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The oracle that the prophet Habakkuk saw.

The Prophet’s Complaint

O Lord, how long shall I cry for help,
    and you will not listen?
Or cry to you “Violence!”
    and you will not save?
Why do you make me see wrongdoing
    and look at trouble?
Destruction and violence are before me;
    strife and contention arise.
So the law becomes slack
    and justice never prevails.
The wicked surround the righteous—
    therefore judgment comes forth perverted.

Look at the nations, and see!
    Be astonished! Be astounded!
For a work is being done in your days
    that you would not believe if you were told.
For I am rousing the Chaldeans,
    that fierce and impetuous nation,
who march through the breadth of the earth
    to seize dwellings not their own.
Dread and fearsome are they;
    their justice and dignity proceed from themselves.
Their horses are swifter than leopards,
    more menacing than wolves at dusk;
    their horses charge.
Their horsemen come from far away;
    they fly like an eagle swift to devour.
They all come for violence,
    with faces pressing[a] forward;
    they gather captives like sand.
10 At kings they scoff,
    and of rulers they make sport.
They laugh at every fortress,
    and heap up earth to take it.
11 Then they sweep by like the wind;
    they transgress and become guilty;
    their own might is their god!

12 Are you not from of old,
    O Lord my God, my Holy One?
    You[b] shall not die.
O Lord, you have marked them for judgment;
    and you, O Rock, have established them for punishment.
13 Your eyes are too pure to behold evil,
    and you cannot look on wrongdoing;
why do you look on the treacherous,
    and are silent when the wicked swallow
    those more righteous than they?
14 You have made people like the fish of the sea,
    like crawling things that have no ruler.

15 The enemy[c] brings all of them up with a hook;
    he drags them out with his net,
he gathers them in his seine;
    so he rejoices and exults.
16 Therefore he sacrifices to his net
    and makes offerings to his seine;
for by them his portion is lavish,
    and his food is rich.
17 Is he then to keep on emptying his net,
    and destroying nations without mercy?

Footnotes

  1. Habakkuk 1:9 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  2. Habakkuk 1:12 Ancient Heb tradition: MT We
  3. Habakkuk 1:15 Heb He

Elijah

48 Then Elijah arose, a prophet like fire,
    and his word burned like a torch.
He brought a famine upon them,
    and by his zeal he made them few in number.
By the word of the Lord he shut up the heavens,
    and also three times brought down fire.
How glorious you were, Elijah, in your wondrous deeds!
    Whose glory is equal to yours?
You raised a corpse from death
    and from Hades, by the word of the Most High.
You sent kings down to destruction,
    and famous men, from their sickbeds.
You heard rebuke at Sinai
    and judgments of vengeance at Horeb.
You anointed kings to inflict retribution,
    and prophets to succeed you.[a]
You were taken up by a whirlwind of fire,
    in a chariot with horses of fire.
10 At the appointed time, it is written, you are destined[b]
    to calm the wrath of God before it breaks out in fury,
to turn the hearts of parents to their children,
    and to restore the tribes of Jacob.
11 Happy are those who saw you
    and were adorned[c] with your love!
    For we also shall surely live.[d]

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Footnotes

  1. Sirach 48:8 Heb: Gk him
  2. Sirach 48:10 Heb: Gk are for reproofs
  3. Sirach 48:11 Other ancient authorities read and have died
  4. Sirach 48:11 Text and meaning of Gk uncertain

The Birth of John the Baptist

57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.

59 On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father. 60 But his mother said, “No; he is to be called John.” 61 They said to her, “None of your relatives has this name.” 62 Then they began motioning to his father to find out what name he wanted to give him. 63 He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And all of them were amazed. 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God. 65 Fear came over all their neighbors, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea. 66 All who heard them pondered them and said, “What then will this child become?” For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him.

Zechariah’s Prophecy

67 Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy:

68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
    for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them.
69 He has raised up a mighty savior[a] for us
    in the house of his servant David,
70 as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71     that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.
72 Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,
    and has remembered his holy covenant,
73 the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham,
    to grant us 74 that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies,
might serve him without fear, 75 in holiness and righteousness
    before him all our days.
76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
    for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people
    by the forgiveness of their sins.
78 By the tender mercy of our God,
    the dawn from on high will break upon[b] us,
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
    to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

80 The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day he appeared publicly to Israel.

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Footnotes

  1. Luke 1:69 Gk a horn of salvation
  2. Luke 1:78 Other ancient authorities read has broken upon

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