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The oracle that the prophet Habakkuk saw.

The Prophet’s Complaint

O Lord, how long shall I cry for help,
    and you will not listen?
Or cry to you “Violence!”
    and you will not save?(A)
Why do you make me see wrongdoing
    and look at trouble?
Destruction and violence are before me;
    strife and contention arise.(B)
So the law becomes slack,
    and justice never prevails.
The wicked surround the righteous;
    therefore judgment comes forth perverted.(C)

Look at the nations and see!
    Be astonished! Be astounded!
For a work is being done in your days
    that you would not believe if you were told.(D)
For I am rousing the Chaldeans,
    that fierce and impetuous nation,
who march through the breadth of the earth
    to seize dwellings not their own.(E)
Dread and fearsome are they;
    their justice and dignity proceed from themselves.(F)
Their horses are swifter than leopards,
    more menacing than wolves at dusk;
    their horses charge.
Their horsemen come from far away;
    they fly like an eagle swift to devour.(G)
They all come for violence,
    with faces pressing[a] forward;
    they gather captives like sand.(H)
10 At kings they scoff,
    and of rulers they make sport.
They laugh at every fortress
    and heap up earth to take it.(I)
11 Then they sweep by like the wind;
    they transgress and become guilty;
    their own might is their god!(J)

12 Are you not from of old,
    O Lord my God, my Holy One?
    You[b] shall not die.
O Lord, you have marked them for judgment,
    and you, O Rock, have established them for punishment.(K)
13 Your eyes are too pure to behold evil,
    and you cannot look on wrongdoing;
why do you look on the treacherous
    and are silent when the wicked swallow
    those more righteous than they?(L)
14 You have made people like the fish of the sea,
    like crawling things that have no ruler.(M)

15 He brings all of them up with a hook;
    he drags them out with his net;
he gathers them in his seine,
    so he rejoices and exults.(N)
16 Therefore he sacrifices to his net
    and makes offerings to his seine,
for by them his portion is lavish,
    and his food is rich.
17 Is he then to keep on emptying his net
    and destroying nations without mercy?(O)

God’s Reply to the Prophet’s Complaint

I will stand at my watchpost
    and station myself on the rampart;
I will keep watch to see what he will say to me
    and what he[c] will answer concerning my complaint.(P)
Then the Lord answered me and said:
Write the vision;
    make it plain on tablets,
    so that a runner may read it.(Q)
For there is still a vision for the appointed time;
    it speaks of the end and does not lie.
If it seems to tarry, wait for it;
    it will surely come; it will not delay.(R)
Look at the proud!
    Their spirit is not right in them,
    but the righteous live by their faithfulness.(S)
Moreover, wealth[d] is treacherous;
    the arrogant do not endure.
They open their throats wide as Sheol;
    like Death they never have enough.
They gather all nations for themselves
    and collect all peoples as their own.(T)

The Woes of the Wicked

Shall not everyone taunt such people and, with mocking riddles, say about them,

“Alas for you who heap up what is not your own!”
    How long will you load yourselves with goods taken in pledge?(U)
Will not your own creditors suddenly rise
    and those who make you tremble wake up?
    Then you will be plunder for them.
Because you have plundered many nations,
    all who survive of the peoples shall plunder you—
because of human bloodshed and violence to the earth,
    to cities and all who live in them.(V)

“Alas for you who get evil gain for your house,
    setting your nest on high
    to be safe from the reach of harm!”(W)
10 You have devised shame for your house
    by cutting off many peoples;
    you have forfeited your life.(X)
11 The very stones will cry out from the wall,
    and the rafter will respond from the woodwork.

12 “Alas for you who build a town by bloodshed
    and found a city on iniquity!”(Y)
13 Is it not from the Lord of hosts
    that peoples labor only to feed the flames
    and nations weary themselves for nothing?
14 But the earth will be filled
    with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,
    as the waters cover the sea.(Z)

15 “Alas for you who make your neighbors drink,
    pouring out your wrath until they are drunk,
    in order to gaze on their nakedness!”(AA)
16 You will be sated with contempt instead of glory.
    Drink, you yourself, and stagger![e]
The cup in the Lord’s right hand
    will come around to you,
    and shame will come upon your glory!(AB)
17 For the violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you;
    the destruction of the animals will terrify you—[f]
because of human bloodshed and violence to the earth,
    to cities and all who live in them.(AC)

18 What use is an idol
    once its maker has shaped it—
    a cast image, a teacher of lies?
For its maker trusts in what has been made,
    though the product is only an idol that cannot speak!(AD)
19 Alas for you who say to the wood, “Wake up!”
    to silent stone, “Rouse yourself!”
    Can it teach?
See, it is gold and silver plated,
    and there is no breath in it at all.(AE)

20 But the Lord is in his holy temple;
    let all the earth keep silence before him!(AF)

A prayer of the prophet Habakkuk according to Shigionoth.

