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Habakkuk 1 Expanded Bible (EXB)

This is the ·message [oracle; burden] Habakkuk the prophet received.

Habakkuk Complains

Lord, how long must I ·ask [cry; call] for help
    and you ·ignore [do not hear] me?
I cry out to you ·about violence [or “Violence!”],
    but you do not ·save [rescue] us!
Why do you make me see ·wrong things [evil; iniquity; injustice]
    and make me look at ·trouble [wrongdoing]?
·People are destroying things and hurting others [L Destruction and violence are] in front of me;
    ·they are arguing and fighting [L strife and conflict arise].
So the ·teachings [law; instruction; L Torah] are ·weak [paralyzed],
    and justice never comes.
Evil people ·gain while good people lose [L surround/hem in the righteous];
    ·the judges no longer make fair decisions [L so justice is perverted].

The Lord Answers

“Look at the nations!
    Watch them and be ·amazed and shocked [utterly astounded].
I will do something in your ·lifetime [L days]
    that you won’t believe even when you are told about it.
I will ·use [raise up] the ·Babylonians [L Chaldeans],
    those ·cruel [ruthless; bitter] and ·wild [impetuous; hasty] people
who march across the earth
    and ·take lands [L seize dwellings] that don’t belong to them.
They scare and ·frighten [terrify] people.
    ·They do what they want to do
    and are good only to themselves [L Their justice/judgment and dignity proceed from themselves].
Their horses are faster than leopards
    and ·quicker [fiercer] than wolves ·at sunset [L of the evening].
Their ·horse soldiers [cavalry] attack quickly;
    they come from places far away.
They attack quickly, like an ·eagle [or vulture] ·swooping down for food [swift to devour].
They all come ·to fight [L for violence].
·Nothing can stop them [or …a horde moving like an east wind; or …their faces set forward].
    Their prisoners are ·as many as the grains of [L like] sand.
10 They ·laugh at [mock] kings
    and make fun of rulers.
They laugh at all the ·strong, walled [fortified] cities
    and build ·dirt piles to the top of the walls [earthen siege ramps] to capture them.
11 Then they ·leave [sweep by] like the wind and move on.
    They are guilty of ·worshiping their own strength [making their strength their god; or ascribing their strength to their gods].”

Habakkuk Complains Again

12 Lord, ·you live forever [L are you not from everlasting…?],
    my God, my holy God.
    We will not die.
Lord, you ·have chosen the Babylonians to punish people [appointed them for judgment];
    our Rock [Ps. 61:2], you picked them to punish.
13 Your eyes are too ·good [pure] to look at evil;
    you cannot ·stand to see [tolerate; look on] those who do wrong.
So how can you put up with those ·evil [treacherous] people?
    How can you be quiet when the wicked swallow up people who are ·better [more righteous] than they are?
14 You ·treat [or made] people like fish in the sea,
    like sea animals without a ·leader [ruler].
15 ·The enemy [L He] brings them in with hooks.
    He catches them in his net
and ·drags [gathers] them in his ·fishnet [dragnet].
    So he rejoices and ·sings for joy [is glad].
16 The enemy offers sacrifices to his net
    and burns incense to ·worship it [L his dragnet],
because it lets him live ·like the rich [in luxury]
    and enjoy ·the best [or plentiful] food.
17 Will he keep on ·taking riches with [L emptying] his net?
    Will he go on destroying ·people [nations] without showing mercy?

Expanded Bible (EXB)

The Expanded Bible, Copyright © 2011 Thomas Nelson Inc. All rights reserved.

Habakkuk 1 New International Version (NIV)

The prophecy that Habakkuk the prophet received.

Habakkuk’s Complaint

How long, Lord, must I call for help,
    but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!”
    but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
    Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?
Destruction and violence are before me;
    there is strife, and conflict abounds.
Therefore the law is paralyzed,
    and justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous,
    so that justice is perverted.

The Lord’s Answer

“Look at the nations and watch—
    and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
    that you would not believe,
    even if you were told.
I am raising up the Babylonians,[a]
    that ruthless and impetuous people,
who sweep across the whole earth
    to seize dwellings not their own.
They are a feared and dreaded people;
    they are a law to themselves
    and promote their own honor.
Their horses are swifter than leopards,
    fiercer than wolves at dusk.
Their cavalry gallops headlong;
    their horsemen come from afar.
They fly like an eagle swooping to devour;
    they all come intent on violence.
Their hordes[b] advance like a desert wind
    and gather prisoners like sand.
10 They mock kings
    and scoff at rulers.
They laugh at all fortified cities;
    by building earthen ramps they capture them.
11 Then they sweep past like the wind and go on—
    guilty people, whose own strength is their god.”

Habakkuk’s Second Complaint

12 Lord, are you not from everlasting?
    My God, my Holy One, you[c] will never die.
You, Lord, have appointed them to execute judgment;
    you, my Rock, have ordained them to punish.
13 Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
    you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.
Why then do you tolerate the treacherous?
    Why are you silent while the wicked
    swallow up those more righteous than themselves?
14 You have made people like the fish in the sea,
    like the sea creatures that have no ruler.
15 The wicked foe pulls all of them up with hooks,
    he catches them in his net,
he gathers them up in his dragnet;
    and so he rejoices and is glad.
16 Therefore he sacrifices to his net
    and burns incense to his dragnet,
for by his net he lives in luxury
    and enjoys the choicest food.
17 Is he to keep on emptying his net,
    destroying nations without mercy?


  1. Habakkuk 1:6 Or Chaldeans
  2. Habakkuk 1:9 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  3. Habakkuk 1:12 An ancient Hebrew scribal tradition; Masoretic Text we
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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