habakkuk 1:6 Lit the breadth of
  6. Habakkuk 1:7 Lit sovereignty
  7. Habakkuk 1:7 Lit proceed from
  8. Habakkuk 1:8 Or horses
  9. Habakkuk 1:8 Or horses
  10. Habakkuk 1:8 Lit hurrying to
  11. Habakkuk 1:9 Lit The totality of
  12. Habakkuk 1:10 Or overthrow
  13. Habakkuk 1:16 Or sacrifice
  14. Habakkuk 1:16 Lit portion
  15. Habakkuk 1:16 Lit fat; or plentiful
  16. Habakkuk 1:16 Lit fat
  17. Habakkuk 2:1 Lit upon my reprimand
  18. Habakkuk 2:2 Or is to proclaim; or reads it may read it fluently
  19. Habakkuk 2:3 Lit pants
  20. Habakkuk 2:3 Or lie
  21. Habakkuk 2:4 Or faithfulness
  22. Habakkuk 2:6 Lit heavy
  23. Habakkuk 2:7 Lit those who bite you
  24. Habakkuk 2:7 Lit violently shake you
  25. Habakkuk 2:8 Lit of the land
  26. Habakkuk 2:11 Lit wood
  27. Habakkuk 2:12 Lit injustice
  28. Habakkuk 2:15 Another reading is From the cup of your venom
  29. Habakkuk 2:16 Lit show yourself uncircumcised; DSS and ancient versions stagger
  30. Habakkuk 2:17 Lit of Lebanon
  31. Habakkuk 2:17 Lit cover
  32. Habakkuk 2:17 Lit which shattered them
  33. Habakkuk 2:17 Lit of the land
  34. Habakkuk 2:20 Lit Hush before Him, all the earth
  35. Habakkuk 3:1 Perhaps a highly emotional poetic form
  36. Habakkuk 3:2 Or Your report
  37. Habakkuk 3:2 Or I am in awe, O Lord, of Your work; In the midst of the years revive it,
  38. Habakkuk 3:2 Or compassion
  39. Habakkuk 3:5 Lit at His feet
  40. Habakkuk 3:6 Lit cowered
  41. Habakkuk 3:9 Lit oaths
  42. Habakkuk 3:12 Or threshed
  43. Habakkuk 3:13 Lit base
  44. Habakkuk 3:14 Lit shafts
  45. Habakkuk 3:14 Or villagers
  46. Habakkuk 3:14 Lit me
  47. Habakkuk 3:16 Lit belly
  48. Habakkuk 3:16 Or sigh for
  49. Habakkuk 3:16 Or To come upon the people who will
  50. Habakkuk 3:17 Lit produce
  51. Habakkuk 3:19 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord

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