1The oracle that the prophet Habakkuk saw.
The Prophet's Complaint
2O Lord, how long shall I cry for help,
and you will not listen?
Or cry to you “Violence!”
and you will not save?3Why do you make me see wrongdoing
and look at trouble?
Destruction and violence are before me;
strife and contention arise.4So the law becomes slack
and justice never prevails.
The wicked surround the righteous—
therefore judgment comes forth perverted.
5Look at the nations, and see!
Be astonished! Be astounded!
For a work is being done in your days
that you would not believe if you were told.6For I am rousing the Chaldeans,
that fierce and impetuous nation,
who march through the breadth of the earth
to seize dwellings not their own.7Dread and fearsome are they;
their justice and dignity proceed from themselves.8Their horses are swifter than leopards,
more menacing than wolves at dusk;
their horses charge.
Their horsemen come from far away;
they fly like an eagle swift to devour.9They all come for violence,
with faces pressing forward;
they gather captives like sand.10At kings they scoff,
and of rulers they make sport.
They laugh at every fortress,
and heap up earth to take it.11Then they sweep by like the wind;
they transgress and become guilty;
their own might is their god!
12Are you not from of old,
O Lord my God, my Holy One?
You shall not die.
O Lord, you have marked them for judgment;
and you, O Rock, have established them for punishment.13Your eyes are too pure to behold evil,
and you cannot look on wrongdoing;
why do you look on the treacherous,
and are silent when the wicked swallow
those more righteous than they?14You have made people like the fish of the sea,
like crawling things that have no ruler.
15The enemy brings all of them up with a hook;
he drags them out with his net,
he gathers them in his seine;
so he rejoices and exults.16Therefore he sacrifices to his net
and makes offerings to his seine;
for by them his portion is lavish,
and his food is rich.17Is he then to keep on emptying his net,
and destroying nations without mercy?