Table of Contents
The Book of the Prophet Abacuk(Habakkuk means to embrace from the Hebrew)
The First Chapter
This is the heavy burden, which the Prophet Abacuk did see. O' Lord, how long shall I cry, and you will not hear? How long shall I complain unto you, suffering wrong, and you will not help? Why let you me see weariness and labor? Tyranny and violence are before me, power over goes right: for the land is torn in pieces, and there can no right judgement go forth. And why? the ungodly is more set by then the righteous: this is the cause, that the wrong judgement proceeds. Behold among the Heathen, and look well: wonder at it, and be abashed: For I do a thing in your time, which though it be told you , you shall not believe.
For lo, I will rise up the *Cauldees, that bitter and swift people: which shall go as wide as the land is, to take possession of dwelling places, that be not their own. A grim and boisterous people is it, these shall sit in judgement and punish. Their horses are swifter than the cats of the mountain, and bite sorer than the wolves in the evening. Their horsemen come by great heaps from far, they flee hastily to devour as the Eagle. They come all to spoil: out of then comes an east wind, which blows and gathers their captives, like as the sand. They shall mock the kings, and laugh the princes to scorn. They shall not set by any strong hold, for they shall lay ordinance against it, and take it. Then shall they take a fresh courage unto them, to go forth and do more evil, and so ascribe that power unto their God.*Cauldees = from the Hebrew: those willing to do evil.
But you O' Lord my God, my holy one you are from the beginning, therefore shall we not die. O' Lord, you have ordered them for punishment, and set them to reprove the mighty. your eyes are clean, you may not see evil, you can not behold that thing that is wicked. Wherefore when you do look upon the ungodly, and hold your tongue, when the wicked devour the man that is better then himself? You make men as the fish in the sea, and like as the creeping beasts, that have no guide. They take up all with their angle (hook) they catch it in their net, and gather it in their yarn: whereof they rejoice and are glad. Therefore offer unto their net, and do sacrifice unto their yarn: because through it their portions is become so fat, and their meat so plenteous. Wherefore they cast out their net again, and never cause to slay the people.
The Second Chapter
I stood upon my watch, and set me upon my bulwark, to look and see what he would say unto me, and what answer I should give him that reproves me. But the Lord answered me, and said: Write the vision plainly upon your tables, that who so comes by, may read it: for the vision is yet far off for a time, but at the last it shall come to pass, and not fail. And though he tarry, yet wait you for him, for in very deed he will come, and not be slack. Behold, who so will not believe, his soul shall not prosper: but the just shall live by his faith. Like as the wine deceives the drunkard, even so the proud shall fail and not endure. He opens his desire wide up as hell, and is as unsatiable as death. All Heathen gathers he to him, and heaps unto him all people.
But shall not all these take up a proverb against him, and mock him with and by word, and say: Woe unto him that heaps up other mens goods? How long will he laden him self with thick clay? O how suddenly will they stand up, that bite, and awake, that shall tear into pieces? yes you shall be their prey. Seeing you have spoiled many Heathen, therefore shall the remnant of the people spoil you: because of mens blood, and for the wrong done in the land, in the city and unto all them that dwell therein.
Woe unto him, that covetously gathers evil gotten goods into his house: that he may set his nest on high, to escape the power of misfortune. You have devised the shame of your own house, for you have slain so much people, and have willfully offended: so that the very stones of that wall will cry out of it., and the timber that lays between the joints of the building shall answer. Woe unto him, that builds the town with blood, and maintains the city with unrighteousness. Shall not the Lord of hosts bring this to pass, that the laborers of the people be burnt with a great fire, and that the thing where upon the people have wearied themselves, shall be lost? For the earth shall be full of knowledge of the Lords honor, like as the waters that cover the sea.
Woe unto him that gives his neighbor drink, to get him wrothfull displeasure for his drunkenness: that he may see his *prevites. Therefore with shame you shall be filled, in stead of honor. Drink you also, till you slumber with all: for the cup of the Lords right hand shall compass you about, and shameful spewing instead of worship. For the wrong you have done in Libanus, shall overwhelm you, and the wild beasts shall make you afraid: because of mens blood, and for the wrong done in the land, in the city, and to all such as dwell therein. *prevites = expose things held private, betrayal of confidentiality
What then will the Image do, whom the workman has fashioned? Or the vain cast Image, wherein because the craftsmen puts his trust, therefore makes he dumb Idols? Woe unto him, that says unto a piece of wood: arise, and to a dumb stone: stand up. For what instruction may such one give? Behold it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath in it. But the Lord in his holy temple is he, whom all the world should fear.
The Third Chapter
O' Lord, when I heard speak of them, I was afraid. The work you have taken in hand, shall you perform in his time, O' Lord: and when your time comes, you shall declare it. In your very wrath you think upon mercy. God comes from Theman, and the holy one from the mount of Pharan. *Selah.
Selah = to lift up, exalt
His glory covers the heavens, and the earth is full of his praise. His shine is as the sun, and beams of light go out of his hands, there is his power hid. destruction goes before him, and burning *cressettes go from his feet. He stands, and measures the earth. He looks, and the people consume away, the mountains of the world fall down to *porolder, and the hills are faine to bow themselves, for his goings are everlasting and sure. *cresset = A metal cup, often suspended on a pole, containing burning oil or pitch and used as a torch. *porolder = parol = Expressed or evidenced by word of mouth
I saw, that the pavilions of the Morians and the tents of the land of Madian were vexed for weariness. Was you not angry, O' Lord, in the waters? was not your wrath in the floods, and your displeasure in the sea? Yes, when you sat upon your horse, and when your chariots had the victory. You showed your bow openly, like as you had promised with an oath unto the tribes. Selah.
You did divide the waters of the earth. When the mountains saw you, they were afraid, the water stream went away: the deep made a noise at the lifting up of your hand. The Sun and the Moon remained still in their habitation. your arrows went out glittering, and your spears as that shine of lighting. You trod down the land in your anger, and did *throshe the Heathen in your displeasure. You came forth to help your people, to help your anointed. You smote down the head of the house of the ungodly, and discovered his foundations, even unto the neck of him. Selah *throshe = a condition of agonizing struggle pain / trouble
You curse his scepters, the Captain of his own men of war: which come as a stormy wind to scare me abroad, and are glad when they can eat up the poor secretly. You make away for your horses in the sea, even in the mud of the great waters. When I hear this, my body is vexed, my lips tremble at the voice thereof, my bones corrupt, I am afraid where I stand. O that I might rest in the day of trouble, that I may go up unto our people, which are already prepared.
For the fig trees shall not be green, and the vines shall bare no fruit. The labor of the olive shall be but lost, and the land shall bring no corn: the sheep shall be taken out of the fold, and there shall be no cattle in the stalls. But as for me, I will be glad in the Lord, and will rejoice in God my savior. The Lord God is my strength, he shall make my feet as the feet of hearts: and he which gives the victory, shall bring me to my high places singing upon my psalms.
The end of the prophesy of Abacuk
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