Nahum



by Ken Cayce



Ken Cayce All rights reserved.


Copyright



Table of Contents



Introduction

Chapters




Introduction


Back to Table of Contents




Nahum Explained





Go To Nahum Index



Book of Nahum Explained

Title: The book's title is taken from the prophet-of-God's oracle against Nineveh, the capital of Assyria. Nahum means "comfort" or "consolation" and is a short form of Nehemiah ("comfort of Yahweh"). Nahum is not quoted in the New Testament, although there may be an allusion to (Nahum 1:15 in Romans 10:15; Isaiah 52:7).


Author - Date: The author of the prophecy is named simply "Nahum the Elkoshite" (1:1), and all that is known of the prophet is gleaned from this prophecy. Probably the identity of the prophet is obscured so his message can be prominent. Nahum's mission was to comfort the kingdom of Judah, following the destruction of Israel by Assyria, by announcing God's coming judgment on Nineveh, the capital of Assyria.


The purpose of Nahum's prophecy is twofold:


(1) To deliver a message of judgment and destruction against Nineveh; and


(2) To give comfort to Judah, so recently ravaged by Assyria.


Since Assyria is doomed, it will constitute a threat no longer.


With no mention of any kings in the introduction, the date of Nahum's prophecy must be implied by historical data. The message of judgment against Nineveh portrays a nation of strength, intimating a time not only prior to her fall (in 612 B.C.), but probably before the death of Ashurbanipal (in 626 B.C.), after which Assyria's power fell rapidly.


Being occupied with the doom on Nineveh, Nahum does not date his prophecy according to any of the kings of Israel or Judah. He probably ministered during the reign of Hezekiah. This would certainly fit if (1:9-13), is understood as a vivid description of Sennacherib's invasion of Judah and siege of Jerusalem. The only historical citation that can be identified with certainty is the references to "No" (No-amon, i.e., Egyptian Thebes), which was destroyed by Assyria (in 663 B.C.; 3:8-10).


Nahum's mention of the fall of No-amon, also called Thebes (3:8-10, in 663 B.C.), at the hands of Ashurbanipal, appears to be fresh in their minds and there is no mention of the rekindling that occurred ten years later, suggesting a mid-seventh century B.C. date during the reign of Manasseh (695-642 B.C.; compare 2 Kings 21:1-18).


Attempts to identify the location of Elkosh have been unsuccessful. Suggestions include Al-Qosh, situated in northern Iraq; thus, Nahum would have been a descendant of the exiles taken to Assyria (in 722 B.C.), Capernaum or a location in southern Judah (1:15). It may be identified with Capernaum (Kaphar Nahum, literally, "Village of Nahum"), which was renamed in honor of its most famous citizen. Probably then, Nahum was born in Galilee, but during Israel's defection moved to Judah and in Jerusalem took up his ministry in behalf of Judah against Nineveh. His birthplace or locale is not significant to the interpretation of the book.


Historical Setting: The place from which the prophet ministered is best understood as Jerusalem, which so recently had experienced near destruction by Sennacherib, king of Assyria. Its siege and divine intervention is briefly described (in 1:9-13).


The significance of the writing prophets was not their personal lives; it was their message. Thus, background information about the prophet from within the prophecy is rare. Occasionally one of the historical books will shed additional light. In the case of Nahum, nothing is provided except that he was an Elkoshite (1:1), referring either to his birthplace or his place of ministry.


The prophet cites Nineveh's destruction of No-amon and points out that if God did not spare that city, then He certainly would not spare Nineveh, for Nineveh is not better than Thebes (3:11-15a). Thus, it can be determined with certainty that the prophecy was written after the destruction of Thebes, which it records, and before the destruction of Nineveh which it predicts. Nineveh was destroyed (in 612 B.C.).


