The burden, which Habakkuk the Prophet did see.
O Lord, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee for violence, and thou wilt not help! Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold sorrow? for spoiling, and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention. Therefore the Law is dissolved, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous: therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.
Behold among the heathen, and regard, and wonder, and marvel: for I will work a work in your days: ye will not believe it, though it be told you. For lo, I raise up the Caldeans, that bitter & furious nation, which shall go upon the breadth of the land to possess the dwelling places, that are not theirs. They are terrible & fearful: their judgment & their dignity shall proceed of themselves. Their horses also are swifter then the leopards, and are more fierce then the wolves in the evening: and their horsemen are many: & their horsemen shall come from far: they shall fly as the eagle hasting to meat. They come all to spoil: before their faces shall be an East wind, and they shall gather the captivity, as the sand. And they shall mock the Kings, and the princes shall be a scorn unto them: they shall deride every strong hold: for they shall gather dust, and take it. Then shall they take a courage, & transgress & do wickedly, imputing this their power unto their god.
Art thou not of old, O Lord my God, mine holy one? we shall not die: O Lord, thou hast ordained them for judgment, and O God, thou hast established them for correction. Thou art of pure eyes, and canst not see evil: thou canst not behold wickedness: wherefore dost thou look upon the transgressors, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man, that is more righteous then he? And makest men as the fishes of the sea, and as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them. They take up all with the angle: they catch it in their net, and gather it in their yarn, whereof they rejoice and are glad. Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their yarn, because by them their portion is fat & their meat plenteous. Shall they therefore stretch out their net and not spare continually to slay the nations? I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will look and see what he would say unto me, and what I shall answer to him that rebuketh me.
And the Lord answered me, and saId, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the last it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait: for it shall surely come, and shall not stay. Behold, he that lifteth up himself, his mind is not upright in him, but the just shall live by his faith, Yea, indeed the proud man is as he that transgresseth by wine: therefore shall he not endure, because he hath enlarged his desire as the hell, and is as death, and can not be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people. Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Ho, he that increaseth that which is not his? how long? and he that ladeth himself with thick clay? Shall they not rise up suddenly, that shall bite thee? and awake, that shall stir thee? and thou shalt be their pray? Because thou hast spoiled many nations, all the remnant of the people shall spoil thee, because of mens blood, and for the wrong done in the land, in the city, and unto all that dwell therein. Ho, he that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house, that he may set his nest on high, to escape from the power of evil. Thou hast consulted shame to thine own house, by destroying many people, and hast sinned against thine own soul. For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it. Woe unto him that buildeth a town with blood, and erecteth a city by iniquity. Behold, is it not of the Lord of hosts that the people shall labour in ye very fire? the people shall even weary themselves for very vanity. For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters couer the sea. Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink: thou joinest thine heat, & makest him drunken also, that thou mayest see their privities. Thou art filled with shame for glory: drink thou also, and be made naked: the cup of the Lords right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be for thy glory. For the cruelty of Lebanon shall cover thee: so shall the spoil of the beasts, which made them afraid, because of mens blood, and for the wrong done in the land, in the city, and unto all that dwell therein. What profiteth the image? for the maker thereof hath made it an image, and a teacher of lies, though he that made it, trust therein, when he maketh dumb idols. Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake, and to the dumb stone, Rise up, it shall teach thee: behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath in it. But the Lord is in his holy Temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.
A prayer of Habakkuk the Prophet for the ignorances. O Lord, I have heard thy voice, and was afraid: O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the people, in the midst of the years make it known: in wrath remember mercy. God cometh from Teman, & the holy one from mount Paran, Selah.
His glory covereth the heavens, & the earth is full of his praise, and his brightness was as the light: he had horns coming out of his hands, and there was the hiding of his power. Before him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth before his feet. He stood and measured the earth: he beheld and dissolved the nations and the everlasting mountains were broken, and the ancient hills did bow: his ways are everlasting. For his iniquity I saw the tents of Cushan, and the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble. Was the Lord angry against the rivers? Or was thine anger against the floods? Or was thy wrath against the sea, that thou didst ride upon thine horses? Thy chariots brought salvation. Thy bow was manifestly revealed, and the oaths of the tribes were a sure word, Selah.
Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers. The mountains saw thee, & they trembled: the stream of the water passed by: the deep made a noise, and lifted up his hand on high. The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of thine arrows they went, and at the bright shining of thy spears. Thou trodest down the land in anger, and didst thresh the heathen in displeasure. Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, even for salvation with thine Anointed: thou hast wounded the head of the house of the wicked, and discoveredst the foundations unto the neck, Selah.
Thou didst strike through with his own staves the heads of his villages: they came out as a whirlwind to scatter me: their rejoicing was as to devour the poor secretly. Thou didst walk in the sea with thine horses upon the heap of great waters. When I heard, my belly trembled: my lips shook at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in my self, that I might rest in the day of trouble: for when he cometh up unto the people, he shall destroy them. For the fig tree shall not flourish, neither shall fruit be in the vines: the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat: the sheep shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no bullock in the stalls. But I will rejoice in the Lord: I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength: he will make my feet like hinds feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.
To the chief singer on Neginothai.
1587 Geneva bible in paragraph format and modernized spelling.