When Habakkuk complains that the Lord isn’t doing anything about the violence and flouting of the law in Israel, Yahweh responds by telling the prophet the Chaldeans are coming. That’s not much of an answer, but there’s a hint that the Chaldean forces are from Yahweh: In verse 1:8, the horses are compared to leopards and to swooping eagles. Winged leopards should remind us of something - the ox/lion/eagle/men that constituted Yahweh’s chariot, the cherubim warriors that made up Yahweh’s hosts. The Chaldean forces also resemble and anticipate one of the beasts from the sea in Daniel 7, again a cherub figure.

Perhaps the analogy with cherubim indicates that Yahweh is sending them, though on the other hand they might be a counterfeit cherub army. In the latter case, it implies that the Chaldean army, ferocious as it may seem, won’t stand a chance against real cherub forces.

Articles by Peter J. Leithart