A prophecy(A) concerning Nineveh.(B) The book of the vision(C) of Nahum the Elkoshite.

The Lord’s Anger Against Nineveh

The Lord is a jealous(D) and avenging God;
    the Lord takes vengeance(E) and is filled with wrath.
The Lord takes vengeance on his foes
    and vents his wrath against his enemies.(F)
The Lord is slow to anger(G) but great in power;
    the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished.(H)
His way is in the whirlwind(I) and the storm,(J)
    and clouds(K) are the dust of his feet.
He rebukes(L) the sea and dries it up;(M)
    he makes all the rivers run dry.
Bashan and Carmel(N) wither
    and the blossoms of Lebanon fade.
The mountains quake(O) before him
    and the hills melt away.(P)
The earth trembles(Q) at his presence,
    the world and all who live in it.(R)
Who can withstand(S) his indignation?
    Who can endure(T) his fierce anger?(U)
His wrath is poured out like fire;(V)
    the rocks are shattered(W) before him.

The Lord is good,(X)
    a refuge in times of trouble.(Y)
He cares for(Z) those who trust in him,(AA)
    but with an overwhelming flood(AB)
he will make an end of Nineveh;
    he will pursue his foes into the realm of darkness.

Whatever they plot(AC) against the Lord
    he will bring[a] to an end;
    trouble will not come a second time.
10 They will be entangled among thorns(AD)
    and drunk(AE) from their wine;
    they will be consumed like dry stubble.[b](AF)
11 From you, Nineveh, has one come forth
    who plots evil against the Lord
    and devises wicked plans.

12 This is what the Lord says:

“Although they have allies and are numerous,
    they will be destroyed(AG) and pass away.
Although I have afflicted you, Judah,
    I will afflict you no more.(AH)
13 Now I will break their yoke(AI) from your neck
    and tear your shackles away.”(AJ)

14 The Lord has given a command concerning you, Nineveh:
    “You will have no descendants to bear your name.(AK)
I will destroy the images(AL) and idols
    that are in the temple of your gods.
I will prepare your grave,(AM)
    for you are vile.”

15 Look, there on the mountains,
    the feet of one who brings good news,(AN)
    who proclaims peace!(AO)
Celebrate your festivals,(AP) Judah,
    and fulfill your vows.
No more will the wicked invade you;(AQ)
    they will be completely destroyed.[c]

Footnotes

  1. Nahum 1:9 Or What do you foes plot against the Lord? / He will bring it
  2. Nahum 1:10 The meaning of the Hebrew for this verse is uncertain.
  3. Nahum 1:15 In Hebrew texts this verse (1:15) is numbered 2:1.

Jerusalem

Woe to the city of oppressors,(A)
    rebellious(B) and defiled!(C)
She obeys(D) no one,
    she accepts no correction.(E)
She does not trust(F) in the Lord,
    she does not draw near(G) to her God.
Her officials within her
    are roaring lions;(H)
her rulers are evening wolves,(I)
    who leave nothing for the morning.(J)
Her prophets are unprincipled;
    they are treacherous people.(K)
Her priests profane the sanctuary
    and do violence to the law.(L)
The Lord within her is righteous;(M)
    he does no wrong.(N)
Morning by morning(O) he dispenses his justice,
    and every new day he does not fail,(P)
    yet the unrighteous know no shame.(Q)

Jerusalem Remains Unrepentant

“I have destroyed nations;
    their strongholds are demolished.
I have left their streets deserted,
    with no one passing through.
Their cities are laid waste;(R)
    they are deserted and empty.
Of Jerusalem I thought,
    ‘Surely you will fear me
    and accept correction!’(S)
Then her place of refuge[a] would not be destroyed,
    nor all my punishments come upon[b] her.
But they were still eager
    to act corruptly(T) in all they did.
Therefore wait(U) for me,”
    declares the Lord,
    “for the day I will stand up to testify.[c]
I have decided to assemble(V) the nations,(W)
    to gather the kingdoms
and to pour out my wrath(X) on them—
    all my fierce anger.(Y)
The whole world will be consumed(Z)
    by the fire of my jealous anger.

