The LORD's Avenging Wrath
1 1 An oracle about Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.
2 Yahweh is a jealous God and avenges. Yahweh avenges and is full of wrath. Yahweh takes vengeance on his adversaries, and he maintains wrath against his enemies. 3 Yahweh is slow to anger, and great in power, and will by no means leave the guilty unpunished. Yahweh has his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. 4 He rebukes the sea, and makes it dry, and dries up all the rivers. Bashan languishes, and Carmel; and the flower of Lebanon languishes. 5 The mountains quake before him, and the hills melt away. The earth trembles at his presence, yes, the world, and all who dwell in it. 6 Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the fierceness of his anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken apart by him. 7 Yahweh is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and he knows those who take refuge in him. 8 But with an overflowing flood, he will make a full end of her place, and will pursue his enemies into darkness.
9 What do you plot against Yahweh? He will make a full end. Affliction won’t rise up the second time. 10 For entangled like thorns, and drunken as with their drink, they are consumed utterly like dry stubble. 11 There is one gone forth out of you, who devises evil against Yahweh, who counsels wickedness. 12 Thus says Yahweh: “Though they be in full strength, and likewise many, even so they will be cut down, and he shall pass away. Though I have afflicted you, I will afflict you no more. 13 Now will I break his yoke from off you, and will burst your bonds apart.” 14 Yahweh has commanded concerning you: “No more descendants will bear your name. Out of the house of your gods, will I cut off the engraved 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 news, who publishes peace! Keep your feasts, Judah! Perform your vows, for the wicked one will no more pass through you. He is utterly cut off.
2 1 He who dashes in pieces has come up against you. Keep the fortress! Watch the way! Strengthen your waist! Fortify your power mightily! 2 For Yahweh restores the excellency of Jacob, as the excellency of Israel; for the destroyers have destroyed them, and ruined their vine branches. 3 The shield of his mighty men is made red. The valiant men are in scarlet. The chariots flash with steel in the day of his preparation, and the pine spears are brandished. 4 The chariots rage in the streets. They rush back and forth in the broad ways. Their appearance is like torches. They run like the lightnings. 5 He summons his picked troops. They stumble on their way. They dash to its wall, and the protective shield is put in place. 6 The gates of the rivers are opened, and the palace is dissolved. 7 It is decreed: she is uncovered, she is carried away; and her handmaids moan as with the voice of doves, beating on their breasts. 8 But Nineveh has been from of old like a pool of water, yet they flee away. “Stop! Stop!” they cry, but no one looks back. 9 Take the spoil of silver. Take the spoil of gold, for there is no end of the store, the glory of all goodly furniture. 10 She is empty, void, and waste. The heart melts, the knees knock together, their bodies and faces have grown pale.
11 Where is the den of the lions, and the feeding place of the young lions, where the lion and the lioness walked, the lion’s cubs, and no one made them afraid? 12 The lion tore in pieces enough for his cubs, and strangled for his lionesses, and filled his caves with the kill, and his dens with prey.
The Utter Ruin of Nineveh
13 “Behold, I am against you,” says Yahweh of Armies, “and I will burn her chariots in the smoke, and the sword will devour your young lions; and I will cut off your prey from the earth, and the voice of your messengers will no longer be heard.”
3 1 Woe to the bloody city! It is all full of lies and robbery. The prey doesn’t depart. 2 The noise of the whip, the noise of the rattling of wheels, prancing horses, and bounding chariots, 3 the horseman mounting, and the flashing sword, the glittering spear, and a multitude of slain, and a great heap of corpses, and there is no end of the bodies. They stumble on their bodies, 4 because of the multitude of the prostitution of the alluring prostitute, the mistress of witchcraft, who sells nations through her prostitution, and families through her witchcraft. 5 “Behold, I am against you,” says Yahweh of Armies, “and I will lift your skirts over your face. I will show the nations your nakedness, and the kingdoms your shame. 6 I will throw abominable filth on you, and make you vile, and will set you a spectacle. 7 It will happen that all those who look at you will flee from you, and say, ‘Nineveh is laid waste! Who will mourn for her?’ Where will I seek comforters for you?”
