Best Habakkuk Commentaries | Updated for 2020

The best Habakkuk commentaries are listed below. The commentaries listed first are those that have received the best reviews. You will also find options for commentaries on Habakkuk that help pastors, teachers, and readers with application of the Bible, commentaries that approach the Scripture verse-by-verse, classic Christian commentaries, and much more.


Habakkuk Commentaries: Best Reviews


Habakkuk (The Minor Prophets: An Exegetical and Expositional Commentaries) by F.F. Bruce

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Reviews and Accolades:

Desiring God: #1 commentary on The Minor Prophets

Tremper Longman: Bruce is “highly competent on the Old Testament subject”

Keith Mathison: #2 ranked commentary on Habakkuk, “technical and requires some knowledge of Hebrew. It is very helpful.”

Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “With their messages of doom and judgment, the Minor Prophets have not been popular subjects in the history of biblical interpretation. Here noted evangelical scholars–such as Bruce Waltke, Tremper Longman III, F. F. Bruce, and J. Alec Motyer–remedy this neglect by offering an authoritative, evangelical treatment of the prophets. In this edition, which now combines three volumes into one, the authors not only provide meticulous exegesis of the Hebrew text but also relate the message of the ancient prophets to contemporary life in practical and meaningful ways.”


Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah (New International Commentary on the Old Testament) by O. Palmer Robertson

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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: “Robertson excels in theological analysis and pastoral application”

John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill: “broadly evangelical and offers helpful treatment of the text.”

Keith Mathison: #1 ranked commentary on Habakkuk, “very helpful at explaining the larger theological themes found within these books. Highly recommended.”

Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “All of the NICOT volumes combine superior scholarship, an evangelical view of Scripture as the Word of God, and concern for the life of faith today. Each volume features an extensive introduction treating the biblical book’s authorship, date, purpose, structure, and theology. The author’s own translation of the original Hebrew and verse-by-verse commentary follow. The commentary itself carefully balances coverage of technical matters with exposition of the biblical text’s theology and implications.” See more about the New International Commentary on the Old Testament series.


Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah (Tyndale Old Testament Commentary) by David W. Baker

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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “engaging writing style and an emphasis on theology and historical background”

John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill: “broadly evangelical and offers helpful treatment of the text.”

Keith Mathison: #3 ranked commentary on Habakkuk, “For those seeking an introductory level commentary on Habakkuk, the best one available”

Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: This series is “designed to help readers understand what the Bible actually says and what it means…[each commentary] examines the text section by section, drawing out its main themes. It also comments on individual verses and deals with problems of interpretation. The aim throughout is to get at the true meaning of the Bible and to make its message plain to readers today.” See more about the Tyndale Old Testament Commentary series.


Micah-Malachi (Word Biblical Commentary) by Ralph L. Smith

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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: “solid and competent”

John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill: “broadly evangelical and offers helpful treatment of the text.”

Keith Mathison: #5 ranked commentary on Habakkuk, “worth consulting”

Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “WBC series delivers the best in biblical scholarship, from the leading scholars who share a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation. It emphasizes a thorough analysis of textual, linguistic, structural, and theological evidence. The result is judicious and balanced insight into the meanings of the text in the framework of biblical theology.” See more about the Word Biblical Commentary series.


Jonah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah (NIV Application Commentary) by James Bruckner

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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: “Bruckner does a nice job getting to the heart of the message”

Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the General Editor: The primary goal of the NIV Application Commentary Series is to help you with the difficult but vital task of bringing an ancient message into a modern context. The series not only focuses on application as a finished product but also helps you think through the process of moving from the original meaning of a passage to its contemporary significance. These are commentaries, not popular expositions. They are works of reference, not devotional literature.” See more about the NIV Application Commentary series.


