The LORD's Avenging Wrath
1 1 An oracle concerning Nin'eveh. The book of the vision of Nahum of Elkosh.
2 The Lord is a jealous God and avenging, the Lord is avenging and wrathful; the Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies. 3 The Lord is slow to anger and of great might, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. 4 He rebukes the sea and makes it dry, he dries up all the rivers; Bashan and Carmel wither, the bloom of Lebanon fades. 5 The mountains quake before him, the hills melt; the earth is laid waste before him, the world and all that dwell therein. 6 Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the heat of his anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken asunder by him. 7 The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him. 8 But with an overflowing flood he will make a full end of his adversaries, and will pursue his enemies into darkness.
9 What do you plot against the Lord? He will make a full end; he will not take vengeance twice on his foes. 10 Like entangled thorns they are consumed, like dry stubble. 11 Did one not come out from you, who plotted evil against the Lord, and counseled villainy? 12 Thus says the Lord, "Though they be strong and many, they will be cut off and pass away. Though I have afflicted you, I will afflict you no more. 13 And now I will break his yoke from off you and will burst your bonds asunder." 14 The Lord has given commandment about you: "No more shall your name be perpetuated; from the house of your gods I will cut off the graven image and the molten image. I will make your grave, for you are vile."
The Tidings of Nineveh's Fall
15 Behold, on the mountains the feet of him who brings good tidings, who proclaims peace! Keep your feasts, O Judah, fulfil your vows, for never again shall the wicked come against you, he is utterly cut off.
2 1 The shatterer has come up against you. Man the ramparts; watch the road; gird your loins; collect all your strength. 2 (For the Lord is restoring the majesty of Jacob as the majesty of Israel, for plunderers have stripped them and ruined their branches.) 3 The shield of his mighty men is red, his soldiers are clothed in scarlet. The chariots flash like flame when mustered in array; the chargers prance. 4 The chariots rage in the streets, they rush to and fro through the squares; they gleam like torches, they dart like lightning. 5 The officers are summoned, they stumble as they go, they hasten to the wall, the mantelet is set up. 6 The river gates are opened, the palace is in dismay; 7 its mistress is stripped, she is carried off, her maidens lamenting, moaning like doves, and beating their breasts. 8 Nin'eveh is like a pool whose waters run away. "Halt! Halt!" they cry; but none turns back. 9 Plunder the silver, plunder the gold! There is no end of treasure, or wealth of every precious thing. 10 Desolate! Desolation and ruin! Hearts faint and knees tremble, anguish is on all loins, all faces grow pale!
11 Where is the lions' den, the cave of the young lions, where the lion brought his prey, where his cubs were, with none to disturb? 12 The lion tore enough for his whelps and strangled prey for his lionesses; he filled his caves with prey and his dens with torn flesh.
The Utter Ruin of Nineveh
13 Behold, I am against you, says the Lord of hosts, and I will burn your chariots in smoke, and the sword shall devour your young lions; I will cut off your prey from the earth, and the voice of your messengers shall no more be heard.
3 1 Woe to the bloody city, all full of lies and booty--no end to the plunder! 2 The crack of whip, and rumble of wheel, galloping horse and bounding chariot! 3 Horsemen charging, flashing sword and glittering spear, hosts of slain, heaps of corpses, dead bodies without end--they stumble over the bodies! 4 And all for the countless harlotries of the harlot, graceful and of deadly charms, who betrays nations with her harlotries, and peoples with her charms. 5 Behold, I am against you, says the Lord of hosts, and will lift up your skirts over your face; and I will let nations look on your nakedness and kingdoms on your shame. 6 I will throw filth at you and treat you with contempt, and make you a gazingstock. 7 And all who look on you will shrink from you and say, Wasted is Nin'eveh; who will bemoan her? whence shall I seek comforters for her?
8 Are you better than Thebes that sat by the Nile, with water around her, her rampart a sea, and water her wall? 9 Ethiopia was her strength, Egypt too, and that without limit; Put and the Libyans were her helpers. 10 Yet she was carried away, she went into captivity; her little ones were dashed in pieces at the head of every street; for her honored men lots were cast, and all her great men were bound in chains. 11 You also will be drunken, you will be dazed; you will seek a refuge from the enemy. 12 All your fortresses are like fig trees with first-ripe figs--if shaken they fall into the mouth of the eater. 13 Behold, your troops are women in your midst. The gates of your land are wide open to your foes; fire has devoured your bars. 14 Draw water for the siege, strengthen your forts; go into the clay, tread the mortar, take hold of the brick mold! 15 There will the fire devour you, the sword will cut you off. It will devour you like the locust. Multiply yourselves like the locust, multiply like the grasshopper! 16 You increased your merchants more than the stars of the heavens. The locust spreads its wings and flies away. 17 Your princes are like grasshoppers, your scribes like clouds of locusts settling on the fences in a day of cold--when the sun rises, they fly away; no one knows where they are. 18 Your shepherds are asleep, O king of Assyria; your nobles slumber. Your people are scattered on the mountains with none to gather them. 19 There is no assuaging your hurt, your wound is grievous. All who hear the news of you clap their hands over you. For upon whom has not come your unceasing evil?
