The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet saw.

The prophet complains

Lord, how long will I call for help and you not listen?
I cry out to you, “Violence!”
but you don’t deliver us.
Why do you show me injustice and look at anguish
so that devastation and violence are before me?
There is strife, and conflict abounds.
The Instruction is ineffective.
Justice does not endure
because the wicked surround the righteous.
Justice becomes warped.

The Lord responds

Look among the nations and watch!
Be astonished and stare
because something is happening in your days
that you wouldn’t believe even if told.
I am about to rouse the Chaldeans,
that bitter and impetuous nation,
which travels throughout the earth to possess dwelling places it does not own.
The Chaldean is dreadful and fearful.
He makes his own justice and dignity.[a]
His horses are faster than leopards;
they are quicker than wolves of the evening.
His horsemen charge forward;
his horsemen come from far away.
They fly in to devour, swiftly, like an eagle.[b]
They come for violence,
the horde with all their faces set toward the desert.[c]
He takes captives like sand.
10 He makes fun of kings;
rulers are ridiculous to him.
He laughs at every fortress,
then he piles up dirt and takes it.
11 He passes through like the wind and invades;
but he will be held guilty,
the one whose strength is his god.

The prophet questions the Lord

12 Lord, aren’t you ancient, my God, my holy one?
Don’t let us die.[d]
Lord, you put the Chaldean here for judgment.
Rock, you established him as a rebuke.
13 Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
you are unable to look at disaster.
Why would you look at the treacherous
or keep silent when the wicked swallows one who is more righteous?
14 You made humans like the fish of the sea,
like creeping things with no one to rule over them.
15 The Chaldean brings all of them up with a fishhook.
He drags them away with a net;
he collects them in his fishing net,
then he rejoices and celebrates.
16 Therefore, he sacrifices to his net;
he burns incense to his fishing nets,
because due to them his portion grows fat
and his food becomes luxurious.
17 Should he continue to empty his net
and continue to slay nations without sparing them?


  1. Habakkuk 1:7 Or his justice and dignity come from him
  2. Habakkuk 1:8 Or vulture
  3. Habakkuk 1:9 Heb uncertain
  4. Habakkuk 1:12 Heb uncertain