More Information
ISBN: 9781839739767
Imprint: Langham Global Library
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 11
Publication Date: 30/06/2024
Pages: 210
Series: Asia Bible Commentary Series
Language: English

Habakkuk and Zephaniah

A Pastoral and Contextual Commentary


The books of Habakkuk and Zephaniah are God’s word to his people Israel at the lowest point in their history – the time of the Babylonian captivity. In the horizon, the looming national disaster is not simply contrasted with the prophetic hope of deliverance; rather the brightest light that shines is the display of God’s unchanging faithfulness, power, and holiness – the foundations for divine action for the well-being of the remnant of Judah. They show us the faith of the righteous among the rebels and the ruins. Thesetwo powerful books demonstrate that faith without faithfulness is an infantile fantasy. Written in accessible language to guide readers into the world of Hebrew poetry, this volume speaks to all those who continue to desire God in life’s dark places and dark times, revealing Scripture’s beauty and power as we persist in seeking to understand its intricacies.

The Asia Bible Commentary Series empowers Christian believers in Asia to read the Bible from within their respective contexts. Holistic in its approach to the text, each exposition of the biblical books combines exegesis and application. The ultimate goal is to strengthen the Body of Christ in Asia by providing a pastoral and contextual exposition of every book of the Bible.

Author Bios

Peter C. W. Ho

PETER C. W. HO is the academic dean of the School of Theology (English) at the Singapore Bible College, where he is also an associate professor of the Old Testament. He holds a PhD in theology and religious studies from the University of Gloucestershire, UK, and he is the author of The Design of the Psalter: A Macrostructural Analysis (Wipf and Stock, 2019).


This is a great resource for anyone – ranging from Old Testament scholars to average Christians – who wishes to go deeper in their study of these prophetic books.

Matt Ayars, PhD
Former President
Wesley Biblical Seminary, Mississippi, USA

In this commentary on Habakkuk and Zephaniah, Dr. Peter Ho has combined incisive biblical exegesis, robust theological reflection, and astute cultural observation.

Rev. Darryl Chan
Senior Minister,
Prinsep Street Presbyterian Church, Singapore

Dr. Ho’s well-informed scholarship and deeply reflective spirituality create an enriching commentary that is faithful to the historical texts and relevant to the current situation.

Clement M. S. Chia, PhD
Principal and Associate Professor of Systematic and Contextual Theologies,
Singapore Bible College

Peter Ho’s commentary on the books of Habakkuk and Zephaniah is based on careful scholarship and explains these books and their significance in a way that is accessible to contemporary readers.

Kenneth H. Cuffey, PhD
Professor of Biblical Studies,
Urbana Theological Seminary, Illinois, USA

Here is a commentary that builds a festoon of bridges: bridges between the ancient world of the Bible and the oracles of the prophets; bridges between scholarship and ministry; and bridges between the everyday realities of ancient West Asia and Asia today.

Havilah Dharamraj, PhD
Professor of Old Testament,
South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies, Bangalore

With a careful attention to their literary form and setting, and placing them in their cultural context, Dr. Peter Ho’s expert guidance opens up the books of Habakkuk and Zephaniah.

David G. Firth, PhD
Old Testament Tutor,
Trinity College, Bristol, UK

Dr. Ho’s commentary on Habakkuk and Zephaniah offers many applications for the modern world, with specific reference to the Asian context. I highly recommend this book to all readers, especially pastors, ministers of the word, and seminary students.

Patrick Fung, PhD
Global Ambassador,
OMF International

Peter Ho aims to “demystify” Habakkuk and Zephaniah, who can seem rather imposing prophets. What significant prophets these are, and how helpful Peter Ho is in enabling readers to engage with them!

John Goldingay, DD
Senior Professor of Old Testament,
Fuller Theological Seminary, California, USA

Peter Ho displays pastoral insight, literary sensitivity, and theological nuance in this commentary on Habakkuk and Zephaniah. I shall return to this commentary again and again.

Heath A. Thomas, PhD
President and Professor of Old Testament,
Oklahoma Baptist University, USA

In this age of visual and pictorial learning, Dr. Peter Ho not only provides contextual readings but also offers visual representations in this valuable commentary on the books of Habakkuk and Zephaniah.

