Table of Contents

Date & Setting



The book of Habakkuk does not mention any time periods but the text presents a strong presence of the Chaldeans and a great wickedness of Israel. This would assume the rise of the Chaldeans (the Babylonians) is an important issue in this time period[1] as well as a king of Judah during times of wickedness. Some commentators have placed Habakkuk during the time of the Judean King Menassah and Amon because of the wickedness of the times.[2] Most commentators favor the date around 600 BC[3] during the reign of Jehoiakim because it was also a time of wickedness and Jehoiakim reigned during the Chaldean rise to power. Because nothing is said about the captivity, Habakkuk must have been written before the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C[4].

Context



The Chaldean rise to power began after the fall of Ninevah in 612 B.C.[5] and became a dominant world force after the battle of Carchemesh in 605 B.C. During the reign of Jehoiakim (609 -599 B.C.) the Chaldeans seized control of Palestine in the battle of Carchemish 605 BC. This forced all those in Palestine to pay tribute and swear allegiance to them. Jehoiakim then rebelled which caused the Chaldeans to react by devastating the cities, separating the land, placing citizens in exile, and harming the economy of Judah.[6]

Theme



The decline of Judah and Babylonian control caused many to doubt and question the sovereignty of God over the surrounding nations. The issues Habakkuk brings up are the oppression of the righteous by the wicked and sin unpunished[7]. Habakkuk addresses questions common to the people of Israel regarding God’s control over the gods of the other nations, God’s goodness and Justice[8]. God’s answer to Habakkuk reveals that God will be faithful to save the righteous through all the apparent turmoil. The righteous must continue to have faith in God’s character and look forward to his deliverance[9].

Bibliography
Feinberg, Charles Lee, and Charles Lee Feinberg. 1951. Habakkuk: Problems of Faith. Zephaniah: The Day of the Lord. Haggai: Rebuilding the Temple. Malachi: Formal Worship. New York: American Board of Missions to the Jews.
Haak, Robert D. 1992. Habakkuk. Leiden: E.J. Brill.
Kelley, Page H. 1984. Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi. Nashville, Tenn: Broadman Press.
Smith, Ralph L. 1984. Micah-Malachi. Waco, Texas: Word Books.
Stoll, John H. 1972. The Book of Habakkuk; a Study Manual. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
Széles, Mária Eszenyei. 1987. Wrath and mercy. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing.








1. Page H Kelley, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi (Nashville, Tenn: Broadman Press, 1984), 68. Cf. Habakkuk 1:6. 2. John H Stoll, The Book of Habakkuk; a Study Manual (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1972), 14. Cf. 2 Kings 21:19-26 3. Kelley, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, 68 4. Stoll, The Book of Habakkuk; a Study Manual, 14. 5. Stoll, The Book of Habakkuk; a Study Manual, 14. 6. Kelley, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, 68. Cf. 2 Kings 24:10-17 7. Ralph L Smith, Micah-Malachi (Waco, Texas: Word Books, 1984), 94. Cf. Habakkuk 1:2-4. 8. Kelley, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, 68 9. Smith, Micah-Malachi, 95. Cf. Habakkuk 2:4