By Mary Jane Chaignot

Categories: Prophets

  • Even less is known about Habakkuk than Nahum.
  • Scholars aren’t even sure re: the etymology of his name.
  • It has been variously translated as “embrace” or possibly “garden plant,”from an Accadian word.
  • Regardless, it’s a foreign word, which might indicate the extent of foreign influence at that time.
  • One legend has it that Habakkuk was the son of the Shunammite woman of 2 Kings. The connection is made through the word “embrace” in 2 Kings 4:16. “Thou shalt embrace a son….”
  • Like Nahum, Habakkuk gives no date for his preaching.
  • Habakkuk carried on a dialogue with God.
  • When Habakkuk didn’t like God’s response, he let him know.
  • His “striving” with God reminds scholars of Job.
  • Habakkuk’s primary message was to remain faithful to Yahweh, to his sovereignty, to his justice even in the face of an enemy poised on his doorstep.
  • He was determined to love God regardless of human circumstances.


Craigie, Peter. "Twelve Prophets." Daily Study Bible Series. Philadelphia, PA: Westminster Press, 1984.

Gaebelein, Frank. "Nahum; Habakkuk; Zephaniah." Expositor's Bible Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing, 1985.

Mills, Watson and Richard Wilson. Mercer Commentary on the Bible. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1995.

Smith, Ralph. "Micah-Malachi." Word Biblical Commentary. Dallas, TX: Word Books, 1984.

Bible Characters