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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments


- Habakkuk

by Joseph Sutcliffe


HABAKKUK comes down to us like Melchizedek, without father or mother, or descent. His name denotes a wrestler, a struggler. The opinions of the Jews are, that he prophesied in the time of Manasseh, of the wickedness of whose reign he is thought to speak, as in Habakkuk 1:3-4. Others place the time of his labours after the fall of Nineveh, which happened in the twenty ninth year of king Josiah, because he says, Lo, I raise up against you the Chaldeans, whose power succeeded that of the Assyrians. But, as those two names are much mixed in history, the inferences are not conclusive. Epiphanius says, he prophesied after Nahum, and a little before, or rather was contemporary with Zephaniah. He adds, and no doubt from some authorities, that he was of the tribe of Simeon, and a native of Bethzacar. As a prophet he foretold, in unison with his predecessors, the invasion of the Chaldeans, the fall of Jerusalem, the final overthrow of their enemies, and the liberation of the Jews by Cyrus. In the third chapter, the sublimest of hymns, under the figure of the emancipation from Egypt, he foretold our redemption by Christ, and the glory that should follow.