The Song of Habakkuk Part III -- By: J. Ellwood Evans

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 113:449 (Jan 1956)
Article: The Song of Habakkuk Part III
Author: J. Ellwood Evans


The Song of Habakkuk
Part III

J. Ellwood Evans

The first chapter of Habakkuk described two problems which the prophet faced. They were related to each other as action is related to reaction. The prophet’s first problem had its origin in his feeling that God was acting in seeming indifference toward his people (1:1–4). This problem found its answer in Jehovah’s statement that evil was to be judged (1:5–11) by the Chaldeans who were described both as to their wicked character and their relentless tactics as invaders. Jehovah’s answer to the prophet’s first question raised the prophet’s second question. It dealt with what seemed in the prophet’s mind to be inconsistency on the part of Jehovah (1:12–17). How could Jehovah who was holy, the prophet reasoned, use the Chaldeans to judge Judah when Judah was far less wicked than the appointed instrument of chastisement? In seeking an answer to this question, the prophet retires to a solitary height to await a revelation (2:1 ).

The Prophet’s Instructions

The dialogue form used in the first chapter is continued in chapter two. “And Jehovah answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tablets, that he may run that readeth it” (v. 2; all Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are from the American Standard Version). It is quite apparent that Jehovah did not keep the prophet waiting for the answer he sought. The revelation he sought as he waited upon his solitary watchtower came with unmistakable clarity. The prophet was instructed, therefore, to write plainly the answer to his query upon tablets. These tablets were of the form commonly used to transmit a desired utterance to the people. They were placed at the door of the prophet’s house or at some other prominent place such as the market-place where the people could readily read the communication. The vision was of such importance that it must

not be allowed to pass into oblivion. Therefore, it was to be committed to writing. It was, further, to be written so plainly that anyone reading it would not fail to comprehend its importance, no matter how occupied or how much in haste he might be. It was to be made so legible “that he may run that readeth it” to tell all he can of the good news of the doom of Judah’s foe and the certainty of her deliverance.

The vision received by the prophet is for the appointed time, according to verse 3, whic...

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