Restoration of Israel’s Remnant

“Then I will purify the lips of the peoples,
    that all of them may call(AA) on the name of the Lord(AB)
    and serve(AC) him shoulder to shoulder.
10 From beyond the rivers of Cush[d](AD)
    my worshipers, my scattered people,
    will bring me offerings.(AE)
11 On that day you, Jerusalem, will not be put to shame(AF)
    for all the wrongs you have done to me,(AG)
because I will remove from you
    your arrogant boasters.(AH)
Never again will you be haughty
    on my holy hill.(AI)
12 But I will leave within you
    the meek(AJ) and humble.
The remnant of Israel
    will trust(AK) in the name of the Lord.
13 They(AL) will do no wrong;(AM)
    they will tell no lies.(AN)
A deceitful tongue
    will not be found in their mouths.(AO)
They will eat and lie down(AP)
    and no one will make them afraid.(AQ)

14 Sing, Daughter Zion;(AR)
    shout aloud,(AS) Israel!
Be glad and rejoice(AT) with all your heart,
    Daughter Jerusalem!
15 The Lord has taken away your punishment,
    he has turned back your enemy.
The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you;(AU)
    never again will you fear(AV) any harm.(AW)
16 On that day
    they will say to Jerusalem,
“Do not fear, Zion;
    do not let your hands hang limp.(AX)
17 The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.(AY)
He will take great delight(AZ) in you;
    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,(BA)
    but will rejoice over you with singing.”(BB)

18 “I will remove from you
    all who mourn over the loss of your appointed festivals,
    which is a burden and reproach for you.
19 At that time I will deal
    with all who oppressed(BC) you.
I will rescue the lame;
    I will gather the exiles.(BD)
I will give them praise(BE) and honor
    in every land where they have suffered shame.
20 At that time I will gather you;
    at that time I will bring(BF) you home.
I will give you honor(BG) and praise(BH)
    among all the peoples of the earth
when I restore your fortunes[e](BI)
    before your very eyes,”
says the Lord.

Footnotes

  1. Zephaniah 3:7 Or her sanctuary
  2. Zephaniah 3:7 Or all those I appointed over
  3. Zephaniah 3:8 Septuagint and Syriac; Hebrew will rise up to plunder
  4. Zephaniah 3:10 That is, the upper Nile region
  5. Zephaniah 3:20 Or I bring back your captives

The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests at Anathoth(A) in the territory of Benjamin. The word of the Lord came(B) to him in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah(C) son of Amon king of Judah, and through the reign of Jehoiakim(D) son of Josiah king of Judah, down to the fifth month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah(E) son of Josiah king of Judah, when the people of Jerusalem went into exile.(F)

The Call of Jeremiah

The word of the Lord came to me, saying,

“Before I formed you in the womb(G) I knew[a](H) you,
    before you were born(I) I set you apart;(J)
    I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.(K)

“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak;(L) I am too young.”(M)

But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid(N) of them, for I am with you(O) and will rescue(P) you,” declares the Lord.(Q)

Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched(R) my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth.(S) 10 See, today I appoint you over nations(T) and kingdoms to uproot(U) and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”(V)

11 The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?”(W)

“I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied.

12 The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching[b](X) to see that my word is fulfilled.”

13 The word of the Lord came to me again: “What do you see?”(Y)

“I see a pot that is boiling,” I answered. “It is tilting toward us from the north.”

14 The Lord said to me, “From the north(Z) disaster will be poured out on all who live in the land. 15 I am about to summon all the peoples of the northern kingdoms,” declares the Lord.

“Their kings will come and set up their thrones
    in the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem;
they will come against all her surrounding walls
    and against all the towns of Judah.(AA)
16 I will pronounce my judgments(AB) on my people
    because of their wickedness(AC) in forsaking me,(AD)
in burning incense to other gods(AE)
    and in worshiping(AF) what their hands have made.(AG)

17 “Get yourself ready! Stand up and say(AH) to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified(AI) by them, or I will terrify you before them. 18 Today I have made you(AJ) a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you but will not overcome(AK) you, for I am with you(AL) and will rescue(AM) you,” declares the Lord.

Israel Forsakes God

The word(AN) of the Lord came to me: “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem:

“This is what the Lord says:

“‘I remember the devotion of your youth,(AO)
    how as a bride you loved me
and followed me through the wilderness,(AP)
    through a land not sown.
Israel was holy(AQ) to the Lord,(AR)
    the firstfruits(AS) of his harvest;
all who devoured(AT) her were held guilty,(AU)
    and disaster overtook them,’”
declares the Lord.

