1The pronouncement#Is 13:1; 30:6; Jr 18:18; Ezk 12:10; Hab 1:1; Zch 9:1; 12:1; Mal 1:1 that the prophet Habakkuk saw.#Nm 24:4; Jb 19:26; Is 13:1
Habakkuk’s First Prayer
2How long,#Ps 4:2; 6:3; 13:1 Lord, must I call for help#Jb 19:7; Ps 5:2; Lm 3:8
and you do not listen
or cry out to you about violence#Jr 6:7; Ezk 7:11,23; 8:17; 12:19; 45:9; Mc 6:12; Hab 1:9; 2:8,17
and you do not save?
3Why do you force me to look at injustice?#Jb 4:8; Ps 5:5; Is 5:7
Why do you tolerate#1:3 Lit observe, also in v. 13 wrongdoing?
Oppression and violence are right in front of me.
Strife is ongoing, and conflict escalates.
4This is why the law is ineffective
and justice never emerges.
For the wicked restrict#Jdg 20:43; Ps 22:12 the righteous;
therefore, justice#Ex 23:6 comes out perverted.
God’s First Answer
5Look at the nations#1:5 DSS, LXX, Syr read Look, you treacherous people#Ps 2:1 and observe#Gn 15:5 —
be utterly astounded!#Gn 43:33; Ps 48:5; Ec 5:8
For I am doing something in your days
that you will not believe#Gn 15:6
when you hear about it.#Ac 13:41
6Look! I am raising up#Ru 4:5 the Chaldeans,#1:6 = the Babylonians
that bitter,#Jdg 18:25 impetuous nation
that marches across the earth’s open spaces
to seize territories not its own.
7They are fierce#Sg 6:4,10 and terrifying;
their views of justice and sovereignty
stem from themselves.
8Their horses are swifter#2Sm 1:23 than leopards#Is 11:6; Jr 5:6; 13:23; Hs 13:7
and more fierce#1:8 Or and quicker than wolves of the night.
Their horsemen charge ahead;
their horsemen come from distant lands.
They fly like eagles, swooping to devour.#Dt 28:49
9All of them come to do violence;
their faces#Gn 48:11 are set in determination.#1:9 Hb obscure
They gather#Dt 11:14 prisoners like sand.#Jos 11:4
10They mock#2Kg 2:23 kings,
and rulers are a joke to them.
They laugh#2Ch 30:10 at every fortress
and build siege ramps to capture#Nm 21:32 it.
11Then they sweep#Is 8:8 by like the wind
and pass through.
They are guilty;#1:11 Or wind, and transgress and incur guilt their strength is their god.
Habakkuk’s Second Prayer
12Are you not from eternity, Lord my God?#1Ch 29:10; Ps 90:2; 93:2; 103:17; Mc 5:2
My Holy One,#Is 1:4 you#1:12 Alt Hb tradition reads we will not die.
Lord, you appointed them to execute judgment;
my Rock,#Dt 32:4; Ps 18:2 you destined them to punish us.
13Your eyes#2Ch 6:20; 16:9 are too pure#Ex 25:11; Ps 12:6; 19:9; 51:10; Pr 22:11; Ezk 36:25 to look on evil,
and you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.
So why do you tolerate those who are treacherous?#Jdg 9:23
Why are you silent
while one#1:13 = Babylon who is wicked swallows up
one#1:13 = Judah who is more righteous than himself?
14You have made mankind
like the fish of the sea,#Ec 9:12
like marine creatures that have no ruler.
15The Chaldeans pull them all up with a hook,
catch them in their dragnet,#2Kg 19:28; 2Ch 33:11; Is 37:29; Jr 16:16; Ezk 19:4,9; 29:4; 38:4; Am 4:2
and gather them in their fishing net;
that is why they are glad and rejoice.
16That is why they sacrifice to their dragnet
and burn incense to their fishing net,
for by these things their portion is rich
and their food plentiful.#Dt 8:17; Is 10:13; 37:24–25
17Will they therefore empty their net
and continually slaughter nations without mercy?