The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Sunday December 18, 2016 (NIV)

Habakkuk 1-3

The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw.(A)

Habakkuk’s First Prayer

How long,(B) Lord, must I call for help(C)
and You do not listen
or cry out to You about violence
and You do not save?
Why do You force me to look at injustice?(D)
Why do You tolerate[a] wrongdoing?
Oppression and violence are right in front of me.
Strife is ongoing, and conflict escalates.
This is why the law is ineffective
and justice never emerges.
For the wicked restrict(E) the righteous;
therefore, justice(F) comes out perverted.

God’s First Answer

Look at the nations[b](G) and observe(H)
be utterly astounded!(I)
For something is taking place in your days
that you will not believe(J)
when you hear about it.(K)
Look! I am raising up(L) the Chaldeans,[c]
that bitter,(M) impetuous nation
that marches across the earth’s open spaces
to seize territories not its own.
They are fierce(N) and terrifying;
their views of justice and sovereignty
stem from themselves.
Their horses are swifter(O) than leopards(P)
and more fierce[d] than wolves of the night.
Their horsemen charge ahead;
their horsemen come from distant lands.
They fly like an eagle, swooping to devour.(Q)
All of them come to do violence;
their faces(R) are set in determination.[e]
They gather(S) prisoners like sand.(T)
10 They mock(U) kings,
and rulers are a joke to them.
They laugh(V) at every fortress
and build siege ramps to capture(W) it.
11 Then they sweep(X) by like the wind
and pass through.
They are guilty;[f] their strength is their god.

Habakkuk’s Second Prayer

12 Are You not from eternity, Yahweh my God?
My Holy One,(Y) You[g] will not die.
Lord, You appointed them to execute judgment;
my Rock,(Z) You destined them to punish us.
13 Your eyes(AA) are too pure(AB) to look on evil,
and You cannot tolerate wrongdoing.
So why do You tolerate those who are treacherous?(AC)
Why are You silent
while one[h] who is wicked swallows up
one[i] who is more righteous than himself?
14 You have made mankind
like the fish of the sea,(AD)
like marine creatures that have no ruler.
15 The Chaldeans pull them all up with a hook,
catch them in their dragnet,(AE)
and gather them in their fishing net;
that is why they are glad and rejoice.
16 That 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.(AF)
17 Will they therefore empty their net[j]
and continually slaughter nations without mercy?

Habakkuk Waits for God’s Response

I will stand at my guard post
and station myself on the lookout tower.(AG)
I will watch to see what He will say to me(AH)
and what I should[k] reply about my complaint.

God’s Second Answer

The Lord answered me:

Write down this vision;(AI)
clearly inscribe it on tablets
so one may easily read it.[l]
For the vision is yet for the appointed time;
it testifies about the end and will not lie.
Though it delays, wait for it,
since it will certainly come and not be late.(AJ)
Look, his ego is inflated;[m]
he is without integrity.
But the righteous one will live by his faith.[n](AK)
Moreover, wine[o] betrays;
an arrogant man is never at rest.[p]
He enlarges his appetite like Sheol,
and like Death he is never satisfied.(AL)
He gathers all the nations to himself;
he collects all the peoples for himself.

The Five Woe Oracles

Won’t all of these take up a taunt against him,
with mockery and riddles about him?
They will say:

Woe to him who amasses what is not his—
how much longer?—
and loads himself with goods taken in pledge.(AM)
Won’t your creditors suddenly arise,
and those who disturb you wake up?
Then you will become spoil for them.(AN)
Since you have plundered many nations,
all the peoples who remain will plunder you—
because of human bloodshed
and violence against lands, cities,
and all who live in them.(AO)

Woe to him who dishonestly makes
wealth for his house[q]
to place his nest on high,
to escape from the reach of disaster!(AP)
10 You have planned shame for your house
by wiping out many peoples
and sinning against your own self.
11 For the stones will cry out(AQ) from the wall,
and the rafters will answer them
from the woodwork.

