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Book of the Twelve Prophets of the Tanakh Old Testament
Minor Prophets
Names after the ÖVBE
Old Testament books
History books


"Little" ( Book of the Twelve Prophets )

Prophet Habakuk (15th century) in Leogang (Salzburg)

Habakkuk ( Hebrew חבקוק) Is called a prophet in the Tanakh ( Ambakoum in the Septuagint and the Vulgate ) and attributed to him writing that the twelve minor prophets heard. After that he was a judgment prophet; Personal data have not been passed on. His work is based on linguistic and content-related evidence to about 630 BC. Dated.


The meaning of the name is uncertain, it may come from the Akkadian, ḫabbaqūqu or ḫambaqūqu denotes a plant species that cannot be identified more precisely. The Arabic ḥabaq (basil) is also likely to be related . The meaning “the hugger” and a derivation from the Hebrew root ḥbq (to hug) is rather unlikely .

Contemporary historical context

According to HabEU Habakkuk complained of violence and injustice in his presence and announced the conquest of the Chaldeans (New Babylonians) as a criminal court of YHWH . It is uncertain whether Hab 2.20  EU means the Jerusalem Temple. The following woes (Chapter 2) and their images can therefore be related both to the situation in Judea before the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple ( 587/586 BC ) and to the violence of the foreign rulers afterwards. Usually Habakuk's appearance is dated to the reign of the last kings of Judea Josiah and Jojakim . Then Habakkuk was a contemporary of Jeremiah.


The book has three parts:

  • The prophet's complaint to God about violence and injustice and the announcement of the judgment of the judgment to his hearers (Chapter 1)
  • Woe (funeral complaint) against the rulers, their greed and greed for power and unlimited violence against humans and nature (Chapter 2)
  • a penance psalm (Chapter 3) with instructions for its recitation. If this is authentic, Habakkuk could have been a Levitic singer in the context of the Jerusalem temple cult.

The story takes the form of a dialogue between Habakkuk and God.

  1. First dialogue with God: Why is ungodly Judah not punished? - The court is coming. ( Hab 1.2–11  EU )
  2. Second dialogue with God: Why does the wicked devour him who is righteous than he? - Wait and believe. ( Hab 1.12-17  EU ; 2.1-5 EU )
  3. Woe to greedy, exploiters, violent people and "idolaters" ( Hab 2.6-20  EU )
  4. Psalm Habakuks ( Hab 3,1-19  EU )


Hab 2,4  EU is given in the New Testament in Rom 1,17  EU , Gal 3,11  EU and Heb 10,38  EU :

“Behold, the inflated, insincere is his soul in him; but the righteous will live by his faith. "

The Roman Catholic feast day of Habakkuk is December 2nd or January 15th, in Armenian December 3rd, and in Coptic May 19th.

See also


  • Eckart Otto : Habakuk / Habakuk book . In: Theologische Realenzyklopädie 14 (1985), pp. 300-306 (introduction with research literature)
  • Felix Ernst Peiser : The Prophet Habakkuk. An Inquiry into the Critique of the Old Testament . Peiser, Berlin 1903. (= communications from the Middle East-Egyptian Society , 1903, 1, 8.)

Web links

Commons : Habakuk  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Jonathan Robker:  Habakkuk. In: Michaela Bauks, Klaus Koenen, Stefan Alkier (Eds.): The Scientific Biblical Lexicon on the Internet (WiBiLex), Stuttgart 2006 ff.
  2. Erich Zenger (Ed.): Introduction to the Old Testament , 6th edition, Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2006, p. 564f.
  3. Butcher 1951.