(A)The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw.

Habakkuk's Complaint

O Lord, (B)how long shall I cry for help,
    and you will not hear?
Or cry to you (C)“Violence!”
    and you will not save?
(D)Why do you make me see iniquity,
    and why do you idly look at wrong?
Destruction (E)and violence are before me;
    strife and contention arise.
(F)So the law is paralyzed,
    and justice never goes forth.
(G)For the wicked surround the righteous;
    so justice goes forth perverted.

The Lord's Answer

(H)“Look among the nations, and see;
    wonder and be astounded.
(I)For I am doing a work in your days
    that you would not believe if told.
For behold, (J)I am raising up the Chaldeans,
    that bitter and hasty nation,
(K)who march through the breadth of the earth,
    (L)to seize dwellings not their own.
They are dreaded and fearsome;
    (M)their justice and dignity go forth from themselves.
(N)Their horses are swifter than leopards,
    more fierce than (O)the evening wolves;
    their horsemen press proudly on.
Their horsemen come from afar;
    (P)they fly like an eagle swift to devour.
They all come (Q)for violence,
    all their faces forward.
    They gather captives (R)like sand.
10 At kings they scoff,
    and at rulers they laugh.
(S)They laugh at every fortress,
    for (T)they pile up earth and take it.
11 Then they sweep by like the wind and go on,
    (U)guilty men, (V)whose own might is their god!”

Habakkuk's Second Complaint

12 Are you not (W)from everlasting,
    O Lord my God, my Holy One?
    (X)We shall not die.
O Lord, (Y)you have ordained them as a judgment,
    and you, O (Z)Rock, have established them for reproof.
13 You who are (AA)of purer eyes than to see evil
    and cannot look at wrong,
(AB)why do you idly look at traitors
    and (AC)remain silent when the wicked swallows up
    the man more righteous than he?
14 You make mankind like the fish of the sea,
    like crawling things that have no ruler.
15 (AD)He[a] brings all of them up (AE)with a hook;
    he drags them out with his net;
he gathers them in his dragnet;
    so he rejoices and is glad.
16 (AF)Therefore he sacrifices to his net
    and makes offerings to his dragnet;
for by them he lives in luxury,[b]
    and his food is rich.
17 Is he then to keep on emptying his net
    (AG)and mercilessly killing nations forever?

I will (AH)take my stand at my watchpost
    and station myself on the tower,
and (AI)look out to see (AJ)what he will say to me,
    and what I will answer concerning my complaint.

The Righteous Shall Live by His Faith

And the Lord answered me:

(AK)“Write the vision;
    make it plain on tablets,
    so he may run who reads it.
For still (AL)the vision awaits its appointed time;
    it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
If it seems slow, (AM)wait for it;
    (AN)it will surely come; it will not delay.

“Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him,
    but (AO)the righteous shall live by his faith.[c]

“Moreover, wine[d] is (AP)a traitor,
    an arrogant man who is never at rest.[e]
His greed is as wide as Sheol;
    like death (AQ)he has never enough.
(AR)He gathers for himself all nations
    and collects as his own all peoples.”

Woe to the Chaldeans

Shall not all these (AS)take up their taunt against him, with scoffing and riddles for him, and say,

(AT)“Woe to him (AU)who heaps up what is not his own—
    for (AV)how long?—
    and (AW)loads himself with pledges!”
(AX)Will not your debtors suddenly arise,
    and those awake who will make you tremble?
    Then you will be spoil for them.
(AY)Because you have plundered many nations,
    all the remnant of the peoples shall plunder you,
(AZ)for the blood of man and (BA)violence to the earth,
    to cities and all who dwell in them.

(BB)“Woe to him who gets evil gain for his house,
    (BC)to (BD)set his nest on high,
    to be safe from the reach of harm!
10 You have devised shame for your house
    (BE)by cutting off many peoples;
    you have forfeited your life.
11 For (BF)the stone will cry out from the wall,
    and the beam from the woodwork respond.

12 (BG)“Woe to him (BH)who builds a town with blood
    and founds a city on iniquity!
13 Behold, is it not from the Lord of hosts
    that (BI)peoples labor merely for fire,
    and nations weary themselves for nothing?
14 (BJ)For the earth will be filled
    with the knowledge of (BK)the glory of the Lord
    as the waters cover the sea.

15 (BL)“Woe to him (BM)who makes his neighbors drink—
    you pour out your wrath and make them drunk,
    in order to gaze (BN)at their nakedness!
16 You will have your fill (BO)of shame instead of glory.
    (BP)Drink, yourself, and show your uncircumcision!
(BQ)The cup in the Lord's right hand
    will come around to you,
    and (BR)utter shame will come upon your glory!
17 (BS)The violence (BT)done to Lebanon will overwhelm you,
    as will the destruction of the beasts that terrified them,
(BU)for the blood of man and violence to the earth,
    to cities and all who dwell in them.

18 (BV)“What profit is an idol
    when its maker has shaped it,
    a metal image, (BW)a teacher of lies?
For its maker trusts in his own creation
    when he makes (BX)speechless idols!
19 (BY)Woe to him (BZ)who says to a wooden thing, Awake;
    to a silent stone, Arise!
Can this teach?
Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver,
    and (CA)there is no breath at all in it.
20 But (CB)the Lord is in his holy temple;
    (CC)let all the earth keep silence before him.”


  1. Habakkuk 1:15 That is, the wicked foe
  2. Habakkuk 1:16 Hebrew his portion is fat
  3. Habakkuk 2:4 Or faithfulness
  4. Habakkuk 2:5 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scroll wealth
  5. Habakkuk 2:5 The meaning of the Hebrew of these two lines is uncertain

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