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The Book of the Prophet Abacuk

(Habakkuk means to “embrace” from the Hebrew)

 

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Chapter 1

      This is the heavy burden, which the Prophet Abacuk did see. O' Lord, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear? How long shall I complain unto thee, suffering wrong, and thou wilt not help? Why lettest thou me see weariness and labor? Tyranny and violence are before me, power over goeth 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 proceedeth. 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, ye 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 them cometh an east wind, which bloweth and gathereth 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.
      But thou O' Lord my God, my holy one thou art from the beginning, therefore shall we not die. O' Lord, thou hast ordered them for punishment, and set them to reprove the mighty. Thine eyes are clean, thou mayest not see evil, thou can not behold that thing that is wicked. Wherefore when thou dost look upon the ungodly, and holdest thy tongue, when the wicked devour the man that is better then himself? Thou makest men as the fish in the sea, and like as the creeping beasts, that have no guide. They take up all with their *angle 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.

 

**Cauldees=from the Hebrew: those willing to do evil. *angle (hook)

 

 

 

Chapter 2

      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 reproveth me. But the Lord answered me, and said: Write the vision plainly upon thy tables, that who so cometh 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 thou 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 decieveth the drunkard, even so the proud shall fail and not endure. He openeth his desire wide up as hell, and is as unsatiable as death. All Heathen gathereth he to him, and heapeth 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 heapeth 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? yee thou shalt be their prey. Seeing thou hast spoiled many Heathen, therefore shall the remnant of the people spoil thee: 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 gathereth evil gotten goods into his house: that he may set his nest on high, to escape the power of misfortune. Thou hast devised the shame of thy own house, for thou hast slain so much people, and hast willfully offended: so that the very stones of that wall will cry out of it., and the timber that layeth betwixt the joints of the building shall answer. Woe unto him, that buildeth the town with blood, and maintaineth 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 giveth his neighbor drink, to get him wrothfull displeasure for his drunkenness: that he may see his *prevites. Therefore with shame thou shalt be filled, in stead of honor. Drink thou also, till thou slumber with all: for the cup of the Lords right hand shall compass thee about, and shameful spewing instead of worship. For the wrong thou hast done in Libanus, shall overwhelm thee, and the wild beasts shall make thee afraid: because of mens blood, and for the wrong done in the land, in the city, and to all such as dwell therein.
      What then will the Image do, whom the workman hath fashioned? Or the vain cast Image, wherein because the craftsmen putteth his trust, therefore maketh he dumb Idols? Woe unto him, that sayeth 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.

 

*prevites=expose things held private, betrayal of confidentiality.

 

 

 

Chapter 3

      O' Lord, when I heard speak of them, I was afraid. The work thou hast taken in hand, shalt thou perform in his time, O' Lord: and when thy time cometh, thou shalt declare it. In thy very wrath thou thinkest upon mercy. God cometh from Theman, and the holy one from the mount of Pharan. *Selah.
      His glory covereth 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 goeth before him, and burning *cressettes go from his feet. He standeth , and measureth the earth. He looketh, 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.
      I saw, that the pavilions of the Morians and the tents of the land of Madian were vexed for weariness. Wast thou not angry, O' Lord, in the waters? was not thy wrath in the floods, and thy displeasure in the sea? Yes, when thou satest upon thine horse, and when thy chariots had the victory. Thou showedest thy bow openly, like as thou hadest promised with an oath unto the tribes. Selah.
      Thou didest divide the waters of the earth. When the mountains saw thee, they were afraid, the water stream went away: the deep made a noise at the lifting up of thy hand. The Sun and the Moon remained still in their habitation. Thine arrows went out glittering, and thy spears as that shine of lighting. Thou trodest down the land in thy anger, and didest *throshe the Heathen in thy displeasure. Thou camest forth to help thy people, to help thine anointed. Thou smotest down the head of the house of the ungodly, and discoveredest his foundations, even unto the neck of him. Selah            
      Thou cursest 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. Thou makest away for thy 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 *herts: and he which giveth the victory, shall bring me to my high places singing upon my psalms.

 

*Selah= to lift up, exalt. *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 *throshe=a condition of agonizing struggle pain / trouble *herts = deer meaning swift and agile.

 

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