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Habakkuk 1:2-11 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Habakkuk’s First Prayer

How long, Lord, must I call for help
and You do not listen
or cry out to You about violence
and You do not save?
Why do You force me to look at injustice?
Why do You tolerate[a] wrongdoing?
Oppression and violence are right in front of me.
Strife is ongoing, and conflict escalates.
This is why the law is ineffective
and justice never emerges.
For the wicked restrict the righteous;
therefore, justice comes out perverted.

God’s First Answer

Look at the nations[b] and observe
be utterly astounded!
For something is taking place in your days
that you will not believe
when you hear about it.
Look! I am raising up the Chaldeans,[c]
that bitter, impetuous nation
that marches across the earth’s open spaces
to seize territories not its own.
They are fierce and terrifying;
their views of justice and sovereignty
stem from themselves.
Their horses are swifter than leopards
and more fierce[d] than wolves of the night.
Their horsemen charge ahead;
their horsemen come from distant lands.
They fly like an eagle, swooping to devour.
All of them come to do violence;
their faces are set in determination.[e]
They gather prisoners like sand.
10 They mock kings,
and rulers are a joke to them.
They laugh at every fortress
and build siege ramps to capture it.
11 Then they sweep by like the wind
and pass through.
They are guilty;[f] their strength is their god.


  1. Habakkuk 1:3 Lit observe
  2. Habakkuk 1:5 DSS, LXX, Syr read Look, you treacherous people
  3. Habakkuk 1:6 = the Babylonians
  4. Habakkuk 1:8 Or and quicker
  5. Habakkuk 1:9 Hb obscure
  6. Habakkuk 1:11 Or wind, and transgress and incur guilt

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