The structure of this chapter is arranged chiastically (i.e., according to a concentric movement): introduction, v. 1 (A); prayer, v. 2. (B); theophany, vv. 3-15 (C); response, vv. 16-19 (B1); epilogue, v. 19 (A1). This structure is denoted by the repetition of certain key words or phrases in v. 2 (B) and vv. 16-19 (B1). Examples are šāma'tî (“I have heard” in vv. 2, 16), and rōgez (wrath in v. 2 and pounded and trembled in v. 16). The whole prayer is framed by musical notations in v. 1 and v.19c (Armerding, 521).
Many scholars have challenged the ascription of the prayer to Habakkuk (v. 1, cf. Hiebert, 136-43). But as stated in the introduction, today a general consensus exists among scholars of multifarious traditions that the same individual composed all three chapters. This case has been made eloquently on the basis of philology (Albright, 9). But even structurally, ch. 3 is not unlike chs. 1 and 2 (see introduction). And theologically, this prayer is an ideal closure for Habakkuk's quest to understand the problem of evil. His prayer reflects his acceptance of God's answers to his personal complaints. His vow to exult in Yahweh in the midst of catastrophe (vv. 17-19) is a fitting example of the principle of faith introduced in 2:4.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
For the best Bible Gateway experience, upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus. For less than the cost of a latte each month, you'll gain access to a vast digital Bible study library and reduced banner ads to minimize distractions from God's Word. Try it free for 30 days!