The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw.
How long, Lord, must I call for help and You do not listen, or cry out to You about violence and You do not save?
Why do You force me to look at injustice? Why do You tolerate wrongdoing? Oppression and violence are right in front of me. Strife is ongoing, and conflict escalates.
This is why the law is ineffective and justice never emerges. For the wicked restrict the righteous; therefore, justice comes out perverted.
Look at the nations and observe- be utterly astounded! For something is taking place in your days that you will not believe when you hear about it.
Look! I am raising up the Chaldeans, that bitter, impetuous nation that marches across the earth's open spaces to seize territories not its own.
They are fierce and terrifying; their views of justice and sovereignty stem from themselves.
Their horses are swifter than leopards and more fierce than wolves of the night. Their horsemen charge ahead; their horsemen come from distant [lands]. They fly like an eagle, swooping to devour.
All of them come to do violence; their faces are set in determination. They gather prisoners like sand.
They mock kings, and rulers are a joke to them. They laugh at every fortress and build siege ramps to capture it.
Then they sweep by like the wind and pass through. They are guilty; their strength is their god.
Are You not from eternity, Yahweh my God? My Holy One, You will not die. Lord, You appointed them to execute judgment; [my] Rock, You destined them to punish [us].
[Your] eyes are too pure to look on evil, and You cannot tolerate wrongdoing. So why do You tolerate those who are treacherous? Why are You silent while one who is wicked swallows up one who is more righteous than himself?
You have made mankind like the fish of the sea, like marine creatures that have no ruler.
The Chaldeans pull them all up with a hook, catch them in their dragnet, and gather them in their fishing net; that is why they are glad and rejoice.
That is why they sacrifice to their dragnet and burn incense to their fishing net, for by these things their portion is rich and their food plentiful.
Will they therefore empty their net and continually slaughter nations without mercy?