Wikipedia.org: The Book of Habakkuk – The Book of Habakkuk is the eighth book of the 12 minor prophets of the Hebrew Bible – It is attributed to the prophet Habakkuk and was probably composed in the late 7th century BCE (606 B.C.) – A copy of chapters 1 and 2 (of 3) is included in the Habakkuk Commentary, found among the Dead Sea Scrolls – Habakkuk may have been a Levite and singer in the [Jerusalem] Temple – Note: A common Timeline for the Prophet Habakkuk is that his Ministry to Israel concluded about 606 B.C. — 606 B.C. Prophet Habakkuk finishes his Ministry – [one year later] 605 B.C. The Battle of Carchemish [Babylon defeats Egypt] – 586 B.C. The fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple
Background: The prophet Habakkuk is generally believed to have written his book in the mid to late 7th century BCE, not long before the Babylonians' siege and capture of Jerusalem. Author: Habakkuk identifies himself as a prophet in the opening verse. Due to the liturgical nature of the book of Habakkuk, there have been some scholars who think that the author may have been a temple prophet. Temple prophets are described in 1 Chronicles 25:1 as using lyres, harps and cymbals. Some feel that this is echoed in Habakkuk 3:19b, and that Habakkuk may have been a Levite and singer in the Temple. There is no biographical information on the prophet Habakkuk; in fact less is known about him than any other writer of the Bible. The only canonical information we have comes from the book that is named for him. His name comes either from the Hebrew word (khavak) meaning "embrace" or else from an Akkadian word hambakuku for a kind of plant. Although his name does not appear in any other part of the Jewish Bible, Rabbinic tradition holds Habakkuk to be the Shunammite woman's son, who was restored to life by Elisha in 2 Kings 4:16. The prophet Habakkuk is also mentioned in the tale of Bel and the Dragon, part of the deuterocanonical additions to Daniel in a late section of that book. In the superscription of the Old Greek version, Habakkuk is called the son of Joshua of the tribe of Levi. In this book Habakkuk is lifted by an angel to Babylon to provide Daniel with some food while he is in the lion's den. - Historical context: The Chaldean Empire around 600 BCE. It is unknown when Habakkuk lived and preached, but the reference to the rise and advance of the Chaldeans in 1:6-11 places him in the middle to last quarter of the 7th century BC. One possible period might be during the reign of Jehoiakim, from 609-598 BC. The reasoning for this date is that during his reign that the Babylonians were growing in power. The Babylonians marched against Jerusalem in 598. Jehoiakim died while the Babylonians were marching towards Jerusalem and Jehoiakim's 8 year old son, Jehoiachin assumed the throne. Upon the Babylonians' arrival, Jehoiachin and advisors surrendered Jerusalem after a short time. With the transition of rulers and the age/inexperience of Jehoiachin, they were not able to stand against Chaldean forces. There is a sense of an intimate knowledge of the Babylonian brutality in 1:12-17. [link]
Habakkuk 1 – The Prophet Habakkuk prophesied during the middle period prophets – Because of musical references in Habakkuk’s writing it is thought that Habakkuk was a Levite Temple Choir singer – Habakkuk’s main message and main concern is the common theme that God does not seem to be intervening against the commonplace injustices and evil of the day – Then when God does intervene God does so in a completely unexpected way i.e. sending His children in to exile, destroying His city of Jerusalem and His Temple building — ‘Habakkuk 1:1-2 The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see. O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! – Note: We as humans seldom understand the way God is intervening in our lives and in humanity because God is working to form fruit [Galatians 5:22-26] and maturity in our lives. Seldom does the fruits of the Holy Spirit and the maturity God is seeking from humans come from humans in a conferrable, relaxed condition. The fruits of God do come from the rest, faith and trust in God during times of peril.’
Habakkuk 1:3 Why dost thou shew me [to discern] iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention. Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth. Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: *for I (God) will work a work in your days [captivity of the Jews, destruction of Jerusalem, destruction of the Temple], which ye will not believe, though it [already] be told you [in prophecy]. For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not theirs. They are terrible and dreadful: their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves. - Habakkuk a righteous man, probably a member of the Temple choir is looking around and seeing many of the failings of mankind and like many godly men Habakkuk is asking God why He isn't dealing with the ungodly. Habakkuk then comes to realize that God as a faithful Father first and foremost deals with the shortcomings of His own children. - 1 Peter 4:17-19 17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the House of God: and if it first begin at us [Christians], what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved [only by the cross of Jesus], where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear [only at the judgment]? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful [Father] Creator.
Habakkuk 2 – The prophet Habakkuk is dissatisfied with the actions of his fellow man he continues to seek answers accepting only the answers that come from God — ‘Habakkuk 2:2-4 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run [excel] that readeth it. … Behold, his [worshiper] soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: *but the just shall live by his faith.’ – The Apostle Paul then goes on to use his paraphrase “the just shall live by faith” as a cornerstone and a guidestone to his Apostolic Ministry and quotes it as a main theme in each of his three major New Testament epistle writings; Romans, Galatians, and the Book of Hebrews.
Habakkuk 2:1-6 I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what He will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run [excel] that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: *but the just shall live by his faith. Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he [Babylon] is a proud man, neither keepeth at home [his desires], who enlargeth his desire [upon others] as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people: Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? and to him that ladeth himself with thick clay [human frailty]! - God is answering Habakkuk in a direct way about the shortcomings of mankind and specifically the desires of the Nation and King of Babylon, yet in actuality it is ultimately a judgment against Satan as the people who are seeking after their own pride are actually serving Satan and his original fall resulting from his pride.
Habakkuk 3 – The Prophet Habakkuk hears from God and realizes that the wrath [correction and maturity] that God has for His children is just as necessary as the ever-present mercy God has for His children — ‘Habakkuk 3:1-2 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shigionoth. O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.’
The Prophet Habakkuk closes out his Ministry to Israel by composing a song of declaration by stating his faith and trust in the judgments and ways of God. - Habakkuk 3:17-19 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 [Heavenly] places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.