Background - Setting: A century after Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah, she returned to idolatry, violence, and arrogance (3:1-4). Assyria was at the height of her power, having recovered from Sennacherib's defeat (701 B.C.), at Jerusalem (Isa. 37:36-38). Her borders extended all the way into Egypt. Esarhaddon had recently transplanted conquered peoples into Samaria and Galilee (in 670 B.C.; 2 Kings 17:24; Ezra 4:2), leaving Syria and Palestine very weak. But God brought Nineveh down under the rising power of Babylon's king Nabopolassar and his son, Nebuchadnezzar (612 B.C.). Assyria's demise turned out just as God had prophesied.


The prophecy of Nahum is dominated by a single idea, the doom of Nineveh. In describing this doom, Nahum writes lyric poetry of the highest quality. It has been called the most poetical of all the prophetic writings, and certainly is the most severe in tone of any of the Minor Prophets.


Historical - Theological Themes: Nahum forms a sequel to the book of Jonah, who prophesied over a century earlier. Jonah recounts the remission of God's promised judgment toward Nineveh, while Nahum depicts the later execution of God's judgment. Nineveh was proud of her invulnerable city, with her walls reaching 100 feet high and with a moat 150 feet wide and 60 feet deep; but Nahum established the fact that the sovereign God (1:2-5), would bring vengeance upon those who violated His law (1:8, 14; 3:5-7). The same God had a retributive judgment against evil which is also redemptive, bestowing His loving kindnesses upon the faithful (1:7, 12-13, 15; 2:2). The prophecy brought comfort to Judah and all who feared the cruel Assyrians. Nahum said Nineveh would end "with an overflowing flood" (1:8); and it happened when the Tigris River overflowed to destroy enough of the walls to let the Babylonians through. Nahum also predicted that the city would be hidden (3:11). After its destruction (in 612 B.C.), the site was not rediscovered (until 1842 A.D.).





Chapters


Back to Table of Contents




Chapter Selection



Chapters



Back to Table of Contents



Nahum 1
Nahum 2
Nahum 3

Nahum 1



Nahum Chapter 1

Nahum, who penned this book, was a relative unknown. He was from Elkosh in Judah. The name "Nahum" means full of comfort. Nahum prophesied about the time of Jeremiah. Most scholars believe Nahum's prophecy began about 620 B.C. His message is that Nineveh will fall. Soon after Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah, they fell back into their old sinful ways.


Nahum 1:1 "The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite."


The prophecy is a message of doom. Nahum was only the messenger of this divine oracle of judgment on Nineveh.


"Nineveh" was the Assyrian capital situated on the Tigris River. It fell to Babylon (in 612 B.C.; see note on Jonah 1:1-3).


We immediately see that this message for Nineveh came to Nahum by a vision from God.



Verses 2-15: The destruction of Nineveh was announced.


Nahum 1:2 "God [is] jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and [is] furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth [wrath] for his enemies."


"Jealous": This attribute, often used of God's burning zeal for His wife, Israel, emphasizes His passionate reaction against anyone guilty of spiritual adultery. Possibly the captivity of the 10 northern tribes (722 B.C.), or the invasion of Sennacherib (701 B.C.) is in view here.


(Hebrew "qano", meaning "zealous," or "jealous"). Nahum is not ascribing human imperfection to God. Rather, the thought is that God is the One who embodies a burning zeal for righteousness and justice. He quickly arises to the defense of His own, and executes judgment on those who are not His own or who hurt those who are.


This one verse should be a great consolation to those who belong to God. He chastises His children, but the wrath of God is reserved for those who have totally rejected God. In the following Scripture, we see just how jealous God is.


Exodus 20:5 "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me;"


Exodus 34:14 " For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name [is] Jealous, [is] a jealous God:"


God has repeated, over and over throughout the Bible, that vengeance is His.


Romans 12:19 "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."


Nahum 1:3 "The LORD [is] slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit [the wicked]: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds [are] the dust of his feet."


"Slow to anger": The jealously (of verse 2), should not suggest that God is quick to anger; rather He is longsuffering (Exodus 34:6; Num. 14:18). God had extended His forbearance to Nineveh at least a century earlier in response to their repentance at Jonah's preaching (Jonah 3:10; 4:2). But although patient, His justice will eventually punish the wicked.


