About the book of Habakkuk
Habakkuk lived about 600 years BC. He lived in Judah.
The country that ruled that part of the world until 612 BC was Assyria. In 612 BC, a country called Babylon beat Assyria. Then the Babylonians ruled that part of the world. Both the Assyrians and the Babylonians worshipped false gods. Habakkuk thought that the king and other leaders of the people in Judah did not rule well. Many leaders did bad things and nothing could stop them. These leaders did very cruel things to the people in Judah. These leaders did not obey the covenant that they had with God. A covenant is when two people or groups agree. Here the two are God and the people in Judah. God said that he would be kind to the people in Judah. They promised to love God and to obey him. But the leaders did not love and obey God. So, God said that he would punish Judah's people.
God chose the Babylonians to punish the leaders of Judah. The trouble was that they punished the people in Judah with the leaders. Starting in about 625 BC, Babylon had become a powerful country. They destroyed many countries and, in 612 BC, they destroyed Assyria. Then they destroyed Egypt in 605 BC. Then, in 586 BC, they destroyed Judah too. There is more about Assyria in our commentary on Nahum, Habakkuk and Zephaniah. That commentary is called ‘The Problem of Assyria’.
Habakkuk could not understand why God had chosen the Babylonians. He knew that someone must punish Judah. But he did not know why it should be the Babylonians. The Babylonians were very bad and cruel people. The Babylonians loved and worshipped false gods.
We know very little about Habakkuk. His name means ‘he who holds somebody near to him’.