Background of Habakkuk
Habakkuk’s questions about God’s interaction with the world center on internal community injustice and foreign invasion, but those two conditions could characterize several periods since the time of Prophet to the northern kingdom who condemned Israel's oppression of the poor, calling for justice to "roll down like waters.". The book offers no dates and mentions no kings or other officials by name. Dating is therefore completely dependent on resonance with more datable biblical material. In his opening complaint to God (1:2-4), Habakkuk describes a slackness of the law and a lack of justice along with ensuing violence. That general portrait fits with the period between 609 B.C.E. (death of Judean king noted for his reforms of Israel's worship in the time of Jeremiah) and 587 B.C.E. (the Babylonian destruction of the The Jerusalem temple, unlike the tabernacle, was a permanent structure, although (like the tabernacle) it was a place of worship and religious activity. On one occasion Jesus felt such activity was unacceptable and, as reported in all four Gospels, drove from the temple those engaged... and Jerusalem) as described in 2 Kings and reflected in Prophet who condemned Judah's infidelity to God, warned of Babylonian conquest, and promised a new covenant.
Although the Babylonians (Chaldeans) were on the ascent from 626 B.C.E. onward, it is likely that they were not a source of terror for Judeans until they defeat the Egyptians at Carchemish in 605 B.C.E. In 597 B.C.E. Babylonian king who conquered Jerusalem, destroyed the Temple, and exiled the people captured Jerusalem for the first time and deported a portion of its leadership. For the next decade the Babylonians remained a threat. When Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed by the Babylonians in 587 B.C.E., the threat of destruction became an experienced fact. The Babylonians remain a threat, even in the final, edited form of the book. Thus, a date between the invasion of 597 and the destruction of 587 is the likely historical period for the origin of the book of Habakkuk.
Compounding the difficulty of determining the historical point of composition is the lack of an addressed human audience. Habakkuk has a dialogue with God and reports his reaction to the interchange. The book does not report any preaching to a contemporary audience, unlike Amos, Prophet to the northern kingdom who married a prostitute to show God's relationship to a faithless Israel, Isaiah, son of Amoz, who prophesied in Jerusalem, is included among the prophets of the eighth century B.C.E. (along with Amos, Hosea, and Micah)--preachers who boldly proclaimed God's word of judgment against the economic, social, and religious disorders of their time., and others.