"Whirlwind ... storm ... clouds": These figures frequently describe the Lord's appearances (theophanies), often in judgment (Exodus 19:9, 16; Psalm 83:15; Isa. 29:6; Joel 2:2; 1 Thess. 4:13). Nature is the theater in which His power and majesty is showcased.


God gives ample time to repent to everyone He is dealing with. We know He sent Jonah to warn Nineveh of their evil. Their repentance did not last, and they went right back into their evil lifestyle.


God controls all the elements of nature. He brings the earthquake, and the tornados, and hurricanes. God uses natural disasters to bring people to repentance. God will not always overlook the gross sins of the people. He will judge those who have totally rejected Him and His ways, and send His wrath upon them. I fear for our own country that has turned from their God.


Nahum 1:4 "He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth."


His mighty power is revealed when He rebukes the sea, as in the crossing of the Red Sea (Exodus 14:15-25), and when He withholds His rain from the fertile valleys and coastal highlands.


"Bashan ... Carmel", and "Lebanon" were all fertile, hilly areas. Bashan is in the Golan Heights. Mount Carmel is a long range between the valley of Jezreel and the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon is the forested region north of Israel's border. These areas are pictured by the prophet as being devastated by the coming of God in judgment.


Bashan, located below Mt. Hermon, east of the Jordan was known for her lush pastures (Mica 7:14). Carmel, along the coast of Canaan, became synonymous with fruitfulness (S.O.S. 7:5). Lebanon was renowned for her beautiful cedars (1 Kings 5:14-18). Yet, they too would wither before the infinite strength of the omnipotent Judge.


Just as God caused the Red Sea to part for Moses and the people of Israel, God can do with the sea as He wishes. Without water the flowers and trees, they were famous for, would dry up and die. God brings the flood, and He also, brings the drought. When God cuts off the water supply, plant life dies.



Verses 5-8: "The Lord" is pictured pouring out judgment "like fire. The mountains quake" and "the earth is burned at his presence." Yet, He is a "stronghold in the day of trouble" to all those who "trust in him." Like all the prophets, Nahum predicts both judgment and hope conditioned on man's response to God.


Nahum 1:5 "The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein."


The violent shaking of the earth provides another evidence of the Lord's awesome power, as even that which seems to be most stable quakes and trembles.


I could show many Scriptures which leave no doubt that God is in control of all the elements in the earth. He is omnipotent, all powerful. The following is just one.


Exodus 19:18 "And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly."


God rained fire and brimstone down on Sodom and Gomorrah, and they were burned up. (Verse 5 above), speaks of earthquakes, volcano eruptions, and fire that falls from the heavens. All of this is speaking of the wrath of God on a sinful nation.


Nahum 1:6 "Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him."


This series of rhetorical questions summarizes verses 2-5; His power and resolve to spew His wrath on Nineveh is irresistible, melting all opposition before it.


The answer is no one. Assyria, or any other country that turns their back on God, can be destroyed by Him instantly. During the wrath of God upon the whole earth in the last 3 1/2 years of the great tribulation, just the type of things we have been reading here, do happen. The following is just a sample.


Revelation 16:1 "And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth."


Revelation 16:8 "And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire."


Nahum 1:7 "The LORD [is] good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him."


In contrast (to verse 6), Nahum eased the fury by adding that God was compassionate, a stronghold or fortress (Psalm 46:1), to those who put their hope in Him (Isa. 33:2-4; 37:3-7, 29-38). The verse foreshadowed the vindication of Judah (in verses 12b, 13, 15; 2:2).


Just as God's fury is poured out upon those who turn against God, His protection is on those who love Him.


Romans 11:22 "Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in [his] goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off."


Nahum 1:8 "But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies."


"Flood ... darkness": Nahum described Nineveh's judgment metaphorically as an engulfing flood and darkness from which none can escape.


Nahum said Nineveh would end "with an overflowing flood" and it happened when the Tigris River overflowed to destroy enough of the walls to let the Babylonians through.


Darkness is the result of the absence of light. God is Light. When there is no light, it means that they are totally evil.



