Habakkuk

HABAKKUK

 

In his own times, Habakkuk saw the wickedness of his compatriots of the Kingdom of Judah, the crime, the injustice, and the evil prevalent.

He saw, too, that the instrument of punishment would be the Chaldean invasion which took place less than 30 years after his prophecy.

Beyond his own times his message has three aspects:

The characteristics of shown by the enemy of Yahweh's people. (Hab 2:5)

The great contribution of archaeology to the truth of the Bible. (Hab 2:11)

The ultimate world-wide dominion of Yahweh. (Hab 2:14, Isa 11:9, Matt 25:31)

 

The fall of Nineveh to the Scythians, Medes and Persians occurred right around 612 BC, and Nebuchadnezzar II ascended to the throne of Babylon in 605 BC, from which time Babylon would acquire hegemony over the remaining portions of the old Assyrian empire. This time, from 612 BC to 605 BC, seems to be the most appropriate for the proclamation that Yahweh would “raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation” here in verse 6 of the opening chapter.

It is much more likely that Habakkuk prophesied these things during the reigns of the three wicked kings which followed Josiah, which were Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah. With these and other circumstances both Biblical and historical, the early portion of the rule of Jehoiakim is the most likely candidate for the time of this prophecy, between 608 and 601 BC.

 

According to Strong's Concordance, the name Habakkuk is a reduplicated form of a word, Habak, meaning to clasp (see Strong's #'s 2263 and 2265). This is appropriate, because the prophet presents two things which must be grasped, the first being a prophesy of the destruction of Jerusalem and the second a prophecy of the destruction of Babylon.

 

The prophet says nothing about himself, but he seems to have been a Levite connected to the service of music in the temple, since the third chapter of this prophecy is a song written after the manner of Psalm 7 and instructions are given for its performance.

 

Before the song in chapter 3 of the prophecy, the reader is presented with a dialogue between the prophet and Yahweh Himself, the God of Israel, where the prophet begins by crying out for justice and judgment against the sins of the people. The prophet is portrayed as being the first to speak.

 

Habakkuk in the Hebrew is Chabaqquq. Meaning 'embrace'.

 

H4853   mas-saw'   (burden)

From H5375; a burden; specifically tribute, or (abstractly) porterage; figuratively an utterance, chiefly a doom, especially singing; mental, desire: - burden, carry away, prophecy, X they set, song, tribute.

 

Habakkuk 1:1  The burden (prophetic utterance) which Habakkuk the prophet did see.

 1:2  O Yahweh, how long shall I cry, and You wilt not hear! even cry out unto You of violence, and You wilt not save!

 1:3  Why dost You 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.

Evidently, a significant portion of the people have taken to rapacity, and raising strife and contention with the Law of Yahweh or those who desire to live by it.

We must remain aware that other prophets have indicated that there is a significant population of Canaanites in Jerusalem. Both Jeremiah chapter 2 and Ezekiel chapter 16 are indicative of the situation and attribute the sin in Judah to that very problem. The Bible teaches us throughout its earliest chapters that so long as the Canaanites are permitted to live among the people of Israel, that the people would continue to follow after the ways of the Canaanites.

 1:4  Therefore the law (torah) is slacked (paralyzed), and judgment (justice) doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong  judgment (crooked justice) proceedeth.   (Jer 12:1)

Isaiah describes some of the conditions inside Jerusalem and Judah over a hundred years before this time in chapter 3 of his prophecy 1-14. Proud, boastful, oppressive to one another, disrespectful of elders, etc.

In Hezekiah's time Jerusalem was saved from the Assyrian armies which had besieged it, and the people who witnessed such a great salvation still did not keep their obligations to their God. In the time of Josiah the books of the law were recovered and the idolatry was once again put to an end, but when he died the nation slipped immediately back to its old ways.

The next verse of Habakkuk begins Yahweh's answer to the cries of the prophet:

 1:5  (Yahweh speaking) Behold you among the heathen (nations), and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which you will not believe, though it be told you.

Acts 13:41  Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.

Among the nations, as the word should have been translated, where Yahweh here is certainly not addressing the “heathen”, the vast majority of Israel had already been dispersed or captive. This also seems to indicate that Habakkuk himself may be one of those “among the nations of Israel”, and already taken captive to Babylon. Many of the chief men of Judah were taken to Babylon as hostages much earlier than the captivity, the prophet Daniel as a young man being notable among them.