Habakkuk Complains of Injustice
1 1 The oracle of God which Habak'kuk the prophet saw. 2 O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and thou wilt not hear? Or cry to thee "Violence!" and thou wilt not save? 3 Why dost thou make me see wrongs and look upon trouble? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. 4 So the law is slacked and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous, so justice goes forth perverted.
The Chaldeans Will Punish Judah
5 Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told. 6 For lo, I am rousing the Chalde'ans, that bitter and hasty nation, who march through the breadth of the earth, to seize habitations not their own. 7 Dread and terrible are they; their justice and dignity proceed from themselves. 8 Their horses are swifter than leopards, more fierce than the evening wolves; their horsemen press proudly on. Yea, their horsemen come from afar; they fly like an eagle swift to devour. 9 They all come for violence; terror of them goes before them. They gather captives like sand. 10 At kings they scoff, and of rulers they make sport. They laugh at every fortress, for they heap up earth and take it. 11 Then they sweep by like the wind and go on, guilty men, whose own might is their god!
Habakkuk Remonstrates with the LORD
12 Art thou not from everlasting, O Lord my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O Lord, thou hast ordained them as a judgment; and thou, O Rock, hast established them for chastisement. 13 Thou who art of purer eyes than to behold evil and canst not look on wrong, why dost thou look on faithless men, and art silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he? 14 For thou makest men like the fish of the sea, like crawling things that have no ruler. 15 He 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. 16 Therefore he sacrifices to his net and burns incense to his seine; for by them he lives in luxury, and his food is rich. 17 Is he then to keep on emptying his net, and mercilessly slaying nations for ever?
The LORD's Answer to Habakkuk
2 1 I will take my stand to watch, and station myself on the tower, and look forth to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint. 2 And the Lord answered me: "Write the vision; make it plain upon tablets, so he may run who reads it. 3 For still the vision awaits its time; it hastens to the end--it will not lie. If it seem slow, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay. 4 Behold, he whose soul is not upright in him shall fail, but the righteous shall live by his faith.
5 Moreover, wine is treacherous; the arrogant man shall not abide. His greed is as wide as Sheol; like death he has never enough. He gathers for himself all nations, and collects as his own all peoples."
Woes on the Unrighteous
6 Shall not all these take up their taunt against him, in scoffing derision of him, and say, "Woe to him who heaps up what is not his own--for how long? --and loads himself with pledges!" 7 Will not your debtors suddenly arise, and those awake who will make you tremble? Then you will be booty for them. 8 Because you have plundered many nations, all the remnant of the peoples shall plunder you, for the blood of men and violence to the earth, to cities and all who dwell therein. 9 Woe to him who gets evil gain for his house, to set his nest on high, to be safe from the reach of harm! 10 You have devised shame to your house by cutting off many peoples; you have forfeited your life. 11 For the stone will cry out from the wall, and the beam from the woodwork respond. 12 Woe to him who builds a town with blood, and founds a city on iniquity! 13 Behold, is it not from the Lord of hosts that peoples labor only for fire, and nations weary themselves for nought? 14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
15 Woe to him who makes his neighbors drink of the cup of his wrath, and makes them drunk, to gaze on their shame! 16 You will be sated with contempt instead of glory. Drink, yourself, and stagger! The cup in the Lord's right hand will come around to you, and shame will come upon your glory! 17 The violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you; the destruction of the beasts will terrify you, for the blood of men and violence to the earth, to cities and all who dwell therein. 18 What profit is an idol when its maker has shaped it, a metal image, a teacher of lies? For the workman trusts in his own creation when he makes dumb idols! 19 Woe to him who says to a wooden thing, Awake; to a dumb stone, Arise! Can this give revelation? Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in it. 20 But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.
3 1 A prayer of Habak'kuk the prophet, according to Shigion'oth. 2 O Lord, I have heard the report of thee, and thy work, O Lord, do I fear. In the midst of the years renew it; in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy.
3 God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. Selah 4 His brightness was like the light, rays flashed from his hand; and there he veiled his power. 5 Before him went pestilence, and plague followed close behind. 6 He stood and measured the earth; he looked and shook the nations; then the eternal mountains were scattered, the everlasting hills sank low. His ways were as of old. 7 I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction; the curtains of the land of Mid'ian did tremble. 8 Was thy wrath against the rivers, O Lord? Was thy anger against the rivers, or thy indignation against the sea, when thou didst ride upon thy horses, upon thy chariot of victory? 9 Thou didst strip the sheath from thy bow, and put the arrows to the string. Selah Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers. 10 The mountains saw thee, and writhed; the raging waters swept on; the deep gave forth its voice, it lifted its hands on high. 11 The sun and moon stood still in their habitation at the light of thine arrows as they sped, at the flash of thy glittering spear. 12 Thou didst bestride the earth in fury, thou didst trample the nations in anger. 13 Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, for the salvation of thy anointed. Thou didst crush the head of the wicked, laying him bare from thigh to neck. Selah 14 Thou didst pierce with thy shafts the head of his warriors, who came like a whirlwind to scatter me, rejoicing as if to devour the poor in secret. 15 Thou didst trample the sea with thy horses, the surging of mighty waters.
16 I hear, and my body trembles, my lips quiver at the sound; rottenness enters into my bones, my steps totter beneath me. I will quietly wait for the day of trouble to come upon people who invade us. 17 Though the fig tree do not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. 19 GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like hinds' feet, he makes me tread upon my high places. To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.