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A Report On Habakkuk (Old Testament Wisdom Literature)

2587 words - 10 pages

A Report on Habakkuk Part I: Background Habakkuk is unique among the books of prophecy in the Cannon. It is a small book...just three chapters...but contains Hebrew poetry that is considered of a very high caliber. Even though its been said that it must be read in the original Hebrew to understand it, it is nonetheless a beautiful piece of poetry. The descriptions are powerful and graphic. It is a small book, but it is dynamic and full of force. The book has two main purposes; to warn Judah (or possibly another people) of it's conquest by the Chaldean's (Babylonians) and to give Judah's (or another people) hope of Chaldea's ultimate destruction. Habakkuk's prophecy seems to be that just as God allowed the Assyrians to conquer Israel, so he going to allow the Chaldeans to conquer Judah. The book of Habakkuk records a prophecy that Habakkuk received from God. The prophecy does not seem to have been in the form of words, but rather, it seems to have been something that Habakkuk saw in a vision.There is very little known about the prophet Habakkuk. The book that bears his name gives very little information about him. The name "Habakkuk" means literally "A wrestler" or "Embracer". Some of the ancient rabbis, connecting the name with 2 Kings 4:16, "Thou shalt embrace a son," imagined that the prophet was the son of the Shunammite woman. Isaiah may have prophesied of Habakkuk's coming. Isaiah 21:6 "For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth", seems to connect with Habakkuk 2:1,"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." making Habakkuk the watchman set by Isaiah to watch for the fall of Babylon. The Apocryphal 14th chapter of Daniel known as "Bel and the Dragon" gives an account of Habakkuk that most Bible scholars dismiss as "legendary". In the story, Daniel is imprisoned in a lion's den for a second time for killing a "a dragon" that was the object of worship by the Babylonians. Meanwhile in Judah, Habakkuk, while on his way with a bowl of stew, was taken by an angel, carried to Babylon and placed in the lions den, where he gives Daniel the pottage to eat. Habakkuk was then returned back to Judah. According to the Lives, Habakkuk died two years before the return of the exiles from Babylon. All these legends have little or no historical value. But even in this story, we are told practically nothing about him, and the story is not part of the Cannon. Some theologians and scholars down through the years have suggested that Habakkuk was a Levite who assisted in the Temple music, because of Chapter 3. This is certainly possible. The famous Anglican theologian says Habakkuk was of the tribe of Simeon, and a native of Beth-zacar.Some theologians claim that almost half the book of Habakkuk was not written by Habakkuk at all. The verses contained in Chapter 1, 5 through 11, Chapter 2, 9-20, and all of Chapter 3 are...

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