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The Lord Answers Habakkuk Again

While standing guard
    on the watchtower,
I waited for the Lord’s answer,
before explaining the reason
    for my complaint.[a]
Then the Lord told me:
“I will give you my message
    in the form of a vision.
Write it clearly enough
    to be read at a glance.
At the time I have decided,
    my words will come true.
You can trust what I say
    about the future.
It may take a long time,
but keep on waiting—
    it will happen!

“I, the Lord, refuse to accept
    anyone who is proud.
Only those who live by faith
    are acceptable to me.”[b]

Trouble for Evil People

Wine[c] is treacherous,
and arrogant people
    are never satisfied.
They are no less greedy
    than death itself—
they open their mouths as wide
as the world of the dead
    and swallow everyone.

But they will be mocked
with these words:
    You’re doomed!
You stored up stolen goods
and cheated others
    of what belonged to them.
But without warning,
those you owe
    will demand payment.
Then you will become
    a frightened victim.
You robbed cities and nations
everywhere on earth
    and murdered their people.
Now those who survived
    will be as cruel to you.

You’re doomed!
You made your family rich
    at the expense of others.
You even said to yourself,
    “I’m above the law.”
10 But you will bring shame
    on your family
and ruin to yourself
    for what you did to others.
11 The very stones and wood
in your home
    will testify against you.

12 You’re doomed! You built a city
    on crime and violence.
13 But the Lord All-Powerful
    sends up in flames
what nations and people
    work so hard to gain.

14 Just as water fills the sea,
    the land will be filled
with people who know
    and honor the Lord.

15 You’re doomed!
You get your friends drunk,
    just to see them naked.
16 Now you will be disgraced
    instead of praised.
The Lord will make you drunk,
and when others see you naked,
    you will lose their respect.
17 You destroyed trees and animals
    on Mount Lebanon;
you were ruthless to towns
    and people everywhere.
Now you will be terrorized.

Idolatry Is Foolish

18 What is an idol worth?
    It’s merely a false god.
Why trust a speechless image
made from wood or metal
    by human hands?
19 What can you learn from idols
covered with silver or gold?
    They can’t even breathe.
Pity anyone who says to an idol
of wood or stone,
    “Get up and do something!”

20 Let all the world be silent—
the Lord is present
    in his holy temple.

Footnotes

  1. 2.1 I. . . complaint: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  2. 2.4 Only. . . me: Or “But those who are acceptable to me will live because of their faithfulness.”
  3. 2.5 Wine: The Standard Hebrew Text; the Dead Sea Scrolls “Wealth.”

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