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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 1

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1 AN oracle which the prophet Habakkuk received in a vision.

2How LONG, LORD, will you be deaf to my plea? ‘Violence!’ I cry out to you, but you do not come to the rescue. 3Why do you let me look on such wickedness, why let me see such wrongdoing? Havoc and violence confront me, strife breaks out, discord arises. 4Therefore law becomes ineffective, and justice is defeated; the wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted.

5Look around among the nations; see there a sight which will utterly astound you; you will not believe it when you are told what is being done in your days: 6I am raising up the Chaldaeans, that savage and impetuous nation, who march far and wide over the earth to seize and occupy what is not theirs. 7Fear and terror go with them; they impose their own justice and judgements. 8Their horses are swifter than leopards, keener than the wolves of the plain a 1:8 plain: or evening. ; their cavalry prance and gallop b and gallop: so Scroll; Heb. their cavalry. , swooping from afar like vultures to devour the prey. 9Bent on violence, their whole army advances, a horde moving onward like an east wind; they round up captives countless as the sand. 10They hold kings in derision, they make light of rulers; they laugh at every fortress and raise siege-works to capture them. 11Then they sweep on like the wind and are gone; they ascribe c 1:11 ascribe: so Scroll; Heb. are guilty. their strength to their gods.

12 LORD, are you not from ancient times my God and Holy One, who is immortal d 1:12 who is immortal: prob. original rdg; altered in Heb. to we shall not die. ? LORD, you have appointed them to execute judgement; my Rock, you have commissioned them to punish. 13Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot countenance wrongdoing. Why then do you countenance the treachery of the wicked? Why keep silent when they devour those who are more righteous? 14You have made people like the fish of the sea, like creeping creatures with no ruler over them. 15The wicked haul them up with hooks or catch them in their nets or drag them in their trawls. So they make merry and rejoice, 16offering sacrifices to their nets and burning offerings to their trawls, for it is thanks to them that they live sumptuously and enjoy rich fare. 17Are they to draw the sword e 1:17 the sword: so Scroll; Heb. the net. every day to slaughter the nations pitilessly?

Notes:

a 1:8 plain: or evening.

b and gallop: so Scroll; Heb. their cavalry.

c 1:11 ascribe: so Scroll; Heb. are guilty.

d 1:12 who is immortal: prob. original rdg; altered in Heb. to we shall not die.

e 1:17 the sword: so Scroll; Heb. the net.

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