Hear the word of the Lord, you descendants of Jacob,
    all you clans of Israel.

This is what the Lord says:

“What fault did your ancestors find in me,
    that they strayed so far from me?
They followed worthless idols(AV)
    and became worthless(AW) themselves.
They did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord,
    who brought us up out of Egypt(AX)
and led us through the barren wilderness,
    through a land of deserts(AY) and ravines,(AZ)
a land of drought and utter darkness,
    a land where no one travels(BA) and no one lives?’
I brought you into a fertile land
    to eat its fruit and rich produce.(BB)
But you came and defiled my land
    and made my inheritance detestable.(BC)
The priests did not ask,
    ‘Where is the Lord?’
Those who deal with the law did not know me;(BD)
    the leaders(BE) rebelled against me.
The prophets prophesied by Baal,(BF)
    following worthless idols.(BG)

“Therefore I bring charges(BH) against you again,”
declares the Lord.
    “And I will bring charges against your children’s children.
10 Cross over to the coasts of Cyprus(BI) and look,
    send to Kedar[c](BJ) and observe closely;
    see if there has ever been anything like this:
11 Has a nation ever changed its gods?
    (Yet they are not gods(BK) at all.)
But my people have exchanged their glorious(BL) God
    for worthless idols.
12 Be appalled at this, you heavens,
    and shudder with great horror,”
declares the Lord.
13 “My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken(BM) me,
    the spring of living water,(BN)
and have dug their own cisterns,
    broken cisterns that cannot hold water.
14 Is Israel a servant, a slave(BO) by birth?
    Why then has he become plunder?
15 Lions(BP) have roared;
    they have growled at him.
They have laid waste(BQ) his land;
    his towns are burned(BR) and deserted.(BS)
16 Also, the men of Memphis(BT) and Tahpanhes(BU)
    have cracked your skull.
17 Have you not brought this on yourselves(BV)
    by forsaking(BW) the Lord your God
    when he led you in the way?
18 Now why go to Egypt(BX)
    to drink water from the Nile[d]?(BY)
And why go to Assyria(BZ)
    to drink water from the Euphrates?(CA)
19 Your wickedness will punish you;
    your backsliding(CB) will rebuke(CC) you.
Consider then and realize
    how evil and bitter(CD) it is for you
when you forsake(CE) the Lord your God
    and have no awe(CF) of me,”
declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty.

20 “Long ago you broke off your yoke(CG)
    and tore off your bonds;(CH)
    you said, ‘I will not serve you!’(CI)
Indeed, on every high hill(CJ)
    and under every spreading tree(CK)
    you lay down as a prostitute.(CL)
21 I had planted(CM) you like a choice vine(CN)
    of sound and reliable stock.
How then did you turn against me
    into a corrupt,(CO) wild vine?
22 Although you wash(CP) yourself with soap(CQ)
    and use an abundance of cleansing powder,
    the stain of your guilt is still before me,”
declares the Sovereign Lord.(CR)
23 “How can you say, ‘I am not defiled;(CS)
    I have not run after the Baals’?(CT)
See how you behaved in the valley;(CU)
    consider what you have done.
You are a swift she-camel
    running(CV) here and there,
24 a wild donkey(CW) accustomed to the desert,(CX)
    sniffing the wind in her craving—
    in her heat who can restrain her?
Any males that pursue her need not tire themselves;
    at mating time they will find her.
25 Do not run until your feet are bare
    and your throat is dry.
But you said, ‘It’s no use!(CY)
    I love foreign gods,(CZ)
    and I must go after them.’(DA)

26 “As a thief is disgraced(DB) when he is caught,
    so the people of Israel are disgraced—
they, their kings and their officials,
    their priests(DC) and their prophets.(DD)
27 They say to wood,(DE) ‘You are my father,’
    and to stone,(DF) ‘You gave me birth.’
They have turned their backs(DG) to me
    and not their faces;(DH)
yet when they are in trouble,(DI) they say,
    ‘Come and save(DJ) us!’
28 Where then are the gods(DK) you made for yourselves?
    Let them come if they can save you
    when you are in trouble!(DL)
For you, Judah, have as many gods
    as you have towns.(DM)

29 “Why do you bring charges against me?
    You have all(DN) rebelled against me,”
declares the Lord.
30 “In vain I punished your people;
    they did not respond to correction.(DO)
Your sword has devoured your prophets(DP)
    like a ravenous lion.