Micah, Nahum, Habakkuh, Zephaniah (New American Commentary) by K. Barker and W. Bailey

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Reviews and Accolades:

Keith Mathison: #4 ranked commentary on Habakkuk, “the volume in the NAC series by Barker and Bailey is also a helpful commentary”

Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The New American Commentary is introduced to bridge the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This new series has been designed primarily to enable pastors, teachers, and students to read the Bible with clarity and proclaim it with power.” See more about the New American Commentary series.


Habakkuk (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) by Francis Anderson

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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “an excellent scholarly reading…a very clear writer”

Best for: students, pastors, teachers, professors, and scholars with training in Hebrew who can follow a technical commentary

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Anchor Yale Bible Series, previously the Anchor Bible Series, is a renowned publishing program that for more than 50 years has produced books devoted to the latest scholarship on the Bible and biblical topics.” The series “vigorously pursues the goal of bringing to a wide audience the most important new ideas, the latest research findings, and the clearest possible analysis of the Bible.” See more about the Anchor Bible Commentary series.


Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah (An Exegetical Commentary) by Richard D. Patterson

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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “this commentary may be the best, in terms of quantity as well as quality of insight, on this Minor Prophet”

Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “An excellent exegetical commentary. Available in Libronix format or in paperback. This is one of 3 commentaries in a set. Also checkout the commentaries by Finley and Merrill.”


Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah (Old Testament Library) by J. J. M. Roberts

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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “written in a way that even interested nonspecialists can understand”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Old Testament Library provides fresh and authoritative treatments of important aspects of Old Testament study through commentaries and general surveys. The contributors are scholars of international standing.” See more about the Old Testament Library commentary series.


Habakkuk (The Forms of the Old Testament Literature) by Michael Floyd

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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 5 out of 5 stars, “this excellent work will only be helpful to scholars”

Best for: students, pastors, teachers, professors, and scholars with training in Hebrew who can follow a technical commentary

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Forms of the Old Testament Literature (FOTL) is a series of volumes that seeks to present, according to a standard outline and methodology, a form-critical analysis of every book or unit of the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible). Fundamentally exegetical, each volume examines the structure, genre, setting, and intention of the biblical literature in question. The series also endeavors to study the history behind the form-critical discussion of the material, to bring consistency to the terminology for the genres and formulas of the biblical literature, and to expose the exegetical procedure in such a way as to enable students and pastors to engage in their own analysis and interpretation.”


Verse-by-Verse Expository Commentaries


Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi (Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching) by Elizabeth Achtemeier

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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “This series of commentaries offers an interpretation of the books of the Bible. It is designed to meet the need of students, teachers, ministers, and priests for a contemporary expository commentary. These volumes will not replace the historical critical commentary or homiletical aids to preaching. The purpose of this series is rather to provide a third kind of resource, a commentary which presents the integrated result of historical and theological work with the biblical text.” See more about the Interpretation Bible commentary series.


The Minor Prophets by Charles L. Feinberg

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Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “A comprehensive commentary on all twelve of the minor prophets Free of footnotes and devotional in style.”


Habakkuk (Two Horizons Old Testament Commentary) by Heath A. Thomas

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Interview: See Best Bible Commentaries’ interview with Heath A. Thomas on this volume

Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Two features distinguish The Two Horizons Old Testament Commentary series: theological exegesis and theological reflection…The result is a paragraph-by-paragraph engagement with the text that is deliberately theological in focus.” See more about the Two Horizons Bible commentary series.


Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk and Zephaniah (Focus on the Bible) by John L. Mackay

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Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “These commentaries are popular level commentaries especially useful for pastors and small group leaders. They are useful for personal devotions and spiritual growth. Many of the authors of the commentaries are leading expositors of God’s Word on their specialty subjects. The series holds to the inerrancy of scripture and the uniqueness of Christ in salvation.” See more about the Focus on the Bible commentary series.


