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The prophet complains of the wickedness of the people: God reveals to him the vengeance he is going to take of them by the Chaldeans.

[1] The burden that Habacuc the prophet saw. [2] How long, O Lord, shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear? shall I cry out to thee suffering violence, and thou wilt not save? [3] Why hast thou shewn me iniquity and grievance, to see rapine and injustice before me? and there is a judgment, but opposition is more powerful. [4] Therefore the law is torn in pieces, and judgment cometh not to the end: because the wicked prevaileth against the just, therefore wrong judgment goeth forth. [5] Behold ye among the nations, and see: wonder, and be astonished: for a work is done in your days, which no man will believe when it shall be told.

[1] Burden: Such prophecies more especially are called burdens, as threaten grievous evils and punishments.

[6] For behold, I will raise up the Chaldeans, a bitter and swift nation, marching upon the breadth of the earth, to possess the dwelling places that are not their own. [7] They are dreadful, and terrible: from themselves shall their judgment, and their burden proceed. [8] Their horses are lighter than leopards, and swifter than evening wolves; and their horsemen shall be spread abroad: for their horsemen shall come from afar, they shall fly as an eagle that maketh haste to eat. [9] They shall all come to the prey, their face is like a burning wind: and they shall gather together captives as the sand. [10] And their prince shall triumph over kings, and princes shall be his laughingstock: and he shall laugh at every strong hold, and shall cast up a mount, and shall take it.

[11] Then shall his spirit be changed, and he shall pass, and fall: this is his strength of his god. [12] Wast thou not from the beginning, O Lord my God, my holy one, and we shall not die? Lord, thou hast appointed him for judgment: and made him strong for correction. [13] Thy eyes are too pure to behold evil, and thou canst not look on iniquity. Why lookest thou upon them that do unjust things, and holdest thy peace when the wicked devoureth the man that is more just than himself? [14] And thou wilt make men as the fishes of the sea, and as the creeping things that have no ruler. [15] He lifted up all them with his hook, he drew them in his drag, and gathered them into his net: for this he will be glad and rejoice.

[11] Then shall his spirit: Viz., the spirit of the king of Babylon. It alludes to the judgment of God upon Nabuchodonosor, recorded Dan. 4., and to the speedy fall of the Chaldean empire.

[16] Therefore will he offer victims to his drag, and he will sacrifice to his net: because through them his portion is made fat, and his meat dainty. [17] For this cause therefore he spreadeth his net, and will not spare continually to slay the nations.

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