31 “You of this generation, consider the word of the Lord:

“Have I been a desert to Israel
    or a land of great darkness?(DQ)
Why do my people say, ‘We are free to roam;
    we will come to you no more’?(DR)
32 Does a young woman forget her jewelry,
    a bride her wedding ornaments?
Yet my people have forgotten(DS) me,
    days without number.
33 How skilled you are at pursuing(DT) love!
    Even the worst of women can learn from your ways.
34 On your clothes is found
    the lifeblood(DU) of the innocent poor,
    though you did not catch them breaking in.(DV)
Yet in spite of all this
35     you say, ‘I am innocent;(DW)
    he is not angry with me.’
But I will pass judgment(DX) on you
    because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’(DY)
36 Why do you go about so much,
    changing(DZ) your ways?
You will be disappointed by Egypt(EA)
    as you were by Assyria.
37 You will also leave that place
    with your hands on your head,(EB)
for the Lord has rejected those you trust;
    you will not be helped(EC) by them.

“If a man divorces(ED) his wife
    and she leaves him and marries another man,
should he return to her again?
    Would not the land be completely defiled?(EE)
But you have lived as a prostitute with many lovers(EF)
    would you now return to me?”(EG)
declares the Lord.
“Look up to the barren heights(EH) and see.
    Is there any place where you have not been ravished?
By the roadside(EI) you sat waiting for lovers,
    sat like a nomad in the desert.
You have defiled the land(EJ)
    with your prostitution(EK) and wickedness.
Therefore the showers have been withheld,(EL)
    and no spring rains(EM) have fallen.
Yet you have the brazen(EN) look of a prostitute;
    you refuse to blush with shame.(EO)
Have you not just called to me:
    ‘My Father,(EP) my friend from my youth,(EQ)
will you always be angry?(ER)
    Will your wrath continue forever?’
This is how you talk,
    but you do all the evil you can.”

Unfaithful Israel

During the reign of King Josiah,(ES) the Lord said to me, “Have you seen what faithless(ET) Israel has done? She has gone up on every high hill and under every spreading tree(EU) and has committed adultery(EV) there. I thought that after she had done all this she would return to me but she did not, and her unfaithful sister(EW) Judah saw it.(EX) I gave faithless Israel(EY) her certificate of divorce(EZ) and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear;(FA) she also went out and committed adultery. Because Israel’s immorality mattered so little to her, she defiled the land(FB) and committed adultery(FC) with stone(FD) and wood.(FE) 10 In spite of all this, her unfaithful sister Judah did not return(FF) to me with all her heart, but only in pretense,(FG)” declares the Lord.(FH)

11 The Lord said to me, “Faithless Israel is more righteous(FI) than unfaithful(FJ) Judah.(FK) 12 Go, proclaim this message toward the north:(FL)

“‘Return,(FM) faithless(FN) Israel,’ declares the Lord,
    ‘I will frown on you no longer,
for I am faithful,’(FO) declares the Lord,
    ‘I will not be angry(FP) forever.
13 Only acknowledge(FQ) your guilt—
    you have rebelled against the Lord your God,
you have scattered your favors to foreign gods(FR)
    under every spreading tree,(FS)
    and have not obeyed(FT) me,’”
declares the Lord.

14 “Return,(FU) faithless people,” declares the Lord, “for I am your husband.(FV) I will choose you—one from a town and two from a clan—and bring you to Zion. 15 Then I will give you shepherds(FW) after my own heart,(FX) who will lead you with knowledge and understanding. 16 In those days, when your numbers have increased greatly in the land,” declares the Lord, “people will no longer say, ‘The ark(FY) of the covenant of the Lord.’ It will never enter their minds or be remembered;(FZ) it will not be missed, nor will another one be made. 17 At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne(GA) of the Lord, and all nations(GB) will gather in Jerusalem to honor(GC) the name of the Lord. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts.(GD) 18 In those days the people of Judah will join the people of Israel,(GE) and together(GF) they will come from a northern(GG) land to the land(GH) I gave your ancestors as an inheritance.

