1The oracle which Habakkuk the prophet received in vision.
The Prophet's Complaint and Its Answer
2How long, O LORD? I cry for help* but you do not listen! I cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not intervene. 3Why do you let me see ruin; why must I look at misery? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and clamorous discord. 4This is why the law is benumbed, and judgment is never rendered: Because the wicked circumvent the just; this is why judgment comes forth perverted.
5Look over the nations and see,* and be utterly amazed! For a work is being done in your days that you would not have believed, were it told. a Acts 13, 41 . 6For see, I am raising up Chaldea, that bitter and unruly people, That marches the breadth of the land to take dwellings not his own. 7Terrible and dreadful is he, from himself derive his law and his majesty. 8Swifter than leopards are his horses, and keener than wolves at evening.* His horses prance, his horsemen come from afar: They fly like the eagle hastening to devour; 9each comes for the rapine, Their combined onset is that of a stormwind that heaps up captives like sand. 10He scoffs at kings, and princes are his laughingstock; He laughs at any fortress, heaps up a ramp, and conquers it. 11Then he veers like the wind* and is gone— this culprit who makes his own strength his god!
12Are you not from eternity, O LORD,* my holy God, immortal? O LORD, you have marked him for judgment, O Rock,* you have readied him for punishment! 13Too pure are your eyes to look upon evil, and the sight of misery you cannot endure. Why, then, do you gaze on the faithless in silence while the wicked man devours one more just than himself? 14You have made man like the fish of the sea, like creeping things without a ruler. 15He* brings them all up with his hook, he hauls them away with his net, He gathers them in his seine; and so he rejoices and exults. 16Therefore he sacrifices to his net,* and burns incense to his seine; For thanks to them his portion is generous, and his repast sumptuous. 17Shall he, then, keep on brandishing his sword to slay peoples without mercy?