The Sacred BibleThe Prophecy of Habakkuk
1 2 3
[Habacuc 1]
[Habakkuk 1]

{1:1} Onus, quod vidit Habacuc propheta.
{1:1} The burden that Habakkuk the prophet saw.

{1:2} Usquequo Domine clamabo, et non exaudies? vociferabor ad te vim patiens, et non salvabis?
{1:2} How long, O Lord, shall I cry out, and you will not heed? Shall I shout to you while suffering violence, and you will not save?

{1:3} Quare ostendisti mihi iniquitatem, et laborem, videre prædam, et iniustitiam contra me? et factum est iudicium, et contradictio potentior.
{1:3} Why have you revealed to me iniquity and hardship, to see plunder and injustice opposite me? And there has been judgment, but the opposition is more powerful.

~ In this case, the word ‘contra’ does not mean ‘against’ but ‘opposite’ or ‘in front of.’ Notice that in the Latin ‘contra’ plays into ‘contradictio,’ and, in the English, ‘opposite’ plays into ‘opposition.’

{1:4} Propter hoc lacerata est lex, et non pervenit usque ad finem iudicium: quia impius prævalet adversus iustum, propterea egreditur iudicium perversum.
{1:4} Because of this, the law has been torn apart, and judgment does not persevere to its conclusion. For the impious prevail against the just. Because of this, a perverse judgment is issued.

{1:5} Aspicite in gentibus, et videte: admiramini, et obstupescite: quia opus factum est in diebus vestris, quod nemo credet cum narrabitur.
{1:5} Gaze among the nations, and see. Admire, and be astounded. For a work has been done in your days, which no one will believe when it is told.

{1:6} Quia ecce ego suscitabo Chaldæos, gentem amaram et velocem, ambulantem super latitudinem terræ, ut possideat tabernacula non sua.
{1:6} For behold, I will raise up the Chaldeans, a bitter and swift people, marching across the width of the earth, to possess tabernacles not their own.

{1:7} Horribilis, et terribilis est: ex semetipsa iudicium, et onus eius egredietur.
{1:7} It is dreadful and terrible. From themselves, judgment and their burden will issue.

~ In this verse, judgment and their burden ‘issue’ from themselves. This is related to verse 4 where ‘a perverse judgment is issued.’

{1:8} Leviores pardis equi eius, et velociores lupis vespertinis: et diffundentur equites eius: equites namque eius de longe venient, volabunt quasi aquila festinans ad comedendum.
{1:8} Their horses are more nimble than leopards and swifter than wolves in the evening; their horsemen will spread out. And then their horsemen will approach from far away; they will fly like the eagle, hurrying to devour.

~ The reference to ‘wolves in the evening’ means that wolves move swiftly as night falls, to hunt their prey.

{1:9} Omnes ad prædam venient, facies eorum ventus urens: et congregabit quasi arenam, captivitatem.
{1:9} They will all approach towards the prey; their face is like a burning wind. And they will gather captives together like sand.

~ The captives are like sand because of their great number (like the many grains of sand), and because they are as easily gathered as a handful of sand.

{1:10} Et ipse de regibus triumphabit, et tyranni ridiculi eius erunt: ipse super omnem munitionem ridebit, et comportabit aggerem, et capiet eam.
{1:10} And concerning kings, he will triumph, and sovereign rulers will be his laughingstock, and he will laugh over every fortress, and he will transport a rampart and seize it.

{1:11} Tunc mutabitur spiritus, et pertransibit; et corruet: hæc est fortitudo eius dei sui.
{1:11} Then his spirit will be altered, and he will cross over and fall. Such is his strength from his god.

{1:12} Numquid non tu a principio Domine Deus meus, sancte meus, et non moriemur? Domine in iudicium posuisti eum: et fortem ut corriperes, fundasti eum.
{1:12} Have you not existed from the beginning, Lord my God, my holy one, and so we shall not die? Lord, you have stationed him for judgment, and you have established that his strength will be swept away.

~ Or, ‘you have established his strength to be swept away.’

{1:13} Mundi sunt oculi tui, ne videas malum, et respicere ad iniquitatem non poteris. Quare respicis super iniqua agentes, et taces devorante impio iustiorem se?
{1:13} Your eyes are pure, you do not behold evil, and you cannot look towards iniquity. Why do you look upon the agents of iniquity, and remain silent, while the impious is devouring one who is more just than himself?

{1:14} Et facies homines quasi pisces maris, et quasi reptile non habens principem.
{1:14} And you will make men like the fish of the sea and like the creeping things that have no ruler.