19 “I myself said,

“‘How gladly would I treat you like my children
    and give you a pleasant land,(GI)
    the most beautiful inheritance(GJ) of any nation.’
I thought you would call me ‘Father’(GK)
    and not turn away from following me.
20 But like a woman unfaithful to her husband,
    so you, Israel, have been unfaithful(GL) to me,”
declares the Lord.

21 A cry is heard on the barren heights,(GM)
    the weeping(GN) and pleading of the people of Israel,
because they have perverted their ways
    and have forgotten(GO) the Lord their God.

22 “Return,(GP) faithless people;
    I will cure(GQ) you of backsliding.”(GR)

“Yes, we will come to you,
    for you are the Lord our God.
23 Surely the idolatrous commotion on the hills(GS)
    and mountains is a deception;
surely in the Lord our God
    is the salvation(GT) of Israel.
24 From our youth shameful(GU) gods have consumed
    the fruits of our ancestors’ labor—
their flocks and herds,
    their sons and daughters.
25 Let us lie down in our shame,(GV)
    and let our disgrace cover us.
We have sinned(GW) against the Lord our God,
    both we and our ancestors;(GX)
from our youth(GY) till this day
    we have not obeyed(GZ) the Lord our God.”

“If you, Israel, will return,(HA)
    then return to me,”
declares the Lord.
“If you put your detestable idols(HB) out of my sight
    and no longer go astray,
and if in a truthful, just and righteous way
    you swear,(HC) ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’(HD)
then the nations will invoke blessings(HE) by him
    and in him they will boast.(HF)

This is what the Lord says to the people of Judah and to Jerusalem:

“Break up your unplowed ground(HG)
    and do not sow among thorns.(HH)
Circumcise yourselves to the Lord,
    circumcise your hearts,(HI)
    you people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,
or my wrath(HJ) will flare up and burn like fire(HK)
    because of the evil(HL) you have done—
    burn with no one to quench(HM) it.

Disaster From the North

“Announce in Judah and proclaim(HN) in Jerusalem and say:
    ‘Sound the trumpet(HO) throughout the land!’
Cry aloud and say:
    ‘Gather together!
    Let us flee to the fortified cities!’(HP)
Raise the signal(HQ) to go to Zion!
    Flee for safety without delay!
For I am bringing disaster(HR) from the north,(HS)
    even terrible destruction.”

A lion(HT) has come out of his lair;(HU)
    a destroyer(HV) of nations has set out.
He has left his place
    to lay waste(HW) your land.
Your towns will lie in ruins(HX)
    without inhabitant.
So put on sackcloth,(HY)
    lament(HZ) and wail,
for the fierce anger(IA) of the Lord
    has not turned away from us.

“In that day,” declares the Lord,
    “the king and the officials will lose heart,(IB)
the priests will be horrified,
    and the prophets will be appalled.”(IC)

10 Then I said, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! How completely you have deceived(ID) this people and Jerusalem by saying, ‘You will have peace,’(IE) when the sword is at our throats!”

11 At that time this people and Jerusalem will be told, “A scorching wind(IF) from the barren heights in the desert blows toward my people, but not to winnow or cleanse; 12 a wind(IG) too strong for that comes from me. Now I pronounce my judgments(IH) against them.”

13 Look! He advances like the clouds,(II)
    his chariots(IJ) come like a whirlwind,(IK)
his horses(IL) are swifter than eagles.(IM)
    Woe to us! We are ruined!(IN)
14 Jerusalem, wash(IO) the evil from your heart and be saved.(IP)
    How long(IQ) will you harbor wicked thoughts?
15 A voice is announcing from Dan,(IR)
    proclaiming disaster from the hills of Ephraim.(IS)
16 “Tell this to the nations,
    proclaim concerning Jerusalem:
‘A besieging army is coming from a distant land,(IT)
    raising a war cry(IU) against the cities of Judah.(IV)
17 They surround(IW) her like men guarding a field,
    because she has rebelled(IX) against me,’”
declares the Lord.
18 “Your own conduct and actions(IY)
    have brought this on you.(IZ)
This is your punishment.
    How bitter(JA) it is!
    How it pierces to the heart!”

