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Habakkuk 1:2-4


1:2 How long, Lord, must I cry for help?

But you do not listen!

I call out to you, “Violence!”

But you do not intervene! 1 

1:3 Why do you force me to witness injustice? 2 

Why do you put up with wrongdoing? 3 

Destruction and violence confront 4  me;

conflict is present and one must endure strife. 5 

1:4 For this reason the law lacks power, 6 

and justice is never carried out. 7 

Indeed, 8  the wicked intimidate 9  the innocent. 10 

For this reason justice is perverted. 11 

1 tn Or “deliver.”

2 tn Heb “Why do you make me see injustice?”

3 tn Heb “Why do you look at wrongdoing?”

sn Habakkuk complains that God tolerates social injustice and fails to intervene on behalf of the oppressed (put up with wrongdoing).

4 tn Heb “are before.”

5 tn Heb “and there is conflict and strife he lifts up.” The present translation takes the verb יִשָּׂא (yisa’) in the sense of “carry, bear,” and understands the subject to be indefinite (“one”).

6 tn Heb “the law is numb,” i.e., like a hand that has “fallen asleep” (see Ps 77:2). Cf. NAB “is benumbed”; NIV “is paralyzed.”

7 tn Heb “never goes out.”

8 tn Or “for.”

9 tn Heb “surround” (so NASB, NRSV).

10 tn Or “righteous” (KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).

11 tn Heb “comes out crooked.”

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