The Book of Habakkuk


The Book of Habakkuk (meaning embrace), was written around 625 B.C. according to traditional dating, but in the chronology given in Appendix 50 (King James Companion Bible), it was written about 515 B.C., or 110 years later. His prophecy takes form of a conversation with Yahveh; and Yahveh answers his cry by revealing the fact that a time will come when the evil will be visited upon Judah by the Chaldean successors of Assyria (Habakkuk 1:6), and by the dispersion of Judah (Habakkuk 1:5-11). The prayer in chapter 3 is very important as being a summary of Yahveh's dealings with His people from the passage of the Red Sea to the prophet's own time. Because the final chapter of his book is a song, it is sometimes assumed that he was a member of the tribe of Levi, which served as musicians in Solomon's Temple.

Habakkuk does appear in "Bel and the Dragon," which is part of the Additions of Daniel found in the Biblical apocrypha. Verses 33-39 state that Habakkuk is in Judea and after making some stew, he's told by an angel to take the stew to Daniel, who is in Babylon in the lion's den. After proclaiming he is unaware of both the den and Babylon, Habakkuk is transported to the den with Daniel via the angel. Habukkuk gives Daniel the food to sustain him, and is immediately taken back to "his own place." Habakkuk is also mentioned in "Lives of the Prophets," which also notes his time in Babylon.

Habakkuk 1

Hab 1:1 The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see. A message from the Lord and "the burden which he saw, Habakkuk the prophet."

Hab 1:2 O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! How long Lord, must I cry for help? But you do not listen! "Violence is everywhere and I cry, but you do not come to save." (Psalm 18:41, Job 19:7, Jeremiah 20:8), showing that the cry was not personal, but made in the name of all who suffered from evil times.

Hab 1:3 Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention. Why must I see these evil things and watch all this misery? Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence. Surrounded by people who love to argue and fight. (Sound familiar)? "The same is going down today, just look around you."

Hab 1:4 Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth. The law has become paralyzed, and there is no justice in the courts. The "wicked" far outnumber the righteous and justice has become perverted. (Psalm 119:129, Mark 7:9, Ezekiel 9:9). This word "wicked" used here equals "a lawless one" looking forward from the Chaldeans to the future Antichrist.  

Hab 1:5 Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you. Look around the nations says the Lord; Look and be amazed! I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn't believe even if someone told you about it. (Isaiah 29:14, Acts 13:41), It's coming to this world today, so get ready. "Do you know a truth from the Lord that no one would believe if you told them?"

Hab 1:6 For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not theirs. I will raise up the Chaldeans (Babylonians), a cruel and violent people. They will march across the world and conquer other lands. (Deuteronomy 28:49-52).

Hab 1:7 They are terrible and dreadful: their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves. They are notorious for their cruelty and do what ever they want.  

Hab 1:8 Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat. Their horses are swifter than cheetahs and more fierce than wolves at dusk. Their charioteers charge from far away. Like eagles, they swoop down to devour their prey. (Deuteronomy 28:49-50). 

Hab 1:9 They shall come all for violence: their faces shall sup up as the east wind, and they shall gather the captivity as the sand. On they come for violence. Their faces look towards the east sweeping their captives ahead of them. (This is not for conquest, but for destruction). 

Hab 1:10 And they shall scoff at the kings, and the princes shall be a scorn unto them: they shall deride every strong hold; for they shall heap dust, and take it. They scoff at kings and princes. (Just a laughing stock to them). This "heap dust" means that they pile up the dirt to build ramps against their walls to capture them.

Hab 1:11 Then shall his mind change, and he shall pass over, and offend, imputing this his power unto his god. Sweep past like the wind, but they think they are strong because of their "gods."

Hab 1:12 Art thou not from everlasting, O LORD my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O LORD, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction. Questioning God about His plan to let the enemy wipe them out. Habakkuk making the assumption that God has sent the Babylonians to correct the people for their sins. 

Hab 1:13 Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he? Knowing that God cannot stand the sight of evil. Habakkuk sounds like he is coping a plea with God about the wicked. Asking God how He can be silent while the wicked swallow up people more righteous than they are. (Again this word "wicked" is "rasha" Strong's H7563 a morally wrong wicked man or "lawless one," looking forward to the antichrist). Look at what is going on today. We have "wicked terrorists" that hate Israel and the United States because of their beliefs and ways of life. (Maybe God is trying to give us a wake up call).

