Introduction to Habakkuk
The book of Habakkuk indicates an author of deep spirituality and great concern for the holiness of God. In his third chapter, an eloquent poetic prayer expressing great faith in the ultimate vindication of God’s righteousness, he calls himself “Habakkuk the prophet,” and this is one of only two cases (Haggai 1:1) where one of the canonical prophets so identifies himself.
Otherwise, little is known about Habakkuk personally. He was evidently a contemporary of Jeremiah, in the closing years of Judah’s partial independence before the Babylonian exile. He clearly predicted the imminent Babylonian invasion and captivity (Habakkuk 1:5-11). His ministry was probably in the turbulent years just following good king Josiah’s death.
It is in Habakkuk that the famous assurance that “the just shall live by his faith” first appears (Habakkuk 2:4). This verse was quoted three times in the New Testament and eventually became the watchword of the Protestant Reformation under Martin Luther.