...for I will work a work in your days, which you will not believe, though it be told you.

Isaiah 29:14  Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people (Israel), even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.

 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.   (2Ki 24:2)

 1:7  They are terrible and dreadful: their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves.

Judah would fare better under the laws of Yahweh, but because they did not abide in them they will be subjected to tyrants.

Yahweh's reply to the cries of Habakkuk continue:

 1:8  Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce (keener) 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.

 1:9  They shall come all for violence: their faces shall sup up (megammah- meaning unknown) as the east wind, and they shall gather the captivity as the sand.

Brenton's Septuagint has verse 9 to read “Destruction shall come upon ungodly men, resisting with their adverse front, and he shall gather the captivity as the sand.” The ASV may be the better rendering: “All of them come for violence. Their horde of faces moves forward. They collect captives like sand.”

 1:10  And they (Babylonians) 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 (seige mound), and take it.

Brenton's Septuagint has “10 And he shall be at his ease with kings, and princes are his toys, and he shall mock at every strong-hold, and shall cast a mound, and take possession of it.”

The children of Judah and Jerusalem will not be able to stand against the Chaldaeans, and they will be quite easily conquered.

 1:11  Then shall his mind change, and he shall pass over, and offend, imputing this his power unto his god.

The Septuagint has the end of this verse to read “...saying 'This strength belongs to my god.'”

Here the Word of Yahweh instructs us that the pride of the Chaldaeans will be their own downfall in exchange for what they were given to do to Judah.

In order to illustrate the pride of the Chaldaeans, the attitudes of Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians which are described here at this very time, the following reference is from an inscription of Nebuchadnezzar II, who ruled Babylon from 605 to 562 BC. It is called the Wadi-Brisa inscription, parts of which are missing or damaged, and it was first published in German in 1906. The English translation is from Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, page 307:(ix I-X 40)

Habakkuk responds to Yahweh's answer and the judgment which He has ordained:

 1:12  (Habakkuk speaking) Art You not from everlasting, O Yahweh my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O Yahweh, You hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, You hast established them for correction.

The prophet pleads for the survival of the people of Judah with the exclamation “we shall not die”. He then makes a statement which is also a plea for assurance, hoping that the Chaldaeans are only being raised up against Judah for the judgment and correction of the disobedient nation. Being corrected, Israel is not destroyed but rather should be compelled to do the will of God.

The prophet continues:

 1:13  You art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity (mischief, grievous afflictions): wherefore lookest You upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest Your tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?

Habakkuk tells us in poetic language that Yahweh God is so pure and good that He should not have to look upon the sins of men. But while he has already plead for justice against the wicked, and that the nation not be entirely destroyed, here he further asks of Yahweh why He would permit whatever righteous people are left in Judah to suffer at the hands of the wicked, by which he means to describe the armies of the Chaldaeans.

Habakkuk continues:

 1:14  And makest men (adam) as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them?

Adam H120 adam, meaning the race of Adam.

In his earlier answer to the prophet, Yahweh had said in verse 9 that the Chaldaeans would “gather the captivity as the sand”. Here the prophet is using the analogy of fish and nets to describe the promised gathering of Judah as captives, further asking Yahweh why He would permit such a thing. Habakkuk then describes the injustice of the captors:

 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.

 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.

 1:17  Shall they therefore empty their net, and not spare continually to slay the nations?

The prophet is describing the Chaldaeans, who Yahweh had said would take many captives of Judah, and the prophet is contending as to why this should be since the Chaldaeans themselves were unrighteous idolaters, even worshiping the nets by which they would catch men. Habakkuk then asserts that the Chaldaeans have enriched themselves by the conquest of other nations. and therefore they shall not cease from their pillage.

 

Habakkuk still speaking:

Habakkuk 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 contends with Yahweh God through the end of chapter 1, and here in chapter 2 he portrays himself as waiting for an answer from God to come to him.

 2:2  And Yahweh answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.

Here is the answer Habakkuk awaited, and it reflects Yahweh's resolve. The vision which the prophet is about to receive should put fear into the hearts of those who hear of it. However the answer in the vision is two-fold. One aspect tells the prophet that the people of Israel, especially those who follow after the deeds of the wicked, will indeed suffer the decreed punishment. But the other aspect assures the prophet that the Chaldaeans will indeed be punished in turn.

 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.