8 Are you better than No-Amon,  who was situated among the rivers, who had the waters around her; whose rampart was the sea, and her wall was of the sea? 9 Cush and Egypt were her boundless strength. Put and Libya were her helpers. 10 Yet was she carried away. She went into captivity. Her young children also were dashed in pieces at the head of all the streets, and they cast lots for her honorable men, and all her great men were bound in chains. 11 You also will be drunken. You will be hidden. You also will seek a stronghold because of the enemy. 12 All your fortresses will be like fig trees with the first-ripe figs: if they are shaken, they fall into the mouth of the eater. 13 Behold, your troops in your midst are women. The gates of your land are set wide open to your enemies. The fire has devoured your bars. 14 Draw water for the siege. Strengthen your fortresses. Go into the clay, and tread the mortar. Make the brick kiln strong. 15 There the fire will devour you. The sword will cut you off. It will devour you like the grasshopper. Multiply like grasshoppers. Multiply like the locust. 16 You have increased your merchants more than the stars of the skies. The grasshopper strips, and flees away. 17 Your guards are like the locusts, and your officials like the swarms of locusts, which settle on the walls on a cold day, but when the sun appears, they flee away, and their place is not known where they are. 18 Your shepherds slumber, king of Assyria. Your nobles lie down. Your people are scattered on the mountains, and there is no one to gather them. 19 There is no healing your wound, for your injury is fatal. All who hear the report of you clap their hands over you; for who hasn’t felt your endless cruelty?
Habakkuk Complains of Injustice
1 1 The oracle which Habakkuk the prophet saw. 2 Yahweh, how long will I cry, and you will not hear? I cry out to you “Violence!” and will you not save? 3 Why do you show me iniquity, and look at perversity? For destruction and violence are before me. There is strife, and contention rises up. 4 Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth; for the wicked surround the righteous; therefore justice goes forth perverted.
The Chaldeans Will Punish Judah
5 “Look among the nations, watch, and wonder marvelously; for I am working a work in your days, which you will not believe though it is told you. 6 For, behold, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, that march through the breadth of the earth, to possess dwelling places that are not theirs. 7 They are feared and dreaded. Their judgment and their dignity proceed from themselves. 8 Their horses also are swifter than leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves. Their horsemen press proudly on. Yes, their horsemen come from afar. They fly as an eagle that hurries to devour. 9 All of them come for violence. Their hordes face the desert. He gathers prisoners like sand. 10 Yes, he scoffs at kings, and princes are a derision to him. He laughs at every stronghold, for he builds up an earthen ramp, and takes it. 11 Then he sweeps by like the wind, and goes on. He is indeed guilty, whose strength is his god.”
Habakkuk Remonstrates with the LORD
12 Aren’t you from everlasting, Yahweh my God, my Holy One? We will not die. Yahweh, you have appointed him for judgment. You, Rock, have established him to punish. 13 You who have purer eyes than to see evil, and who cannot look on perversity, why do you tolerate those who deal treacherously, and keep silent when the wicked swallows up the man who is more righteous than he, 14 and make men like the fish of the sea, like the creeping things, that have no ruler over them? 15 He takes up all of them with the hook. He catches them in his net, and gathers them in his dragnet. Therefore he rejoices and is glad. 16 Therefore he sacrifices to his net, and burns incense to his dragnet, because by them his life is luxurious, and his food is good. 17 Will he therefore continually empty his net, and kill the nations without mercy?
The LORD's Answer to Habakkuk
2 1 I will stand at my watch, and set myself on the ramparts, and will look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint. 2 Yahweh answered me, “Write the vision, and make it plain on tablets, that he who runs may read it. 3 For the vision is yet for the appointed time, and it hurries toward the end, and won’t prove false. Though it takes time, wait for it; because it will surely come. It won’t delay. 4 Behold, his soul is puffed up. It is not upright in him, but the righteous will live by his faith.
5 Yes, moreover, wine is treacherous. A haughty man who doesn’t stay at home, who enlarges his desire as Sheol, and he is like death, and can’t be satisfied, but gathers to himself all nations, and heaps to himself all peoples.
