Habakkuk 3:1 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, according to Shigionoth.
SINAI AND AT
This sublime ode begins with an exordium
(Hab 3:1, 2),
then follows the main subject, then the peroration
a summary of the practical truth, which the whole is designed to teach.
are parallel odes). This was probably designed by the Spirit to be a
fit formula of prayer for the people, first in their Babylonian exile,
and now in their dispersion, especially towards the close of it, just
before the great Deliverer is to interpose for them. It was used in
public worship, as the musical term, "Selah!"
(Hab 3:3, 9, 13),
1. prayer--the only strictly called prayers are in
But all devotional addresses to God are called "prayers"
The Hebrew is from a root "to apply to a judge for a favorable
decision." Prayers in which praises to God for deliverance,
anticipated in the sure confidence of faith, are especially calculated
to enlist Jehovah on His people's side
(2Ch 20:20-22, 26).
upon Shigionoth--a musical phrase, "after the manner of
elegies," or mournful odes, from an Arabic root [LEE]; the phrase is singular in
title. More simply, from a Hebrew root to "err," "on account of
sins of ignorance." Habakkuk thus teaches his countrymen to
confess not only their more grievous sins, but also their errors
and negligences, into which they were especially likely to fall
when in exile away from the Holy Land [CALVIN].
So Vulgate and AQUILA, and SYMMACHUS. "For voluntary transgressors" [JEROME]. Probably the subject would regulate the kind of
music. DELITZSCH and HENDERSON translate, "With triumphal music," from the
same root "to err," implying its enthusiastic irregularity.
Questions Related to this Verse
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Habakkuk Images and
The Book of Habakkuk
Habakkuk 1:13 - [Thou art] of purer eyes than to behold
evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou
upon them that deal treacherously, [and] holdest thy tongue when
the wicked devoureth [the man that is] more righteous than he?
Habakkuk 2:4 - Behold, his soul [which] is lifted up is not
upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.
Habakkuk 3:16-19 - 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 cometh up unto the people, he will invade them with his
troops. 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; the flock shall be cut off from
the fold, and [there shall be] no herd in the stalls: Yet I will
rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The
LORD 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 Old Testament - A Brief Overview
Bible Survey - Habakkuk
Summary of The Book of Habakkuk
Hebrew Name - Chavaquq
Greek Name - Habakkouk (Greek form of the Hebrew)
Author - Habakkuk (According to Tradition)
Date - 626 BC Approximately
Theme - The Judgement of the Babylonians
Types and Shadows - In Habakkuk Jesus will judge the oppressors
The prophet Habakkuk asked God two questions: (1) Why would you allow so much
corruption to continue in the land of Judah for so long without being punished?
God told Habakkuk that he was going to do something spectacular, He was raising
up the cruel and violent Babylonians to come and crush the land of Judah. (2)
Why would a holy God allow such a wicked people as the Babylonians to come and
ravage the land of Judah whom He loves? God told Habakkuk that the Babylonians
are fearless and determined and they scoff at Kings, and they would become his
instrument of judgment because of the land of Judah's wickedness for they had
forsaken God. But the mighty Babylonians would have a day of judgment coming
upon themselves as well. Habakkuk also gave hope to God's people of a future
glory where the "earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the
Lord, as the waters cover the sea" (Habakkuk 2:14).
- The above text is © Rusty
Russell - Bible History Online and must be sourced for use on a
There is little known about the man Habakkuk, he began
to prophesy around the same time as Jeremiah in the latter part
of the seventh century BC. This was a time after the northern
kingdom of Israel have fallen, and only the southern kingdom of
Judah remained. They had their moments of glory yet their
disobedience was uncurable, and the Babylonians were on the
Outline of the Book of Habakkuk
Habakkuk makes complaints against God and God's answers to
these complaints. Habakkuk exemplifies a great faith and a high conception of
God, but he is perplexed because events have not taken the course which he had
The first complaint which he brings is in Habakkuk 1:2-4 and
he says that his preaching
to the people has not resulted in repentance on their part: God's answer to this
is that he is raising up the Chaldeans to punish the Jews for their disobedience
(Habakkuk 1:5-11). This leads Habakkuk to his second complaint -
Why would God punish His own people at the hand of a nation which is even more wicked
and unholy than that which is being punished? (Habakkuk 1:12-2:1). God then assures Habakkuk
that the Chaldeans are not to go without punishment and that unwavering faith on
the part of the Jews will ultimately be rewarded (Habakkuk 2:2-4). Habakkuk 2:5-20 contains
a condemnation and threat of punishment for aggression, violence, and idolatry.
The final chapter of the book is a song of praise of God and His judgment,
exemplifying belief in the principle set out in Habakkuk 2:4, "the just shall live by his
The Divided Kingdom
Northern Kingdom of Israel
Southern Kingdom of Judah
The Assyrian Captivity
The Babylonian Captivity
The Return From Babylon
The Book of Habakkuk
More About the Book of
Habakkuk in the Picture
Chart of the Prophets of Israel and Judah
Timeline of the Ancient
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