1The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw.
2O Yahweh, how long shall I cry for help
and you will not listen?
How long will I cry out to you, “Violence!”
and you will not save?
3Why do you cause me to see evil
while you look at trouble?
Destruction and violence happen before me;
contention and strife arise.
4Therefore the law is paralyzed,
and justice does not go forth perpetually.#Or “forever”
For the wicked surround the righteous;
therefore justice goes forth perverted.
God’s Answer to Habakkuk
5“Look among the nations and see;
be astonished and astounded.
For a work is about to be done in your days
that you will not believe if it is told.
6For look! I am raising up the Chaldeans,
the bitter and impetuous nation,
the one who walks through the spacious places of earth
to take possession of dwellings not belonging to it.#Or “him”
7They#Hebrew “He” are dreadful and awesome;
their#Hebrew “his” justice and their#Hebrew “his” dignity proceed from themselves.#Hebrew “him”
8Their#Hebrew “His” horses are more swift than leopards;
they are more menacing than wolves at dusk.
Their#Hebrew “His” horsemen gallop; their#Hebrew “his” horsemen come from afar;
they fly like an eagle that is swift to devour.
9All of them#Hebrew “him” come for violence,
their faces pressing forward.
They gather captives like the sand.
10And they themselves scoff at kings
and rulers are a joke to them.
They laugh at every fortification,
and they heap up earth and take it.
11Then they sweep like the wind and pass on;
they become guilty, whose might is their#Hebrew “his” god!”
Habakkuk’s Second Complaint
12Are you not from of old,
O Yahweh my God, my Holy One?
You#Hebrew “we shall not die,” considered a deliberate scribal change of the text to avoid offensive language toward Yahweh shall not die.
O Yahweh, you have marked them#Hebrew “him” for judgment;
O Rock, you have established them#Hebrew “him” for reproof.
13Your eyes are too pure to see evil,
and you are not able to look at wrongdoing.#Or “trouble”
Why do you look at the treacherous?
Why are you silent when the wicked swallows up
someone more righteous than him?
14You make humankind like fish of the sea,
like crawling creatures that have no ruler among them.
15He brings up all of them with a fishhook;
he drags them up with a fishnet;
he gathers them in his dragnet.
Therefore, he rejoices and exults.
16Therefore he sacrifices to his fishnet
and makes offerings to his dragnet,
for by them he makes a good living#Literally “his portion is fat”
and his food is rich.
17Will he therefore empty his fishnet
and continually kill nations without showing mercy?