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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 3


1 Prayer of Habakkuk, the prophet. To a plaintive tune.


2 O LORD, I have heard your renown, and feared, O LORD, your work. In the course of the years revive it, in the course of the years make it known; in your wrath remember compassion!


3 God comes from Teman 4 , the Holy One from Mount Paran. Covered are the heavens with his glory, and with his praise the earth is filled.


His splendor spreads like the light; rays shine forth from beside him, where his power is concealed.


Before him goes pestilence, and the plague follows in his steps.


He pauses to survey the earth; his look makes the nations tremble. The eternal mountains are shattered, the age-old hills bow low along his ancient ways.


I see the tents of Cushan collapse; trembling are the pavilions of the land of Midian.


Is your anger against the streams, O LORD? Is your wrath against the streams, your rage against the sea, That you drive the steeds of your victorious chariot?


Bared and ready is your bow, filled with arrows is your quiver. Into streams you split the earth;


at sight of you the mountains tremble. A torrent of rain descends; the ocean gives forth its roar. The sun forgets to rise,


the moon remains in its shelter, At the light of your flying arrows, at the gleam of your flashing spear.


In wrath you bestride the earth, in fury you trample the nations.


5 You come forth to save your people, to save your anointed one. You crush the heads of the wicked, you lay bare their bases at the neck.


You pierce with your shafts the heads of their princes whose boast would be of devouring the wretched in their lair.


You tread the sea with your steeds amid the churning of the deep waters.


I hear, and my body trembles; at the sound, my lips quiver. Decay invades my bones, my legs tremble beneath me. I await the day of distress that will come upon the people who attack us.


For though the fig tree blossom not nor fruit be on the vines, Though the yield of the olive fail and the terraces produce no nourishment, Though the flocks disappear from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls,


Yet will I rejoice in the LORD and exult in my saving God.


GOD, my Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet swift as those of hinds and enables me to go upon the heights. For the leader; with stringed instruments.


1 [1] A later liturgical rubric. So also the end of Habakkuk 3:19.

2 [2] In the course of the years revive it: renew today your wondrous deeds of the past.

3 [3-15] Cf the theophanies in Deut 33:2-3; Judges 5:4-5; Psalm 18:8-16; 68:8, 9; 77:17-21; 97:1-5; Nahum 1:3-6, etc. Conventional language is employed to describe the appearance of the Lord, as in Exodus 19:16-19.

4 [3] Teman: a region in Edom. Mount Paran: in the territory of Edom: or the northern part of the Sinaitic peninsula. The Lord is represented as coming from Sinai, where he had appeared to Moses and given Israel the covenant and the law.

5 [13] Your anointed one: the theocratic king, the head of God's people.

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