This book contains the account of God revealing to Habakkuk that what God does is good. We call this book
1 I am Habakkuk, a prophet. This is the message that Yahweh gave to me in a vision.
Habakkuk’s first complaint
2 I said, “Yahweh, how long must I continue to call to you for help
before you respond?
I cry out to you for help, saying that people are acting violently everywhere,
but you do not rescue us!
3 ◄Must I/I do not want to► continue seeing people doing what is unjust [RHQ].
Why do you not punish people who are doing what is wrong [RHQ]?
I see people destroying things and acting violently.
There is fighting and quarreling everywhere.
4 No one obeys laws [PRS],
and judges [PRS] never do what is fair/just.
Wicked people always defeat righteous people in the courts,
with the result that matters are never decided fairly/justly.”
5 Yahweh replied to me,
“I know that what you say is true, but look around at what is happening in the other nations;
if you look, you will be amazed,
because I am doing something during this time that you would not believe would happen,
even if someone told you about it.
6 The soldiers of Babylonia are fierce/cruel and swift.
And now I am causing them to become very powerful;
they will march across the world
and conquer many other countries.
7 They are people whom others fear very much [DOU],
and they do whatever they want to,
paying no attention to the laws of other countries.
8 The horses that pull their chariots go faster than leopards,
and they are fiercer than wolves are in the evening.
The horses on which the soldiers ride gallop swiftly;
the soldiers riding them come from distant places.
They are like [SIM] eagles that swoop down to snatch and kill small animals.
9 As they ride along,
they are determined to act violently.
They advance like [SIM] a wind from the desert,
gathering prisoners that are as numerous as grains of sand.
10 They make fun of kings and princes of other countries,
and they ridicule all the cities that have high walls around them.
They pile dirt outside those walls
in order to climb up and capture those cities.
11 They rush past like the wind,
and then they go to attack other cities.
But they are very guilty,
because they think that their own power is their god.”
Habakkuk’s second complaint
12 Then I said, “Yahweh, you have certainly [RHQ] always/forever been God.
You are my Holy One; you will not die.
So why have you appointed those men from Babylonia to judge and get rid of us?
You are like [MET] a huge rock under which we are protected/safe,
so why have you sent them to punish us?
13 You [SYN] are pure, and you cannot endure looking at what is evil,
so why are you ignoring men who are treacherous?
Why do you do nothing
to punish those wicked men from Babylonia
who destroy people who are more righteous than they are?
14 Do you consider that we are like fish in the sea,
or like other creatures in the sea, that have no ruler?
15 The soldiers of Babylonia think that we are fish [RHQ] for them to pull out of the sea with hooks
or to catch in their nets,
while they rejoice and celebrate.
16 If they catch us, they will worship their weapons [MET] with which they captured us, and offer sacrifices to them
and burn incense in front of them!
They will say ‘Those weapons have enabled us to become rich and be able to eat expensive food.’
17 Will you allow them to continue to conquer people [MET] forever?
Will you allow them to destroy people of other nations without their being merciful to anyone?”