Habakkuk 1
New American Bible Revised Edition

1The oracle which Habakkuk the prophet received in a vision.

Habakkuk’s First Complaint

2How long, O Lord, must I cry for help*

and you do not listen?a

Or cry out to you, “Violence!”

and you do not intervene?

3Why do you let me see iniquity?

why do you simply gaze at evil?

Destruction and violence are before me;b

there is strife and discord.

4This is why the law is numb*

and justice never comes,

For the wicked surround the just;c

this is why justice comes forth perverted.

God’s Response

5* Look over the nations and see!

Be utterly amazed!

For a work is being done in your days

that you would not believe, were it told.d

6For now I am raising up the Chaldeans,e

that bitter and impulsive people,

Who march the breadth of the land

to take dwellings not their own.

7They are terrifying and dreadful;

their right and their exalted position are of their own making.

8Swifter than leopards are their horses,

and faster than desert wolves.

Their horses spring forward;

they come from far away;

they fly like an eagle hastening to devour.

9All of them come for violence,

their combined onslaught, a stormwind

to gather up captives like sand.

10They scoff at kings,

ridicule princes;

They laugh at any fortress,

heap up an earthen ramp, and conquer it.

11Then they sweep through like the wind and vanish—

they make their own strength their god!*

Habakkuk’s Second Complaint

12Are you not from of old, O Lord,

my holy God, immortal?f

Lord, you have appointed them for judgment,*

O Rock,* you have set them in place to punish!

13Your eyes are too pure to look upon wickedness,

and the sight of evil you cannot endure.

Why, then, do you gaze on the faithless in silence

while the wicked devour those more just than themselves?

14You have made mortals like the fish in the sea,

like creeping things without a leader.

15He* brings them all up with a hook,

and hauls them away with his net;

He gathers them in his fishing net,

and then rejoices and exults.

16Therefore he makes sacrifices to his net,*

and burns incense to his fishing net;

For thanks to them his portion is rich,

and his meal lavish.

17Shall they, then, keep on drawing his sword

to slaughter nations without mercy?

Book Introduction


Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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