Hab 1:14 And makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them? Are we only like fish or sea creatures that have no leader? (Proverbs 6:7). 

Hab 1:15 They take up all of them with the angle, they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag: therefore they rejoice and are glad. Must we be strung on the hooks and caught in the nets while they rejoice? (Amos 4:2, Isaiah 19:8), a picture of a nation being caught in the hooks and nets of Babylon. 

Hab 1:16 Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag; because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous. They worship the nets as their gods who made them rich. (Deuteronomy 8:17).

Hab 1:17 Shall they therefore empty their net, and not spare continually to slay the nations? Another plea to God. Will you let them get away with this forever? Will they forever succeed in their heartless conquests? (Isaiah 14:16-17), again looking forward to the antichrist in his heartless conquest of the end times. (However, he won't succeed). We win and get the victory.

Habakkuk 2

Hab 2:1 I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. Habakkuk would climb the watch tower and stand guard waiting on answers from the Lord. (At times we also need to watch and be patient for answers from the Lord, especially in the end times). What are we watching for? (Mark 13:33-37), we are watching for the Master of the house to return. Our Master is Jesus Christ.  

Hab 2:2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. The Lord answered Habakkuk. He told him to write His answer plainly on tablets so that others would get the correct message. (A duel message here). Run that readeth it = to run as a messenger. (Jeremiah 51:31, Zechariah 2:4) or, to flee for refuge. (Psalm 18:10, Haggai 1:9).

Hab 2:3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. This vision is for future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. Be patient and wait, it will take place and won't be delayed. (These warnings about Babylon will be coming to pass and will happen). "So it will be in the end time with the coming of the Lord." (James 5:7-8, Luke 18:7-8).

Hab 2:4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. Look at the proud who just trust in themselves living their crooked lives. But, the righteous will live by their faith in God. (Emphasizing the twofold answer to the prophet's prayer). "The fate of the wicked in the coming judgment, and the preservation and eternal lot of the righteous." Lets take the word his: i.e. the Chaldean's of chapter 1; or the lawless one described in chapter 1 and in the verses which follow. Who is the lawless one of the end times? (Satan). Now lets take the words live by faith: i.e. live forever in resurrection life. (Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, Hebrews 11:6-7), It is impossible to please God without faith. 

Hab 2:5 Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people: Lets brake this down a little. Transgression by wine: You and I know that to much to drink just makes people act like a fool. (Proverbs 20:1). A proud man: Satan's downfall was pride. God resists the proud. (Psalm 138:6, James 4:6). Neither keep at home: Big mouths that can't mind their own business. (I Thessalonians 4:11). Enlarge his desire as hell, and is as death, cannot be satisfied: Just as in death, they are never satisfied. (Proverbs 27:20, Ecclesiastes 5:10). Gather unto him all nations, and heap unto him all people: In their greed they have gathered up many nations and swallowed many peoples. (Isaiah 14:16-17). One of Satan's roles in the end times as he deceives many nations and people.   

Hab 2:6 Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? and to him that ladeth himself with thick clay! Soon the captives will taunt them. Mocking them saying: What sorrow awaits you thieves. You will get what you deserve. You have become rich by extortion, but not for long. (James 5:1-4), Enjoy your riches now. You will pay for all your scams and conning people out of money. Using others to benefit yourself. The value of your assets is dropping fast and will stand evidence against you come judgment day. 

Hab 2:7 Shall they not rise up suddenly that shall bite thee, and awake that shall vex thee, and thou shalt be for booties unto them? Your debtors will take action and turn on you while you stand trembling. (I Thessalonians 5:3), Those who are saying everything is quite well and peaceful along with the misled and ignorant, will not escape. Destruction will fall upon them suddenly.

Hab 2:8 Because thou hast spoiled many nations, all the remnant of the people shall spoil thee; because of men's blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein. Because you have plundered many nations; now all the survivors will plunder you. You committed murder throughout the land and filled the towns with violence. (Psalm 137:8, Zechariah 14:12, Revelation 6:10).

Hab 2:9 Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of evil! Woe to them that build big houses with money gained dishonestly. You think your wealth will buy you security setting your houses high beyond the reach of danger. (Jeremiah 49:16).

