Book of Habacuc

detail of the statue 'Habakkuk and the Angel' by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, 1655, Museo Sacro, Musei Vaticani, Vatican City, Rome, ItalyArticle

In the Old Testament, it contains the prophecies of Habacuc, foretelling, as a thing incredible to Juda, the invasion of the Chaldeans. The temple of Jerusalem, which was to be destroyed by Nabuchodonosor, King of the Chaldeans, 587 B.C., was still standing (2, 20), and the fact that the Chaldean conquest did not seem likely makes it probable that the prophet’s prediction dates from before 606 B.C., when the victory of Nabuchodonosor over the Egyptians at Carchemish assured his domination over western Asia. However the work of Habacuc’s contemporary, Jeremias, shows that Jerusalem remained rather blind to the Chaldean menace even after that time and some scholars regard the period: 606-600, as the most likely date. The prophet foretells the chastisement of his guilty country, Juda, by the Chaldeans, whom God uses as His scourge, and then the chastisement of the still more wicked Chaldeans. God‘s assurance that whereas “the just shall live in His faith” the proud oppressor shall be destroyed, is followed by a taunting song in which the prophet represents the people pronouncing “Woes” against the rapacious violence of the Chaldeans and the dishonesty and cruelty by which the magnificence of their cities was maintained, as well as against their idolatry. The book ends in a beautiful lyric ode in which God is represented as appearing in judgment, to execute vengeance on the nation’s foes and to ensure His people’s salvation.

MLA Citation

  • “Book of Habacuc”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 13 June 2010. Web. 30 November 2021. <>