It is all too common to find commentaries that miss the forest for the trees, commentaries that get so caught up in the minutiae of scholarly controversies that they miss what God is saying for His church today. This is especially evident when it comes to the book of Habakkuk.
The Teleioteti Old Testament Commentaries series is an attempt to attain theological depth, to pay attention to the forest, without neglecting the details of the text, without missing the trees. To do this, a Teleioteti Old Testament Commentary seeks to bring scholarly rigour and thoughtfulness together with faithful attention to the purpose and significance of each book for God’s people today. It strikes a balance between technicality, working through the Hebrew text and its difficulties, and practicality, applying each major section of the text to contemporary needs.
Habakkuk is a book that especially needs such an approach. After an extensive introduction discussing the significant issues and laying the groundwork for interpreting Habakkuk, this commentary walks through the text stanza by stanza and line by line. With a balance of theological reflection and exegetical depth, a wide variety of readers will find something to take away.
Habakkuk is a book of discipleship, a book written to bring its reader to a deeper faith in Yahweh in the presence of His unthinkable deeds. In the midst of oppressive evil at the hands of their Judahite brothers, the righteous of Judah cry out to God for salvation. His response is the invasion of fearsome Chaldea. What appears to be horrid judgment is actually His plan to save those who trust in Him. All His people are called to extraordinary faith, to believe Him when His deeds are unbelievable. In this way, and only this way, will they be delivered from their oppressors and enjoy God’s blessings: only by faith can they have life.
J. Alexander Rutherford has also written a study guide on the book of Habakkuk, Believe the Unbelievable.
Habakkuk is a solid commentary. The emphasis upon the text of Habakkuk and its address of key theological issues presented in the text make it a worthy addition to the collection of commentaries on Habakkuk already in print. Habakkuk will fit nicely on the bookshelf in the pastor’s library.Daniel Wiley, Adjunct Professor Clarks Summit University in Journal of Ministry and Theology, Spring 2020, Vol. 24, No. 1.
Cover Design: Stephen Joshua Arriola