{1:15} Totum in hamo sublevavit, traxit illud in sagena sua, et congregavit in rete suum. Super hoc lætabitur et exultabit.
{1:15} He lifted up everything with his hook. He drew them in with his dragnet, and gathered them into his netting. Over this, he will rejoice and exult.

~ The metaphor of a fisherman is used to describe the Antichrist. The words ‘hamo,’ ‘sagena,’ and ‘rete’ describe the equipment used by a fisherman.

{1:16} Propterea immolabit sagenæ suæ, et sacrificabit reti suo: quia in ipsis incrassata est pars eius, et cibus eius electus.
{1:16} For this reason, he will offer victims to his dragnet, and he will sacrifice to his netting. For through them, his portion has been made fat, and his meals elite.

{1:17} Propter hoc ergo expandit sagenam suam, et semper interficere gentes non parcet.
{1:17} Because of this, therefore, he expands his dragnet and will not be lenient in continually putting to death the peoples.

~ The word ‘interficere’ means to execute or to put to death, in the sense of a death sentence by one in authority, not in the sense of killing in the streets.


[Habacuc 2]
[Habakkuk 2]

{2:1} Super custodiam meam stabo, et figam gradum super munitionem: et contemplabor ut videam quid dicatur mihi, et quid respondeam ad arguentem me.
{2:1} I will stand firm during my watch, and fix my position over the fortification. And I will observe carefully, to see what might be said to me and what I might respond to my opponent.

{2:2} Et respondit mihi Dominus, et dixit: Scribe visum, et explana eum super tabulas: ut percurrat qui legerit eum.
{2:2} And the Lord responded to me and said: Write the vision and explain it on tablets, so that he who reads it may run through it.

{2:3} Quia adhuc visus procul, et apparebit in finem, et non mentietur. Si moram fecerit expecta illum: quia veniens veniet, et non tardabit.
{2:3} For as yet the vision is far off, and it will appear in the end, and it will not lie. If it expresses any delay, wait for it. For it is arriving and it will arrive, and it will not be hindered.

~ Or, ‘for it is on its way, and it will arrive....’

{2:4} Ecce qui incredulus est, non erit recta anima eius in semetipso: iustus autem in fide sua vivet.
{2:4} Behold, he who is unbelieving, his soul will not be right within himself; but he who is just shall live in his faith.

{2:5} Et quomodo vinum potantem decipit: sic erit vir superbus, et non decorabitur: qui dilatavit quasi infernus animam suam: et ipse quasi mors, et non adimpletur: et congregabit ad se omnes gentes, et coacervabit ad se omnes populos.
{2:5} And in the manner that wine deceives the heavy drinker, so will the arrogant man be deceived, and he will not be honored. He has enlarged his life like hellfire, and himself like death, and he is never fulfilled. And he will gather to himself all nations, and he will amass for himself all peoples.

~ Or, ‘he is never satisfied.’ This passage refers to the Antichrist.

{2:6} Numquid non omnes isti super eum parabolam sument, et loquelam ænigmatum eius? et dicetur: Væ ei, qui multiplicat non sua. Usquequo et aggravat contra se densum lutum?
{2:6} Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and an enigmatic utterance about him? And it will be said, “Woe to him who increases what is not his own.” How long, then, will he lay down dense clay against himself?

{2:7} Numquid non repente consurgent qui mordeant te: et suscitabuntur lacerantes te, et eris in rapinam eis?
{2:7} Shall they not suddenly rise up, who would bite you, and be stirred up, who would tear you, so that you will be a prey for them?

{2:8} Quia tu spoliasti gentes multas, spoliabunt te omnes, qui reliqui fuerint de populis propter sanguinem hominis et iniquitatem terræ civitatis, et omnium habitantium in ea.
{2:8} Because you have despoiled many peoples, all those who are left of the people shall despoil you, because of the blood of men, and the iniquity of the earth, of the city and all who dwell therein.

~ The phrase ‘iniquitatem terræ civitatis’ refers to the iniquity of the community of earth. The word ‘civitatis’ does not always refer to a particular city; it can also refer to a larger community, in this case the whole world. The context of the whole world is made clear in the previous verses, that refer to ‘all nations’ and ‘all peoples.’

{2:9} Væ qui congregat avaritiam malam domui suæ, ut sit in excelso nidus eius, et liberari se putat de manu mali.
{2:9} Woe to him who gathers together an evil greed for his house, so that his nest may be exalted, and thinking that he might free himself from the hand of evil.

{2:10} Cogitasti confusionem domui tuæ, concidisti populos multos, et peccavit anima tua.
{2:10} You have devised confusion for your house, you have cut to pieces many peoples, and your soul has sinned.

