1:1 The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet received.

1:2 How long, O LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, "Violence!" but you do not save?

1:3 Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.

1:4 Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted.

1:5 "Look at the nations and watch--and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.

1:6 I am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth to seize dwelling places not their own.

1:7 They are a feared and dreaded people; they are a law to themselves and promote their own honor.

1:8 Their horses are swifter than leopards, fiercer than wolves at dusk. Their cavalry gallops headlong; their horsemen come from afar. They fly like a vulture swooping to devour;

1:9 they all come bent on violence. Their hordes advance like a desert wind and gather prisoners like sand.

1:10 They deride kings and scoff at rulers. They laugh at all fortified cities; they build earthen ramps and capture them.

1:11 Then they sweep past like the wind and go on--guilty men, whose own strength is their god."

1:12 O LORD, are you not from everlasting? My God, my Holy One, we will not die. O LORD, you have appointed them to execute judgment; O Rock, you have ordained them to punish.

1:13 Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?

1:14 You have made men like fish in the sea, like sea creatures that have no ruler.

1:15 The wicked foe pulls all of them up with hooks, he catches them in his net, he gathers them up in his dragnet; and so he rejoices and is glad.

1:16 Therefore he sacrifices to his net and burns incense to his dragnet, for by his net he lives in luxury and enjoys the choicest food.

1:17 Is he to keep on emptying his net, destroying nations without mercy?