Verses 9-15: Having established God's power and sovereign right to judge generally, Nahum announced specifically God's judgment upon Nineveh, interweaving expressions of blessing and hope for Israel within the oracles of doom upon the wicked nation. The sovereign Judge not only punishes (verses 9-12a; 14), but also saves (verses 12b, 13, 15).


Nahum 1:9 "What do ye imagine against the LORD? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time."


The prophet predicts the "utter end" of Nineveh. His prediction was fulfilled (in 612 B.C.), when the city was destroyed by the Babylonians It was never rebuilt and has remained a desolate ruin to this day.


"What do ye imagine against the Lord": All Assyrian attempts to foil God's judgment would end in futility (Psalm 2). Their affliction of His people would not be allowed to occur again (verse 12). Their end was determined.


The Assyrians have no way out of this. They have come against God and His people. Their destruction will be absolute. It will not be necessary for a second affliction, because the first one is so complete.


Exodus 15:7 "And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, [which] consumed them as stubble."


Job 21:30 "That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath."


Nahum 1:10 "For while [they be] folden together [as] thorns, and while they are drunken [as] drunkards, they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry."


"For while they be folden together as thorns": Like them, useless and unprofitable, harmful and pernicious, fit only for burning, and being bundled together, are prepared for it.


Which is not only expressive of the bad qualities of the Ninevites, and of the danger they were in, and what they deserved; but of the certainty of their ruin. No more being able to save themselves from it, than a bundle of thorns from the devouring fire.


"And while they are drunken as drunkards": Dead drunk, no more able to help themselves than a drunken man that is fallen. Or who were as easily thrown down as a drunken man is with the least touch.


Though there is no need to have recourse to a figurative sense, since the Ninevites were actually drunk when they were attacked by their enemy. As the historian relates that the king of Assyria being elated with his fortune, and thinking himself secure, feasted his army, and gave them large quantities of wine.


And while the whole army were indulging themselves, the enemy, having notice of their negligence and drunkenness by deserters, fell upon them unawares in the night. When disordered and unprepared, and made a great slaughter among them, and forced the rest into the city, and in a little time took it.


"They shall be devoured as stubble fully dry": As easily, and as inevitably and irrecoverably.


They are living in such sin, that they are drunk and do not know danger is on its way. This speaks of a society that is utterly evil.


Nahum 1:11 "There is [one] come out of thee, that imagineth evil against the LORD, a wicked counsellor."


"A wicked counsellor" who will come forth from Assyria may refer to Sennacherib who ruled (from 705 to 681 B.C.), and invaded Judah (in 701 B.C.).


"Wicked counsellor": The phrase, literally "counselor of Belial," suggests Satanic influence on the leadership, identified as the king of Assyria (3:18). Specific reference could be made to Ashurbanipal (669-663 B.C.), but more likely to Sennacherib and of whom Isaiah speaks in similar language (Isa. 10:7).


This speaks of Sennacherib as a person, and Nineveh as a city that are totally against God and His people. This speaks of both. Even their thoughts were opposed to God.


Nahum 1:12 "Thus saith the LORD; Though [they be] quiet, and likewise many, yet thus shall they be cut down, when he shall pass through. Though I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more."


"Thus saith the Lord": Used as a common prophetic formula introducing God's unequivocal message, it occurs only here in the book. (Verse 12a), is related in the third person, denoting the enemy, while (in verse 12b), the chosen people of God are spoken of in the second person.


The safety of a walled city and massive numbers ("many"), would not be a sufficient defense. "Even so" harkens back (to verses 7-10).


"Quite, and likewise many" is an Assyrian phrase implying unity. The idiom means that they are so united that they make the noise of only one person.


They had no compassion toward God's people, and now, God has no compassion toward them. "Thus saith the LORD" is stating the certainty of the destruction against Nineveh and Assyria, and the promise of restoration to God's people. The chastisement of God's people is over, and God's wrath is turned upon Nineveh.


Nahum 1:13 "For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder."


"I will afflict thee no more" (refers back to 12b). Judah was to be no longer afflicted by Assyria.


