Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


Habakkuk was a prophet in the Bible Old Testament and Jewish Tanakh. The name means embrace. He was the eighth of the twelve minor prophets, and likely the author of the Book of Habakkuk, which bears his name.

Practically nothing is know about Habakkuk's personal history, and all tha we surmise is inferred from the text of his book, which consists of five oracles about the Chaldeans (Assyrians) and a song of praise to God. Since the Chaldean rise to power is dated c. 612 B.C., we can assume that he was active about that time, making him an early contemporary of Jeremiah and Zephaniah. Jewish sources, however, do not group him with those two prophets, who are often placed together, so it is possible that he was slightly earlier than them.

Because of the final chapter of his book, which is a poetic praise of God, it has been assumed that Habakkuk was likely a member of the Levitical choir in the Temple. Contemporary scholars point out, however, that this chapter is missing from the Dead Sea Scrolls and has some similarities with texts found in the Book of Daniel. They therefore suggest that it is a later interpolation which influenced the authors of Daniel, and that it is impossible to make the assumption of Habakkuk's background based on it.

(See also: Project Habakkuk)