The Destruction of Nineveh
2 oThe scatterer has come up against you.
pMan the ramparts;
watch the road;
dress for battle;1
collect all your strength.
2 For qthe Lord is restoring the majesty of Jacob
as the majesty of Israel,
for plunderers have plundered them
and rruined their branches.
3 The shield of his mighty men is red;
shis soldiers are clothed in scarlet.
The chariots come with flashing metal
on the day he musters them;
the cypress spears are brandished.
4 tThe chariots race madly through the streets;
they rush to and fro through the squares;
they gleam like torches;
they dart like lightning.
5 He remembers uhis officers;
vthey stumble as they go,
they hasten to the wall;
the siege tower2 is set up.
6 wThe river gates are opened;
the palace xmelts away;
7 its mistress3 is ystripped;4 she is carried off,
her slave girls zlamenting,
moaning like doves
and beating their breasts.
8 bNineveh is like a pool
whose waters run away.5
“Halt! Halt!” they cry,
but cnone turns back.
9 Plunder the silver,
plunder the gold!
There is no end of the treasure
or of the wealth of all precious things.
10 dDesolate! Desolation and ruin!
eHearts melt and fknees tremble;
ganguish is in all loins;
hall faces grow pale!
11 Where is the lions’ den,
the feeding place of ithe young lions,
where the lion and lioness went,
where his cubs were, with jnone to disturb?
12 kThe lion tore enough for his cubs
and lstrangled prey for his lionesses;
he filled his caves with prey
and his dens with torn flesh.
13 mBehold, I am against you, declares the Lord of hosts, and nI will burn your6 chariots in smoke, and the sword shall devour your young lions. I will cut off your prey from the earth, and othe voice of your messengers shall no longer be heard.
Woe to Nineveh
3 Woe to pthe bloody city,
all full of lies and plunder—
qno end to the prey!
2 The crack of the whip, and rrumble of the wheel,
sgalloping horse and tbounding chariot!
3 Horsemen charging,
flashing sword and uglittering spear,
vhosts of slain,
heaps of corpses,
dead bodies without end—
they stumble over the bodies!
4 And all for the countless whorings of the wprostitute,
xgraceful and of deadly charms,
who betrays nations with her whorings,
and peoples with her charms.
5 mBehold, I am against you,
declares the Lord of hosts,
and ywill lift up your skirts over your face;
and I will make nations look at zyour nakedness
and kingdoms at your shame.
6 I will throw filth at you
and atreat you with contempt
and make you ba spectacle.
7 And all who look at you cwill shrink from you and say,
“Wasted is dNineveh; ewho will grieve for her?”
fWhere shall I seek comforters for you?
8 gAre you better than hThebes1
that sat iby the Nile,
with water around her,
her rampart a sea,
and water her wall?
9 jCush was her strength;
Egypt too, and that without limit;
10 mYet she became an exile;
she went into captivity;
nher infants were dashed in pieces
at the head of every street;
for her honored men olots were cast,
pand all her great men were bound in chains.
11 qYou also will be drunken;
you will go into hiding;
ryou will seek a refuge from the enemy.
12 All your fortresses are slike fig trees
with first-ripe figs—
if shaken they fall
into the mouth of the eater.
13 Behold, your troops
tare women in your midst.
The gates of your land
are wide open to your enemies;
fire has devoured your bars.
14 uDraw water for the siege;
rstrengthen your forts;
go into the clay;
tread the mortar;
take hold of the brick mold!
15 There will the fire devour you;
the sword will cut you off.
It will vdevour you wlike the locust.
Multiply yourselves wlike the locust;
multiply wlike the grasshopper!
16 You increased xyour merchants
more than the stars of the heavens.
wThe locust spreads its wings and flies away.
17 Your zprinces are wlike grasshoppers,
ayour scribes3 like clouds of locusts
settling on the fences
in a day of cold—
when the sun rises, they fly away;
no one knows where they are.
18 Your shepherds bare asleep,
O king of Assyria;
cyour nobles slumber.
Your people dare scattered on the mountains
with none to gather them.
19 There is no easing your hurt;
eyour wound is grievous.
All who hear the news about you
fclap their hands over you.
For gupon whom has not come
your unceasing evil?
1 aThe oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw.
2 O Lord, bhow long shall I cry for help,
and you will not hear?
Or cry to you c“Violence!”
and you will not save?
3 dWhy do you make me see iniquity,
and why do you idly look at wrong?
Destruction cand violence are before me;
strife and contention arise.
4 eSo the law is paralyzed,
and justice never goes forth.
fFor the wicked surround the righteous;
so justice goes forth perverted.
The Lord’s Answer
5 g“Look among the nations, and see;
wonder and be astounded.
hFor I am doing a work in your days
that you would not believe if told.
6 For behold, iI am raising up the Chaldeans,
that bitter and hasty nation,
jwho march through the breadth of the earth,
kto seize dwellings not their own.
7 They are dreaded and fearsome;
ltheir justice and dignity go forth from themselves.
8 mTheir horses are swifter than leopards,
more fierce than nthe evening wolves;
their horsemen press proudly on.
Their horsemen come from afar;
othey fly like an eagle swift to devour.
9 They all come pfor violence,
all their faces forward.
They gather captives rlike sand.
10 At kings they scoff,
and at rulers they laugh.
sThey laugh at every fortress,
for tthey pile up earth and take it.
11 Then they sweep by like the wind and go on,
Habakkuk’s Second Complaint
12 Are you not wfrom everlasting,
O Lord my God, my Holy One?
xWe shall not die.
