The Book of the prophet Habakkuk is a dialogue. Habakkuk complains and expresses his fears. The LORD God tells him to write down the revelation.
The book is named for its author.
We know very little about him. His name is Habakkuk, and he is a prophet.
The word “Habakkuk” is from the Hebrew verb “khavaq,” which means “to fold one’s hands or to embrace.”
Because we know so little about Habakkuk, people have tried to find meaning in his name. However, their insights are merely conjecture.
Here are the top three conjectures:
By Jerome. Based on the prophet’s name, Jerome conjectured that Habakkuk embraced the problem of divine justice in a wicked world.
By Martin Luther. Based on the prophet’s name, Martin Luther conjectured that Habakkuk embraced his people to comfort and uphold them.
By others. Based on the prophet’s name, others see Habakkuk as one embraced by the LORD God as his child and messenger.
It is generally accepted that the reference to the Babylonians (see Habakkuk 1:6) places the book within the seventh century BC.
There is not agreement on more precise dating. The dates proposed fall into three time periods:
- the reign of Manasseh (697-642 BC)
- the reign of Josiah (640-609 BC)
- the reign of Jehoiakim (609-598 BC)
It was a time of international crisis and national corruption.
Babylon had just emerged as a world power. When the they rebelled against Assyria, Judah found a brief period of relief reflected in the reforms of Josiah.
The Assyrians fought against the Babylonian rebellion. But Babylon crushed the Assyrian Empire. Then they quickly defeated the powerful Egyptians.
With that, a new empire was stretching across the world.
Soon the Babylonians would overtake Judah and carry its inhabitants away into captivity.
On the eve of this destruction, Habakkuk wrote his message.
The Book of Habakkuk is a dialogue. Habakkuk complains to the LORD God, and expresses his fears. He is given a revelation to write.
The prophet’s complaints and fears are resolved in confidence and faith. This is the heart of the message of Habakkuk:
Habakkuk 2:4. The righteous will live by his faith.
The ever-present question of “Why?” is answered by the word “Who.”
THE LORD GOD WILL DISCIPLINE JUDAH
THE LORD GOD WILL DESTROY BABYLON
HABAKKUK PRAISES THE LORD GOD
Habakkuk 2:14. For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD’s glory, as the waters cover the sea.
Habakkuk 3:17. Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, (NIV Translation)
Habakkuk 3:18. Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. (NIV Translation)
Habakkuk 3:19. The Lord God is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, And makes me walk on my high places. (NASB translation)
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.