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The Agora
Bible Commentary
Habakkuk

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OVERVIEW

Time: 620 – 605 BC.

Summary: The book begins with Habakkuk complaining of injustice in Judah and his inability to understand God's failure to judge the wicked and morally depraved nation of Babylon. Habakkuk is shown that God's people must continue to trust in His mercy regardless of the circumstances about them. The wicked appear to prosper while the righteous are chastened. However, this prosperity of the wicked is only temporary. God will not abandon those who obey and follow His commandments: "the just shall live by faith" (Hab 2:4).

The content of the book, which includes poetic reflections and a psalm of praise, indicates that Habakkuk was a poet as well as a prophet. Since the last verse of the book gives a musical notation similar to some psalms, some students conclude that he was a musician and possibly a Levite.

Outline

  1. Habakkuk's first complaint: Why does evil in Judah go unpunished?: Hab 1:1–4.
  2. God's answer: The Babylonians will punish Judah: Hab 1:5–11.
  3. Habakkuk's second complaint: How can a just God use wicked Babylon to punish people more righteous than themselves?: Hab 1:12 – 2:1.
  4. God's answer: Babylon will be punished, and faith will be rewarded: Hab 2:2–20.
  5. Habakkuk's prayer: Hab 3:1–19.
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