Hab 2:10 Thou hast consulted shame to thy house by cutting off many people, and hast sinned against thy soul. By the murders you committed you have shamed your name and sinned against your own soul. (Numbers 16:38, Proverbs 8:36).

Hab 2:11 For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it. The stones in the walls cry out themselves and the beams echo the complaint. "This should bring our attention to what Christ said in (Luke 19:40-44), just before He rebuked the money changers." 

Hab 2:12 Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and stablisheth a city by iniquity! Those who build city's through murder and corrupt money. (Ezekiel 24:9, Micah 3:10, Nahum 3:1), Many of the cities in our own country were built this way and God does not like it. 

Hab 2:13 Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts that the people shall labour in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity? The wealth of these corrupt nations will turn to ashes. (Isaiah 50:11, Isaiah 55:2, Jeremiah 51:58). So, you don't think it is happening to this nation. (How far do you stretch a dollar these days). "It's not over yet, their is more bad times ahead for those who are so obsessed with their wealth and material things."

Hab 2:14 For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. The whole world will be filled with awareness and knowledge of the glory of the Lord. "Prophecy of the Millennial Kingdom when Christ returns." (Numbers 14:21, Psalm 72:19, Isaiah 6:3, Isaiah 11:9, Revelation 11:15, Revelation 15:4).

Hab 2:15 Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness! Pouring out thy fury or venom. (Jeremiah 25:15, Jeremiah 51:7, Revelation 17:2, Revelation 17:6, Revelation 18:3).

Hab 2:16 Thou art filled with shame for glory: drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered: the cup of the LORD'S right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory. Soon it will be your turn to be disgraced. Drink from the cup of the Lord's judgment and all your glory will be turned to shame. (Isaiah 47:3, Hosea 4:7, Jeremiah 25:27-29), They get what they got coming.

Hab 2:17 For the violence of Lebanon shall cover thee, and the spoil of beasts, which made them afraid, because of men's blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein. You cut the forests of Lebanon and now you will be cut down. You destroy the wild animals, so now their terror will be yours. You committed murder throughout the countryside and fill your towns with violence. "Sound familiar?" It's going down all around us. 

Hab 2:18 What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? Your graven images and statues will do you no good. You trust in your own creations, false gods that cannot even talk. (Isaiah 42:17, Isaiah 44:9-10, Isaiah 45:16, Isaiah 45:20). "As for the false prophets who mislead the people, it won't be good." (Jeremiah 14:14-16).  

Hab 2:19 Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it. Only sorrow awaits those who trust or pray to these speechless worthless stone images that are lifeless inside. (Psalm 97:7, Isaiah 44:17, Jeremiah 51:47, Psalm 135:17, Acts 17:29), If this is true, we should not think of God as an image or idol made from men. (God is real)! 

Hab 2:20 But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him. The Lord in His Holy Temple. "Let the whole earth be silent before Him." (Zephaniah 1:7, Zechariah 2:13), The Lord will spring into action from His Holy Dwelling. (Psalms 11:4, 68:5, Jeremiah 25:30).

Habakkuk 3

Hab 3:1 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shigionoth. This word "Shigionoth" in Hebrew Strong's Concordance H7692 is "Shiggayon Shiggayonah" means "rambling poem" or "a crying aloud." It should read: This prayer was cried out and sung by the prophet Habakkuk. (Psalm 7:1).

Hab 3:2 O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy. Habakkuk was saying that he was filled with awe by God's amazing works and was pleading for help as years ago. He would sing and cry out even in God's wrath for mercy.

Hab 3:3 God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. God moving across the deserts from Teman, the Holy One coming from Mount Paran. (Deuteronomy 33:2). (Embraces the whole district south of Judah, including Sinai). Could Teman and Paran also be related to Edom? (Isaiah 63:1-4), Most commentaries believe that here Edom as a type, is being used to represent all the nations of the world that hate God's people. (This is when Jesus returns in the second advent). When the whole earth is full of His glory. (Isaiah 6:3).  

Hab 3:4 And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power. His coming is as brilliant as the sunrise. Horns = power. i.e. power from His hands, but hiding (or concealing) of His full power. 

Hab 3:5 Before him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his feet. Pestilence went with Him as He went forth to conquer for His people. Burning coals: or lightning at His feet. (Psalm 18:8, 78:48).