The "yoke" is speaking of the bondage in Assyria. God will free His people, and bring His wrath upon their enemies. It is God that releases His people, just as it was God who punished them with captivity. God has forgiven His family, and will restore them.


Nahum 1:14 "And the LORD hath given a commandment concerning thee, [that] no more of thy name be sown: out of the house of thy gods will I cut off the graven image and the molten image: I will make thy grave; for thou art vile."


Three judgments were pronounced. First, the king of Assyria, representing the nation, would become destitute of descendants. Second, the gods by which they received their authority would be destroyed. Third, the king would be put to death (the fall of Nineveh in 612 B.C.).


This verse is directed at the Assyrians, who worship false gods altogether. They have no regard for the True God. They will not be known as a great nation anymore. This is their complete fall. The Assyrians will be no more.


God destroys all of their false gods, as well. God has judged them, and they are very evil. Sennacherib died with his idols, so perhaps, that is inferred here, as well. They are all doomed to hell.


Nahum 1:15 "Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off."


"Mountains ... feet": The verse echoes (Isaiah 52:7), where it refers to those who announced the deliverance from Babylon. The theme of good tidings and peace reverberates throughout the message of the New Testament (Luke 2:10; Isaiah 61:1 with Luke 4:16-21; Romans. 10:15; Ephesians 2:14-18).


"Feasts": During a siege, people were prevented from going up to Jerusalem to celebrate her annual feast (Num. Chapters 28 and 29). With the destruction of Assyria, Judah was called upon to celebrate her feasts and to pay the vows made while under siege (Psalm 116:14, 17-18).


The destruction of their worst enemy would be good news to Judah. Assyria will no longer run through their country at will. Notice, there are instructions for them to continue worshipping the One True God. They must not forget God, or they will wind up like the Assyrians.


Isaiah 52:1 "Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean."


God takes care of His own. He does expect the love and loyalty of His own. Judah had not been able to keep the feasts, while there was captivity, but now that God has restored her, she must go back to worship of the One True God.


Nahum Chapter 1 Questions


1. What does the name "Nahum" mean?


2. When is it believed he began prophesying?


3. What happened to Nineveh, soon after they repented at Jonah's preaching?


4. How did Nahum receive this message?


5. Who does God take vengeance on?


6. Who does He reserve His wrath for?


7. What is one of God's names that we read in Exodus chapter 34 verse 14?


8. Vengeance is _______; I will repay, saith the Lord.


9. _______ controls all the elements of nature.


10. God gives ample time to ___________.


11. Why does God bring natural disasters?


12. When was one time God showed His power over the sea?


13. When God cuts off the water supply, _______ _______ dies.


14. What is an example of God destroying by fire and brimstone?


15. What types of natural disasters are spoken of in verse 5?


16. Who can stand before His indignation?


17. How many years will the wrath of God be on the earth during the great tribulation?


18. Who pours out wrath upon the earth?


19. Those who trust God can expect Him to be their ____________ in time of trouble.


20. Why is the destruction of Nineveh compared to a flood?


21. The Assyrian's destruction will be ____________.


22. What is darkness?


23. What type of society does verse 10 speak of?


24. Who is verse 11 speaking of?


25. What is the "yoke" speaking of?


26. God expects the _______ and ________ of His own.


27. Why had they abandoned the feast days?





Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Nahum Menu | Return to Bible Menu


Nahum 2



Nahum Chapter 2

Nineveh's fall (in 612 B.C.), at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, though still future in Nahum's day, is described vividly in present tense terms.


Nahum 2:1 "He that dasheth in pieces is come up before thy face: keep the munition, watch the way, make [thy] loins strong, fortify [thy] power mightily."


"Dasheth" Assyria had made a practice of dispersing captives to many nations; now she would receive similar judgment.


"The prophet, with irony and satire, ordered the Assyrians to prepare for the coming invasion from Babylon.


Nahum tells Nineveh, that they had better prepare, because war is coming. They had been very cruel in their dealings with God's people, and now, God is sending His judgment upon them. They can prepare all they want to, but God will destroy them for their evil deeds.


