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The threatening oracle which the prophet Habakkuk saw.

Habakkuk’s Question

How long, Lord, must I cry for help, but you do not listen?
    I call out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save!
Why do you cause me to see injustice?
    Why do you overlook misery?
    Devastation and violence confront me.
    There is strife, and tensions rise.
For this reason the law has become powerless.[a]
    Justice is never carried out.
    In fact, the wicked overwhelm the righteous
    so that justice is perverted.

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  1. Habakkuk 1:4 Or paralyzed or ineffective

I will stand at my watch post and station myself on the city wall. I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer he will give to my complaint.[a]

The Lord Responds

Then the Lord answered me. He said:

Record the vision and write it plainly on tablets so that a herald may run with it.

Indeed, the vision is waiting for the appointed time. It longs for fulfillment and will not prove false. If it seems slow in coming, wait for it, because it will certainly come and will not be delayed.

Look, his soul is puffed up and is not righteous within him[b]—but the righteous one will live by his faith.[c]

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  1. Habakkuk 2:1 The translation follows the alternate Hebrew reading known as a correction of the scribes. The standard Hebrew text reads what answer to give when I am rebuked, likely because scribes considered Habakkuk to be impudent by demanding an answer from the Lord. The alternate reading is also supported by the Syriac and the parallelism with the preceding line.
  2. Habakkuk 2:4 The antecedent of his and him is uncertain, and there are other difficulties with the Hebrew. The phrase must refer to an ungodly man—in the immediate context, to the Babylonians.
  3. Habakkuk 2:4 The word can also mean faithfulness, but in Romans 1:17 Paul uses the phrase in reference to faith.