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Habakkuk Waits for God’s Answer

“I will stand at my guard post
and station myself on a tower.
I will wait and see what the Lord[a] will say about me
    and what I[b] will answer when he reprimands me.[c]

God’s Reply to the Prophet’s Complaint

When he answered, the Lord told me:

“Write out the revelation,
    engraving it clearly on the tablets,
        so that a courier may run with it.[d]
For the revelation pertains to an appointed time—
    it speaks truthfully[e] about the end.
Though it delays, wait for it,
    because it will surely come about—
        it will not be late!

“Notice their[f] arrogance—
    they have no inward uprightness[g]
        but the righteous will live by their faith.
Moreover, just as wine leads astray the proud and powerful man,
    he[h] remains restless;
he[i] has expanded his appetite—
    like the afterlife[j] or death itself, he[k] is never satisfied.
He[l] gathers to himself all of the nations,
    taking captive all of the people for himself.”

Judgment on the Plunderer of Nations

“Will not all of these ridicule him
    with mocking scorn? They will say,
‘Woe to the one who hordes for himself what isn’t his.
    How long will you enrich yourself by extortion?’[m]
Won’t your creditors revolt unexpectedly?
    Won’t those who make you tremble wake up?
        As a result, you’ll become their prey!
Because you plundered many nations,
    all of their remnants will plunder you.
Human blood has been shed,[n]
    and violence has been done to[o] the land,
        to the city, and to all who live in it.”

Judgment on Those who Think They are Safe

“Woe to the one who amasses profit upon unjust profit
    in order to establish his household,
so he can establish a secure place[p] on the heights
    and escape from the power of evil.
10 You have brought shame to yourself[q] by killing many people—
    you are forfeiting your own life.
11 Indeed, the stone will cry out from the wall
    and the rafter will respond from the woodwork.”

Judgment on the Lawless

12 “Woe to the one who founds a city upon bloodshed,
    and constructs a city by lawlessness.
13 Is it not because of the Lord of the Heavenly Armies
    that people grow tired putting out fires,[r]
        and nations weary themselves over nothing?
14 Indeed, the earth will be filled
    with knowledge of the glory of the Lord,
        as water fills[s] the sea.”

Judgment on the Violent

15 “Woe to the one who supplies his neighbor with a drink!
    You are forcing your bottle[t] on him,[u]
        making him drunk so you can see them naked.
16 You are filled with dishonor instead of glory.
    So go ahead,[v] drink and be naked!
    The Lord[w] will turn against you,
    and utter disgrace will debase your reputation.[x]
17 Indeed, the violence done to Lebanon will overtake you,
    and the destruction of the beasts will terrorize you—[y]
because you shed human blood
    and did violence to[z] the land, to the city, and to all who live in it.”

Judgment on the Idol Maker

18 “Where is the benefit in owning[aa] a carved image,
    that motivates its maker to carve[ab] it?
It is only a cast image—
    a teacher that lies—
because the engraver entrusts himself to his carving,
    crafting speechless idols.
19 “Woe to the one who says to a tree, ‘Wake up!’
    or ‘Arise!’ to a speechless stone.
Idols[ac] like this can’t teach, can they?
    Look, even though it is overlaid with gold and silver,
        there’s no breath in it at all.”

The Lord’s Final Counsel to Habakkuk

20 “The Lord is in his holy Temple.
    All the earth—be quiet in his presence.”