Joel, Micah and Habakkuk (The Bible Speaks Today) by David Prior

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Approach to Scripture: Evangelical

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: The “the three distinctives of The Bible Speaks Today series are (1) “BST authors are committed to a serious study of the text in its own integrity,” (2) that “expositors should not be antiquarians, living only in the remote past” but suggest application for living, and (3) “each book is intended to be both readable in style and manageable in size.” See more about the Bible Speaks Today commentary series.


Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi (Abingdon) by Julia M. O’Brien

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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries series offers compact, critical commentaries on all the books of the Old Testament. In addition to providing fundamental information on and insights into Old Testament writings, these commentaries exemplify the tasks and procedures of careful, critical exegesis so as to assist students of the Old Testament in coming to an informed engagement of the biblical texts themselves. These commentaries are written with special attention to the needs and interests of theology students, but they will also be useful for students in upper-level college or university settings, as well as for pastors and other church leaders.” See more about Abingdon commentaries.


The Minor Prophets II (Understanding the Bible Commentary Series) by J. Goldingay and P. Scalise

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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Each volume in the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series breaks down the barriers between the ancient and modern worlds so that the power and meaning of the biblical texts become transparent to contemporary readers. They present a careful section-by-section exposition of the biblical books with key terms and phrases highlighted and all Hebrew transliterated. Notes at the close of each chapter provide additional textual and technical comments for those who want to dig deeper.” See more about the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series.


A Commentary on the Book of the Twelve (Kregel Exegetical Library) by Michael Shepherd

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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The books of the twelve Minor Prophets are some of the least studied by Christians today, but they contain some of the great themes of Scripture, such as God’s mercy and judgment, His covenant with Israel, the day of the Lord, and the coming of the Messiah. Arguing for a canonical unity that recognizes the Minor Prophets as one cohesive composition, Michael Shepherd explains the historical meaning of each verse of the twelve books and also provides guidance for application and preaching. Pastors, teachers, and serious students of Scripture will find a wealth of insights for understanding the Minor Prophets.” See more about the Kregel Exegetical Library series.


Classic Christian Commentaries


Minor Prophets (Ironside Expository Commentaries) by H.A. Ironside

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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: H.A. Ironside (1876-1951) was an internationally acclaimed Bible teacher and preacher, as well as the author of more than sixty books. His writings include addresses or commentaries on the entire New Testament, all of the Old Testament prophetic books, and a great many volumes on other biblical topics. For eighteen of his fifty years of ministry, Dr. Ironside was pastor of the historic Moody Memorial Church in Chicago, Ill.


Habakkuk (Geneva Series of Commentaries) by John Calvin

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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “This is volume 4 of John Calvin’s 5 volume set on the Minor Prophets. C.H. Spurgeon said, ‘Everything that Calvin wrote by way of exposition is priceless. His expositions are more equal in excellence than those of other men; other men rise and fall, but he is almost uniformly good.’ His great gifts as an interpreter are clearly evident here in his treatment of the oft-neglected Minor Prophets. In these volumes he opens up their rich contents to our hearts and minds: here is God’s Word concerning false religion, spiritual adultery, injustice, judgment, the remnant, the restoration and sovereign love.”


The Minor Prophets (Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture) edited by Alberto Ferreiro

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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “This is volume 1 of John Calvin’s 5 volume set on the Minor Prophets. C.H. Spurgeon said, ‘Everything that Calvin wrote by way of exposition is priceless. His expositions are more equal in excellence than those of other men; other men rise and fall, but he is almost uniformly good.’ His great gifts as an interpreter are clearly evident here in his treatment of the oft-neglected Minor Prophets. In these volumes he opens up their rich contents to our hearts and minds: here is God’s Word concerning false religion, spiritual adultery, injustice, judgment, the remnant, the restoration and sovereign love.” See more about the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture series.


Are you a pastor?

On the page Habakkuk Commentaries for Pastors you find commentaries that uniquely designed for pastors in that they focus on application and spend less time on technical discussions.


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Compare 75 different commentary series on the Bible Commentary Series Comparison Chart