Habakkuk 1:4
4Therefore the law is ignored
         And justice is never upheld.
         For the wicked surround the righteous;
         Therefore justice comes out perverted.

5“Look among the nations! Observe!
         Be astonished! Wonder!
         Because I am doing something in your days—
         You would not believe if you were told.

6“For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans,
         That fierce and impetuous people
         Who march throughout the earth
         To seize dwelling places which are not theirs.

7“They are dreaded and feared;
         Their justice and authority originate with themselves.

8“Their horses are swifter than leopards
         And keener than wolves in the evening.
         Their horsemen come galloping,
         Their horsemen come from afar;
         They fly like an eagle swooping down to devour.

9“All of them come for violence.
         Their horde of faces moves forward.
         They collect captives like sand.

10“They mock at kings
         And rulers are a laughing matter to them.
         They laugh at every fortress
         And heap up rubble to capture it.

11“Then they will sweep through like the wind and pass on.
         But they will be held guilty,
         They whose strength is their god.”

12Are You not from everlasting,
         O LORD, my God, my Holy One?
         We will not die.
         You, O LORD, have appointed them to judge;
         And You, O Rock, have established them to correct.

13Your eyes are too pure to approve evil,
         And You can not look on wickedness with favor.
         Why do You look with favor
         On those who deal treacherously?
         Why are You silent when the wicked swallow up
         Those more righteous than they?

14Why have You made men like the fish of the sea,
         Like creeping things without a ruler over them?

15The Chaldeans bring all of them up with a hook,
         Drag them away with their net,
         And gather them together in their fishing net.
         Therefore they rejoice and are glad.

16Therefore they offer a sacrifice to their net
         And burn incense to their fishing net;
         Because through these things their catch is large,
         And their food is plentiful.

17Will they therefore empty their net
         And continually slay nations without sparing?

NASB ©1995

Parallel Verses
American Standard Version
Therefore the law is slacked, and justice doth never go forth; for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore justice goeth forth perverted.

Douay-Rheims Bible
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.

Darby Bible Translation
Therefore the law is powerless, and justice doth never go forth; for the wicked encompasseth the righteous; therefore judgment goeth forth perverted.

English Revised Version
Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore judgment goeth forth perverted.

Webster's Bible Translation
Therefore the law is slackened, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth encompass the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.

World English Bible
Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth; for the wicked surround the righteous; therefore justice goes forth perverted.

Young's Literal Translation
Therefore doth law cease, And judgment doth not go forth for ever, For the wicked is compassing the righteous, Therefore wrong judgment goeth forth.
Though These Eternal Moral Obligations are Indeed of Themselves Incumbent on all Rational Beings,
even antecedent to the consideration of their being the positive will and command of God, yet that which most strongly confirms, and in practice most effectually and indispensably enforces them upon us, is this; that both from the perfections of God, and the nature of things, and from several other collateral considerations, it appears, that as God is himself necessarily just and good in the exercise of his infinite power in the government of the whole world, so he cannot but likewise positively
Samuel Clarke—A Discourse Concerning the Being and Attributes of God

The End of the War
'And the Lord gave unto Israel all the land which He sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein. 44. And the Lord gave them rest round about, according to all that He sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. 45. There failed not ought of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass. 'Then Joshua called the Reubenites, and the Gadites,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The accession of Ahaz to the throne brought Isaiah and his associates face to face with conditions more appalling than any that had hitherto existed in the realm of Judah. Many who had formerly withstood the seductive influence of idolatrous practices were now being persuaded to take part in the worship of heathen deities. Princes in Israel were proving untrue to their trust; false prophets were arising with messages to lead astray; even some of the priests were teaching for hire. Yet the leaders
Ellen Gould White—The Story of Prophets and Kings

The Holiness of God
The next attribute is God's holiness. Exod 15:51. Glorious in holiness.' Holiness is the most sparkling jewel of his crown; it is the name by which God is known. Psa 111:1. Holy and reverend is his name.' He is the holy One.' Job 6:60. Seraphims cry, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory.' Isa 6:6. His power makes him mighty, his holiness makes him glorious. God's holiness consists in his perfect love of righteousness, and abhorrence of evil. Of purer eyes than
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Manasseh and Josiah
The kingdom of Judah, prosperous throughout the times of Hezekiah, was once more brought low during the long years of Manasseh's wicked reign, when paganism was revived, and many of the people were led into idolatry. "Manasseh made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err, and to do worse than the heathen." 2 Chronicles 33:9. The glorious light of former generations was followed by the darkness of superstition and error. Gross evils sprang up and flourished--tyranny, oppression, hatred of all
Ellen Gould White—The Story of Prophets and Kings

"But we are all as an Unclean Thing, and all Our Righteousnesses are as Filthy Rags,"
Isaiah lxiv 6, 7.--"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags," &c. This people's condition agreeth well with ours, though the Lord's dealing be very different. The confessory part of this prayer belongeth to us now; and strange it is, that there is such odds of the Lord's dispensations, when there is no difference in our conditions; always we know not how soon the complaint may be ours also. This prayer was prayed long before the judgment and captivity came
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

The precise interpretation of the book of Habakkuk presents unusual difficulties; but, brief and difficult as it is, it is clear that Habakkuk was a great prophet, of earnest, candid soul, and he has left us one of the noblest and most penetrating words in the history of religion, ii. 4b. The prophecy may be placed about the year 600 B.C. The Assyrian empire had fallen, and by the battle of Carchemish in 605 B.C., Babylonian supremacy was practically established over Western Asia. Josiah's reformation,
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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Habakkuk 1:3
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