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The Prophets Before the Exile

(Category 8 of 16)

Watch our Read Scripture video on the book of Habakkuk, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. There is one Read Scripture video dedicated to the book of Habakkuk, which aims to help you see its unique contribution to the story of Jesus, but also how they work within the Bible’s overall framework.

In this book, Habakkuk struggles to understand God’s goodness in the midst of such evil and injustice in the world.

Explore Habakkuk

HABAKKUK (RS)

 

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The book of

HABAKKUK

HABAKKUK ministers during the “death throes” of the nation of Judah. Although
repeatedly called to repentance, the nation stubbornly refuses to
change her sinful ways. Habakkuk, knowing the hardheartedness of his countrymen,
asks God how long this intolerable condition can continue. God replies that
the Babylonians will be His chastening rod upon the nation—an announcement
that sends the prophet to his knees. He acknowledges that the just in any generation
shall live by faith (2:4), not by sight. Habakkuk concludes by praising God’s
wisdom even though he does not fully understand God’s ways.
Habaqquq is an unusual Hebrew name derived from the verb habaq, “embrace.”
Thus his name probably means “One Who Embraces” or “Clings.” At the
end of his book this name becomes appropriate because Habakkuk chooses to
cling firmly to God regardless of what happens to his nation (3:16–19). The Greek
title in the Septuagint is Ambakouk, and the Latin title in Jerome’s Vulgate is
Habacuc.
 
 

1

1 THE 1burden which the prophet Habakkuk saw.

The Prophet’s Question

2 O LORD, how long shall I cry, aAnd You will not hear? Even cry out to You, b“Violence!” And You will cnot save.
3 Why do You show me iniquity, And cause me to see 1trouble? For plundering and violence are before me; There is strife, and contention arises.
4 Therefore the law is powerless, And justice never goes forth. For the awicked surround the righteous; Therefore perverse judgment proceeds.

The LORD’s Reply

5 “Looka among the nations and watch— Be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days Which you would not believe, though it were told you.
6 For indeed I am araising up the Chaldeans, A bitter and hasty bnation Which marches through the breadth of the earth, To possess dwelling places that are not theirs.
7 They are terrible and dreadful; Their judgment and their dignity proceed from themselves.
8 Their horses also are aswifter than leopards, And more fierce than evening wolves. Their 1chargers 2charge ahead; Their cavalry comes from afar; They fly as the beagle that hastens to eat.

CHAPTER 1 References

1 1oracle,
prophecy
2 aLam. 3:8
bMic. 2:1, 2;
3:1–3 c[Job
21:5–16] 3 1Or toil
4 aJer. 12:1
5 aIs. 29:14;
Ezek.
12:22–28
6 aDeut. 28:49,
50; 2 Kin.
24:2; 2 Chr.
36:17; Jer.
4:11–13; Mic.
4:10 bEzek.
7:24; 21:31
8 aJer. 4:13
bJob 9:26;
39:29, 30;
Lam. 4:19;
Ezek. 17:3;
Hos. 8:1;
Matt. 24:28;
Luke 17:37
1Lit. horsemen
2Lit.
spring about
11 aDan. 5:4
1Lit. spirit or
wind
12 aDeut.
33:27; Ps.
90:2; 93:2;
Mal. 3:6 bIs.
10:5–7; Mal.
3:5 cJer. 25:9
16 aDeut. 8:17

9 “They all come for violence; Their faces are set like the east wind. They gather captives like sand.
10 They scoff at kings, And princes are scorned by them. They deride every stronghold, For they heap up earthen mounds and seize it.
11 Then his 1mind changes, and he transgresses; He commits offense, aAscribing this power to his god.”

The Prophet’s Second Question

12 Are You not afrom everlasting, O LORD my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O LORD, bYou have appointed them for judgment; O Rock,You have marked them for ccorrection.
13 You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, And cannot look on wickedness. Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, And hold Your tongue when the wicked devours A person more righteous than he?
14 Why do You make men like fish of the sea, Like creeping things that have no ruler over them?

15 They take up all of them with a hook, They catch them in their net, And gather them in their dragnet. Therefore they rejoice and are glad.
16 Therefore athey sacrifice to their net,

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HABAKKUK 1:17

And burn incense to their dragnet; Because by them their share is 1sumptuous And their food plentiful.
17 Shall they therefore empty their net, And continue to slay nations without pity?

2

1 I will astand my watch And set myself on the rampart, And watch to see what He will say to me, And what I will answer when I am corrected.

The Just Live by Faith

2 Then the LORD answered me and said:

a“Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it.
3 For athe vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will bnot lie. Though it tarries, cwait for it; Because it will dsurely come, It will not tarry.

4 “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the ajust shall live by his faith.

Woe to the Wicked

5 “Indeed, because he transgresses by wine, He is a proud man, And he does not stay at home. Because he aenlarges his desire as 1hell, And he is like death, and cannot be satisfied, He gathers to himself all nations And heaps up for himself all peoples.

6 “Will not all these atake up a proverb against him, And a taunting riddle against him, and say, ‘Woe to him who increases What is not his—how long? And to him who loads himself with 1many pledges’?
7 Will not 1your creditors rise up suddenly? Will they not awaken who oppress you? And you will become their booty.
8 aBecause you have plundered many nations, All the remnant of the people shall plunder you, Because of men’s 1blood And the violence of the land and the city, And of all who dwell in it.

