Habakkuk 1
Contemporary English Version

1I am Habakkuk the prophet. And this is the message+ that the Lord gave me.

Habakkuk Complains to the Lord

2Our Lord, how long must I beg

for your help

before you listen?

How long before you save us

from all this violence?

3Why do you make me watch

such terrible injustice?

Why do you allow violence,

lawlessness, crime, and cruelty

to spread everywhere?

4Laws cannot be enforced;

justice is always the loser;

criminals crowd out honest people

and twist the laws around.

The Lord Answers Habakkuk

5 Look and be amazed

at what's happening

among the nations!

Even if you were told,

you would never believe

what's taking place now.

6 I am sending the Babylonians.

They are fierce and cruel—

marching across the land,

conquering cities and towns.

7How fearsome and frightening.

Their only laws and rules

are the ones they make up.

8Their cavalry troops are faster

than leopards,

more ferocious than wolves

hunting at sunset,

and swifter than hungry eagles

suddenly swooping down.

9They are eager to destroy,+

and they gather captives

like handfuls of sand.

10They make fun of rulers

and laugh at fortresses,

while building dirt mounds

so they can capture cities.+

11Then suddenly they disappear

like a gust of wind—

those sinful people who worship

their own strength.

Habakkuk Complains Again

12Holy Lord God, mighty rock,+

you are eternal,

and we+ are safe from death.

You are using those Babylonians

to judge and punish others.+

13But you can't stand sin or wrong.

So don't sit by in silence

while they gobble up people

who are better than they are.

14The people you put on this earth

are like fish or reptiles

without a leader.

15Then an enemy comes along

and takes them captive

with hooks and nets.

It makes him so happy

16that he offers sacrifices

to his fishing nets,

because they make him rich

and provide choice foods.

17Will he keep hauling in his nets

and destroying nations

without showing mercy?


1.1 message: Or “vision.”
1.9 eager to destroy: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
1.10 dirt mounds … cities: Attacking armies often build dirt mounds against city walls to make it easier for them to climb the wall and capture the city.
1.12 mighty rock: The Hebrew text has “rock,” which is sometimes used in poetry to compare the Lord to a mountain where his people can run for protection from their enemies.
1.12 we: Hebrew; one ancient Jewish tradition “you.”
1.12 You … others: Or “You will judge and punish those Babylonians.”

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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