12 Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed
and founds a town with injustice!(AR)
13 Is it not from the Lord of Hosts
that the peoples labor only to fuel the fire
and countries exhaust themselves for nothing?(AS)
14 For the earth will be filled
with the knowledge of the Lord’s glory,
as the waters cover the sea.(AT)

15 Woe to him who gives his neighbors drink,
pouring out your wrath[r]
and even making them drunk,
in order to look at their nakedness!
16 You will be filled with disgrace instead of glory.
You also—drink,
and expose your uncircumcision![s]
The cup in the Lord’s right hand
will come around to you,
and utter disgrace will cover your glory.(AU)
17 For your violence against Lebanon
will overwhelm you;
the destruction of animals will terrify you[t]
because of your human bloodshed and violence
against lands, cities, and all who live in them.

18 What use is a carved idol
after its craftsman carves it?
It is only a cast image, a teacher of lies.
For the one who crafts its shape trusts in it
and makes idols that cannot speak.
19 Woe to him who says to wood: Wake up!
or to mute stone: Come alive!
Can it teach?
Look! It may be plated with gold and silver,
yet there is no breath in it at all.

20 But the Lord is in His holy temple;
let everyone on earth
be silent in His presence.(AV)

Habakkuk’s Third Prayer

A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet. According to Shigionoth.[u](AW)

Lord, I have heard the report about You;
Lord, I stand in awe of Your deeds.
Revive Your work in these years;
make it known in these years.
In Your wrath remember mercy!

God comes from Teman,
the Holy One from Mount Paran.(AX)Selah
His splendor covers the heavens,
and the earth is full of His praise.(AY)
His brilliance is like light;
rays are flashing from His hand.
This is where His power is hidden.
Plague goes before Him,
and pestilence follows in His steps.
He stands and shakes[v] the earth;
He looks and startles the nations.
The age-old mountains break apart;
the ancient hills sink down.
His pathways are ancient.
I see the tents of Cushan[w] in distress;
the tent curtains of the land of Midian tremble.
Are You angry at the rivers, Lord?
Is Your wrath against the rivers?
Or is Your rage against the sea
when You ride on Your horses,
Your victorious chariot?
You took the sheath from Your bow;
the arrows are ready[x] to be used with an oath.[y](AZ)Selah
You split the earth with rivers.
10 The mountains see You and shudder;(BA)
a downpour of water sweeps by.
The deep roars with its voice(BB)
and lifts its waves[z] high.
11 Sun and moon stand still in their lofty residence,(BC)
at the flash of Your flying arrows,
at the brightness of Your shining spear.
12 You march across the earth with indignation;
You trample down the nations in wrath.
13 You come out to save Your people,
to save Your anointed.[aa]
You crush the leader of the house of the wicked
and strip him from foot[ab] to neck.Selah
14 You pierce his head
with his own spears;
his warriors storm out to scatter us,
gloating as if ready to secretly devour the weak.
15 You tread the sea with Your horses,
stirring up the great waters.(BD)

Habakkuk’s Confidence in God Expressed

16 I heard, and I trembled within;(BE)
my lips quivered at the sound.
Rottenness entered my bones;
I trembled where I stood.
Now I must quietly wait for the day of distress
to come against the people invading us.
17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there is no fruit on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will triumph in Yahweh;
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation!(BF)
19 Yahweh my Lord is my strength;
He makes my feet like those of a deer(BG)
and enables me to walk on mountain heights!(BH)

For the choir director: on[ac] stringed instruments.


  1. Habakkuk 1:3 Lit observe
  2. Habakkuk 1:5 DSS, LXX, Syr read Look, you treacherous people
  3. Habakkuk 1:6 = the Babylonians
  4. Habakkuk 1:8 Or and quicker
  5. Habakkuk 1:9 Hb obscure
  6. Habakkuk 1:11 Or wind, and transgress and incur guilt
  7. Habakkuk 1:12 Ancient Jewish tradition reads we
  8. Habakkuk 1:13 = Babylon
  9. Habakkuk 1:13 = Judah
  10. Habakkuk 1:17 DSS read sword
  11. Habakkuk 2:1 Syr reads what He will
  12. Habakkuk 2:2 Lit one who reads in it may run
  13. Habakkuk 2:4 Hb obscure
  14. Habakkuk 2:4 Or faithfulness
  15. Habakkuk 2:5 DSS read wealth
  16. Habakkuk 2:5 Or man does not endure; Hb obscure
  17. Habakkuk 2:9 Or dynasty
  18. Habakkuk 2:15 Or venom
  19. Habakkuk 2:16 DSS, LXX, Aq, Syr, Vg read and stagger
  20. Habakkuk 2:17 DSS, LXX, Aq, Syr, Tg, Vg; MT reads them
  21. Habakkuk 3:1 Perhaps a passionate song with rapid changes of rhythm, or a dirge
  22. Habakkuk 3:6 Or surveys
  23. Habakkuk 3:7 = Midian
  24. Habakkuk 3:9 Or set
  25. Habakkuk 3:9 Hb obscure
  26. Habakkuk 3:10 Lit hands
  27. Habakkuk 3:13 The Davidic king or the nation of Israel
  28. Habakkuk 3:13 Lit foundation
  29. Habakkuk 3:19 Lit on my

