New English Translation
1 I will stand at my watch post; I will remain stationed on the city wall. I will keep watching, so I can see what he says to me and can know how I should answer when he counters my argument.
The LORD Assures Habakkuk
2 The LORD responded: "Write down this message! Record it legibly on tablets, so the one who announces it may read it easily.
3 For the message is a witness to what is decreed; it gives reliable testimony about how matters will turn out. Even if the message is not fulfilled right away, wait patiently; for it will certainly come to pass - it will not arrive late.
4 Look, the one whose desires are not upright will faint from exhaustion, but the person of integrity will live because of his faithfulness.
5 Indeed, wine will betray the proud, restless man! His appetite is as big as Sheol's; like death, he is never satisfied. He gathers all the nations; he seizes all peoples.
The Proud Babylonians are as Good as Dead
6 "But all these nations will someday taunt him and ridicule him with proverbial sayings: 'The one who accumulates what does not belong to him is as good as dead (How long will this go on? ) - he who gets rich by extortion!'
7 Your creditors will suddenly attack; those who terrify you will spring into action, and they will rob you.
8 Because you robbed many countries, all who are left among the nations will rob you. You have shed human blood and committed violent acts against lands, cities, and those who live in them.
9 The one who builds his house by unjust gain is as good as dead. He does this so he can build his nest way up high and escape the clutches of disaster.
10 Your schemes will bring shame to your house. Because you destroyed many nations, you will self-destruct.
11 For the stones in the walls will cry out, and the wooden rafters will answer back.
12 The one who builds a city by bloodshed is as good as dead - he who starts a town by unjust deeds.
13 Be sure of this! The LORD who commands armies has decreed: The nations' efforts will go up in smoke; their exhausting work will be for nothing.
14 For recognition of the LORD's sovereign majesty will fill the earth just as the waters fill up the sea.
15 "You who force your neighbor to drink wine are as good as dead - you who make others intoxicated by forcing them to drink from the bowl of your furious anger, so you can look at their genitals.
16 But you will become drunk with shame, not majesty. Now it is your turn to drink and expose your uncircumcised foreskin! The cup of wine in the LORD's right hand is coming to you, and disgrace will replace your majestic glory!
17 For you will pay in full for your violent acts against Lebanon; terrifying judgment will come upon you because of the way you destroyed the wild animals living there. You have shed human blood and committed violent acts against lands, cities, and those who live in them.
18 What good is an idol? Why would a craftsman make it? What good is a metal image that gives misleading oracles? Why would its creator place his trust in it and make such mute, worthless things?
19 The one who says to wood, 'Wake up!' is as good as dead - he who says to speechless stone, 'Awake!' Can it give reliable guidance? It is overlaid with gold and silver; it has no life's breath inside it.
20 But the LORD is in his majestic palace. The whole earth is speechless in his presence!"
King James Version
1 I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.
2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.
5 ¶ Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people:
6 Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? and to him that ladeth himself with thick clay!
7 Shall they not rise up suddenly that shall bite thee, and awake that shall vex thee, and thou shalt be for booties unto them?
8 Because thou hast spoiled many nations, all the remnant of the people shall spoil thee; because of men's blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.
9 ¶ Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of evil!
10 Thou hast consulted shame to thy house by cutting off many people, and hast sinned against thy soul.
11 For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it.
12 ¶ Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and stablisheth a city by iniquity!
13 Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts that the people shall labour in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity?
14 For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
15 ¶ Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!
16 Thou art filled with shame for glory: drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered: the cup of the LORD'S right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory.
17 For the violence of Lebanon shall cover thee, and the spoil of beasts, which made them afraid, because of men's blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.
18 ¶ What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols?
19 Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it.
20 But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.