The fulfillment shall prove that the prophecy is true, although it shall not be manifest immediately. However if Habakkuk prophesied no earlier than 608 BC, and no later than 601 BC, concerning Judah the prophesy was fulfilled within 15-to-22 years of his writing, by 586 BC. Babylon in turn fell to the Persians in perhaps 539 BC.

Hebrews 10:37  For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

What Yahweh says will come, will come. Whether the Babylonians or Christ.

 2:4  Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

This is quoted by Paul of Tarsus in his epistle to the Romans.

A better rendering of the Hebrew of verse 4 is found in the New Revised Standard translation, which says “Look at the proud! Their spirit is not right in them, but the righteous live by their faith.” This is a warning that the Chaldaeans are mean-spirited and proud. But that those who are righteous and faithful in Judah shall survive the judgment of Yahweh being executed through their hands. With this, we see that Habakkuk used the exclamation in the same sense that Paul of Tarsus had later quoted it.

Romans 1:17  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Galatians 3:11  But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

Hebrews 10:38  Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

 2:5  Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell (the grave), and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people:

It must not be forgotten that in verse 11 of Habakkuk chapter 1 we saw that the first offense of the Chaldaeans was to impute their power to their own god, which is an idol, when their power had actually come from the God of Israel, as they were raised up only to be a scourge for Israel.

Here in verse 5 we have further reference to the injustice and pride of the Chaldaeans, and as they are successful in conquering nations that their thirst for conquest would not be satisfied. Therefore they are portrayed as having heaped unto themselves all nations and people. This is the same attitude reflected in Nebuchadnezzar's own inscriptions which we had presented a reference to earlier.

 2:6  Shall not all these take up a parable against him (the wicked ones), 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!

It is the nations which the Chaldaeans had conquered who are being portrayed here as taking up this proverb, forecasting the fall of the Babylonians.

 2:7  Shall they not rise up suddenly that shall bite (usurers, oppress) you, and awake that shall vex you, and you shalt be for booties unto them?

Those who will destroy the Babylonians shall rise up suddenly, meaning that they will become powerful rather quickly.

 2:8  Because you hast spoiled many nations, all the remnant of the people shall spoil you; because of men's (adam's) blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.

Those who remain of the nations which Babylon has conquered shall in turn conquer and spoil the Babylonians. This happened when the Persians rose up under Cyrus.

 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!

Exodus 20:17  You shalt not covet your neighbour's house, you shalt not covet your neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is your neighbour's.

 2:10  You hast consulted shame to your house by cutting off many people, and hast sinned against your soul.

 2:11  For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it.

 2:12  Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and stablisheth a city by iniquity (violent deeds of injustice)!

Many great cities have been built on mercantilism, however all great empires have been built at the expense of others, upon blood. For this will Babylon be judged, because as verse 5 says, the Chaldaean “cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people”.

 2:13  Behold, is it not of Yahweh of hosts that the people shall labour in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity?

Sirach 14:19  Every work rotteth and consumeth away, and the worker thereof shall go withal.

No win wars.

Only Yahweh God should rule as King over His Creation. Yet from the time of Nimrod men sought to conquer and maintain control over their fellow man. It was from this mess that the children of Israel were delivered to be the servant race of God, that He may show man that only He can justly be their king.

For this reason the children of Israel were chosen, to establish Yahweh's kingdom on earth, and Paul explains of the other Adamic nations in Acts chapter 14 that: “We ... preach unto you that you should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: 16 Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.” The people to whom Paul had spoken those things were Lycaonians, they were Japhethites and not Israelites.

It is vanity for man to pursue his own ways, rather than to submit to God in obedience to His Word. When men try to build a society apart from God, they labor in the fire because they are punished by God.

Ostensibly, it is for this reason that all of the Adamic nations have been punished, and the remnant of the children of Israel have been used as an example in history. Men do not readily learn the lessons, because they cannot identify the parties.

 

Here there seems to be a transition in the scope of the prophecy, and it shifts to the immediate application concerning Judah and the Chaldaeans, to a broader scope in that it is also relevant to the fall of the Mystery Babylon of the Revelation, especially where Habakkuk continues:

Still Yahweh's answer to Habakkuk:

 2:14  For the earth (land) shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of Yahweh, as the waters cover the sea.

Isaiah 11:9  They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain: for the land shall be full of the knowledge of Yahweh, as the waters cover the sea.

