Habakkuk Complains of Injustice
1 1 The word which Habakkuk the prophet saw. 2 How long, O Lord, will your ears be shut to my voice? I make an outcry to you about violent behaviour, but you do not send salvation. 3 Why do you make me see evil-doing, and why are my eyes fixed on wrong? for wasting and violent acts are before me: and there is fighting and bitter argument. 4 For this reason the law is feeble and decisions are not effected: for the upright man is circled round by evil-doers; because of which right is twisted.
The Chaldeans Will Punish Judah
5 See among the nations, and take note, and be full of wonder: for in your days I am doing a work in which you will have no belief, even if news of it is given to you. 6 For see, I am sending the Chaldaeans, that bitter and quick-moving nation; who go through the wide spaces of the earth to get for themselves living-places which are not theirs. 7 They are greatly to be feared: their right comes from themselves. 8 And their horses are quicker than leopards and their horsemen more cruel than evening wolves; they come from far away, like an eagle in flight rushing on its food. 9 They are coming all of them with force; the direction of their faces is forward, the number of their prisoners is like the sands of the sea. 10 He makes little of kings, rulers are a sport to him; all the strong places are to be laughed at; for he makes earthworks and takes them. 11 Then his purpose will be changed, over-stepping the limit; he will make his strength his god.
Habakkuk Remonstrates with the LORD
12 Are you not eternal, O Lord my God, my Holy One? for you there is no death. O Lord, he has been ordered by you for our punishment; and by you, O Rock, he has been marked out to put us right. 13 Before your holy eyes sin may not be seen, and you are unable to put up with wrong; why, then, are your eyes on the false? why do you say nothing when the evil-doer puts an end to one who is more upright than himself? 14 He has made men like the fishes of the sea, like the worms which have no ruler over them. 15 He takes them all up with his hook, he takes them in his net, getting them together in his fishing-net: for which cause he is glad and full of joy. 16 For this reason he makes an offering to his net, burning perfume to his fishing-net; because by them he gets much food and his meat is fat. 17 For this cause his net is ever open, and there is no end to his destruction of the nations.
The LORD's Answer to Habakkuk
2 1 I will take my position and be on watch, placing myself on my tower, looking out to see what he will say to me, and what answer he will give to my protest. 2 And the Lord gave me an answer, and said, Put the vision in writing and make it clear on stones, so that the reader may go quickly. 3 For the vision is still for the fixed time, and it is moving quickly to the end, and it will not be false: even if it is slow in coming, go on waiting for it; because it will certainly come, it will not be kept back. 4 As for the man of pride, my soul has no pleasure in him; but the upright man will have life through his good faith.
5 A curse on the cruel and false one! the man full of pride, who never has enough; who makes his desires wide as the underworld! he is like death; he is never full, but he makes all nations come to him, getting all peoples together to himself.
Woes on the Unrighteous
6 Will not all these take up a word of shame against him and a bitter saying against him, and say, A curse on him who goes on taking what is not his and is weighted down with the property of debtors! 7 Will not your creditors suddenly be moved against you, and your troublers get up from their sleep, and you will be to them like goods taken in war? 8 Because you have taken their goods from great nations, all the rest of the peoples will take your goods from you; because of men's blood and violent acts against the land and the town and all who are living in it. 9 A curse on him who gets evil profits for his family, so that he may put his resting-place on high and be safe from the hand of the wrongdoer! 10 You have been a cause of shame to your house by cutting off a number of peoples, and sinning against your soul. 11 For the stone will give a cry out of the wall, and it will be answered by the board out of the woodwork. 12 A curse on him who is building a place with blood, and basing a town on evil-doing! 13 See, is it not the pleasure of the Lord of armies that the peoples are working for the fire and using themselves up for nothing? 14 For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the sea is covered by the waters.
15 A curse on him who gives his neighbour the wine of his wrath, making him overcome with strong drink from the cup of his passion, so that you may be a witness of their shame! 16 You are full of shame in place of glory: take your part in the drinking, and let your shame be uncovered: the cup of the Lord's right hand will come round to you and your glory will be covered with shame. 17 For the violent acts against Lebanon will come on you, and the destruction of the cattle will be a cause of fear to you, because of men's blood and the violent acts against the land and the town and all who are living in it. 18 What profit is the pictured image to its maker? and as for the metal image, the false teacher, why does its maker put his faith in it, making false gods without a voice? 19 A curse on him who says to the wood, Awake! to the unbreathing stone, Up! let it be a teacher! See, it is plated with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all inside it. 20 But the Lord is in his holy Temple: let all the earth be quiet before him.
