Habakkuk 1:3
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.

New Living Translation
Must I forever see these evil deeds? Why must I watch all this misery? Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence. I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight.

English Standard Version
Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise.

New American Standard Bible
Why do You make me see iniquity, And cause me to look on wickedness? Yes, destruction and violence are before me; Strife exists and contention arises.

King James Bible
Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Why do You force me to look at injustice? Why do You tolerate wrongdoing? Oppression and violence are right in front of me. Strife is ongoing, and conflict escalates.

International Standard Version
Why are you forcing me to look at iniquity and to stare at wickedness? Social havoc and oppression are all around me; there are legal conflicts, and disputes abound.

NET Bible
Why do you force me to witness injustice? Why do you put up with wrongdoing? Destruction and violence confront me; conflict is present and one must endure strife.

New Heart English Bible
Why do you show me iniquity, and look at perversity? For destruction and violence are before me. There is strife, and contention rises up.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Why do you make me see wrongdoing? And why do you watch wickedness? Destruction and violence are in front of me. Quarrels and disputes arise.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Why dost Thou show me iniquity, And beholdest mischief? And why are spoiling and violence before me? So that there is strife, and contention ariseth.

New American Standard 1977
Why dost Thou make me see iniquity,
            And cause me to look on wickedness?
            Yes, destruction and violence are before me;
            Strife exists and contention arises.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Why dost thou cause me to see iniquity and cause me to behold grievance and destruction and violence before me, in addition to those that raise up strife and contention?

King James 2000 Bible
Why do you show me iniquity, and cause me to behold trouble? for plundering and violence are before me: and there are those that raise up strife and contention.

American King James Version
Why do you show me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention.

American Standard Version
Why dost thou show me iniquity, and look upon perverseness? for destruction and violence are before me; and there is strife, and contention riseth up.

Douay-Rheims Bible
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.

Darby Bible Translation
Why dost thou cause me to see iniquity, and lookest thou upon grievance? For spoiling and violence are before me; and there is strife, and contention riseth up.

English Revised Version
Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and look upon perverseness? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there is strife, and contention riseth up.

Webster's Bible Translation
Why dost thou show me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for devastation and violence are before me: and there are that raise strife and contention.

World English Bible
Why do you show me iniquity, and look at perversity? For destruction and violence are before me. There is strife, and contention rises up.

Young's Literal Translation
Why dost Thou shew me iniquity, And perversity dost cause to behold? And spoiling and violence are before me, And there is strife, and contention doth lift itself up,
Study Bible
Habakkuk's Complaint
2How long, O LORD, will I call for help, And You will not hear? I cry out to You, "Violence!" Yet You do not save. 3Why do You make me see iniquity, And cause me to look on wickedness? Yes, destruction and violence are before me; Strife exists and contention arises. 4Therefore the law is ignored And justice is never upheld. For the wicked surround the righteous; Therefore justice comes out perverted.…
Cross References
Psalm 55:9
Confuse, O Lord, divide their tongues, For I have seen violence and strife in the city.

Jeremiah 15:10
Woe to me, my mother, that you have borne me As a man of strife and a man of contention to all the land! I have not lent, nor have men lent money to me, Yet everyone curses me.

Jeremiah 20:8
For each time I speak, I cry aloud; I proclaim violence and destruction, Because for me the word of the LORD has resulted In reproach and derision all day long.

Jeremiah 20:18
Why did I ever come forth from the womb To look on trouble and sorrow, So that my days have been spent in shame?
Treasury of Scripture

Why do you show me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention.

Psalm 12:1,2 Help, LORD; for the godly man ceases; for the faithful fail from …

Psalm 55:9-11 Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues: for I have seen violence …

Psalm 73:3-9 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked…

Psalm 120:5,6 Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar!…

Ecclesiastes 4:1 So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under …

Ecclesiastes 5:8 If you see the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of …

Jeremiah 9:2-6 Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; …

Ezekiel 2:6 And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of …

Micah 7:1-4 Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits, …

Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the middle of wolves: be you …

2 Peter 2:8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing…

(3) Why dost thou shew me iniquity? . . .--Better, Why dost thou show me distress and look upon grievance; oppression and violence are before me; and there is strife, and contention exalts itself." The question, "Why dost thou . . . look upon grievance?" is illustrated by Habakkuk 1:13, "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil." Grievance, or "trouble wilfully caused." Heb. ml, associated again with ven, a term of similar import, in Psalm 10:7; Psalm 55:11.

