Chapter 1

    The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see.

  1. O Lord, how long shall I cry and you will not hear, even cry out unto you of violence and you will not save? Why do you show me iniquity and cause me to behold grievance? For spoiling and violence are before me, and there are that raise up strife and contention. Therefore, the law is slacked, and judgment does never go forth. For the wicked does turn the righteous, therefore wrong judgment proceeds.
  2. Behold among the heathen, and regard and wonder marvelously. For I will work a work in your days which you will not believe, though it be told to you. For behold, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land to possess the dwelling places that are not theirs. They are terrible and dreadful. Their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves. Their horses also are swifter than the leopards and are more fierce than the evening wolves. And their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far. They shall fly as the eagle that hastens to eat. They shall come all for violence, their faces shall swallow up as the east wind, and they shall gather the captives as the sand. And they shall scoff at the kings, and the princes shall be a scorn unto them. They shall deride every stronghold, for they shall heap dust and take it. Then shall his mind change, and he shall pass over and offend, imputing this his power unto his god.
  3. Are you not from everlasting, O Lord my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O Lord, you have ordained them for judgment, and, O mighty God, you have established them for correction. You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on iniquity. Why do you look upon them that deal treacherously and hold your tongue when the wicked devours the man that is more righteous than he? And makes men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things that have no ruler over them? They take up all of them with the fishhook. They catch them in their net and gather them in their drag; therefore, they rejoice and are glad. Therefore, they sacrifice unto their net and burn incense unto their drag, because by them their portion is fat and their food plenteous. Shall they therefore empty their net and not spare continually to slay the nations?
  4. I will stand upon my watch and set myself upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.
  5. And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision and make it plain upon plates, that he may run that reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie. Though it delay, wait for it, because it will surely come — it will not fail. Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him. But the just shall live by his faith.
  6. Yea also, because he transgresses by wine, he is a proud man, neither keeps at home, who enlarges his desire as hell and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathers unto himself all nations and heaps unto himself all people. Shall not all these take up a parable against him and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increases that which is not his. How long? And to him that loads himself with thick clay, Shall they not rise up suddenly that shall bite you, and awake that shall vex you? And you shall be for prey unto them. Because you have spoiled many nations, all the remnant of the people shall spoil you — because of men’s blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.
  7. Woe to him that covets an evil covetousness to his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of evil. You have consulted shame to your house by cutting off many people, and have sinned against your soul. For the stone shall cry out of the wall and the beam out of the timber shall answer it.
  8. Woe to him that builds a town with blood and establishes a city by iniquity. Behold, is it not of the Lord of Hosts that the people shall labor in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity? For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
  9. Woe unto him that gives his neighbor drink, that puts your bottle to him and makes him drunk also, that you may look on their nakedness. You are filled with shame for glory. Drink also, and let your foreskin be uncovered. The cup of the Lord’s right hand shall be turned unto you, and shameful spewing shall be on your glory. For the violence of Lebanon shall cover you, and the spoil of beasts, which made them afraid because of men’s blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.
  10. What profits the engraved image, that the maker thereof has engraved it — the molten image and a teacher of lies — that the maker of his work trusts therein to make dumb idols? Woe unto him that says to the wood, Awake — to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach. Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it. But the Lord is in his holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before him.