Blogging with Habakkuk (4) – An Oracle Received

(Part 4 in a series of posts on Habakkuk.)

Habakkuk 1:1

Today we will look at Habakkuk’s introductory statement in 1:1.

Habakkuk 1:1 – The oracle that Habakkuk the prophet received.

Only three prophets in the Old Testament specifically identify themselves as prophets at the beginning of their books. Habakkuk is one of them; the other two are Haggai and Zechariah.

Habakkuk identifies himself as a prophet, and he identifies the book that follows as “the oracle that he received.” An oracle is another word for prophecy. Habakkuk is saying from the very start that the message in this book is not a message of his own devising. Rather, it is prophecy. It is a message from the Lord.

There are several Hebrew words that can be translated “oracle” or “prophecy,” but this particular word also conveys the idea of a burden. It is used especially to describe prophecies that carry a warning or a rebuke for the receivers. It may also imply that bringing a prophecy of judgment upon a people was a burden for the prophet as well. It is never easy to be the bearer of bad news.

Notice that Habakkuk “received” this oracle. This particular word “received” in the Hebrew also means “to see or perceive,” and so it is possible that Habakkuk received this message as part of a vision. Either way, this points us once again to God as the source of the message. The prophet Habakkuk was only the channel through which God brought his word.

The apostle Peter says the same thing about prophecy in the New Testament book of 2 Peter: “Above all you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:19-20)

Habakkuk 1:1 “This is the oracle that Habakkuk the prophet received from the Lord.”

(Looking ahead: Next time we will look at verses 2-4.)

Here are the links to the whole Blogging with Habakkuk series: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25.

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Blogging with Habakkuk (1) at Ray Fowler .org

Leave a Reply