{2:11} Quia lapis de pariete clamabit: et lignum, quod inter iuncturas ædificiorum est, respondebit.
{2:11} For the stone will cry out from the wall, and the wood that is between the joints of the building will respond.

{2:12} Væ qui ædificat civitatem in sanguinibus, et præparat urbem in iniquitate.
{2:12} Woe to him who builds a town with blood and prepares a city by iniquity.

{2:13} Numquid non hæc sunt a Domino exercituum? Laborabunt enim populi in multo igne: et gentes in vacuum, et deficient.
{2:13} Are not these things before the Lord of hosts? For the people will labor amid a great fire, and the nations will labor in emptiness, and they will fail.

{2:14} Quia replebitur terra, ut cognoscant gloriam Domini, quasi aquæ operientes mare.
{2:14} For the earth shall be filled, that they might know the glory of the Lord, like the waters spreading over the sea.

{2:15} Væ qui potum dat amico suo mittens fel suum, et inebrians ut aspiciat nuditatem eius.
{2:15} Woe to anyone who gives a drink to a friend, releasing a drug and inebriating, so as to look upon their nakedness.

~ This translation eschews the so-called ‘inclusive language’ approach to translation. However, in this verse, it would be misleading to choose between ‘he’ and ‘she’ for the pronouns as the meaning of the text clearly applies to both or either genders. Thus, the word ‘their’ is used in the singular.

{2:16} Repletus es ignominia pro gloria: bibe tu quoque, et consopire: circumdabit te calix dexteræ Domini, et vomitus ignominiæ super gloriam tuam.
{2:16} You are filled with disgrace in place of glory. So then, drink and fall fast asleep, for the cup of the right hand of the Lord will surround you, and a disgraceful vomit will cover your glory.

{2:17} Quia iniquitas Libani operiet te, et vastitas animalium deterrebit eos de sanguinibus hominum, et iniquitate terræ, et civitatis, et omnium habitantium in ea.
{2:17} For the iniquity of Lebanon will cover you, and the devastation of animals which will deter them from the blood of men, and the iniquity of the earth and the city, and of all who dwell therein.

{2:18} Quid prodest sculptile, quia sculpsit illud fictor suus, conflatile, et imaginem falsam? quia speravit in figmento fictor eius ut faceret simulacra muta.
{2:18} Of what benefit is the graven image? For its maker has formed it, a molten and imaginary deception. For its maker has hoped in a figment of his own creation, so as to make a dumb likeness.

{2:19} Væ qui dicit ligno: Expergiscere: Surge, lapidi tacenti: numquid ipse docere poterit? Ecce iste coopertus est auro, et argento: et omnis spiritus non est in visceribus eius.
{2:19} Woe to him who says to wood, “Awaken,” to the silent stone, “Arise.” Is it able to teach? Behold, it has been entirely covered with gold and silver; and there is no spirit at all in its inner workings.

{2:20} Dominus autem in templo sancto suo: sileat a facie eius omnis terra.
{2:20} But the Lord is in his holy temple. May all the earth be silent before his face.


[Habacuc 3]
[Habakkuk 3]

{3:1} ORATIO HABACUC PROPHETÆ PRO IGNORANTIIS.
{3:1} A Prayer of Habakkuk the Prophet on Behalf of Those Who Are Ignorant.

~ Or, ‘For Ignorances.’ The prayer of Habakkuk is probably best understood as a prayer for persons, rather than for mere situations of ignorance. Therefore, ‘ignorantiis’ is rendered as ‘those who are ignorant’ or ‘the ignorant.’

{3:2} Domine audivi auditionem tuam, et timui. Domine opus tuum in medio annorum vivifica illud: In medio annorum notum facies: cum iratus fueris, misericordiæ recordaberis.
{3:2} Lord, I heard what has been said about you, and I was afraid. Lord, your work, in the midst of years, revive it. In the midst of years, you will make it known. When you have become angry, you will remember mercy.

{3:3} Deus ab Austro veniet, et Sanctus de monte Pharan: Operuit cælos gloria eius: et laudis eius plena est terra.
{3:3} God will come from the south, and the Holy One from mount Pharan. His glory has covered the heavens, and the earth is full of his praise.

{3:4} Splendor eius ut lux erit: cornua in manibus eius: Ibi abscondita est fortitudo eius:
{3:4} His brightness shall be like the light; horns are in his hands. There, his strength has been hidden.

{3:5} ante faciem eius ibit mors. Et egredietur diabolus ante pedes eius.
{3:5} Death will go forth before his face. And the devil shall depart before his feet.