This never happened after the Babylonian deportations. Even when all of Judah in Babylon had the opportunity to return for the re-establishment of Judaea in the time of the Persians, only 42,000 or so chose to return, which is evident in the opening chapters of the Book of Ezra. Since this has not happened yet, we anticipate it with the fall of Mystery Babylon, as we await the fulfillment of the words of Christ in Revelation chapter 18. This helps to substantiate the dual nature of Habakkuk's prophecy.

 2:15  Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest your bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that you mayest look on their nakedness!

Seduction.

The understanding of what this drunkenness is can be realized in a prophecy made against Babylon in the writings of Jeremiah, just a few years after this prophecy by Habakkuk, from Jeremiah chapter 51: “47 Therefore, behold, the days come, that I will do judgment upon the graven images of Babylon: and her whole land shall be confounded, and all her slain shall fall in the midst of her. 48 Then the heaven and the earth, and all that is therein, shall sing for Babylon: for the spoilers shall come unto her from the north, saith Yahweh. 49 As Babylon hath caused the slain of Israel to fall, so at Babylon shall fall the slain of all the earth. 50 Ye that have escaped the sword, go away, stand not still: remember Yahweh afar off, and let Jerusalem come into your mind. [This is a reference to the captivity of Israel.] 51 We are confounded, because we have heard reproach: shame hath covered our faces: for strangers are come into the sanctuaries of Yahweh's house. 52 Wherefore, behold, the days come, saith Yahweh, that I will do judgment upon her graven images: and through all her land the wounded shall groan. 53 Though Babylon should mount up to heaven, and though she should fortify the height of her strength, yet from Me shall spoilers come unto her, saith Yahweh. 54 A sound of a cry cometh from Babylon, and great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans: 55 Because Yahweh hath spoiled Babylon, and destroyed out of her the great voice; when her waves do roar like great waters, a noise of their voice is uttered: 56 Because the spoiler is come upon her, even upon Babylon, and her mighty men are taken, every one of their bows is broken: for Yahweh God of recompences shall surely requite. 57 And I will make drunk her princes, and her wise men, her captains, and her rulers, and her mighty men: and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the King, whose name is Yahweh of hosts. 58 Thus saith Yahweh of hosts; The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and the people shall labour in vain, and the folk in the fire, and they shall be weary.”

We see Paul, in Romans chapter 11, describe from the words of the prophet Isaiah the “spirit of slumber” which Yahweh God sends upon man, ostensibly so that man, wise in his own devices, is blind to the punishment which he is about to receive for his sins.

This drunkenness must therefore be allegorical, describing the blindness of men who deceive one another in their own conceit, while God has plans for them which are quite different from their own.

This is also relevant for the end of these days, where we expect the fall of Mystery Babylon. Today we have world rulers who think they have everything in their control. Today we have a media and entertainment industry which, in conjunction with the organized religions that follow its lead, all function as agencies for those world leaders, and once again make men drunk with lies and their nakedness shall ultimately be uncovered.

Yahweh continues:

 2:16  You art filled with shame for glory: drink you also, and let your foreskin be uncovered: the cup of Yahweh's right hand (wrath or power) shall be turned unto you, and shameful spewing shall be on your glory.

Let your foreskin be uncovered: the Babylonians were among the “uncircumcised” who are outside of the covenants and promises of God and would therefore be consumed.

 2:17  For the violence of Lebanon shall cover you, and the spoil of beasts, which made them afraid, because of men's (adam's) blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.

Earlier, given in the inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzar that he himself had bragged of his conquest of Lebanon, the words of Yahweh by the prophet here must be referring to that same thing.

 2:18  What profiteth the graven image (idol) 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?

 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.

We have just seen the prophecy of Jeremiah, where Yahweh had further chastised the Babylonians for their idolatry, in Jeremiah 51:47 where it says: “Therefore, behold, the days come, that I will do judgment upon the graven images of Babylon: and her whole land shall be confounded, and all her slain shall fall in the midst of her.” While the Babylonians were outside of the covenants of Abraham and Israel, the Chaldaeans and some of the other tribes of ancient Sumer were nevertheless of the wider Adamic race which was also being judged by Yahweh God for their idolatry, as Paul explains to the Athenians in Acts chapter 17.

These end the words of Yahweh in reply to the query of Habakkuk. The last line seems to be a conclusion written by the prophet himself, and the word “but” may have better been translated as “now”:

 2:20  But (Now) Yahweh is in His holy temple: let all the earth (land) keep silence before Him.

