1The oracle which Habakkuk the prophet saw.
2How long, O LORD, will I call for help, And You will not hear? I cry out to You, "Violence!" Yet You do not save.
3Why do You make me see iniquity, And cause [me] to look on wickedness? Yes, destruction and violence are before me; Strife exists and contention arises.
4Therefore the law is ignored And justice is never upheld. For the wicked surround the righteous; Therefore justice comes out perverted.
5"Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because [I am] doing something in your days-- You would not believe if you were told.
6"For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans, That fierce and impetuous people Who march throughout the earth To seize dwelling places which are not theirs.
7"They are dreaded and feared; Their justice and authority originate with themselves.
8"Their horses are swifter than leopards And keener than wolves in the evening. Their horsemen come galloping, Their horsemen come from afar; They fly like an eagle swooping [down] to devour.
9"All of them come for violence. Their horde of faces [moves] forward. They collect captives like sand.
10"They mock at kings And rulers are a laughing matter to them. They laugh at every fortress And heap up rubble to capture it.
11"Then they will sweep through [like] the wind and pass on. But they will be held guilty, They whose strength is their god."
12Are You not from everlasting, O LORD, my God, my Holy One? We will not die. You, O LORD, have appointed them to judge; And You, O Rock, have established them to correct.
13[Your] eyes are too pure to approve evil, And You can not look on wickedness [with favor]. Why do You look with favor On those who deal treacherously? Why are You silent when the wicked swallow up Those more righteous than they?
14[Why] have You made men like the fish of the sea, Like creeping things without a ruler over them?
15[The Chaldeans] bring all of them up with a hook, Drag them away with their net, And gather them together in their fishing net. Therefore they rejoice and are glad.
16Therefore they offer a sacrifice to their net And burn incense to their fishing net; Because through these things their catch is large, And their food is plentiful.
17Will they therefore empty their net And continually slay nations without sparing?