Hab 3:6 He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his ways are everlasting. The earth shakes when He stops, and when He looks the nations tremble. He shatters the mountains and levels the hills. He is the everlasting God.

Hab 3:7 I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction: and the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble. The people of Cushan (a region of Arabia, or Ethiopia), are in distress, and the nation of Midian trembles.

Hab 3:8 Was the LORD displeased against the rivers? was thine anger against the rivers? was thy wrath against the sea, that thou didst ride upon thine horses and thy chariots of salvation? Was it your anger Lord when you parted the sea? (Exodus 14:21-22), God wasn't displeased with them, but rather sending His chariots of salvation to help them. "It is coming again soon in the end times." (Revelation 19:14), Christ's second advent and His return. "His army is coming." The horses represent the vehicles the army of Christ will arrive upon.  

Hab 3:9 Thy bow was made quite naked, according to the oaths of the tribes, even thy word. Selah. Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers. You quieted your bow and arrows according to the promises sworn to the fathers of the tribes (of Israel), when still in the loins of the patriarchs. You divided the earth with flowing rivers. (Psalm 78:15-16, Psalm 105:41).

Hab 3:10 The mountains saw thee, and they trembled: the overflowing of the water passed by: the deep uttered his voice, and lifted up his hands on high. The mountains even trembled as the waters raged forward at His presence. The waters cried out themselves, lifting up it's hands in amazement and submission. (Not in corruption).  

Hab 3:11 The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of thine arrows they went, and at the shining of thy glittering spear. The sun and the moon stood still. (Reference to Joshua 10:12-13). Your arrows flew like light and your glittering spear flashed.

Hab 3:12 Thou didst march through the land in indignation, thou didst thresh the heathen in anger. Marched across the land in anger and trampled the nations (i.e. nations of Canaan) in your fury. (Acts 13:19), it will happen again to Babylon in the end times. (Jeremiah 51:33).

Hab 3:13 Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, even for salvation with thine anointed; thou woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neck. Selah. You rescued Your chosen people, to save the anointed ones. (Psalm 105:15). You crushed the heads of the wicked (the lawless one), and stripped their bones from head to toe. "Looking forward to the final destruction of Israel's enemy in the person of the antichrist." (Psalm 110:6).

Hab 3:14 Thou didst strike through with his staves the head of his villages: they came out as a whirlwind to scatter me: their rejoicing was as to devour the poor secretly. With their own weapons, You destroyed the chief of those who rushed out like a whirlwind, thinking Israel would be easy prey. (Daniel 11:40), "Referring to the one world order of the end time."  

Hab 3:15 Thou didst walk through the sea with thine horses, through the heap of great waters. Trampled the sea with Your horses, as the mighty waters piled high. (Psalm 77:19).

Hab 3:16 When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble: when he cometh up unto the people, he will invade them with his troops. Habakkuk is saying that he trembled inside when he heard this. His legs became weak and he shook in terror. "I will wait quietly (just as we should), for the coming day when disaster will strike the people who invade us." (Habakkuk has been reminded of the terrible Babylonian invasion that is coming, then he has a vision of God that makes him faint).

Hab 3:17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; the olive crops fail and the fields lie empty; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty. (a double meaning here). One meaning could be referring to what would happen when the Babylonian invasion comes through the land and destroys it. The other meaning could be referring to us now when we just don't see any fruit. There is going to be times when it seems that the enemy (Satan), is stealing all our fruit.

Hab 3:18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. No matter what, "I will rejoice in the Lord." (I Peter 4:12-13). The God of my salvation! (Psalm 18:46, Psalm 24:5, Psalm 25:5, Psalm 27:1, Psalm 118:14, Isaiah 12:2, Micah 7:7, Luke 2:30).

Hab 3:19 The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments. The Lord is my strength. (Psalm 27:1, Isaiah 12:2, Philippians 4:13). He will make me as sure footed as a deer to walk upon high places. (II Samuel 22:34, Psalm 18:33, Isaiah 58:14). This prayer is to be accompanied by stringed instruments. (a poem set to music).

click here to return to books

Keep The Faith,

Faith Statement | Bible Study | Christian Topics | Bible Stories | Christian Resources

Since 1997 Erie, Pa USA