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Habakkuk 1:12-2:20 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

Habakkuk’s Second Prayer

12 Are you not from eternity, Lord my God?
My Holy One, you[a] will not die.
Lord, you appointed them to execute judgment;
my Rock, you destined them to punish us.
13 Your eyes are too pure to look on evil,
and you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.
So why do you tolerate those who are treacherous?
Why are you silent
while one[b] who is wicked swallows up
one[c] who is more righteous than himself?
14 You have made mankind
like the fish of the sea,
like marine creatures that have no ruler.
15 The Chaldeans pull them all up with a hook,
catch them in their dragnet,
and gather them in their fishing net;
that is why they are glad and rejoice.
16 That is why they sacrifice to their dragnet
and burn incense to their fishing net,
for by these things their portion is rich
and their food plentiful.
17 Will they therefore empty their net
and continually slaughter nations without mercy?

Habakkuk Waits for God’s Response

I will stand at my guard post
and station myself on the lookout tower.
I will watch to see what he will say to me
and what I should[d] reply about my complaint.

God’s Second Answer

The Lord answered me:

Write down this vision;
clearly inscribe it on tablets
so one may easily read it.[e]
For the vision is yet for the appointed time;
it testifies about the end and will not lie.
Though it delays, wait for it,
since it will certainly come and not be late.
Look, his ego is inflated;[f]
he is without integrity.
But the righteous one will live by his faith.[g]
Moreover, wine[h] betrays;
an arrogant man is never at rest.[i]
He enlarges his appetite like Sheol,
and like Death he is never satisfied.
He gathers all the nations to himself;
he collects all the peoples for himself.

The Five Woe Oracles

Won’t all of these take up a taunt against him,
with mockery and riddles about him?
They will say:
Woe to him who amasses what is not his—
how much longer?
and loads himself with goods taken in pledge.
Won’t your creditors suddenly arise,
and those who disturb you wake up?
Then you will become spoil for them.
Since you have plundered many nations,
all the peoples who remain will plunder you
because of human bloodshed
and violence against lands, cities,
and all who live in them.

Woe to him who dishonestly makes
wealth for his house[j]
to place his nest on high,
to escape the grasp of disaster!
10 You have planned shame for your house
by wiping out many peoples
and sinning against your own self.
11 For the stones will cry out from the wall,
and the rafters will answer them
from the woodwork.

12 Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed
and founds a town with injustice!
13 Is it not from the Lord of Armies
that the peoples labor only to fuel the fire
and countries exhaust themselves for nothing?
14 For the earth will be filled
with the knowledge of the Lord’s glory,
as the water covers the sea.

15 Woe to him who gives his neighbors drink,
pouring out your wrath[k]
and even making them drunk,
in order to look at their nakedness!
16 You will be filled with disgrace instead of glory.
You also—drink,
and expose your uncircumcision![l]
The cup in the Lord’s right hand
will come around to you,
and utter disgrace will cover your glory.
17 For your violence against Lebanon
will overwhelm you;
the destruction of animals will terrify you[m]
because of your human bloodshed and violence
against lands, cities, and all who live in them.

18 What use is a carved idol
after its craftsman carves it?
It is only a cast image, a teacher of lies.
For the one who crafts its shape trusts in it
and makes idols that cannot speak.
19 Woe to him who says to wood: Wake up!
or to mute stone: Come alive!
Can it teach?
Look! It may be plated with gold and silver,
yet there is no breath in it at all.

20 But the Lord is in his holy temple;
let the whole earth
be silent in his presence.


  1. 1:12 Alt Hb tradition reads we
  2. 1:13 = Babylon
  3. 1:13 = Judah
  4. 2:1 Syr reads what he will
  5. 2:2 Lit one who reads in it may run
  6. 2:4 Hb obscure
  7. 2:4 Or faithfulness
  8. 2:5 DSS read wealth
  9. 2:5 Or man does not endure; Hb obscure
  10. 2:9 Or dynasty
  11. 2:15 Or venom
  12. 2:16 DSS, LXX, Aq, Syr, Vg read and stagger
  13. 2:17 DSS, LXX, Aq, Syr, Tg, Vg; MT reads them
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

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