  1. Habakkuk 2:1 The Heb. lacks the Lord
  2. Habakkuk 2:1 Syr he
  3. Habakkuk 2:1 Lit. answer at my reprimand
  4. Habakkuk 2:2 Or that whoever reads it may run
  5. Habakkuk 2:3 Lit. speaks without deception
  6. Habakkuk 2:4 I.e. the Babylonian invaders
  7. Habakkuk 2:4 Lit. no uprightness of soul
  8. Habakkuk 2:5 I.e. Babylonian invaders personified in their king
  9. Habakkuk 2:5 I.e. Babylonian invaders personified in their king
  10. Habakkuk 2:5 Lit. Sheol; i.e. the realm of the dead
  11. Habakkuk 2:5 I.e. Babylonian invaders personified in their king
  12. Habakkuk 2:5 I.e. Babylonian invaders personified in their king
  13. Habakkuk 2:6 Lit. by loans
  14. Habakkuk 2:8 The Heb. lacks has been shed
  15. Habakkuk 2:8 Lit. violence of
  16. Habakkuk 2:9 Lit. establish his nest
  17. Habakkuk 2:10 Lit. to your house
  18. Habakkuk 2:13 Lit. tired for the sufficiency of fire
  19. Habakkuk 2:14 Lit. covers
  20. Habakkuk 2:15 Lit. wine skin
  21. Habakkuk 2:15 The Heb. lacks on him
  22. Habakkuk 2:16 The Heb. lacks go ahead
  23. Habakkuk 2:16 Lit. The power of the Lord’s right hand
  24. Habakkuk 2:16 Lit. will come upon your glory
  25. Habakkuk 2:17 The Heb. lacks you
  26. Habakkuk 2:17 Lit. violence of
  27. Habakkuk 2:18 The Heb. lacks owning
  28. Habakkuk 2:18 Lit. because its maker carved
  29. Habakkuk 2:19 Lit. Things

I will stand at my watch(A)
    and station myself on the ramparts;(B)
I will look to see what he will say(C) to me,
    and what answer I am to give to this complaint.[a](D)

The Lord’s Answer

Then the Lord replied:

“Write(E) down the revelation
    and make it plain on tablets
    so that a herald[b] may run with it.
For the revelation awaits an appointed time;(F)
    it speaks of the end(G)
    and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait(H) for it;
    it[c] will certainly come
    and will not delay.(I)

“See, the enemy is puffed up;
    his desires are not upright—
    but the righteous person(J) will live by his faithfulness[d](K)
indeed, wine(L) betrays him;
    he is arrogant(M) and never at rest.
Because he is as greedy as the grave
    and like death is never satisfied,(N)
he gathers to himself all the nations
    and takes captive(O) all the peoples.

“Will not all of them taunt(P) him with ridicule and scorn, saying,

“‘Woe to him who piles up stolen goods
    and makes himself wealthy by extortion!(Q)
    How long must this go on?’
Will not your creditors suddenly arise?
    Will they not wake up and make you tremble?
    Then you will become their prey.(R)
Because you have plundered many nations,
    the peoples who are left will plunder you.(S)
For you have shed human blood;(T)
    you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.(U)

“Woe to him who builds(V) his house by unjust gain,(W)
    setting his nest(X) on high
    to escape the clutches of ruin!
10 You have plotted the ruin(Y) of many peoples,
    shaming(Z) your own house and forfeiting your life.
11 The stones(AA) of the wall will cry out,
    and the beams of the woodwork will echo it.

12 “Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed(AB)
    and establishes a town by injustice!
13 Has not the Lord Almighty determined
    that the people’s labor is only fuel for the fire,(AC)
    that the nations exhaust themselves for nothing?(AD)
14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory(AE) of the Lord
    as the waters cover the sea.(AF)

15 “Woe to him who gives drink(AG) to his neighbors,
    pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk,
    so that he can gaze on their naked bodies!
16 You will be filled with shame(AH) instead of glory.(AI)
    Now it is your turn! Drink(AJ) and let your nakedness be exposed[e]!(AK)
The cup(AL) from the Lord’s right hand is coming around to you,
    and disgrace will cover your glory.
17 The violence(AM) you have done to Lebanon will overwhelm you,
    and your destruction of animals will terrify you.(AN)
For you have shed human blood;(AO)
    you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.

18 “Of what value(AP) is an idol(AQ) carved by a craftsman?
    Or an image(AR) that teaches lies?
For the one who makes it trusts in his own creation;
    he makes idols that cannot speak.(AS)
19 Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Come to life!’
    Or to lifeless stone, ‘Wake up!’(AT)
Can it give guidance?
    It is covered with gold and silver;(AU)
    there is no breath in it.”(AV)

20 The Lord is in his holy temple;(AW)
    let all the earth be silent(AX) before him.


  1. Habakkuk 2:1 Or and what to answer when I am rebuked
  2. Habakkuk 2:2 Or so that whoever reads it
  3. Habakkuk 2:3 Or Though he linger, wait for him; / he
  4. Habakkuk 2:4 Or faith
  5. Habakkuk 2:16 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scrolls, Aquila, Vulgate and Syriac (see also Septuagint) and stagger