{3:6} Stetit, et mensus est terram. Aspexit, et dissolvit Gentes: et contriti sunt montes sæculi. Incurvati sunt colles mundi, ab itineribus æterntatis eius.
{3:6} He stood, and measured the earth. He looked, and dissolved the Gentiles. And the mountains of ages past have been shattered. The hills of the world became curved by the journeys of his eternity.

~ Or, ‘have been bent by the journeys of his eternity.’

{3:7} Pro iniquitate vidi tentoria Æthiopiæ, turbabuntur pelles terræ Madian.
{3:7} I saw the tents of Ethiopia for their iniquity; the tent-skins of the land of Midian will be thrown into confusion.

{3:8} Numquid in fluminibus iratus es Domine? aut in fluminibus furor tuus? vel in mari indignatio tua? Qui ascendes super equos tuos: et quadrigæ tuæ salvatio.
{3:8} Could you have been angry with the rivers, Lord? Or was your fury within the rivers, or your indignation in the sea? He will ascend upon your horses, and your four-horse chariots are salvation.

{3:9} Suscitans suscitabis arcum tuum: iuramenta tribubus quæ locutus es: Fluvios scindes terræ:
{3:9} Being stirred up, you will take up your bow, the oaths you have spoken to the tribes. You will split apart the Rivers of the earth.

{3:10} viderunt te, et doluerunt montes: gurges aquarum transiit. Dedit abyssus vocem suam: altitudo manus suas levavit.
{3:10} They saw you, and the mountains grieved. The great body of waters crossed over. The abyss uttered its voice. The pinnacle lifted up its hands.

~ Here mountains (high) are contrasted with a great body of water (low), and the abyss (low) is contrasted with a high point, the pinnacle. Though the ‘altitudo’ was already high, once God approaches it can lift up its hands even higher.

{3:11} Sol, et luna steterunt in habitaculo suo: in luce sagittarum tuarum, ibunt in splendore fulgurantis hastæ tuæ.
{3:11} The sun and the moon have stood firm in their dwelling place; with the light of your arrows, they shall go forth in the splendor of your flashing spear.

{3:12} In fremitu conculcabis terram: in furore obstupefacies Gentes.
{3:12} With a roar, you will trample the earth. In your fury, you will cause the nations to be stupefied.

{3:13} Egressus es in salutem populi tui: in salutem cum Christo tuo: Percussisti caput de domo impii: denudasti fundamentum eius usque ad collum.
{3:13} You have gone forth for the salvation of your people, for salvation with your Christ. You struck the head of the house of the impious. You have laid bare his foundation all the way to the neck.

{3:14} Maledixisti sceptris eius, capiti bellatorum eius, venientibus ut turbo ad dispergendum me. Exultatio eorum sicut eius, qui devorat pauperem in abscondito.
{3:14} You have cursed his scepters, the head of his warriors, those who approached like a whirlwind so as to scatter me. Their exultation was like one who devours the poor in secret.

{3:15} Viam fecisti in mari equis tuis, in luto aquarum multarum.
{3:15} You made a way in the sea for your horses, in the mud of great waters.

{3:16} Audivi, et conturbatus est venter meus: a voce contremuerunt labia mea. Ingrediatur putredo in ossibus meis, et subter me scateat. Ut requiescam in die tribulationis: ut ascendam ad populum accinctum nostrum.
{3:16} I heard, and my stomach became troubled. My lips trembled at the voice. Let decay enter into my bones and gush forth from within me. Then I may rest in the day of tribulation, so that I may ascend to our people well-prepared.

{3:17} Ficus enim non florebit: et non erit germen in vineis. Mentietur opus olivæ: et arva non afferent cibum. Abscindetur de ovili pecus: et non erit armentum in præsepibus.
{3:17} For the fig tree will not flower, and there will be no bud on the vines. The labor of the olive tree will be misleading, and the farmland will produce no food. The sheep will be cut off from the sheepfold, and there will be no herd at the manger.

{3:18} Ego autem in Domino gaudebo: et exultabo in Deo Iesu meo.
{3:18} But I will rejoice in the Lord; and I will exult in God my Jesus.

~ The phrase ‘in God my Jesus’ is also rendered ‘in God my Savior.’ The name Jesus means Savior. The use of this word in the Old Testament is no coincidence; it is a reference to the name that would be fittingly given to our Savior.

{3:19} Deus Dominus fortitudo mea: et ponet pedes meos quasi cervorum. Et super excelsa mea deducet me victor in psalmis canentem.
{3:19} The Lord God is my strength. And he will set my feet like those of the stag. And he, the victor, will lead me beyond my high places while singing psalms.


The Sacred BibleThe Prophecy of Habakkuk