3 This is the prayer of triumph[a] that Habakkuk sang before the Lord:
2 O Lord, now I have heard your report, and I worship you in awe for the fearful things you are going to do. In this time of our deep need, begin again to help us, as you did in years gone by. Show us your power to save us. In your wrath, remember mercy.
3 I see God moving across the deserts from Mount Sinai.[b] His brilliant splendor fills the earth and sky; his glory fills the heavens, and the earth is full of his praise! What a wonderful God he is! 4 From his hands flash rays of brilliant light. He rejoices in his awesome power.[c] 5 Pestilence marches before him; plague follows close behind. 6 He stops; he stands still for a moment, gazing at the earth. Then he shakes the nations, scattering the everlasting mountains and leveling the hills. His power is just the same as always! 7 I see the people of Cushan and of Midian in mortal fear.
8-9 Was it in anger, Lord, you smote the rivers and parted the sea? Were you displeased with them? No, you were sending your chariots of salvation! All saw your power! Then springs burst forth upon the earth at your command![d] 10 The mountains watched and trembled. Onward swept the raging water. The mighty deep cried out, announcing its surrender to the Lord.[e] 11 The lofty sun and moon began to fade, obscured by brilliance from your arrows and the flashing of your glittering spear.
12 You marched across the land in awesome anger and trampled down the nations in your wrath. 13 You went out to save your chosen people. You crushed the head of the wicked and laid bare his bones from head to toe. 14 You destroyed with their own weapons those who came out like a whirlwind, thinking Israel would be an easy prey.
15 Your horsemen marched across the sea; the mighty waters piled high. 16 I tremble when I hear all this; my lips quiver with fear. My legs give way beneath me, and I shake in terror. I will quietly wait for the day of trouble to come upon the people who invade us.
17 Even though the fig trees are all destroyed, and there is neither blossom left nor fruit; though the olive crops all fail, and the fields lie barren; even if the flocks die in the fields and the cattle barns are empty, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will be happy in the God of my salvation. 19 The Lord God is my strength; he will give me the speed of a deer and bring me safely over the mountains.
(A note to the choir director: When singing this ode, the choir is to be accompanied by stringed instruments.)
- Habakkuk 3:1 of triumph, literally, “according to Shigionoth”—thought by some to mean a mournful dirge.
- Habakkuk 3:3 from Mount Sinai, literally, “from Teman . . . from Mount Paran.”
- Habakkuk 3:4 He rejoices in his awesome power, or “He veils his power.”
- Habakkuk 3:8 Literally, “Was the Lord displeased against the rivers? Were you angry with them? Was your wrath against their sin that you rode upon your horses? Your chariots were salvation. Your bow was pulled from its sheath and you put arrows to the string. You ribboned the earth with rivers.”
- Habakkuk 3:10 announcing its surrender to the Lord, literally, “and lifts high its hands.”