This is the end of the dialogue between Yahweh and the prophet Habakkuk, but it is not the end of the message of prophecy, which in chapter 3 is continued in a song which was evidently composed by the prophet for the singers and musicians in the temple in Jerusalem.

 

Habakkuk 3:1  A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shigionoth.

Perhaps “for Shigionoth” may have been a better rendering of the preposition, since the word evidently describes a poetic style.

Shigionoth is said to mean “a wild passionate song with rapid changes of rhythm”.

 3:2  O Yahweh, I have heard Your speech (fame), and was afraid: O Yahweh, revive Your work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.

The prophet opens his song as a response to the words which he had heard in chapter 2, where Yahweh described to him the judgment to come upon Judah, and then also upon Babylon.

By “Your work” the prophet alludes to the Kingdom of God represented by Judah and Jerusalem, expressing the hope that it would be built anew at some point following its coming destruction. The prophet has accepted the words of Yahweh concerning the coming judgment upon Judah, and now pleads that God be merciful when executing that judgment.

 3:3  God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens (skies), and the earth (land) was full of His praise.

Teman (Strong's # 8487) means south

Teman was a city of the Edomites, who were situated to the south of Judah. Paran was also in the south, the name apparently means place of caverns, and it was near the desert of Sinai. There are references to the “wilderness of Paran” in the writings of Moses.

it is likely here that where it says “God came from Teman”, it is an indication that the judgment coming upon Judah was going to be executed from Teman. Whether the Babylonian troops came from Teman in 586 BC or not, Teman was an Edomite city and later Scriptures tell us that the Edomites, who were also vassals to the Babylonians, played a significant part in the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple.

Psalm 137, written during the captivity, later says “1 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion”, and then “7 Remember, O Yahweh, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof.” In chapter 4 of the apocryphal version of the Book of Ezra, which is called 1 Esdras in the Septuagint, the scribe says to the Persian king “45 Thou also hast vowed to build up the temple, which the Edomites burned when Judea was made desolate by the Chaldees.”

 3:4  And His brightness was as the light (lightning); He had horns (rays of light) coming out of his hand (side): and there was the hiding of His power.

 3:5  Before Him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at His feet.

 3:6  He stood, and measured the earth (land): He beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: His ways are everlasting.

 3:7  I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction: and the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble.

 3:8  Was Yahweh displeased against the rivers? was Your anger against the rivers? was Your wrath against the sea, that You didst ride upon Your horses and Your chariots of salvation?

Salvation is evidently not salvation for everyone, for here it is seen in the destruction of men and nations. Just as the prophecy in chapter 2 first told of judgment upon Judah, and then in turn upon Babylon, here the prophet in his song seems to turn from one to the other in that same manner. Jerusalem was judged, but then Yahweh was angry and displeased “against the rivers” and the “the sea”, which are the other races and nations of the world.

 3:9  Your bow was made quite naked (laid bare), according to the oaths of the tribes, even Your word. Selah. You didst cleave the earth (land) with rivers.

 3:10  The mountains saw You, and they trembled: the overflowing of the water passed by: the deep uttered his voice, and lifted up his hands on high (in praise).

Exodus 14:22  And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

 3:11  The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of Your arrows they went, and at the shining of Your glittering spear.  

 3:12  You didst march through the land in indignation, you didst thresh the heathen (nations) in anger.

The word for heathen is the same word usually translated as nations, and it should probably be nations in at least most of the places where it appears. The conquering armies, seen as a judgment from God, are portrayed allegorically as being a facet of God Himself.  It was the Babylonian armies that God decreed to do the punishment of His people.

 3:13  You wentest forth for the salvation of Your people, even for salvation with Your anointed (ones); you woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neck. Selah.

The sons of Jacob are the Anointed Ones.

 3:14  You 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.

Even in their captivity, Israel and Judah would be preserved in the destruction of all those who had destroyed them. The head of the wicked refers to the throne of Babylon. However the prophecy in chapter 2 as well as the song here in chapter 3 there is application to the future Mystery Babylon as well. The allegorical reference to the wounding of the head can be associated with Genesis 3:15, where of the seed of the woman it is said to the serpent that “it shall bruise your head”.

 3:15  You didst walk through the sea with Your horses, through the heap (churning) of great waters.

The horses did not walk through the seas, but rather these are allegories. The seas and waters represent the masses of people in large and small nations. In the end of the Revelation it is said that with a new heaven and a new earth there shall be “no more sea”, and thereafter there are only the twelve tribes of the children of Israel, who are also the City of God come down from heaven.

