TORAH
FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES
NEVI'IM
PROPHETS
KETUVIM
WRITINGS

Habakkuk 1

1The pronouncement made by the Navi Chavakuk.

אהַמַּשָׂא אֲשֶׁר חָזָה חֲבַקּוּק הַנָּבִיא׃

2How long, Hashem, shall I cry out And You not listen, Shall I shout to You, “Violence!” And You not save?

בעַד־אָנָה יְהֹוָה שִׁוַּעְתִּי וְלֹא תִשְׁמָע אֶזְעַק אֵלֶיךָ חָמָס וְלֹא תוֹשִׁיעַ׃

3Why do You make me see iniquity [Why] do You look upon wrong?— Raiding and violence are before me, Strife continues and contention goes on.

גלָמָּה תַרְאֵנִי אָוֶן וְעָמָל תַּבִּיט וְשֹׁד וְחָמָס לְנֶגְדִּי וַיְהִי רִיב וּמָדוֹן יִשָּׂא׃

4That is why decision fails And justice never emerges; For the villain hedges in the just man— Therefore judgment emerges deformed.

al KAYN ta-FUG to-RAH v'-lo yay-TZAY la-NE-tzakh mish-PAT KEE ra-SHA makh-TEER et ha-tza-DEEK al KAYN yay-TZAY mish-PAT m'-u-KAL

דעַל־כֵּן תָּפוּג תּוֹרָה וְלֹא־יֵצֵא לָנֶצַח מִשְׁפָּט כִּי רָשָׁע מַכְתִּיר אֶת־הַצַּדִּיק עַל־כֵּן יֵצֵא מִשְׁפָּט מְעֻקָּל׃

1:4  That is why decision fails and justice never emerges

Having acknowledged the existence of evil, Chavakuk presents the key issue of the book: when the wicked prevail, not only do righteous people suffer, but the law, the Torah itself, is weakened. In the Bible, justice and righteousness are intertwined. Without one or the other, the law is used by evildoers to entrap the righteous for their own selfish gain. When people see that evil succeeds at the expense of the righteous, then God’s teachings cannot influence others to be righteous and just.

5“Look among the nations, Observe well and be utterly astounded; For a work is being wrought in your days Which you would not believe if it were told.

הרְאוּ בַגּוֹיִם וְהַבִּיטוּ וְהִתַּמְּהוּ תְּמָהוּ כִּי־פֹעַל פֹּעֵל בִּימֵיכֶם לֹא תַאֲמִינוּ כִּי יְסֻפָּר׃

6For lo, I am raising up the Chaldeans, That fierce, impetuous nation, Who cross the earth's wide spaces To seize homes not their own.

וכִּי־הִנְנִי מֵקִים אֶת־הַכַּשְׂדִּים הַגּוֹי הַמַּר וְהַנִּמְהָר הַהוֹלֵךְ לְמֶרְחֲבֵי־אֶרֶץ לָרֶשֶׁת מִשְׁכָּנוֹת לֹּא־לוֹ׃

7They are terrible, dreadful; They make their own laws and rules.

זאָיֹם וְנוֹרָא הוּא מִמֶּנּוּ מִשְׁפָּטוֹ וּשְׂאֵתוֹ יֵצֵא׃

8Their horses are swifter than leopards, Fleeter than wolves of the steppe. Their steeds gallop—their steeds Come flying from afar. Like vultures rushing toward food,

חוְקַלּוּ מִנְּמֵרִים סוּסָיו וְחַדּוּ מִזְּאֵבֵי עֶרֶב וּפָשׁוּ פָּרָשָׁיו וּפָרָשָׁיו מֵרָחוֹק יָבֹאוּ יָעֻפוּ כְּנֶשֶׁר חָשׁ לֶאֱכוֹל׃

9They all come, bent on rapine. The thrust of their van is forward, And they amass captives like sand.

טכֻּלֹּה לְחָמָס יָבוֹא מְגַמַּת פְּנֵיהֶם קָדִימָה וַיֶּאֱסֹף כַּחוֹל שֶׁבִי׃

10Kings they hold in derision, And princes are a joke to them; They laugh at every fortress, They pile up earth and capture it.

יוְהוּא בַּמְּלָכִים יִתְקַלָּס וְרֹזְנִים מִשְׂחָק לוֹ הוּא לְכָל־מִבְצָר יִשְׂחָק וַיִּצְבֹּר עָפָר וַיִּלְכְּדָהּ׃

11Then they pass on like the wind, They transgress and incur guilt, For they ascribe their might to their god.”

יאאָז חָלַף רוּחַ וַיַּעֲבֹר וְאָשֵׁם זוּ כֹחוֹ לֵאלֹהוֹ׃

12You, Hashem, are from everlasting; My holy Hashem, You never die. Hashem, You have made them a subject of contention; O Rock, You have made them a cause for complaint.

יבהֲלוֹא אַתָּה מִקֶּדֶם יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהַי קְדֹשִׁי לֹא נָמוּת יְהֹוָה לְמִשְׁפָּט שַׂמְתּוֹ וְצוּר לְהוֹכִיחַ יְסַדְתּוֹ׃

13You whose eyes are too pure to look upon evil, Who cannot countenance wrongdoing, Why do You countenance treachery, And stand by idle While the one in the wrong devours The one in the right?

יגטְהוֹר עֵינַיִם מֵרְאוֹת רָע וְהַבִּיט אֶל־עָמָל לֹא תוּכָל לָמָּה תַבִּיט בּוֹגְדִים תַּחֲרִישׁ בְּבַלַּע רָשָׁע צַדִּיק מִמֶּנּוּ׃

14You have made mankind like the fish of the sea, Like creeping things that have no ruler.

ידוַתַּעֲשֶׂה אָדָם כִּדְגֵי הַיָּם כְּרֶמֶשׂ לֹא־מֹשֵׁל בּוֹ׃

15He has fished them all up with a line, Pulled them up in his trawl, And gathered them in his net. That is why he rejoices and is glad.

טוכֻּלֹּה בְּחַכָּה הֵעֲלָה יְגֹרֵהוּ בְחֶרְמוֹ וְיַאַסְפֵהוּ בְּמִכְמַרְתּוֹ עַל־כֵּן יִשְׂמַח וְיָגִיל׃

16That is why he sacrifices to his trawl And makes offerings to his net; For through them his portion is rich And his nourishment fat.

טזעַל־כֵּן יְזַבֵּחַ לְחֶרְמוֹ וִיקַטֵּר לְמִכְמַרְתּוֹ כִּי בָהֵמָּה שָׁמֵן חֶלְקוֹ וּמַאֲכָלוֹ בְּרִאָה׃

17Shall he then keep emptying his trawl, And slaying nations without pity?

יזהַעַל כֵּן יָרִיק חֶרְמוֹ וְתָמִיד לַהֲרֹג גּוֹיִם לֹא יַחְמוֹל׃