By: American Standard Version
Practically nothing is known about Habakkuk’s personal history, except for what can be inferred from the text of his book, which consists of five oracles about the Chaldeans (Babylonians) and a song of praise to God. Since the Chaldean rise to power is dated c. 612 BC, it is assumed he was active about that time, making him an early contemporary of Jeremiah and Zephaniah. Jewish sources, however, do not group him with those two prophets, who are often placed together, so it is possible that he was slightly earlier than they. Because the final chapter of his book is a song, it is sometimes assumed in Jewish tradition that he was a member of the tribe of Levi, which served as musicians in Solomon’s Temple. According to the Zohar (Volume 1, page 8b) Habakkuk is the boy born to the Shunamite woman through Elisha’s blessing. Habakkuk is unique among the prophets in that he openly questions the wisdom of God. In the first part of the first chapter, the Prophet sees the injustice among his people and asks why God does not take action: “1:2 Yahweh, how long will I cry, and you will not hear? I cry out to you ‘Violence!’ and will you not save?” – (World English Bible).