HABAKKUK, BOOK OF. Various dates have been assigned to the prophecy of Habakkuk. Betteridge (1903) favours the year 701 B.C. Peiser thinks the prophecy was composed about the year 609 B.C. by a Jewish prince who was familiar with Assyro-Babylonian literature. Whitehouse favours, for the major portion of the oracles, a date a little before 600 B.C. Happel thinks the prophecy was composed about 170 B.C. Kent is perhaps right in thinking that there is good reason for dating the original sections of the Book of Habakkuk in 605-4 B.C. He thinks " it is evident that the situation is pre cisely similar to that described by Jeremiah; and Habak kuk's teachings are closely parallel to those of Jeremiah in the same period. The rule of Jehoiakim, under Egyptian supremacy, represented injustice and violence to the true followers of the prophets. Habakkuk, as well as Jeremiah, recognized that the fate of the faithful seemed, for the moment at least, to implicate the very justice of Jehovah himself. At the same time, after the
great victory at Carehemish, the advancing Chaldeans were recognized as Jehovah's agents, commissioned to overthrow the existing rdgime of violence and oppres sion." The third chapter of the book is called " Prayer of Habakkuk the Prophet." It is a post-exilic psalm: but, as Cornill notes, it is not one of the latest products of post-exilie literature, since it lox imitated in Psalm lxxvii. 17-20. He further points out that " the circle of thought in which the poem moves is that of eschatology tinged with apocalyptic: its mode of expression is the artificial archaising style of such passages as Deut. xxxii., II. Sam. xxiii. 1-7, Pss. lxviii. and xc., in common with which it has a corresponding superscription." See C. Cornill, Intr.; G. H. Box; O. C. Whitehouse; C. F. Kent, The Sermons, Epistles and Apocalypses of Israel's Pro phets, 1910.