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Habakkuk (Biblical book)

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Habakkuk is the thirty-fifth book (in the standard Protestant order) of the Old Testament. It forms part of the minor prophets. A short book, it consists of three chapters only. Its main thesis asks the age old question "Why do bad things happen to good (righteous) people?"

While certain other prophets can be dated with reasonable certainty, Habakkuk's laments over the injustices of his day (as well as the answer he receives from the Lord) would seem to indicate a time before the Babylonian captivity, (586BC), a not unreasonable source suggests 605-600BC[1]

The book opens with a lament from the prophet to the Lord (KJV):
1: The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see.
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!
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.
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 third chapter is in the form of a Psalm; the final verse (Habakkuk 3:19) suggests that it was meant to be accompanied by music (To the chief singer on my stringed instruments., KJV).

One of the more well-known of the Dead Sea Scrolls is a commentary on Habakkuk 1-2, in pesher style, the Pesher Habakkuk (1QpHab).


  1. Canon A. van Hoonacker, Les douze petits prophètes traduits et commentés, Paris, 1908.

Books of the Bible
Old Testament
Pentateuch (Torah) GenesisExodusLeviticusNumbersDeuteronomy
History JoshuaJudgesRuthI SamuelII SamuelI KingsII KingsI ChroniclesII ChroniclesEzraNehemiahEsther
Wisdom Literature JobPsalmsProverbsEcclesiastesSong of Solomon
Major Prophets IsaiahJeremiahLamentationsEzekielDaniel
Minor Prophets HoseaJoelAmosObadiahJonahMicahNahumHabakkukZephaniahHaggaiZechariahMalachi
New Testament
The Gospels According to MatthewAccording to MarkAccording to LukeAccording to John
History Acts of the Apostles
Pauline Epistles RomansI CorinthiansII CorinthiansGalatiansEphesiansPhilippiansColossiansI ThessaloniansII ThessaloniansI TimothyII TimothyTitusPhilemon
General Epistles HebrewsJamesI PeterII PeterI JohnII JohnIII JohnJude
Prophecy The Revelation to John
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