1[1-4] This is the vision which Habakkuk the preacher saw. Yahweh, how long will I cry out, and you won’t listen? How long will I cry out to you “Abuse!” and you won’t save! Why do you show me sin, and make me look at evil? I see only violence and abuse. See those who start fights, and angry arguments! So the law is useless, and justice never comes; those who are evil overcome the good and they do wrong.
[5-11] “Look among the nations, watch, and be amazed; for I am doing a work in your days, which you won’t believe even if it’s told you. See, I put the Chaldeans in power, that angry and rash nation, that march through the breadth of the earth, to take homes that aren’t theirs. They’re feared and dreaded, but their judgment and pride come from themselves. They move faster than leopards, and are fiercer than the wolves of the night. Their soldiers march on proudly. Yes, their soldiers come from far away. They fly as an eagle that hurries to eat its prey. They all come to do violence. They suck up everything like the east wind and gather prisoners like sand. Yes, they mock at rulers, and make fun of their officials. They laugh at every strong place, and build dirt ramps, and take it. Then they change direction like the wind, and go on. Without a doubt, they’re guilty, who think that their strength is their god.”
[12-17] Aren’t You from everlasting, Yahweh my God, my Holy One, who won’t ever die? Yahweh, You’ve set them up for our judgment. You, Rock, have made them to punish us. You who are so holy that you won’t see evil, and who can’t look on sin, why do you let those who abuse others do it, and say nothing when the evil ones destroy someone who is better than they are? And why do you make human beings like the fish of the sea, like the small animals that run around, that have no ruler over them? They catch them all with the hook or in a net, and gather them in a fishnet. So they celebrate and are glad. They sacrifice to their nets, and burn incense to their fishnet, because by them their life is made rich, and they have more than enough food. So they always empty their net, and come back for more, not sparing the nations.
2[1-3] I’ll stand watch, and put myself on a high place, and wait to see what God will say to me, and what I’ll answer when I’m corrected. Then Yahweh answered me, “Write the vision, and make it clear in a book, that whoever reads it may run! The vision is still for the set time, but the end is coming soon, and it won’t prove false. Though it takes time, wait for it; because it will surely come. It won’t be long.
[4-8] See, their souls are full of pride and they don’t act right, but those who do right will live by their faith. These prideful ones don’t stay at home because their wine makes them drunk, and they want to make their land as large as Hell, and are like death, and can’t be satisfied, but take for themselves all nations, and peoples. Won’t they all say this against them, and taunt them with these words, saying, ‘Sorrow will come to those who add to themselves by what isn’t theirs, and who make themselves rich, with heavy debts! How long?’ Won’t they get up quickly, and wake up those who make them shake in fear, and they’ll be their victim? Because they’ve taken from many nations, what’s left of the peoples will take from them, because of the blood shed of those they’ve killed, and for the violence done to the land, the city and all who live in it.
[9-14] Sorrow will come to those who do evil things to make their family rich, so that they may set their house up high, and be safe from the power of evil! They’ve planned shame to their own house, by destroying many peoples, and have sinned against their own soul. For the stone will cry out of the wall, and the timber out of the woodwork will answer it. Sorrow will come to those who build a town with bloodshed, and set up a city by sin! See, isn’t it of the God of All Creation that the peoples do this to feed the fires of Hell, and so the nations will tire themselves out for their pride? For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the praise of Yahweh, as the waters cover the sea.
[15-20] Sorrow will come to those who give others alcohol, giving them their bottle until they’re drunk, so that they may see their naked bodies! They’ll be shamed, instead of praised. They’ll also drink of God’s anger, and be shamed! Yahweh’s great anger will surround them, and they’ll be disgraced instead of praised. For the violence done to Lebanon will come to them, and their animals will die in fear; because of those they’ve killed, and for the violence done to the land, every city and those who live in them. “What value does a false god have, that its maker has made it into an image, a teacher of lies, that whoever makes its form trusts in it, to make false gods who can’t even talk? Sorrow will come to those who say to the wood, ‘Awake!’ or to the stone which can’t even talk, ‘ Get up and teach us! See, it’s overlaid with gold and silver, and it doesn’t even breathe. But Yahweh is in the Place of Worship. So let no one on earth say a word in God’s presence!”
3[1-5] A prayer of Habakkuk, the preacher, in song. Yahweh, I’ve heard Your Word. I’m amazed at what You’ve done, Yahweh. Do again what You did in those years. Make known what You did in those years. When you’re angry, remember Your love. God came to us at Teman, the Holy One at Mount Paran (Mountain in the Desert near the Promised Land). Selah. God’s light fills the heavens, and God’s praise fills the earth. God’s brightness is like the sunrise. Rays shine out from God’s hand, whose power is hidden there. Disease came before God, and lightening bolts followed God’s feet.
[6-9] God took a stand and shook the earth. God watched, and made the nations shake in fear. The ancient mountains overflowed. The unchanging hills melted. God’s plan was from before time. I saw the homes of Cushan (Arabia) in trouble. The homes of the land of Midian (Arabia) shook in fear. Was Yahweh displeased with the rivers? Was your anger against the rivers or the sea that you rode quickly on your vehicles of war to save us? You took out your bow and called for your arrows just like Your Word said. Selah. You divided the earth with rivers.
[10-13] The mountains saw You, and shook. The flood waters came up. The oceans roared and lifted up its waves on high. The sun and moon stood still in the sky, and they moved at the flash of your lightning, at the shining of your lightning bolt. You marched through the land in anger and punished the nations in Your rage. You came to save Your people, to bring the victory of your Chosen One (The Messiah). You crushed the head of evil from the house of Hell and exposed its shame. Selah.
[14-16] You pierced Your own warrior high up with a spear and they came as a hurricane to destroy me, celebrating as if they destroyed the troubled in secret. But You moved over the sea quickly, stirring up great waves. I heard, and my body shook in fear. My lips quivered at the sound. Weakness entered into my bones, and I shook in fear in my place, because I must wait quietly for the day of trouble, for the coming punishment of the people.
[17-20] But even if the fig tree doesn’t grow, and no fruit is on the vines, the making of the olive fails, and the fields make no food, the flocks die from the fold, and there is no herd in the stalls, I’ll still celebrate in Yahweh. I’ll be happy in the God who saves me! Yahweh God is my strength. God makes my feet as sure as a deer’s, and makes me go safely through rough places. To the music director, to be played on stringed instruments.