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Habakkuk: Chapter 1

To Habakkuk, complaining of the iniquity of the land, 1-4, is shown the fearful vengeance by the Chaldeans, 5-11. He complains that vengeance should be executed by those who are far worse, 12-17.

1 [The burden which Habakkuk the prophet saw.]

2 O LORD, how long shall I cry and you will not hear? I even cry out to you of violence, and you will not save!

3 Why do you show me iniquity and cause me to behold grievance? For devastation and violence are before me. And there is strife, and contention rises up.

4 Therefore, the law is slackened, and judgment never goes forth. For the wicked encompasses the righteous; therefore, perverted justice proceeds.

5 "Behold among the heathen and regard. Wonder and be astonished. For I will work a work in your days which you will not believe though it is told to you.

6 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.

7 They are terrible and dreadful. Their judgment and their dignity shall proceed from themselves.

8 Their horses are also 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 hastes to devour.

9 They shall all come for violence. Their faces shall swallow up the east wind, and they shall gather the captivity as the sand.

10 And they shall scoff at the kings and the princes shall be a scorn to them. They shall deride every stronghold, for they shall heap dust and take it.

11 Then his mind shall change and he shall pass over and offend, imputing his power to his god."

12 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.

13 You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look at iniquity. Why do you look upon those who deal treacherously, and keep silence when the wicked devours the man who is more righteous than he is?

14 You make men as the fish of the sea, as the creeping animals that have no ruler over them.

15 They take up all of them with the hook, they catch them in their net and gather them in their dragnet; therefore, they rejoice and are glad.

16 Therefore, they sacrifice to their net and burn incense to their dragnet, because by them their portion is fat and their food plenteous.

17 Shall they therefore empty their net and not spare to slay the nations continually?