Nahum 2:2 "For the LORD hath turned away the excellency of Jacob, as the excellency of Israel: for the emptiers have emptied them out, and marred their vine branches."


"Hath turned away" is better translated "will restore." God will restore Judah after the fall of Assyria.


"Excellency of Jacob ... Israel": This is not a reference to the southern and northern tribes, since the northern tribes had been overrun by Assyria almost a century earlier; but these are titles of honor for Judah, remembering the day when Jacob received God's blessing at Peniel (Gen. 32:27-28), and had his name changed to Israel. Together, they signify the nation's restoration to the promised position.


"Emptiers have emptied them out": Assyria had repeatedly "devastated" the land, destroying its fruitful vineyards and economic lifeblood.


This is a reminder, that it was the chastisement of God that had brought down Israel. God has not forgotten the cruelty of the Assyrians on His chosen people, and God will destroy them.


Isaiah 10:5 "O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation."


This is just one Scripture about the Assyrians. Read the rest of the account (continuing on with verse 6).



Verses 3-7: The Medo-Babylonian army is composed of "mighty men". Its favorite color was "red" or "scarlet" (Ezek. 23:14). The "shields" of the invaders were bright red and must have struck terror into the hearts of the defenders as the army approached the city.


The reference to the "gates of the rivers" may refer to the statement in the Babylonian Chronicle that the flooding river made breaches in the city wall.


"Huzzab" is unclear. It may refer to a goddess whose devotees beat their breasts because she has been taken captive. The taking of a city's gods as spoil in battle is well attested in ancient Near Eastern literature.


Nahum 2:3 "The shield of his mighty men is made red, the valiant men [are] in scarlet: the chariots [shall be] with flaming torches in the day of his preparation, and the fir trees shall be terribly shaken."


"Shield ... made red": Shields were either overlaid with copper, whose reflections of sunshine would make the army appear larger and strike terror in the enemy, or they were covered with hide that was dyed red, so as to extinguish fiery arrows and to minimize the sight of blood. "Scarlet" clothing would have similar benefits.


Warriors, denoting their eagerness and readiness for battle, would wave their weapons.


Nahum describes the attack on Nineveh, as if he were there. He sees blood all over the shields. The battle is so great, that even the fir trees tremble. The red in the soldiers' garment, probably, speaks of the wrath of God upon the people against God. In the following verse, we see that red in battle speaks of taking peace away.


Revelation 6:4 "And there went out another horse [that was] red: and [power] was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword."


Nahum 2:4 "The chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall justle one against another in the broad ways: they shall seem like torches, they shall run like the lightnings."


Confusion reigned in Nineveh, where battle preparations were hurriedly made.


There were so many chariots in the street that it seemed as if the chariots were crashing into each other, and probably, they were. The swords and the chariot wheels looked like lightning, when the sun shined upon them.


Nahum 2:5 "He shall recount his worthies: they shall stumble in their walk; they shall make haste to the wall thereof, and the defense shall be prepared."


"They shall make haste to the wall": This may continue the thought of verse 4, depicting Nineveh's royalty and military leaders dashing to one of her many defense towers which, according to the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus, numbered 1,500 and reached a height of 200 feet.


It is also possible that the latter part of the verse is a description of the attackers preparing to erect a "mantelet," a small fortress type box in which soldiers rode for protection as they advance to the wall.


Recount, in the verse above, means to mark so as to be recognized. This is checking up on who he can depend upon to fight and protect them the best. Which of his soldiers have the best record? The best soldiers in the country will gather at the wall to defend the city.


Nahum 2:6 "The gates of the rivers shall be opened, and the palace shall be dissolved."


"Gates of the rivers": Nineveh, lying at the confluence of three rivers (the Tigris, and two smaller rivers), constructed dams to minimize the damage of seasonal flooding to her walls. The latter part (of verse 6), suggests that these dam gates were opened, causing the walls to be dissolved and the palace to be taken.


Nahum 2:7 "And Huzzab shall be led away captive, she shall be brought up, and her maids shall lead [her] as with the voice of doves, tabering upon their breasts."