19 Oh, my anguish, my anguish!(JB)
    I writhe in pain.(JC)
Oh, the agony of my heart!
    My heart pounds(JD) within me,
    I cannot keep silent.(JE)
For I have heard the sound of the trumpet;(JF)
    I have heard the battle cry.(JG)
20 Disaster follows disaster;(JH)
    the whole land lies in ruins.(JI)
In an instant my tents(JJ) are destroyed,
    my shelter in a moment.
21 How long must I see the battle standard(JK)
    and hear the sound of the trumpet?(JL)

22 “My people are fools;(JM)
    they do not know me.(JN)
They are senseless children;
    they have no understanding.(JO)
They are skilled in doing evil;(JP)
    they know not how to do good.”(JQ)

23 I looked at the earth,
    and it was formless and empty;(JR)
and at the heavens,
    and their light(JS) was gone.
24 I looked at the mountains,
    and they were quaking;(JT)
    all the hills were swaying.
25 I looked, and there were no people;
    every bird in the sky had flown away.(JU)
26 I looked, and the fruitful land was a desert;(JV)
    all its towns lay in ruins(JW)
    before the Lord, before his fierce anger.(JX)

27 This is what the Lord says:

“The whole land will be ruined,(JY)
    though I will not destroy(JZ) it completely.
28 Therefore the earth will mourn(KA)
    and the heavens above grow dark,(KB)
because I have spoken and will not relent,(KC)
    I have decided and will not turn back.(KD)

29 At the sound of horsemen and archers(KE)
    every town takes to flight.(KF)
Some go into the thickets;
    some climb up among the rocks.(KG)
All the towns are deserted;(KH)
    no one lives in them.

30 What are you doing,(KI) you devastated one?
    Why dress yourself in scarlet
    and put on jewels(KJ) of gold?
Why highlight your eyes with makeup?(KK)
    You adorn yourself in vain.
Your lovers(KL) despise you;
    they want to kill you.(KM)

31 I hear a cry as of a woman in labor,(KN)
    a groan as of one bearing her first child—
the cry of Daughter Zion(KO) gasping for breath,(KP)
    stretching out her hands(KQ) and saying,
“Alas! I am fainting;
    my life is given over to murderers.”(KR)

Not One Is Upright

“Go up and down(KS) the streets of Jerusalem,
    look around and consider,(KT)
    search through her squares.
If you can find but one person(KU)
    who deals honestly(KV) and seeks the truth,
    I will forgive(KW) this city.
Although they say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’(KX)
    still they are swearing falsely.(KY)

Lord, do not your eyes(KZ) look for truth?
    You struck(LA) them, but they felt no pain;
    you crushed them, but they refused correction.(LB)
They made their faces harder than stone(LC)
    and refused to repent.(LD)
I thought, “These are only the poor;
    they are foolish,(LE)
for they do not know(LF) the way of the Lord,
    the requirements of their God.
So I will go to the leaders(LG)
    and speak to them;
surely they know the way of the Lord,
    the requirements of their God.”
But with one accord they too had broken off the yoke
    and torn off the bonds.(LH)
Therefore a lion from the forest(LI) will attack them,
    a wolf from the desert will ravage(LJ) them,
a leopard(LK) will lie in wait near their towns
    to tear to pieces any who venture out,
for their rebellion is great
    and their backslidings many.(LL)

“Why should I forgive you?
    Your children have forsaken me
    and sworn(LM) by gods that are not gods.(LN)
I supplied all their needs,
    yet they committed adultery(LO)
    and thronged to the houses of prostitutes.(LP)
They are well-fed, lusty stallions,
    each neighing for another man’s wife.(LQ)
Should I not punish them for this?”(LR)
    declares the Lord.
“Should I not avenge(LS) myself
    on such a nation as this?

10 “Go through her vineyards and ravage them,
    but do not destroy them completely.(LT)
Strip off her branches,
    for these people do not belong to the Lord.
11 The people of Israel and the people of Judah
    have been utterly unfaithful(LU) to me,”
declares the Lord.

12 They have lied(LV) about the Lord;
    they said, “He will do nothing!
No harm will come to us;(LW)
    we will never see sword or famine.(LX)
13 The prophets(LY) are but wind(LZ)
    and the word is not in them;
    so let what they say be done to them.”