3 God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah. The heavens were covered with his glory, and the earth was full of his praise. 4 He was shining like the light; he had rays coming out from his hand: there his power was kept secret. 5 Before him went disease, and flames went out at his feet. 6 From his high place he sent shaking on the earth; he saw and nations were suddenly moved: and the eternal mountains were broken, the unchanging hills were bent down; his ways are eternal. 7 The curtains of Cushan were troubled, and the tents of Midian were shaking. 8 Was your wrath burning against the rivers? were you angry with the sea, that you went on your horses, on your war-carriages of salvation? 9 Your bow was quite uncovered. Selah. By you the earth was cut through with rivers. 10 The mountains saw you and were moved with fear; the clouds were streaming with water: the voice of the deep was sounding; the sun did not come up, and the moon kept still in her place. 11 At the light of your arrows they went away, at the shining of your polished spear. 12 You went stepping through the land in wrath, crushing the nations in your passion. 13 You went out for the salvation of your people, for the salvation of the one on whom your holy oil was put; wounding the head of the family of the evil-doer, uncovering the base even to the neck. Selah. 14 You have put your spears through his head, his horsemen were sent in flight like dry stems; they had joy in driving away the poor, in making a meal of them secretly. 15 The feet of your horses were on the sea, on the mass of great waters.
16 Hearing it, my inner parts were moved, and my lips were shaking at the sound; my bones became feeble, and my steps were uncertain under me: I gave sounds of grief in the day of trouble, when his forces came up against the people in bands. 17 For though the fig-tree has no flowers, and there is no fruit on the vine, and work on the olive comes to nothing, and the fields give no food; and the flock is cut off from its resting-place, and there is no herd in the cattle-house: 18 Still, I will be glad in the Lord, my joy will be in the God of my salvation. 19 The Lord God is my strength, and he makes my feet like roes' feet, guiding me on my high places. For the chief music-maker on corded instruments.
The Day of the LORD's Wrath
1 1 The word of the Lord which came to Zephaniah, the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah, the son of Amon, king of Judah. 2 I will take away everything from the face of the earth, says the Lord. 3 I will take away man and beast; I will take away the birds of the heaven and the fishes of the sea; causing the downfall of the evil-doers, and cutting man off from the face of the earth, says the Lord. 4 And my hand will be stretched out on Judah and on all the people of Jerusalem, cutting off the name of the Baal from this place, and the name of the false priests, 5 And the worshippers of the army of heaven on the house-tops, and the Lord's worshippers who take oaths by Milcom, 6 And those who are turned back from going after the Lord, and those who have not made prayer to the Lord or got directions from him.
7 Let there be no sound before the Lord God: for the day of the Lord is near: for the Lord has made ready an offering, he has made his guests holy. 8 And it will come about in the day of the Lord's offering, that I will send punishment on the rulers and the king's sons and all who are clothed in robes from strange lands. 9 And in that day I will send punishment on all those who come jumping over the doorstep and make their master's house full of violent behaviour and deceit. 10 And in that day, says the Lord, there will be the sound of a cry from the fish doorway, and an outcry from the new town, and a great thundering from the hills, and cries of grief from the people of the Hollow; 11 Because of the downfall of all the people of Canaan: all those who were weighted down with silver have been cut off. 12 And it will come about at that time, that I will go searching through Jerusalem with lights; and I will send punishment on the men who have become like wine stored over-long, who say to themselves, The Lord will not do good and will not do evil. 13 And their wealth will be violently taken away, and their houses will be made waste: they will go on building houses and never living in them, and planting vine-gardens but not drinking the wine from them.
14 The great day of the Lord is near, it is near and coming very quickly; the bitter day of the Lord is near, coming on more quickly than a man of war. 15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and sorrow, a day of wasting and destruction, a day of dark night and deep shade, a day of cloud and thick dark. 16 A day of sounding the horn and the war-cry against the walled towns and the high towers. 17 And I will send trouble on men so that they will go about like the blind, because they have done evil against the Lord: and their blood will be drained out like dust, and their strength like waste. 18 Even their silver and their gold will not be able to keep them safe in the day of the Lord's wrath; but all the land will be burned up in the fire of his bitter wrath: for he will put an end, even suddenly, to all who are living in the land.
The Doom of the Surrounding Nations
2 1 Come together, make everyone come together, O nation without shame; 2 Before the Lord sends you violently away in flight like the waste from the grain; before the burning wrath of the Lord comes on you, before the day of the Lord's wrath comes on you. 3 Make search for the Lord, all you quiet ones of the earth, who have done what is right in his eyes; make search for righteousness and a quiet heart: it may be that you will be safely covered in the day of the Lord's wrath.
