The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Habacuc
Chapter 2
1 2 3
What message, then, is entrusted to me? What answer shall I make when I am called to account? Here on the watch-tower my post shall be; stand I on the battlements, and await his signal.

Write down thy vision, the Lord said, on a tablet, so plain that it may be read with a glance;
a vision of things far distant, yet one day befall they must, no room for doubting it. Wait thou long, yet wait patiently; what must be must, and at the time appointed for it.
Foul air the doubter breathes; by his faith he lives, who lives right.

Tyrant, like drunkard, is mocked by false dreams of glory. See him whet his appetite, not death itself nor the grave more insatiable; gather up a tribe here, a nation there, heap his plate with them!
One day, what a by-word they will make of him! What riddling taunts shall be hurled at him! As here follows:

So thou wouldst hoard up the possessions that are none of thine, load thyself with base dross, and it should go on for ever?
All unawares the foe shall spring, worry thee, harry thee, make a helpless prey of thee.
So many lands thou hast plundered, plundered thyself shalt be; enough nations are left for that; for men’s blood shed, and for fields ravaged, plundered the city shall be, and all that dwell there.

Ill-gotten gains thou wouldst amass to deck that house of thine; make it an eyrie, too high for envious hands to reach?
Nay, with this undoing of many peoples thou hast done thy own house despite, thy own life is forfeit;
stone from ruined wall cries out against thee, and beam from gaping roof echoes the cry.

City thou wouldst found, city’s walls build up, with deeds of bloodshed and of wrong?
What, has not the Lord of hosts uttered his doom, toil of nations shall feed the fire, and all their labour be spent for nothing?
It is the Lord’s glory men must learn to know, that shall cover the earth, flooding over it like the waters of the sea.

Thou wouldst pour out a draught for thy neighbour, a draught thy own hand has poisoned; bemuse him as with wine, to leave him stripped and bare?
This was to cover thyself with shame, not with glory; drink thou in thy turn, and grow dizzy! A round for thee, now, from yonder cup the Lord holds in his hand; how shamefully is that glory of thine bespewed!
Wrong done to Lebanon, scathe of the roaming beasts, shall recoil on thee; fear shall overtake them, city of thine and all that dwell there, for men’s blood shed, and for fields ravaged.

What avails image, that carver should be at pains to carve it? In metal his own hands have melted shall a man put his trust? Cheating likenesses, dumb idols all!
And thy prayer was, stock and stone should wake up and come to thy aid, senseless things that cannot signify their will; nay, breath in their bodies have none, for all they are tricked out with gold and silver!

And all the while, the Lord is in his holy temple. Keep silence, earth, before him.