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Habakkuk 1 (English Standard Version)

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1 1The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw.

Habakkuk's Complaint

2 O LORD, 2how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you 3"Violence!" and you will not save? 3 4Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction 5and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. 4 6So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. 7For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted.

The Lord's Answer

5 8"Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. 9For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told. 6 For behold, 10I am raising up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, 11who march through the breadth of the earth, 12to seize dwellings not their own. 7 They are dreaded and fearsome; 13their justice and dignity go forth from themselves. 8 14Their horses are swifter than leopards, more fierce than 15the evening wolves; their horsemen press proudly on. Their horsemen come from afar; 16they fly like an eagle swift to devour. 9 They all come 17for violence, all their faces forward. They gather captives 18like sand. 10 At kings they scoff, and at rulers they laugh. 19They laugh at every fortress, for 20they pile up earth and take it. 11 Then they sweep by like the wind and go on, 21guilty men, 22whose own might is their god!"

Habakkuk's Second Complaint

12 Are you not 23from everlasting, O LORD my God, my Holy One? 24We shall not die. O LORD, 25you have ordained them as a judgment, and you, O 26Rock, have established them for reproof. 13 You who are 27of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong, 28why do you idly look at traitors and 29remain silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he? 14 You make mankind like the fish of the sea, like crawling things that have no ruler. 15 30He brings all of them up 31with a hook; he drags them out with his net; he gathers them in his dragnet; so he rejoices and is glad. 16 32Therefore he sacrifices to his net and makes offerings to his dragnet; for by them he lives in luxury,a and his food is rich. 17 Is he then to keep on emptying his net 33and mercilessly killing nations forever?
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