1The burden that Habakkuk the prophet saw.
2Yahweh, how long will I cry out for help, and you will not hear? I cry out to you “Violence!” yet you do not save.
3Why do you make me see iniquity and look at wrongdoing? For destruction and violence are before me. Strife is ongoing, and contention rises up.
4Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice is never carried out. For the wicked surround the righteous, so justice comes out perverted.
5“Look among the nations! Watch! Wonder and be amazed! For I am working a work in your days that you would not believe though it was told to you.
6For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, who march through the breadth of the earth to seize dwelling places that are not theirs.
7They are dreaded and feared; their views of justice and their authority proceed from themselves.
8Their 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 like an eagle that hurries to devour.
9All of them come for violence, all their faces are forward. They gather captives like sand.
10And they mock at kings, and rulers are a laughing matter to them. They laugh at every fortress, for they build up an earthen ramp and capture it.
11Then they sweep by like the wind, and go on. They are indeed guilty people, whose strength is their god.”
12Are you not from everlasting, Yahweh my God, my Holy One? We will not die. Yahweh, you have appointed them for judgment. You, Rock, have established them to punish.
13You who have eyes that are too pure to see evil, and who cannot look at iniquity, why do you look favorably upon those who deal treacherously? And why do you keep silent when the wicked swallow up those who are more righteous than themselves?
14Why have you made humankind like the fish of the sea, like the creeping things that have no ruler over them?
15The Chaldeans take up all of them up with a hook. They catch them in their net and gather them in their dragnet; so they rejoice and are glad.
16Therefore they sacrifice to their net, and burn incense to their dragnet, because by these things their portion is fat and their food is plentiful.
17Will they therefore continually empty their net, and kill the nations without mercy?