 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 (Yahweh) cometh up unto the people, He will invade them with His troops.

Yahweh is sending the Babylonians to punish Israel.

Habakkuk is pained to think of the judgment which is ordained to come upon the people.

 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 (food); the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:

Even with all of this pain, the prophet remains faithful to his God, saying:

 3:18  Yet I will rejoice in Yahweh, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

 3:19  Yahweh 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 Septuagint does not interpret the last phrase to be an instruction for the choir, but rather as a part of the message, where it has verse 19 to read: “Yahweh God is my strength, and He will perfectly strengthen my feet; He mounts me upon high places, that I may conquer by His song.”

2Samuel 22:34  He maketh my feet like hinds' feet: and setteth me upon my high places.

Psalm 18:33  He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places.

 

 

 

HABAKKUK – CHURCH DOCTRINE VS. SCRIPTURE

Below are 3 sources of what the modern churches preach today about the book of Habakkuk.

The purpose is to expose the apostasy and perversion of the scriptures, and to educate our people about the truth of our heritage. That we, the anglo-saxon race who are the descendants of ancient Israel, are the people of Abraham's seed and therefore the heirs of the promises of Yahweh. Not the Jews who distort and pervert the scriptures and teach the 'traditions of men'.

 

Biblehub.com

The book of Habakkuk is Narrative History and displays Prophetic Oracle. Habakkuk wrote it approximately 612-589 B.C. just before the fall of Judah in the Southern Kingdom. Key personalities are Habakkuk and the Babylonians. As is true of the many other prophets, Habakkuk is a short book. The information in it was vital since it carried God’s message to His people. Its purpose was that Habakkuk was announcing a familiar message of judgment. He was identifying the wickedness and sin of Judah before them. Habakkuk declared that God is the “Rock” (1:2) and that they would be judged.

•    In chapters 1-2, Habakkuk poses some difficult questions to God. He was wondering why evil was prevailing. God claimed that He would do amazing things that, “you would not believe if you were told” (1:5). All of the surrounding neighbors who were super powers at that time would fall in ruin, as no one expected. Babylon was a growing empire that would rule over everything, for a time. In chapter two, God answers Habakkuk’s question. He urges everyone to be patient and ultimately trust in Him. ''Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; but the righteous will live by his faith” (2:4).

•    Chapter 3, Habakkuk gives God the glory and praise for faithfully responding to his questions, “LORD, I have heard the report about You and I fear. O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy” (3:2).

 

 

Biblestudytools.com

Summary of the Book of Habakkuk

Author

Little is known about Habakkuk except that he was a contemporary of Jeremiah and a man of vigorous faith rooted deeply in the religious traditions of Israel. The account of his ministering to the needs of Daniel in the lions' den in the Apocryphal book Bel and the Dragon is legendary rather than historical.

Date

The prediction of the coming Babylonian invasion (1:6) indicates that Habakkuk lived in Judah toward the end of Josiah's reign (640-609 b.c.) or at the beginning of Jehoiakim's (609-598). The prophecy is generally dated a little before or after the battle of Carchemish (605), when Egyptian forces, which had earlier gone to the aid of the last Assyrian king, were routed by the Babylonians under Nabopolassar and Nebuchadnezzar and were pursued as far as the Egyptian border (Jer 46). Habakkuk, like Jeremiah, probably lived to see the initial fulfillment of his prophecy when Jerusalem was attacked by the Babylonians in 597.

Theological Message

Among the prophetic writings, Habakkuk is somewhat unique in that it includes no oracle addressed to Israel. It contains, rather, a dialogue between the prophet and God. In the first two chapters, Habakkuk argues (he's not arguing) with God over his ways that appear to him unfathomable, if not unjust. Having received replies, he responds with a beautiful confession of faith (ch. 3).

This account of wrestling with God is, however, not just a fragment from a private journal that has somehow entered the public domain. It was composed for Israel. No doubt it represented the voice of the godly in Judah, struggling to comprehend the ways of God. God's answers therefore spoke to all who shared Habakkuk's troubled doubts. And Habakkuk's confession became a public expression -- as indicated by its liturgical notations (see note on 3:1).

Habakkuk was perplexed that wickedness, strife and oppression were rampant in Judah but God seemingly did nothing. When told that the Lord was preparing to do something about it through the "ruthless" Babylonians (1:6), his perplexity only intensified: How could God, who is "too pure to look on evil" (1:13), appoint such a nation "to execute judgment" (1:12) on a people "more righteous than themselves" (1:13)?