Verse 3. - Why dost thou show me - Why dost thou let me see daily with my own eyes - iniquity abounding, the very evil which Balaam says (Numbers 23:21) the Lord had not found in Israel? Cause me to behold grievance. This should be, Dost thou look upon perverseness? He asks how God can look on this evil and leave it unpunished. The LXX. and the Vulgate translate the word amal "trouble," or "labour;" Keil, "distress." In this case it means the trouble and distress which a man inflicts on others, as wrong doing seems to be generally spoken cf. Spoiling and violence are before me. "Spoiling" is robbery that causes desolation. "Violence" is conduct that wrongs one's neighbour. The two words are often joined; e.g. Jeremiah 6:7; Amos 3:10. Vulgate, praedam et injustitiam. These are continually coming before the prophet's eyes. There are that raise up strife and contention; better, there is strife, and contention is raised. This refers to the abuse of the Law by grasping, quarrelsome nobles. Septuagint, "Against me judgment hath gone, and the judge receiveth bribes." So the Syriac and Arabic. The Vulgate gives, Factum est judicium, et contradictio potentior, where judicium is used in a bad sense. Why dost thou show me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance?.... That is, wicked men, and such as give a great deal of trouble vexation, and grief to others, by their rapine and oppression; suggesting that he could not turn his eyes any where, but such persons presented themselves to his view; and that their wicked actions were performed by them openly and publicly, in the sight of all, without any shame or fear. So the Targum,

"why do I see oppressors, and behold those that do the labour of falsehood?''

For spoiling and violence are before me; in my sight and presence, though a prophet, and notwithstanding all my remonstrances, exhortations, and reproofs; such were the hardness, obstinacy, and impudence of this people; to such a height and pitch of iniquity were they arrived, as to regard not the prophets of the Lord. The Targum is,

"spoilers and robbers are before me:''

or, "against me" (q), as in the text; these sins were committed against him, he was injuriously used himself; or they were done to others, contrary to his advice and persuasion:

and there are that raise up strife and contention; in the kingdom, in cities, in families; in one man, brother, friend, and neighbour, against another; which occasion lawsuits, and in them justice is not done, as follows. It may be rendered, and "there shall be and is a man of strife"; so Japhet: "and he shall raise up contention"; one man given to strife will and does use great contention in communities, civil and religious.

(q) "contra me", Pagninus, Montanus; "e regione mei", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Tarnovius. 3. cause me to behold grievance—Maurer denies that the Hebrew verb is ever active; he translates, "(Wherefore) dost Thou behold (without doing aught to check) grievance?" The context favors English Version.

there are that raise up strife and contention—so Calvin. But Maurer, not so well, translates, "There is strife, and contention raises itself."1:1-11 The servants of the Lord are deeply afflicted by seeing ungodliness and violence prevail; especially among those who profess the truth. No man scrupled doing wrong to his neighbour. We should long to remove to the world where holiness and love reign for ever, and no violence shall be before us. God has good reasons for his long-suffering towards bad men, and the rebukes of good men. The day will come when the cry of sin will be heard against those that do wrong, and the cry of prayer for those that suffer wrong. They were to notice what was going forward among the heathen by the Chaldeans, and to consider themselves a nation to be scourged by them. But most men presume on continued prosperity, or that calamities will not come in their days. They are a bitter and hasty nation, fierce, cruel, and bearing down all before them. They shall overcome all that oppose them. But it is a great offence, and the common offence of proud people, to take glory to themselves. The closing words give a glimpse of comfort.
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Abounds Acts Arise Arises Ariseth Beholdest Bitter Cause Conflict Contention Destruction Devastation Evil-Doing Exists Eyes Fighting Fixed Grievance Iniquity Injustice Itself Lift Mischief Perversity Raise Rises Riseth Shew Show Spoiling Strife Tolerate Trouble Violence Violent Wasting Wickedness Wrong Wrongs
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