1 The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw.
The prophet complains
2 Lord, how long will I call for help and you not listen?
I cry out to you, “Violence!”
but you don’t deliver us.
3 Why do you show me injustice and look at anguish
so that devastation and violence are before me?
There is strife, and conflict abounds.
4 The Instruction is ineffective.
Justice does not endure
because the wicked surround the righteous.
Justice becomes warped.
The Lord responds
5 Look among the nations and watch!
Be astonished and stare
because something is happening in your days
that you wouldn’t believe even if told.
6 I am about to rouse the Chaldeans,
that bitter and impetuous nation,
which travels throughout the earth to possess dwelling places it does not own.
7 The Chaldean is dreadful and fearful.
He makes his own justice and dignity.[a]
8 His horses are faster than leopards;
they are quicker than wolves of the evening.
His horsemen charge forward;
his horsemen come from far away.
They fly in to devour, swiftly, like an eagle.[b]
9 They come for violence,
the horde with all their faces set toward the desert.[c]
He takes captives like sand.
10 He makes fun of kings;
rulers are ridiculous to him.
He laughs at every fortress,
then he piles up dirt and takes it.
11 He passes through like the wind and invades;
but he will be held guilty,
the one whose strength is his god.
The prophet questions the Lord
12 Lord, aren’t you ancient, my God, my holy one?
Don’t let us die.[d]
Lord, you put the Chaldean here for judgment.
Rock, you established him as a rebuke.
13 Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
you are unable to look at disaster.
Why would you look at the treacherous
or keep silent when the wicked swallows one who is more righteous?
14 You made humans like the fish of the sea,
like creeping things with no one to rule over them.
15 The Chaldean brings all of them up with a fishhook.
He drags them away with a net;
he collects them in his fishing net,
then he rejoices and celebrates.
16 Therefore, he sacrifices to his net;
he burns incense to his fishing nets,
because due to them his portion grows fat
and his food becomes luxurious.
17 Should he continue to empty his net
and continue to slay nations without sparing them?
2 I will take my post;
I will position myself on the fortress.
I will keep watch to see what the Lord says to me
and how he[e] will respond to my complaint.
The Lord responds
2 Then the Lord answered me and said,
Write a vision, and make it plain upon a tablet
so that a runner can read it.[f]
3 There is still a vision for the appointed time;
it testifies to the end;
it does not deceive.[g]
If it delays, wait for it;
for it is surely coming; it will not be late.
4 Some people’s desires are truly audacious;[h]
they don’t do the right thing.
But the righteous person will live honestly.
5 Moreover, wine betrays an arrogant man.
He doesn’t rest.
He opens his jaws[i] like the grave;[j]
like death, he is never satisfied.
He gathers all nations to himself
and collects all peoples for himself.
6 Won’t everyone tell parables about him
or mocking poems concerning him?
They will say:
Doom to the one who multiplies what doesn’t belong to him
and who increases his own burden.
7 Won’t they suddenly rise up to bite you?
Those who frighten you will awaken;
you will become plunder for them.
8 Since you yourself have plundered many nations,
all the rest of the peoples will plunder you
because of the human bloodshed
and the violence done to the earth,
to every village, and to all its inhabitants.
9 Doom to the one making evil gain for his own house,
for putting his own nest up high,
for delivering himself from the grasp of calamity.
10 You plan shame for your own house,
cutting off many peoples
and sinning against your own life.
11 A stone will cry out from a village wall,
and a tree branch will respond.
12 Pity the one building a city with bloodshed
and founding a village with injustice.
13 Look, isn’t this from the Lord of heavenly forces?
Peoples grow weary from making just enough fire;
nations become tired for nothing.[k]
14 But the land will be full of the knowledge of the Lord’s glory,
just as water covers the sea.
15 Doom to the one who makes his companions drunk,
pouring out your wrath in order to see them naked.[l]
16 You have drunk your fill of dishonor rather than glory.
So drink and stagger.[m]
The cup of the Lord’s strong hand will come around to you;
disgrace will engulf you.
17 Because of the violence done to Lebanon, he will overwhelm you;
the destruction of animals will terrify you,
as will human bloodshed and violence throughout the land, the villages,
and all their inhabitants.[n]
18 Of what value is an idol, when its potter carves it,
or a cast image that has been shaped?
It is a teacher of lies,
for the potter trusts the pottery, though it is incapable of speaking.
19 Doom to the one saying to the tree, “Wake up!”
or “Get up” to the silent stone.
Does it teach?
Look, it is overlaid with gold and silver,
but there is no breath within it.
20 But the Lord is in his holy temple.
Let all the earth be silent before him.
The Lord’s victory
3 The prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, according to Shigionoth:
2 Lord, I have heard your reputation.
I have seen your work.
Over time, revive it.
Over time, make it known.
Though angry, remember compassion.
3 God comes from Teman
and the holy one from the mountain of Paran. Selah
His majesty covers the heavens
and his praise fills the earth.
4 His radiance is like the sunlight,
with rays flashing from his hand.
That is the hiding place of his power.
5 Pestilence walks in front of him.
Plague marches at his feet.
6 He stops and measures the earth.
He looks and sets out against the nations.
The everlasting mountains collapse;
the eternal hills bow down;
the eternal paths belong to him.
7 I saw the tents of Cushan under duress.
The curtains of the land of Midian were quaking.
8 Was the Lord raging against the rivers?
Or was your anger directed against the rivers?