O Lord, yyou have ordained them as a judgment,
and you, O zRock, have established them for reproof.
13 You who are aof purer eyes than to see evil
and cannot look at wrong,
bwhy do you idly look at traitors
and cremain silent when the wicked swallows up
the man more righteous than he?
14 You make mankind like the fish of the sea,
like crawling things that have no ruler.
15 dHe1 brings all of them up ewith a hook;
he drags them out with his net;
he gathers them in his dragnet;
so he rejoices and is glad.
16 fTherefore he sacrifices to his net
and makes offerings to his dragnet;
for by them he lives in luxury,2
and his food is rich.
17 Is he then to keep on emptying his net
gand mercilessly killing nations forever?
2 I will htake my stand at my watchpost
and station myself on the tower,
and ilook out to see jwhat he will say to me,
and what I will answer concerning my complaint.
The Righteous Shall Live by His Faith
2 And the Lord answered me:
k“Write the vision;
make it plain on tablets,
so he may run who reads it.
3 For still lthe vision awaits its appointed time;
it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
If it seems slow, mwait for it;
nit will surely come; it will not delay.
4 “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him,
5 “Moreover, wine2 is pa traitor,
an arrogant man who is never at rest.3
His greed is as wide as Sheol;
like death qhe has never enough.
rHe gathers for himself all nations
and collects as his own all peoples.”
Woe to the Chaldeans
6 Shall not all these stake up their taunt against him, with scoffing and riddles for him, and say,
t“Woe to him uwho heaps up what is not his own—
for vhow long?—
and wloads himself with pledges!”
7 xWill not your debtors suddenly arise,
and those awake who will make you tremble?
Then you will be spoil for them.
8 yBecause you have plundered many nations,
all the remnant of the peoples shall plunder you,
zfor the blood of man and yviolence to the earth,
to cities and all who dwell in them.
9 t“Woe to him who gets evil gain for his house,
to be safe from the reach of harm!
10 You have devised shame for your house
cby cutting off many peoples;
you have forfeited your life.
11 For dthe stone will cry out from the wall,
and the beam from the woodwork respond.
12 t“Woe to him ewho builds a town with blood
and founds a city on iniquity!
13 Behold, is it not from the Lord of hosts
that fpeoples labor merely for fire,
and nations weary themselves for nothing?
14 gFor the earth will be filled
with the knowledge of hthe glory of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
15 t“Woe to him iwho makes his neighbors drink—
you pour out your wrath and make them drunk,
in order to gaze jat their nakedness!
16 You will have your fill kof shame instead of glory.
lDrink, yourself, and show your uncircumcision!
lThe cup in the Lord’s right hand
will come around to you,
and mutter shame will come upon your glory!
17 nThe violence odone to Lebanon will overwhelm you,
as will the destruction of the beasts that terrified them,
nfor the blood of man and violence to the earth,
to cities and all who dwell in them.
18 p“What profit is an idol
when its maker has shaped it,
a metal image, qa teacher of lies?
For its maker trusts in his own creation
when he makes rspeechless idols!
19 sWoe to him twho says to a wooden thing, Awake;
to a silent stone, Arise!
Can this teach?
Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver,
and uthere is no breath at all in it.
20 But vthe Lord is in his holy temple;
wlet all the earth keep silence before him.”
3 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, according to Shigionoth.
2 O Lord, xI have heard the report of you,
and yyour work, O Lord, do I fear.
In the midst of the years zrevive it;
in the midst of the years make it known;
ain wrath remember mercy.
3 God came from bTeman,
cand the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah
His splendor covered the heavens,
and the earth was full of his praise.
4 dHis brightness was like the light;
rays flashed from his hand;
and there he veiled his power.
5 eBefore him went pestilence,
and plague followed fat his heels.1
6 He stood gand measured the earth;
he looked and shook the nations;
then the heternal mountains iwere scattered;
the everlasting hills sank low.
His were jthe everlasting ways.
7 I saw the tents of kCushan in affliction;
lthe curtains of the land of Midian did tremble.
8 mWas your wrath against the rivers, O Lord?
Was your anger against the rivers,
mor your indignation against the sea,
nwhen you rode on your horses,
non your chariot of salvation?
9 You stripped the sheath from your bow,
calling for many arrows.2 Selah
pYou split the earth with rivers.
10 qThe mountains saw you and writhed;
the raging waters swept on;
rthe deep gave forth its voice;
sit lifted its hands on high.
11 tThe sun and moon stood still in their place
uat the light of your arrows as they sped,
at the flash of your glittering spear.
12 vYou marched through the earth in fury;
wyou threshed the nations in anger.
13 vYou went out for the salvation of your people,
for the salvation of xyour anointed.
yYou crushed the head of the house of the wicked,
laying him bare from thigh to neck.3 Selah
14 You pierced with his own arrows the heads of his warriors,
who came like a whirlwind to scatter me,
rejoicing as if to devour the poor in secret.
15 zYou trampled the sea with your horses,
the surging of mighty waters.
16 aI hear, and bmy body trembles;
my lips quiver at the sound;
crottenness enters into my bones;
my legs tremble beneath me.
Yet dI will quietly wait for the day of trouble
to come upon people who invade us.
Habakkuk Rejoices in the Lord
17 Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
18 eyet I will rejoice in the Lord;
fI will take joy in the God of my salvation.
19 God, the Lord, is my strength;
ghe makes my feet like the deer’s;