1. These are the message and the vision of Habakkuk, the prophet.
2. Yahweh, how long will I cry for help while you pay no attention to me? I denounce the oppression and you do not save.
3. Why do you make me see injustice? Are you pleased to look on tyranny? All I see is outrage, violence and quarrels.
4. That is why the Law has been put aside and just decrees are no longer issued. The wicked overrule the upright and they get crooked sentences.
5. Look, traitors, and pay attention; be amazed and astounded, for I am going to do in your own days, something that you would not believe if you were told it.
6. I am going to call the Chaldeans, that terrifying and violent people who raid to the ends of the earth, to seize the lands of others.
7. I call a terrible and dangerous nation who obey no other law but their own will.
8. Their horses are speedier than leopards, fiercer than wolves on the plain; their riders gallop on and come from afar, they swoop like the eagle descending on its prey.
9. When they launch themselves for an attack, pushed forward by the desert wind, they round up prisoners like sand.
10. This people makes fun of kings and laughs at princes; they make light of fortified cities, for they build up an embankment and seize them.
11. Thus they come and go like the wind! Their strength is their god!
12. But you, are you not Yahweh from past ages? You, my holy God, you cannot die. You have set this people to serve your justice and you have made them firm as a rock to fulfill your punishment.
13. Yahweh, your eyes are too pure to tolerate wickedness and you cannot look on oppression. Why, then, do you look on treacherous people and watch in silence while the evildoer swallows up one better than himself?
14. You treat human beings like the fish in the sea, like reptiles who are nobody's concern.
15. This nation catches all on its hook, pulls them out with its net and piles them up in its dragnet.
16. Pleased and delighted at their catch, they offer sacrifices to their net and burn incense to their dragnets, since these supplied them with fish in plenty and provided them with food in abundance.
17. Will they continue, then, to constantly empty their nets, slaughtering nations without mercy?