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Habakkuk’s First Complaint
1 This is the burden that Habakkuk the prophet received in a vision:
2 How long, O LORD, must I call for help
but You do not hear,
or cry out to You, “Violence!”
but You do not save?
3 Why do You make me see iniquity?
Why do You tolerate wrongdoing?
Destruction and violence are before me.
Strife is ongoing, and conflict abounds.
4 Therefore the law is paralyzed,
and justice never goes forth.
For the wicked hem in the righteous,
The LORD’s Answer
5 “Look at the nations and observe—
be utterly astounded! a
For I am doing a work in your days
that you would never believe
even if someone told you. b
6 For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans c —
that ruthless and impetuous nation
which marches through the breadth of the earth
to seize dwellings not their own.
7 They are dreaded and feared;
from themselves they derive justice and sovereignty.
8 Their horses are swifter than leopards,
fiercer than wolves of the night.
Their horsemen charge ahead,
and their cavalry comes from afar.
They fly like a vulture,
swooping down to devour.
9 All of them come bent on violence;
their hordes advance like the east wind;
they gather prisoners like sand.
10 They scoff at kings
and make rulers an object of scorn.
They laugh at every fortress
and build up siege ramps to seize it.
11 Then they sweep by like the wind
and pass on through.
They are guilty;
their own strength is their god.”
Habakkuk’s Second Complaint
12 Are You not from everlasting,
O LORD, my God, my Holy One?
We will not die.
O LORD, You have appointed them
to execute judgment;
O Rock, You have established them
13 Your eyes are too pure to look upon evil,
and You cannot tolerate wrongdoing.
So why do You tolerate the faithless?
Why are You silent
while the wicked swallow up
those more righteous than themselves?
14 You have made men like the fish of the sea,
like creeping things that have no ruler.
15 The foe pulls all of them up d with a hook;
he catches them in his dragnet,
and gathers them in his fishing net;
so he rejoices gladly.
16 Therefore he sacrifices to his dragnet
and burns incense to his fishing net,
for by these things his portion is sumptuous
and his food is rich.
17 Will he, therefore, empty his net
and continue to slay nations without mercy?
5 a LXX Look, you scoffers, wonder and perish!
5 b Cited in Acts 13:41
6 c That is, the Babylonians
15 d Literally He pulls all of them up