God makes it clear, however, that eventually the corrupt destroyer will itself be destroyed. In the end, Habakkuk learns to rest in God's sovereign appointments and await his working in a spirit of worship. He learns to wait patiently in faith (2:3-4) for God's kingdom to be expressed universally (2:14). To all the nations of His people. The children of Israel are the Anglo-Saxon peoples of New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Europe and America. This is our heritage.

 

 

Insight.org

Who wrote the book?

We know little of Habakkuk beyond the two mentions of his name in this book of prophecy. Both times, he identified himself as “Habakkuk the prophet” (Habakkuk 1:1; 3:1), a term that seems to indicate Habakkuk was a professional prophet. This could mean that Habakkuk was trained in the Law of Moses in a prophetic school, an institution for educating prophets that cropped up after the days of Samuel (1 Samuel 19:20; 2 Kings 4:38). Habakkuk also could have been a priest involved with the worship of God at the temple. This assumption is based on the book’s final, psalm-like statement: “For the choir director, on my stringed instruments” (Habakkuk 3:19).

Where are we?

Determining the date of the book of Habakkuk is quite a bit easier than dating most books. He spoke often of an imminent Babylonian invasion (Habakkuk 1:6; 2:1; 3:16), an event that occurred on a smaller scale in 605 BC before the total destruction of Judah’s capital city, Jerusalem, in 586 BC. The way Habakkuk described Judah indicates a low time in its history. If the dating is to remain close to the Babylonian invasion, Habakkuk likely prophesied in the first five years of Jehoiakim’s reign (609–598 BC) to a king who led his people into evil.

Habakkuk’s prophecy was directed to a world that, through the eyes of God’s people, must have seemed on the edge of disaster. The world the prophecy was directed to was the society of the children of Israel. They disobeyed, again, and were going to be punished. Even when the northern kingdom had been destroyed in 722 BC, God’s people remained in Judah. However, with another powerful foreign army on the rampage, faithful people like Habakkuk were wondering what God was doing. Hadn’t He given the land to His people? Would He now take it away? Yes, our ancestors disobeyed. They had to be punished. And during that punishment, they would be preserved, if they accepted the punishment. Habakkuk’s prayer of faith for the remainder of God’s people in the face of such destruction still stands today as a remarkable witness of true faith and undying hope.

Why is Habakkuk so important?

Habakkuk provides us one of the most remarkable sections in all of Scripture, as it contains an extended dialogue between Habakkuk and God (Habakkuk 1–2). The prophet initiated this conversation based on his distress about God’s “inaction” in the world. He wanted to see God do something more, particularly in the area of justice for evildoers. The book of Habakkuk pictures a frustrated prophet, much like Jonah, though Habakkuk channeled his frustration into prayers and eventually praise to God, rather than trying to run from the Lord as Jonah did.

What's the big idea?

As the prophet Habakkuk stood in Jerusalem and pondered the state of his nation, Judah, he must have been dumbfounded. So much evil thrived, completely in the open, but God remained strangely silent. Where was He? He was not going to hang around a people of whoredom, they were going to pay for their error. How else would we learn if He didn't let us fall? How long would He allow this mess to continue? Not long, according to the Lord (Habakkuk 2:2–3). Another nation, the Babylonians, would come and execute justice on the Lord’s behalf. The wicked in Judah, those who thought they would get away with their evil deeds forever, were soon to be punished.

The book of Habakkuk offers us a picture of a prideful people being humbled, while the righteous live by faith in God (2:4). It reminds us that while God may seem silent and uninvolved in our world, He always has a plan to deal with evil and always works out justice . . . eventually. The example of the prophet Habakkuk encourages believers to wait on the Lord, expecting that He will indeed work out all things for our good (Romans 8:28).

How do I apply this?

Habakkuk asked God the kind of question that so many of us have pondered, “Why do you force me to look at evil, stare trouble in the face day after day?” (Habakkuk 1:3 MESSAGE). We have all seen the evidence of evil in our lives. We’ve all been touched by it. And we bear scars at various stages of healing. Surrounded by evil as if we are trapped in a dark prison cell of our own making, we are often downtrodden by our poor choices and our fallen world. However, the book of Habakkuk reminds us that no place is too dark and no wall too thick for God’s grace to penetrate in a powerful and life-affirming way.