Habakkuk 2

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.

Zephaniah Illustration

Zephaniah

The word of the Lord that came to Zephaniah the son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah, ain the days of bJosiah the son of Amon, king of Judah.

The Coming Judgment on Judah

cI will utterly sweep away everything

from the face of the earth, declares the Lord.

I will sweep away dman and beast;

I will sweep away the birds of the heavens

and dthe fish of the sea,

and ethe rubble1 with the wicked.

I will fcut off mankind

from the face of the earth, declares the Lord.

I will stretch out my hand against Judah

and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem;

gand I will cut off from this place the remnant of Baal

and the name of the idolatrous priests along with the priests,

hthose who bow down on the roofs

to the host of the heavens,

ithose who bow down and swear to the Lord

and yet swear by jMilcom,2

kthose who have turned back from following the Lord,

lwho do not seek the Lord or inquire of him.

The Day of the Lord Is Near

mBe silent before the Lord God!

For nthe day of the Lord is near;

othe Lord has prepared a sacrifice

and pconsecrated his guests.

And on the day of the Lord's sacrifice

qI will punish the officials and the king's sons

and rall who array themselves in foreign attire.

On that day I will punish

everyone swho leaps over the threshold,

and those who fill their master's3 house

with violence and fraud.

10  On that day, declares the Lord,

a cry will be heard from tthe Fish Gate,

ua wail from vthe Second Quarter,

a loud crash from the hills.

11  wWail, O inhabitants of the Mortar!

For all the traders4 are no more;

all who weigh out silver are cut off.

12  At that time xI will search Jerusalem with lamps,

and I will punish the men

ywho are complacent,5

zthose who say in their hearts,

The Lord will not do good,

nor will he do ill.

13  Their goods shall be aplundered,

and their houses laid waste.

bThough they build houses,

they shall not inhabit them;

cthough they plant vineyards,

they shall not drink wine from them.

14  dThe great day of the Lord is near,

near and hastening fast;

the sound of the day of the Lord is bitter;

ethe mighty man cries aloud there.

15  fA day of wrath is that day,

a day of distress and anguish,

a day of gruin and devastation,

ha day of darkness and gloom,

ha day of clouds and thick darkness,

16  ia day of trumpet blast and battle cry

jagainst the fortified cities

and against the lofty battlements.

17  kI will bring distress on mankind,

so that they shall walk llike the blind,

because they have sinned against the Lord;

mtheir blood shall be poured out like dust,

and their flesh nlike dung.

18  oNeither their silver nor their gold

shall be able to deliver them

on the day of the wrath of the Lord.

pIn the fire of his jealousy,

qall the earth shall be consumed;

rfor a full and sudden end

he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth.