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Habakkuk: An expositional commentary (Exploring the Bible series)

By Tim Shenton
January 2008 | Review by Ben Epps
  • Publisher: Day One Publications
  • ISBN: 978-1846250552
  • Pages: 96
  • Price: £6.00
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Book Review

I’m very glad this concise gem is on my shelf – it aims to explain each verse of the much-neglected book of Habakkuk and succeeds with superb clarity. This book would prove useful to most readers, since it lends itself to being used as a succinct, non-technical reference to the meaning of this unusual dialogue between God and his puzzled prophet.

The book commences with some extremely helpful two-page summaries of the historical background, the message and the structure of the prophecy. Habakkuk is then expounded in bite-size chunks, each verse being quoted in the NIV and followed by an explanation.

The author makes many salient links with the rest of Scripture, and excels in opening our eyes to the pictures being painted by the rich word-imagery.

The text is peppered with discussion on particular words, and useful nuggets about the Babylonians. Much of the hard work has been done for the reader in quickly weighing up different interpretations, paying attention to both literary and historical context.

It is a shame that the commentary lacks explicit modern-day applications or illustrations, and I would certainly have appreciated a bibliography and some helpful hints as to what other materials might be useful in getting to grips with Habakkuk.

Look here for a commentary that combines great brevity with attention to each verse. The message of a just and sovereign God who will ‘in wrath remember mercy’ rings loud and clear, and will bring comfort and strength to many, as it did for Habakkuk.

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