The Prophet’s Prayer

O Lord, I have heard of your renown,
    and I stand in awe, O Lord, of your work.
In our own time revive it;
    in our own time make it known;
    in wrath may you remember mercy.(AG)
God came from Teman,
    the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah
His glory covered the heavens,
    and the earth was full of his praise.(AH)
The brightness was like the sun;
    rays came forth from his hand,
    where his power lay hidden.(AI)
Before him went pestilence,
    and plague followed close behind.(AJ)
He stopped and shook the earth;
    he looked and made the nations tremble.
The eternal mountains were shattered;
    along his ancient pathways
    the everlasting hills sank low.(AK)
I saw the tents of Cushan under affliction;
    the tent curtains of the land of Midian trembled.
Was your wrath against the rivers,[g] O Lord,
    or your anger against the rivers[h]
    or your rage against the sea,[i]
when you drove your horses,
    your chariots to victory?(AL)
You brandished your naked bow;
    sated[j] were the arrows at your command.[k] Selah
    You split the earth with rivers.(AM)
10 The mountains saw you and writhed;
    a torrent of water swept by;
the deep gave forth its voice.
    The sun raised high its hands;(AN)
11 the moon stood still in its exalted place,
    at the light of your arrows speeding by,
    at the gleam of your flashing spear.(AO)
12 In fury you marched on the earth;
    in anger you trampled nations.(AP)
13 You came forth to save your people,
    to save your anointed.
You crushed the head of the wicked house,
    laying it bare from foundation to roof.[l] Selah(AQ)
14 You pierced with their[m] own arrows the head of his warriors,[n]
    who came like a whirlwind to scatter us,[o]
    gloating as if ready to devour the poor who were in hiding.
15 You trampled the sea with your horses,
    churning the mighty waters.(AR)

16 I hear, and I tremble within;
    my lips quiver at the sound.
Rottenness enters into my bones,
    and my steps tremble[p] beneath me.
I wait quietly for the day of calamity
    to come upon the people who attack us.(AS)

Trust and Joy in the Midst of Trouble

17 Though the fig tree does not blossom
    and no fruit is on the vines;
though the produce of the olive fails
    and the fields yield no food;
though the flock is cut off from the fold
    and there is no herd in the stalls,(AT)
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
    I will exult in the God of my salvation.(AU)
19 God, the Lord, is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the feet of a deer
    and makes me tread upon the heights.[q]

To the leader: with stringed[r] instruments.(AV)


  1. 1.9 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  2. 1.12 Or We
  3. 2.1 Syr: Heb I
  4. 2.5 Q mss: MT wine
  5. 2.16 Q ms Gk: MT be uncircumcised
  6. 2.17 Gk Syr: Heb terrify them
  7. 3.8 Or against River
  8. 3.8 Or against River
  9. 3.8 Or against Sea
  10. 3.9 Heb mss: MT oaths
  11. 3.9 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  12. 3.13 Heb neck
  13. 3.14 Heb his
  14. 3.14 Gk Vg Syr: Meaning of Heb uncertain
  15. 3.14 Heb me
  16. 3.16 Cn Compare Gk: Meaning of Heb uncertain
  17. 3.19 Heb my heights
  18. 3.19 Heb my stringed

The Angels with the Seven Last Plagues

15 Then I saw another portent in heaven, great and amazing: seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is ended.(A)

And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mixed with fire and those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands.(B) And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb:

“Great and amazing are your deeds,
    Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways,
    King of the nations![a](C)
Lord, who will not fear
    and glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
    All nations will come
    and worship before you,
for your judgments have been revealed.”(D)

After this I looked, and the temple of the tent[b] of witness in heaven was opened, and out of the temple came the seven angels with the seven plagues, robed in pure bright linen,[c] with golden sashes across their chests. Then one of the four living creatures gave the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever;(E) and the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were ended.(F)


  1. 15.3 Other ancient authorities read the ages
  2. 15.5 Or tabernacle
  3. 15.6 Other ancient authorities read stone