1 The divine revelation that the prophet Habakkuk saw.
2 How long, O Lord, am I to cry for help,
but you will not listen?
I cry out to you, “There’s violence!”
yet you will not come to the rescue.
3 Why do you make me see wrongdoing?
And why do you watch wickedness?
Destruction and violence are in front of me.
Quarrels and disputes arise.
4 That is why your teaching is numbed,
and justice is never carried out.
Wicked people surround righteous people
so that when justice is carried out, it’s perverted.
The Lord’s Answer
5 Look among the nations and watch.
Be amazed and astonished.
I am going to do something in your days
that you would not believe even if it were reported to you.
6 I am going to send the Babylonians,
that fierce and reckless nation.
They will march throughout the earth
to take possession of lands that don’t belong to them.
7 They will be terrifying and fearsome.
They will carry out their own kind of justice and honor.
8 Their horses will be faster than leopards
and quicker than wolves in the evening.
Their riders will gallop along proudly.
Their riders will come from far away.
They will fly like an eagle that swoops down for its prey.
9 They will all come for violence.
Every face will be directed forward.
They will gather prisoners like sand.
10 They will make fun of kings and treat rulers as a joke.
They will laugh at every fortified city
and build a dirt ramp to capture it.
11 They will move quickly and pass through like the wind.
So they will be guilty,
because their own strength is their god.
12 Didn’t you exist before time began, O Lord, my God, my Holy One?
We will not die!
O Lord, you have appointed the Babylonians to bring judgment.
O Rock, you have destined them to correct us.
13 Your eyes are too pure to look at evil.
You can’t watch wickedness.
Why do you keep watching treacherous people?
Why are you silent when wicked people swallow those
who are more righteous than they are?
14 You make all people like the fish in the sea,
like schools of sea life that have no ruler.
15 The Babylonians pull them all up with fishhooks,
drag them away in nets,
and gather them in dragnets.
So they rejoice and are happy.
16 That is why they sacrifice to their nets and burn incense to their dragnets.
They are rich and well fed because of them.
17 Will they keep on emptying their nets
and always kill nations without mercy?