14 Therefore this is what the Lord God Almighty says:

“Because the people have spoken these words,
    I will make my words in your mouth(MA) a fire(MB)
    and these people the wood it consumes.(MC)
15 People of Israel,” declares the Lord,
    “I am bringing a distant nation(MD) against you—
an ancient and enduring nation,
    a people whose language(ME) you do not know,
    whose speech you do not understand.
16 Their quivers(MF) are like an open grave;
    all of them are mighty warriors.
17 They will devour(MG) your harvests and food,
    devour(MH) your sons and daughters;
they will devour(MI) your flocks and herds,
    devour your vines and fig trees.(MJ)
With the sword(MK) they will destroy
    the fortified cities(ML) in which you trust.(MM)

18 “Yet even in those days,” declares the Lord, “I will not destroy(MN) you completely. 19 And when the people ask,(MO) ‘Why has the Lord our God done all this to us?’ you will tell them, ‘As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods(MP) in your own land, so now you will serve foreigners(MQ) in a land not your own.’

20 “Announce this to the descendants of Jacob
    and proclaim(MR) it in Judah:
21 Hear this, you foolish and senseless people,(MS)
    who have eyes(MT) but do not see,
    who have ears but do not hear:(MU)
22 Should you not fear(MV) me?” declares the Lord.
    “Should you not tremble(MW) in my presence?
I made the sand a boundary for the sea,(MX)
    an everlasting barrier it cannot cross.
The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail;
    they may roar,(MY) but they cannot cross it.
23 But these people have stubborn and rebellious(MZ) hearts;
    they have turned aside(NA) and gone away.
24 They do not say to themselves,
    ‘Let us fear(NB) the Lord our God,
who gives autumn and spring rains(NC) in season,
    who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.’(ND)
25 Your wrongdoings have kept these away;
    your sins have deprived you of good.(NE)

26 “Among my people are the wicked(NF)
    who lie in wait(NG) like men who snare birds
    and like those who set traps(NH) to catch people.
27 Like cages full of birds,
    their houses are full of deceit;(NI)
they have become rich(NJ) and powerful
28     and have grown fat(NK) and sleek.
Their evil deeds have no limit;
    they do not seek justice.
They do not promote the case of the fatherless;(NL)
    they do not defend the just cause of the poor.(NM)
29 Should I not punish them for this?”
    declares the Lord.
“Should I not avenge(NN) myself
    on such a nation as this?

30 “A horrible(NO) and shocking thing
    has happened in the land:
31 The prophets prophesy lies,(NP)
    the priests(NQ) rule by their own authority,
and my people love it this way.
    But what will you do in the end?(NR)

Footnotes

  1. Jeremiah 1:5 Or chose
  2. Jeremiah 1:12 The Hebrew for watching sounds like the Hebrew for almond tree.
  3. Jeremiah 2:10 In the Syro-Arabian desert
  4. Jeremiah 2:18 Hebrew Shihor; that is, a branch of the Nile

The prophecy(A) that Habakkuk the prophet received.

Habakkuk’s Complaint

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

The Lord’s Answer

“Look at the nations and watch—
    and be utterly amazed.(L)
For I am going to do something in your days
    that you would not believe,
    even if you were told.(M)
I am raising up the Babylonians,[a](N)
    that ruthless and impetuous people,
who sweep across the whole earth(O)
    to seize dwellings not their own.(P)
They are a feared and dreaded people;(Q)
    they are a law to themselves
    and promote their own honor.
Their horses are swifter(R) than leopards,
    fiercer than wolves(S) 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(T) like sand.
10 They mock kings
    and scoff at rulers.(U)
They laugh at all fortified cities;
    by building earthen ramps(V) they capture them.
11 Then they sweep past like the wind(W) and go on—
    guilty people, whose own strength is their god.”(X)

Habakkuk’s Second Complaint

12 Lord, are you not from everlasting?(Y)
    My God, my Holy One,(Z) you[c] will never die.(AA)
You, Lord, have appointed(AB) them to execute judgment;
    you, my Rock,(AC) have ordained them to punish.
13 Your eyes are too pure(AD) to look on evil;
    you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.(AE)
Why then do you tolerate(AF) the treacherous?(AG)
    Why are you silent while the wicked
    swallow up those more righteous than themselves?(AH)
14 You have made people like the fish in the sea,
    like the sea creatures that have no ruler.
15 The wicked(AI) foe pulls all of them up with hooks,(AJ)
    he catches them in his net,(AK)
he gathers them up in his dragnet;
    and so he rejoices and is glad.
16 Therefore he sacrifices to his net
    and burns incense(AL) 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?(AM)

Footnotes

  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

Bible Gateway Sponsors