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The book of Habakkuk [pronounced khab·ak·kook] is found towards the end of the Old Testament. It is usually classified as one of the “Minor Prophets”[1]

Actually Habakkuk is not mentioned outside his own book but is officially designed as a PROPHET.[2] That is enough to make him important since his book is included in inspired Scripture. To be recognized by God as one of His prophets is truly an eternal honor.[3]

Habakkuk’s prophecy can be dated by Hab 1:6. For there God specifies that a Chaldean [Babylonian] invasion would occur “in your days”.[4] Thus the people living in Habakkuk’s day would actually see the devastation of the nation. We know that Nebuchadnezzar began his campaigns against Judah in 602 B.C. and eventually destroyed Jerusalem in 586 B.C.[5] Perhaps a date of around B.C. 620 [or even later] would be appropriate.[6] Thus Habakkuk and his generation were going to witness the destruction of the nation.

Habakkuk was writing to warn his readers of the prophesied and soon-coming Chaldean [Babylonian] invasion[7] but also of end-time events.[8] It should be noted that Hab 2:4 is quoted several times in the New Testament[9] – and particularly in the book of Hebrews[10]. Thus this book has significant applications for today.

As we will see, the general format of this book is QUESTION – ANSWER.

1.    The Prophet’s Complaint (1:3-4)

2.    YAHWEH’s Reply (1:5-11)

3.    The Prophet’s Second Question (1:12-2:1)

4.    YAHWEH’s Second Reply (2:2-19)

5.    The Prophet’s Prayer (3:1-19)


[1] The “Major Prophets” are Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel – and are considered “major” simply because their books or prophecies are longer. The “Minor Prophets” are Hosea – Malachi. See also the section on the Old Testament after page 162 in the Nelson Study Bible.

[2] Cf. Hab 1:1, 3:1.

[3] Rev 22:3.

[4] This phrase, when used in the Scriptures, ALWAYS means the generation of which it is being spoken [Cf. 1 KIngs 11:12, Jer 16:9, Ezek 12:25, Joel 1:2].

[5] Cf. page 657 in the Nelson Study Bible and also the Old Testament Timeline before page 163.

[6] See pages 620-621 in the Nelson Study Bible. The word “hasty” in Hab 1:6 well describes Nebuchadnezzar’s rapid rise to power.

[7] Hab 1:5-11.

[8] Hab 2:3.

[9] Rom 1:17, Gal 3:11.

[10] Heb 10:37-38.

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