Revelation 9

The Fifth Trumpet

The fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from heaven to earth.(A) The key to the shaft of the abyss(B) was given to him. He opened the shaft of the abyss, and smoke came up out of the shaft like smoke from a great[a] furnace so that the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke from the shaft. Then locusts came out of the smoke on to the earth, and power[b] was given to them(C) like the power that scorpions have on the earth. They were told not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green plant, or any tree, but only people who do not have God’s seal on their foreheads. They were not permitted to kill them but were to torment them for five months; their torment is like the torment caused by a scorpion when it strikes a man. In those days people will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, but death will flee from them.

The appearance of the locusts was like horses equipped for battle.(D) Something like gold crowns was on their heads; their faces were like men’s faces; they had hair like women’s hair; their teeth were like lions’ teeth;(E) they had chests like iron breastplates; the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses rushing into battle; 10 and they had tails with stingers like scorpions, so that with their tails they had the power[c] to harm people for five months. 11 They had as their king[d] the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon,[e] and in Greek he has the name Apollyon.[f] 12 The first woe has passed. There are still two more woes to come after this.

The Sixth Trumpet

13 The sixth angel blew his trumpet. From the four[g] horns of the gold altar(F) that is before God, I heard a voice 14 say to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 So the four angels who were prepared for the hour, day, month, and year were released to kill a third of the human race. 16 The number of mounted troops was 200 million;[h] I heard their number. 17 This is how I saw the horses in my vision: The horsemen had breastplates that were fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow. The heads of the horses were like lions’ heads, and from their mouths came fire, smoke, and sulfur. 18 A third of the human race was killed by these three plagues—by the fire, the smoke, and the sulfur that came from their mouths. 19 For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails, for their tails, which resemble snakes, have heads, and they inflict injury with them.

20 The rest of the people, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands to stop worshiping demons(G) and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood, which are not able to see, hear, or walk.(H) 21 And they did not repent of their murders, their sorceries,[i] their sexual immorality, or their thefts.


  1. Revelation 9:2 Other mss omit great
  2. Revelation 9:3 Or authority
  3. Revelation 9:10 Or authority
  4. Revelation 9:11 Or as king over them
  5. Revelation 9:11 Or destruction
  6. Revelation 9:11 Or destroyer
  7. Revelation 9:13 Other mss omit four
  8. Revelation 9:16 Other mss read 100 million
  9. Revelation 9:21 Or magic potions, or drugs; Gk pharmakon

Psalm 137

Psalm 137

Lament of the Exiles

By the rivers of Babylon—
there we sat down and wept
when we remembered Zion.(A)
There we hung up our lyres
on the poplar trees,(B)
for our captors there asked us for songs,
and our tormentors, for rejoicing:
“Sing us one of the songs of Zion.”(C)

How can we sing the Lord’s song
on foreign soil?(D)
If I forget you, Jerusalem,
may my right hand forget its skill.(E)
May my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth
if I do not remember you,
if I do not exalt Jerusalem as my greatest joy!(F)

Remember, Lord, what the Edomites said
that day[a] at Jerusalem:
“Destroy it! Destroy it
down to its foundations!”(G)
Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction,
happy is the one who pays you back
what you have done to us.(H)
Happy is he who takes your little ones
and dashes them against the rocks.(I)


  1. Psalm 137:7 The day Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians in 586 b.c.

Proverbs 30:10

10 Don’t slander a servant to his master
or he will curse you,(A) and you will become guilty.

Cross references:

  1. 30:10 : Ec 7:21