Woes on the Unrighteous
6 Won’t all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, ‘Woe to him who increases that which is not his, and who enriches himself by extortion! How long?’ 7 Won’t your debtors rise up suddenly, and wake up those who make you tremble, and you will be their victim? 8 Because you have plundered many nations, all the remnant of the peoples will plunder you, because of men’s blood, and for the violence done to the land, to the city and to all who dwell in it. 9 Woe to him who gets an evil gain for his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the hand of evil! 10 You have devised shame to your house, by cutting off many peoples, and have sinned against your soul. 11 For the stone will cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the woodwork will answer it. 12 Woe to him who builds a town with blood, and establishes a city by iniquity! 13 Behold, isn’t it of Yahweh of Armies that the peoples labor for the fire, and the nations weary themselves for vanity? 14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of Yahweh, as the waters cover the sea.
15 “Woe to him who gives his neighbor drink, pouring your inflaming wine until they are drunk, so that you may gaze at their naked bodies! 16 You are filled with shame, and not glory. You will also drink, and be exposed! The cup of Yahweh’s right hand will come around to you, and disgrace will cover your glory. 17 For the violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you, and the destruction of the animals, which made them afraid; because of men’s blood, and for the violence done to the land, to every city and to those who dwell in them. 18 “What value does the engraved image have, that its maker has engraved it; the molten image, even the teacher of lies, that he who fashions its form trusts in it, to make mute idols? 19 Woe to him who says to the wood, ‘Awake!’ or to the mute stone, ‘Arise!’ Shall this teach? Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in its midst. 20 But Yahweh is in his holy temple. Let all the earth be silent before him!”
3 1 A prayer of Habakkuk, the prophet, set to victorious music. 2 Yahweh, I have heard of your fame.
I stand in awe of your deeds, Yahweh.
Renew your work in the midst of the years.
In the midst of the years make it known.
In wrath, you remember mercy.
3 God came from Teman,
the Holy One from Mount Paran. [selah]Selah.[/selah]
His glory covered the heavens,
and his praise filled the earth. 4 His splendor is like the sunrise.
Rays shine from his hand, where his power is hidden. 5 Plague went before him,
and pestilence followed his feet. 6 He stood, and shook the earth.
He looked, and made the nations tremble.
The ancient mountains were crumbled.
The age-old hills collapsed.
His ways are eternal. 7 I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction.
The dwellings of the land of Midian trembled. 8 Was Yahweh displeased with the rivers?
Was your anger against the rivers,
or your wrath against the sea,
that you rode on your horses,
on your chariots of salvation? 9 You uncovered your bow.
You called for your sworn arrows. [selah]Selah.[/selah]
You split the earth with rivers. 10 The mountains saw you, and were afraid.
The storm of waters passed by.
The deep roared and lifted up its hands on high. 11 The sun and moon stood still in the sky,
at the light of your arrows as they went,
at the shining of your glittering spear. 12 You marched through the land in wrath.
You threshed the nations in anger. 13 You went forth for the salvation of your people,
for the salvation of your anointed.
You crushed the head of the land of wickedness.
You stripped them head to foot. [selah]Selah.[/selah] 14 You pierced the heads of his warriors with their own spears.
They came as a whirlwind to scatter me,
gloating as if to devour the wretched in secret. 15 You trampled the sea with your horses,
churning mighty waters.
16 I heard, and my body trembled.
My lips quivered at the voice.
Rottenness enters into my bones, and I tremble in my place,
because I must wait quietly for the day of trouble,
for the coming up of the people who invade us. 17 For though the fig tree doesn’t flourish,
nor fruit be in the vines;
the labor of the olive fails,
the fields yield no food;
the flocks are cut off from the fold,
and there is no herd in the stalls: 18 yet I will rejoice in Yahweh.
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! 19 Yahweh, the Lord, is my strength.
He makes my feet like deer’s feet,
and enables me to go in high places.
For the music director, on my stringed instruments.
3:8 or, Thebes