Or was your fury directed against the sea
when you rode on your horses
or rode your chariots to victory?
9 You raise up your empty bow,
uttering curses for the arrows.[o] Selah
With rivers you split open the earth.
10 The mountains see you and writhe.
A flood of water rushes through.
The deep utters its voice;
it raises its hands aloft.[p]
11 Sun and moon stand still high above.
With the light, your arrows shoot,
your spear at the flash of lightning.
12 In fury, you stride the earth;
in anger you tread the nations.
13 You go out to save your people.
For the salvation of your anointed
you smashed the head of the house of wickedness,
laying bare the foundation up to the neck. Selah
14 You pierce the head of his warrior with his own spear.
His warriors are driven off,
those who take delight in oppressing us,[q]
those who take pleasure in secretly devouring the poor.
15 You make your horses tread on the sea;
turbulent waters foam.
The prophet responds
16 I hear and my insides tremble.
My lips quiver at the sound.
Rottenness enters my bones.
I tremble while I stand,[r]
while I wait for the day of distress to come against the people who attack us.
17 Though the fig tree doesn’t bloom,
and there’s no produce on the vine;
though the olive crop withers,
and the fields don’t provide food;
though the sheep are cut off from the pen,
and there are no cattle in the stalls;
18 I will rejoice in the Lord.
I will rejoice in the God of my deliverance.
19 The Lord God is my strength.
He will set my feet like the deer.
He will let me walk upon the heights.[s]
To the director, with stringed instruments
- Habakkuk 1:7 Or his justice and dignity come from him
- Habakkuk 1:8 Or vulture
- Habakkuk 1:9 Heb uncertain
- Habakkuk 1:12 Heb uncertain
- Habakkuk 2:1 Syr he; MT I
- Habakkuk 2:2 Or a reader can run with it
- Habakkuk 2:3 Heb uncertain; antecedants to pronouns in 2:3-6 are uncertain.
- Habakkuk 2:4 Heb uncertain
- Habakkuk 2:5 Or throat
- Habakkuk 2:5 Heb Sheol
- Habakkuk 2:13 Heb uncertain
- Habakkuk 2:15 Heb uncertain
- Habakkuk 2:16 DSS, LXX; MT uncircumcised
- Habakkuk 2:17 Heb uncertain
- Habakkuk 3:9 Heb uncertain
- Habakkuk 3:10 Heb uncertain
- Habakkuk 3:14 Or me
- Habakkuk 3:16 Or I tremble beneath me.
- Habakkuk 3:19 Or my heights
The fifth and sixth trumpet plagues
9 Then the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key to the shaft of the abyss. 2 He opened the shaft of the abyss; and smoke rose up from the shaft, like smoke from a huge furnace. The sun and air were darkened by the smoke from the shaft. 3 Then locusts came forth from the smoke and onto the earth. They were given power like the power that scorpions have on the earth. 4 They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree. They could only hurt the people who didn’t have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 The locusts weren’t allowed to kill them, but only to make them suffer for five months—and the suffering they inflict is like that of a scorpion when it strikes a person. 6 In those days people will seek death, but they won’t find it. They will want to die, but death will run away from them.
7 The locusts looked like horses ready for battle. On their heads were what seemed to be gold crowns. Their faces were like human faces, 8 their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. 9 In front they had what seemed to be iron armor upon their chests, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of many chariots and horses racing into battle. 10 They also have tails with stingers, just like scorpions; and in their tails is their power to hurt people for five months. 11 Their king is an angel from the abyss, whose Hebrew name is Abaddon,[a] and whose Greek name is Apollyon.[b]
12 The first horror has passed. Look! Two horrors are still coming after this.
13 Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the gold altar that is before God. 14 It said to the sixth angel, who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 Then the four angels who had been made ready for that hour, day, month, and year were released to kill a third of humankind. 16 The number of cavalry troops was two hundred million. I heard their number. 17 And this is the way I saw the horses and their riders in the vision: they had breastplates that were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The horses’ heads were like lions’ heads, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and sulfur. 18 By these three plagues a third of humankind was killed: by the fire, smoke, and sulfur coming out of their mouths. 19 The horses’ power is in their mouths and their tails, for their tails are like snakes with heads that inflict injuries.
20 The rest of humankind, who weren’t killed by these plagues, didn’t change their hearts and lives and turn from their handiwork. They didn’t stop worshipping demons and idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood—idols that can’t see or hear or walk. 21 They didn’t turn away from their murders, their spells and drugs, their sexual immorality, or their stealing.
137 Alongside Babylon’s streams,
there we sat down,
crying because we remembered Zion.
2 We hung our lyres up
in the trees there
3 because that’s where our captors asked us to sing;
our tormentors requested songs of joy:
“Sing us a song about Zion!” they said.
4 But how could we possibly sing
the Lord’s song on foreign soil?
5 Jerusalem! If I forget you,
let my strong hand wither!
6 Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth
if I don’t remember you,
if I don’t make Jerusalem my greatest joy.
7 Lord, remember what the Edomites did
on Jerusalem’s dark day:
“Rip it down, rip it down!
All the way to its foundations!” they yelled.
8 Daughter Babylon, you destroyer,[a]
a blessing on the one who pays you back
the very deed you did to us!
9 A blessing on the one who seizes your children
and smashes them against the rock!
- Psalm 137:8 Sym, Tg, Syr; MT the devastated
More sayings of the wise
10 Don’t slander a servant to his master;
otherwise, the servant will curse you, and you will be guilty.