Habakkuk, CHAPTER 1
The oracle which Habakkuk the prophet received in a vision.
HABAKKUK’S FIRST COMPLAINT
How long, O LORD, must I cry for help
and you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!”
and you do not intervene?
Why do you let me see iniquity?
why do you simply gaze at evil?
Destruction and violence are before me;
there is strife and discord.
This is why the law is numb
and justice never comes,
For the wicked surround the just;
this is why justice comes forth perverted.
Look over the nations and see!
Be utterly amazed!
For a work is being done in your days
that you would not believe, were it told.
For now I am raising up the Chaldeans,
that bitter and impulsive people,
Who march the breadth of the land
to take dwellings not their own.
They are terrifying and dreadful;
their right and their exalted position are of their own making.
Swifter than leopards are their horses,
and faster than desert wolves.
Their horses spring forward;
they come from far away;
they fly like an eagle hastening to devour.
All of them come for violence,
their combined onslaught, a stormwind
to gather up captives like sand.
They scoff at kings,
They laugh at any fortress,
heap up an earthen ramp, and conquer it.
Then they sweep through like the wind and vanish―
they make their own strength their god!
HABAKKUK’S SECOND COMPLAINT
Are you not from of old, O LORD,
my holy God, immortal?
LORD, you have appointed them for judgment,
O Rock, you have set them in place to punish!
Your eyes are too pure to look upon wickedness,
and the sight of evil you cannot endure.
Why, then, do you gaze on the faithless in silence
while the wicked devour those more just than themselves?
You have made mortals like the fish in the sea,
like creeping things without a leader.
He brings them all up with a hook,
and hauls them away with his net;
He gathers them in his fishing net,
and then rejoices and exults.
Therefore he makes sacrifices to his net,
and burns incense to his fishing net;
For thanks to them his portion is rich,
and his meal lavish.
Shall they, then, keep on drawing his sword
to slaughter nations without mercy?