Shirley S. Ho, PhD
Associate Professor of Old Testament,
China Evangelical Seminary/China Evangelical Graduate School of Theology, Taiwan

Dr. Peter Ho’s commentary offers an excellent introduction into a relatively unfamiliar portion of Scripture and also invites the reader to dig deep for buried treasure.

Gilbert Soo Hoo, PhD
Professor of New Testament,
Singapore Bible College

Peter Ho states that he hopes to “demystify” the books of Habakkuk and Zephaniah – which are certainly obscure for most Christians – and he succeeds admirably in this task. I recommend it highly.

David M. Howard Jr., PhD
Professor of Old Testament,
Bethlehem College and Seminary, Minnesota, USA

Through the accessible bridges that Dr. Ho builds for readers of these books, God’s word from the ancient Near East comes alive in its relevance for the modern Far East!

Jerry Hwang, PhD
Affiliate Research Professor, Advanced Studies,
Singapore Bible College

Whether you are a scholar, pastor, student, or interested lay person, I highly recommend reading this book if you seek to gain a deeper understanding of these often-neglected biblical books.

Peter Lau, PhD
Lecturer in Old Testament,
Seminari Theoloji Malaysia and Equip Gospel Ministries

As a pastor who must preach regularly, I believe that this commentary will greatly help preachers. Peter has worked hard to give us both the context of the times and the relevance for today.

Rev. Chua Seng Lee
Senior Pastor,
Bethesda Bedok Tampines Church, Singapore

I greatly appreciate the introduction included in this volume, which not only offers valuable contextual information but also establishes a theological framework, making this book a comprehensive resource for studying Habakkuk and Zephaniah.

Rev. Peter Lin
Serving Singapore, Blessing Asia

Dr. Peter Ho’s book is extremely well-written and is enhanced by a host of well-chosen graphic illustration of topics that occur in the texts. I commend it unreservedly.

Gordon McConville, PhD
Emeritus Professor of Old Testament Theology,
University of Gloucestershire, UK

Peter Ho’s commentary skillfully blends the three Rs of a good commentary: readability, research, and relevance.

James Nogalski, PhD
Professor of Old Testament,
Baylor University, Texas, USA

In this work, Dr. Ho does three things for the student of Habakkuk and Zephaniah. First, he shows how the literary structures of the books open up fruitful new ways of understanding their content. Second, he shows the coherency of their message and content. Third, he shows how that content intersects with contemporary life. In these ways, he makes a solid contribution to the study of this literature.

John N. Oswalt, PhD
Visiting Distinguished Professor of Old Testament,
Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky, USA

Dr. Peter Ho brings his expertise on the Psalms to this terrific commentary on the prophetic books of Habakkuk and Zephaniah, which will be invaluable to all who desire to understand, to live out, and to teach these books.

Anthony R. Petterson, PhD
Lecturer in Old Testament and Biblical Hebrew,
Morling College and Australian College of Theology, Sydney

Readers of this volume will be greatly helped in their understanding of Habakkuk and Zephaniah. There are many insightful and challenging applications for the contemporary Southeast Asian context.

Philip Satterthwaite, PhD
Lecturer Emeritus,
Biblical Graduate School of Theology, Singapore

Proving that the messages of the Minor Prophets are far from obsolete, Dr. Peter Ho deftly guides us through the books of Habakkuk and Zephaniah, bringing their messages clearly into focus.

Daniel C. Timmer, PhD
Director and Professor of Biblical Studies, Doctoral Program,
Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Michigan, USA
Professeur d’Ancien Testament, Faculté de théologie évangélique, Canada

All readers (not only those living in Asia!) will derive from this insightful, deeply engaging, Scripture-saturated study.

Ernst R. Wendland, PhD
Professor Extraordinary in the Department of Ancient Studies,
Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Table of Contents

  1. Commentary
    1. Series Preface
    2. Author’s Preface
    3. List of Abbreviations
    4. Introduction
    5. Commentary on Habakkuk
    6. Commentary on Zephaniah
    7. Selected Bibliography
  2. Topics
    1. Are There Prophets of Yahweh Today?
    2. Trapped in Unending Violence and Injustice
    3. Knowing God’s Will and Living Faithfully
    4. Where Does Our Security Come From?
    5. Jesus, the Divine Warrior
    6. Who Will God Condemn on That Day?
    7. We Are Called to Seek Yahweh, His Righteousness, and Humble Ourselves
    8. God’s Determination to Love and Transform His People Steeped in Their Decadence