Complete Study Of The Book Of Habakkuk


Like other Old Testament prophets, what we know about Habakkuk is very limited, in fact we know almost nothing.

We do know that his name means, ‘to embrace’ or ‘to hold on’ and he was probably a Levite who was a member of the Levitical choir, Habakkuk 3:19. His ministry probably spanned the reigns of Josiah, 640-609 B.C., Jehoahaz, 609 B.C., and Jehoiakim, 609-598 B.C., with the prophecy set in Jehoiakim’s reign around 605 B.C.

There is a saying that says, ‘a good man is hard to keep down’, but a better saying would be, ‘hopeful people are hard to keep down.’ Habakkuk was one of those people, he was a faithful man who loved God and his people.

He questioned God and complained to God, not out of anger, but out of deep compassion for his people and what was going on around him. He teaches us that it’s not wrong to question God, in fact, God wants us to ask questions. His work coincided with Jeremiah and Zephaniah.

The Date

The book was probably written around 605 B.C. The reason for this date is because around 610 B.C. this is the time of the Babylonians or Chaldeans.

We know that in 614 B.C. Nabopolassar married his son Nebuchadnezzar to Ametius the Median Princess, and so, joined the Medians. In 612 B.C. Nineveh was destroyed and in 605 B.C. the Babylonian Kingdom under Nebuchadnezzar grew to its fullest extent and power. It was at his death the Babylonian Kingdom fell. And so, Habakkuk was probably written when Babylon would have been at her prime.


God is going to use the Chaldeans to bring about judgment on Judah. The Chaldeans refer to the Babylonian empire which overthrew the Assyrian empire in 612 B.C. and defeated Pharaoh Necho of Egypt at Carchemish in 605 BC.

Pharaoh Necho also defeated and killed King Josiah of Judah at the battle of Megiddo, 2 Kings 23:29 / 2 Chronicles 35:20. After these victories, Judah was at the mercy of the Chaldeans.

Josiah had repented of the idol worship of Judah, but the reformation of Josiah had proved ineffective to stop the evil and disobedience of the nation of Judah. Now God must punish them, and so, He’s stirring up and going to the Chaldeans to punish His people, just like He used the Assyrians to punish the Northern Kingdom, 722/21 B.C.

God had allowed the Assyrians to conquer the Northern Kingdom of Israel, this was during Habakkuk’s ministry, and now He’s brought the threat of the Babylonians to the Southern Kingdom.

The Book

The theme is the book is simply this, ‘the supremacy of God’s judgement on the wicked’.

The book itself is unique in that it takes the form of a dialogue between Habakkuk and God. It concerns the Southern kingdom of Judah. We can’t say if it was specifically spoken to the people, but it was certainly recorded for the people.


Habakkuk’s First Complaint. Habakkuk 1:1-4
God answers Habakkuk. Habakkuk 1:5-11
Habakkuk’s Second Complaint. Habakkuk 1:12-2:1
God answers Habakkuk. Habakkuk 2:2-2:20
Prayer in song by Habakkuk. Habakkuk 3

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Complete Study Of The Book Of Habakkuk