16 1Lit. fat

CHAPTER 2 References

1 aIs. 21:8, 11
2 aIs. 8:1
3 aDan. 8:17,
19; 10:14
bEzek. 12:24,
25 c[Heb.
10:37, 38] dPs.
27:13, 14;
[James 5:7, 8;
2 Pet. 3:9] 4 a[John 3:36];
Rom. 1:17;
Heb. 10:38
5 aProv. 27:20;
30:16; Is.
5:11–15 1Or
Sheol
6 aMic. 2:4
1Syr.,Vg.
thick clay
7 1Lit. those
who bite you
8 aIs. 33:1; Jer.
27:7; Ezek.
39:10; Zech.
2:8 1Or bloodshed
9 aJer. 49:16;
Obad. 4 1Lit.
hand of evil
13 1Lit. for
what satisfies
fire, for what
is of no lasting
value
15 aHos. 7:5
1Lit. Attaching
or Joining
2Lit. their
16 1DSS, LXX
reel!; Syr.,Vg.
fall fast
asleep!
20 aZeph. 1:7;
Zech. 2:13

9 “Woe to him who covets evil gain for his house, That he may aset his nest on high, That he may be delivered from the 1power of disaster!
10 You give shameful counsel to your house, Cutting off many peoples, And sin against your soul.
11 For the stone will cry out from the wall, And the beam from the timbers will answer it.

12 “Woe to him who builds a town with bloodshed, Who establishes a city by iniquity!
13 Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts That the peoples labor 1to feed the fire, And nations weary themselves in vain?
14 For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea.

15 “Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor, 1Pressing him to your abottle, Even to make him drunk, That you may look on 2his nakedness!
16 You are filled with shame instead of glory. You also—drink! And 1be exposed as uncircumcised! The cup of the LORD’s right hand will be turned against you, And utter shame will be on your glory.
17 For the violence done to Lebanon will cover you, And the plunder of beasts which made them afraid, Because of men’s blood And the violence of the land and the city, And of all who dwell in it.

18 “What profit is the image, that its maker should carve it, The molded image, a teacher of lies, That the maker of its mold should trust in it, To make mute idols?
19 Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Awake!’ To silent stone, ‘Arise! It shall teach!’ Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, Yet in it there is no breath at all.

20 “Buta the LORD is in His holy temple.

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Let all the earth keep silence before Him.”

The Prophet’s Prayer

3

1 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, on 1Shigionoth.

2 O LORD, I have heard Your speech and was afraid; 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 God came from Teman, The Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah

His glory covered the heavens, And the earth was full of His praise.
4 His brightness was like the light; He had rays flashing from His hand, And there His power was hidden.
5 Before Him went pestilence, And fever followed at His feet.

6 He stood and measured the earth; He looked and startled the nations. aAnd the everlasting mountains were scattered, The perpetual hills bowed. His ways are everlasting.
7 I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction; The curtains of the land of Midian trembled.

8 O LORD, were You displeased with the rivers, Was Your anger against the rivers, Was Your wrath against the sea, That You rode on Your horses, Your chariots of salvation?
9 Your bow was made quite ready; Oaths were sworn over Your 1arrows. Selah

You divided the earth with rivers.
10 The mountains saw You and trembled; The overflowing of the water passed by. The deep uttered its voice, And alifted its hands on high.

CHAPTER 3 References

1 1Exact
meaning unknown
6 aNah. 1:5
9 1Lit. tribes
or rods, cf. v.
14
10 aEx. 14:22
11 aJosh.
10:12–14
12 1Or
threshed
15 aPs. 77:19;
Hab. 3:8
16 aPs. 119:120
18 aIs. 41:16;
61:10
19 a2 Sam.
22:34; Ps.
18:33 bDeut.
32:13; 33:29
1Heb. YHWH
Adonai

HABAKKUK 3:19

11 The asun and moon stood still in their habitation; At the light of Your arrows they went, At the shining of Your glittering spear.

12 You marched through the land in indignation; You 1trampled the nations in anger.
13 You went forth for the salvation of Your people, For salvation with Your Anointed. You struck the head from the house of the wicked, By laying bare from foundation to neck. Selah

14 You thrust through with his own arrows The head of his villages. They came out like a whirlwind to scatter me; Their rejoicing was like feasting on the poor in secret.
15 aYou walked through the sea with Your horses, Through the heap of great waters.

16 When I heard, amy body trembled; My lips quivered at the voice; Rottenness entered my bones; And I trembled in myself, That I might rest in the day of trouble. When he comes up to the people, He will invade them with his troops.

A Hymn of Faith

17 Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls—
18 Yet I will arejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

19 1The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like adeer’s feet, And He will make me bwalk on my high hills.

To the Chief Musician. With my stringed instruments.

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PSALM 133

Blessed Unity of the People of God

A Song of Ascents. Of David.

1 BEHOLD, how good and how pleasant it is For abrethren to dwell together in unity!
2 It is like the precious oil upon the head, Running down on the beard, The beard of Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments.

PSALM 133 References

1 aGen. 13:8
3 aDeut. 4:48
bLev. 25:21;
Deut. 28:8; Ps.
42:8

3 It is like the dew of aHermon, Descending upon the mountains of Zion; For bthere the LORD commanded the blessing— Life forevermore.

 
 

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