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The prophetic book of Habakkuk

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Author: --- Background & Theme --- dated at:
Habakkuk, his name means Embrace. Habakkuk prophesied to the two tribes of Judah around 610bc., after the ten tribes of Israel had been taken into captivity by the Assyrians in 722bc. Jerusalem was in moral and social decay and the Babylonian empire posed a threat of invasion. Habakkuk was a well known prophet of his day, a contemporary of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and Zephaniah. Habakkuk questioned God concerning His judgments on His people, but was himself reassured through his own prophecies.
three chapters
610 BC

Verse by verse, account of the book of Habakkuk.

Habakkuk: chapter 1

1The burden of the vision given to Habakkuk. 2LORD, how long shall I cry and will you not hear? Violence is all around me and yet you do not save. 3Why do You show me this wickedness and trouble? Destruction and violence is all around me creating much strife and contention. 4Is the law powerless, since justice does not seem to go forth. For the wicked surround the righteous and perverted justice prevails.

5The LORD replied; Look among the other nations and be amassed, for I will do a work in your days that you will have to see to believe. 6I am raising up a new force, the Chaldean nation, to search out the whole earth and conquer and dwell in nations that are not theirs. 7A dreadful people, that do whatever their own judgment tells them to do. 8Their horses are very swift, swooping down like vultures, as they charge ahead seeking their prey. 9They come for violence, enjoying the raid, gathering up captives like sand. 10They give respect to no one, nether kings or princes. They find a way to break down every stronghold and to seize it. 11Then comes the offense, for they ascribe their mighty power to their false gods.

12Habakkuk, then said to the LORD; You are the eternal God, the Holy One. We shall not surely die? For you have appointed them for judgment and our correction. 13Your eye is too pure to behold evil, nor can You look on wickedness, why then do You look on their treacherous dealings and hold Your tongue when the wicked devours the righteous. 14Why do You create men yet put no governor over them? 15Whereby the Chaldean simply gathered up men in their nets and then rejoice over their take. 16Therefore, they glorify their deceitful ways, for in them is their food made plentiful. 17How long shall they empty their nets and slay nations without pity?

Habakkuk: chapter 2

1I, Habakkuk, will now stand and watch, awaiting His answer and what my reply will be when I am corrected.

2The LORD then answered and said; Write the vision on tablets and make it plain so that he who reads it may run. 3For the vision is for an appointed time, be aware of it because it will surely come to pass.

4Proud men trust in themselves alone but their souls are not upright, whereby the just live by faith. 5Through the use of wine he has become proud and commits his transgressions. Not staying at home but rather dreaming of enlarging his desires, only to find that they do not satisfy but rather lead to death. However, he gathers all nations and people to himself as in a heap. 6Will not even his captives taunt him saying; woe to you who increases through what is not yours, how long will he keep it? Even all of his many outstanding notes of credit won't help him. 7For suddenly his creditors will rise up, they shall oppress him and he shall become their booty. 8Because you have plundered many nations and people, shedding man's blood and have done violence in the land and the city, evil will come back to you and then you yourself will be plundered.

9Woe to the man who obtains wealth through evil gain for his household, thinking that he will live in comfort and be delivered from disaster. 10He set a shameful example for his household, disregarding many people and sinning against his very own soul. 11For every stone and timber will cry out against him.

12Woe to him who builds a town through the shedding of blood or establishes a city through crime! 13Is it not appointed of the LORD that these nations weary themselves in their vain labors? 14For just as the waters cover the sea, the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD.

15Woe to him who assists in making his neighbor drunk, so they can look on his nakedness, taking advantage of him while shaming their own glory. 16They are filled with shame instead of glory, for they drink and freely expose themselves as uncircumcised men. The LORD's right hand will be turned against them and their glory shall be put to utter shame. 17For the violence done to the beauty of Israel shall cover them. Even the wild beasts shall plunder them and terrify them because of man's blood that they have shed and the violence of the land and its people. 18What profit is an idol, are they not just carved or molded images? Its maker teaches lies, telling all to trust in dumb idols.

19Woe to those who speak to these dumb idols. For they are but images that cannot speak, overlaid with silver and gold, having no life in them at all. 20Yet the LORD is very much alive and in His holy temple, let all the earth keep silent before Him.

Habakkuk: chapter 3
1   The prayer of the prophet Habakkuk, set to a Triumphal music.

2I have heard Your words and was afraid, let us receive Your work in the midst of the years and make it known, but in Your wrath also remember Your mercy. 3God came out of the wilderness along with His holy One. His glory covered the heavens and the earth was full of His praise. 4His brightness radiated all around with rays of light coming forth from His hand and there was a hiding of His strength. 5Plagues went before Him and lightning was at His feet. 6He stood and measured the earth and shook the nations. The mountains were shattered and the hills were leveled. For His ways are everlasting and His ways are of old.

7I saw the people of Cushan troubled and the land of Midian trembling. 8LORD what was Your anger against, the rivers or the sea? For You rode on horses, pulling Your chariot of salvation. 9Your bow was made ready and Your words were spoken over Your arrows. For You have carved rivers into the earth. 10Even the mountains trembled, the waters passed by and the deep raise its voice in worshiped to the LORD. 11The sun and the moon stood still and at the brightness of Your arrows they went. 12You marched through the land in indignation, trampling the nations in Your anger. 13You went forth and have come for the salvation of Your anointed people Israel. Striking the house of the wicked, striping them from head to toe. 14You destroyed the wicked who came out against Israel with their own weapons and Israel's rejoicing was great. 15For Your horsemen walked across the sea on dry land. 16When I heard this, my body trembled and my lips quivered at Your voice. Rottenness entered into my bones, fearing that I might not rest in the day of trouble, when the enemy comes to the people and invades them with his troops.

17Though all around me may fail, (the fig and the olive shall fail and no food be in the field, neither any herds in the fields). 18Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will exult and joy in the God of my salvation. 19The LORD God is my strength, He will make my feet swift and sure-footed, to walk on high places.

NOTE: (This prayer / hymn was to be put to music with the below instructions included in this writing),

to the Chief Musician, using my stringed instruments.