*Habakkuk is identified as a Levite of the Southern Kingdom among the elite; a professional prophet.
*one of four 7th century prophets (Jeremiah, Nahum, Zephaniah, Habakkuk)
*Written anywhere between 625-590 (according to the Harper Collins study bible), the time frame may be narrowed further to 608-598 BCE; Just before Judah becomes vassals to B. empire (596)
*by that time, Israel had already been conquered by the Assyrians for over one hundred years (722/721).
Babylon overpowers Assyria and it's focus is Egypt; Babylon defeats Egypt at Carchemish (608)
*The Book of Habakkuk has a couple of Prophetic Formulas:
Vision Reports (1.1, 2.2, 3.3-15)
5 Woe Oracles (2.6-8, 2.9-11, 2.12-14, 2015-17, 2.18-20).
Vision Report Formulas:
(1.1) The oracle that the prophet Habakkuk saw.
(2.2) Then the Lord answered me and said: Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it.
The 2 Questions:
Question #1 to God (1.2-4): When will you act on those Judean social injustices? "The law becomes slack, and the justice never prevails." (v.4)
Answer (1.5-11): I am raising up the Chaldeans as we speak! "For I am rousing the Chaldeans, that fierce and impetuous people". (V.6a)
Question #2 (1.12-17): The Chaldeans?! They are not as righteous as we are! "Why do you look on the treacherous, and are silent when the wicked swallow those more righteous than they?" (v.13b)
Answer (2.2-5): The righteous rely on me and will live! "Look at the proud! Their spirit is not right in them, but the righteous live by their faith."