4 For Gaza will be given up and Ashkelon will become waste: they will send Ashdod out in the middle of the day, and Ekron will be uprooted. 5 Sorrow to the people living by the sea, the nation of the Cherethites! The word of the Lord is against you, O Canaan, the land of the Philistines; I will send destruction on you till there is no one living in you. 6 And the land by the sea will be grass-land, with houses for keepers of sheep and walled places for flocks. 7 The land by the sea will be for the rest of the children of Judah; by the sea they will give their flocks food: in the houses of Ashkelon they will take their rest in the evening; for the Lord their God will take them in hand and their fate will be changed.
8 My ears have been open to the bitter words of Moab and the words of shame of the children of Ammon, which they have said against my people, lifting themselves up against the limit of their land. 9 For this cause, by my life, says the Lord of armies, the God of Israel, truly Moab will become like Sodom and the children of Ammon like Gomorrah, given up to waste plants and salt pools and unpeopled for ever: the rest of my people will take their property, the overflow of my nation will take their heritage. 10 This will be their fate because of their pride, because they have said evil, lifting themselves up against the people of the Lord of armies. 11 The Lord will let himself be seen by them: for he will make all the gods of the earth feeble; and men will go down before him in worship, everyone from his place, even all the sea-lands of the nations.
12 And you Ethiopians will be put to death by my sword. 13 And his hand will be stretched out against the north, for the destruction of Assyria; and he will make Nineveh unpeopled and dry like the waste land. 14 And herds will take their rest in the middle of her, all the beasts of the valley: the pelican and the porcupine will make their living-places on the tops of its pillars; the owl will be crying in the window; the raven will be seen on the doorstep. 15 This is the town which was full of joy, living without fear of danger, saying in her heart, I am, and there is no other: how has she been made waste, a place for beasts to take their rest in! everyone who goes by her will make hisses, waving his hand.
Jerusalem's Sin and Redemption
3 1 Sorrow to her who is uncontrolled and unclean, the cruel town! 2 She gave no attention to the voice, she had no use for teaching, she put no faith in the Lord, she did not come near to her God. 3 Her rulers are like loud-voiced lions in her; her judges are wolves of the evening, crushing up the bones before the morning. 4 Her prophets are good-for-nothing persons, full of deceit: her priests have made the holy place unclean and have gone violently against the law. 5 The Lord in her is upright; he will not do evil; every morning he lets his righteousness be seen, he is unchanging; but the evil-doer has no sense of shame. 6 I have had the nations cut off, their towers are broken down; I have made their streets a waste so that no one goes through them: destruction has overtaken their towns, so that there is no man living in them. 7 I said, Certainly you will go in fear of me, and come under my training, so that whatever I may send on her may not be cut off before her eyes: but they got up early and made all their works evil.
8 For this reason, go on waiting for me, says the Lord, till the day when I come up as a witness: for my purpose is to send for the nations and to get the kingdoms together, so that I may let loose on them my passion, even all my burning wrath: for all the earth will be burned up in the fire of my bitter passion. 9 For then I will give the people a clean language, so that they may all make prayer to the Lord and be his servants with one mind. 10 From over the rivers of Ethiopia, and from the sides of the north, they will come to me with an offering. 11 In that day you will have no shame on account of all the things in which you did evil against me: for then I will take away from among you those who were lifted up in pride, and you will no longer be lifted up with pride in my holy mountain. 12 But I will still have among you a quiet and poor people, and they will put their faith in the name of the Lord. 13 The rest of Israel will do no evil and say no false words; the tongue of deceit will not be seen in their mouth: for they will take their food and their rest, and no one will be a cause of fear to them.
14 Make melody, O daughter of Zion; give a loud cry, O Israel; be glad and let your heart be full of joy, O daughter of Jerusalem. 15 The Lord has taken away those who were judging you, he has sent your haters far away: the King of Israel, even the Lord, is among you: you will have no more fear of evil. 16 In that day it will be said to Jerusalem, Have no fear: O Zion, let not your hands be feeble. 17 The Lord your God is among you, as a strong saviour: he will be glad over you with joy, he will make his love new again, he will make a song of joy over you as in the time of a holy feast. 18 I will take away your troubles, lifting up your shame from off you. 19 See, at that time I will put an end to all who have been troubling you: I will give salvation to her whose steps are uncertain, and get together her who has been sent in flight; and I will make them a cause of praise and an honoured name in all the earth, when I let their fate be changed. 20 At that time I will make you come in, at that time I will get you together: for I will make you a name and a praise among all the peoples of the earth when I let your fate be changed before your eyes, says the Lord.