Habakkuk 1

The Destruction of Nineveh

oThe scatterer has come up against you.

pMan the ramparts;

watch the road;

dress for battle;1

collect all your strength.

For qthe Lord is restoring the majesty of Jacob

as the majesty of Israel,

for plunderers have plundered them

and rruined their branches.

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.

tThe chariots race madly through the streets;

they rush to and fro through the squares;

they gleam like torches;

they dart like lightning.

He remembers uhis officers;

vthey stumble as they go,

they hasten to the wall;

the siege tower2 is set up.

wThe river gates are opened;

the palace xmelts away;

its mistress3 is ystripped;4 she is carried off,

her slave girls zlamenting,

moaning like doves

and beating their breasts.

bNineveh is like a pool

whose waters run away.5

Halt! Halt! they cry,

but cnone turns back.

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

Woe to pthe bloody city,

all full of lies and plunder

qno end to the prey!

The crack of the whip, and rrumble of the wheel,

sgalloping horse and tbounding chariot!

Horsemen charging,

flashing sword and uglittering spear,

vhosts of slain,

heaps of corpses,

dead bodies without end

they stumble over the bodies!

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.

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.

I will throw filth at you

and atreat you with contempt

and make you ba spectacle.

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?

gAre you better than hThebes1

that sat iby the Nile,

with water around her,

her rampart a sea,

and water her wall?

jCush was her strength;

Egypt too, and that without limit;

kPut and the lLibyans were her2 helpers.

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?

Habakkuk Illustration

Habakkuk

aThe oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw.

Habakkuk's Complaint

O Lord, bhow long shall I cry for help,

and you will not hear?

Or cry to you cViolence!

and you will not save?

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.

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

gLook 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.

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.

They are dreaded and fearsome;

ltheir justice and dignity go forth from themselves.

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.

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,

uguilty men, vwhose own might is their god!

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?

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

And the Lord answered me:

kWrite the vision;

make it plain on tablets,

so he may run who reads it.

For still lthe vision awaits its appointed time;

it hastens to the endit will not lie.

If it seems slow, mwait for it;

nit will surely come; it will not delay.

Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him,

but othe righteous shall live by his faith.1

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

Shall not all these stake up their taunt against him, with scoffing and riddles for him, and say,

tWoe to him uwho heaps up what is not his own

for vhow long?

and wloads himself with pledges!

xWill not your debtors suddenly arise,

and those awake who will make you tremble?

Then you will be spoil for them.

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.

tWoe to him who gets evil gain for his house,

ato bset his nest on high,

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  tWoe 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  tWoe 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  pWhat 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.

Habakkuk's Prayer

A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, according to Shigionoth.

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.

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.

dHis brightness was like the light;

rays flashed from his hand;

and there he veiled his power.

eBefore him went pestilence,

and plague followed fat his heels.1

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.

I saw the tents of kCushan in affliction;

lthe curtains of the land of Midian did tremble.

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?

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;

he makes me htread on my ihigh places.

jTo the choirmaster: with kstringed4 instruments.