1The oracle of God which Habak'kuk the prophet saw.
The Prophet's Complaint
2O Lord, how long shall I cry for help,
and thou wilt not hear?
Or cry to thee "Violence!"
and thou wilt not save?
3Why dost thou make me see wrongs
and look upon trouble?
Destruction and violence are before me;
strife and contention arise.
4So the law is slacked
and justice never goes forth.
For the wicked surround the righteous,
so justice goes forth perverted.
5Look 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.
6For 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.
7Dread and terrible are they;
their justice and dignity proceed from themselves.
8Their 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.
9They all come for violence;
terrora of them goes before them.
They gather captives like sand.
10At kings they scoff,
and of rulers they make sport.
They laugh at every fortress,
for they heap up earth and take it.
11Then they sweep by like the wind and go on,
guilty men, whose own might is their god!
12Art 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.
13Thou 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?
14For thou makest men like the fish of the sea,
like crawling things that have no ruler.
15He 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.
16Therefore he sacrifices to his net
and burns incense to his seine;
for by them he lives in luxury,b
and his food is rich.
17Is he then to keep on emptying his net,
and mercilessly slaying nations for ever?