"Shall be led away": The goddess of Nineveh, probably Ishtar, was taken by her attackers to demonstrate the superiority of their gods (1 Sam. 4:1-11). The temple prostitutes ("handmaids"), mourned the fate of their goddess.


"Huzzab" is, probably, not a name of a person, but is speaking of the city of Nineveh. This just speaks of Nineveh as being taken captive. The people in this city and the smaller cities around her have gone into mourning for the destruction of Nineveh. The "tabering upon their breasts", possibly, means they were beating upon their breasts, because their hearts were broken.


Nahum 2:8 "But Nineveh [is] of old like a pool of water: yet they shall flee away. Stand, stand, [shall they cry]; but none shall look back."


"Pool of water": Though Nineveh was like an oasis in the desert that attracted many people, they fled from the devastation.


We remember from our study in Jonah, that Nineveh was a city of over 120,000 people. Nineveh had been a city that all the nearby cities went to from time to time. They had been a beautiful city with trafficking.


The smaller cities came there for trade, and for entertainment. They do not stand. They fall to God's punishment on them. They are so thoroughly destroyed; they will not be a place of gathering again.


Nahum 2:9 "Take ye the spoil of silver, take the spoil of gold: for [there is] none end of the store [and] glory out of all the pleasant furniture."


"Spoil": Spoils abounded in Nineveh, but it was her turn to be plundered.


There had been so much gold and silver in Nineveh, that some of the furniture was made of these precious metals. They had cruelly taken these precious metals, when they had attacked other surrounding countries.


Nahum 2:10 "She is empty, and void, and waste: and the heart melteth, and the knees smite together, and much pain [is] in all loins, and the faces of them all gather blackness."


"The heart melteth": The great city of Nineveh, lying in ruin, evoked fear and terror in those who observed it (Dan. 5:6).


Fear was so great, that it seemed as if their hearts melted. The knees smiting together was another way of showing the overwhelming fear that gripped them. Their pain was from their fear, as well. The face turning black was, probably, with the tremendous grief.



Verses 11-13: The rapacity and ferocity of the Assyrians is well documented in the annals of her cruel kings. "The lion" was the national symbol of Assyria. Here Nineveh is pictured as "the dwelling of the lions".


"Where is": Archeologists have found a carving from a palace showing an Assyrian king on a lion hunt. Nahum rhetorically asks where Nineveh has gone. No longer describing Nineveh's fall, the prophet taunted her, ridiculing her fall from power and glory.


Like a pride of lions, with plenty to eat and in fear of no enemy, Nineveh ruthlessly "tore" her prey. She herself will become prey for another nation, under the sovereign direction of God. "I am against you" should be the most feared words a nation could receive from God.


Nahum 2:11 "Where [is] the dwelling of the lions, and the feeding place of the young lions, where the lion, [even] the old lion, walked, [and] the lion's whelp, and none made [them] afraid?"


"Where is the dwelling of the lions": Nineveh, the habitation of bold, strong, and ferocious men.


"The feeding place of the young lions": Whither her victorious and rapacious generals frequently returned to consume the produce of their success. Here they walked at large, and none made them afraid. Wheresoever they turned their arms they were victors; and all nations were afraid of them.


These Assyrians were so ferocious, they were thought of as lions. When God destroyed Nineveh, it was as if He had killed the lion in his own den. The headquarters of these ferocious people was destroyed.


Nahum 2:12 "The lion did tear in pieces enough for his whelps, and strangled for his lionesses, and filled his holes with prey, and his dens with ravin."


"The lion did tear": This verse gives us a striking picture of the manner in which the Assyrian conquests and depredations were carried on. How many people were spoiled to enrich his whelps, his sons, princes, and nobles! How many women were stripped and slain, whose spoils went to decorate his lionesses his queen, concubines, and mistresses.


And they had even more than they could assume; their holes and dens, treasure-houses, palaces, and wardrobes; were filled with violent seizure, the riches which they got by the plunder of towns, families, and individuals. This is a very fine allegory, and admirably well supported.


This is just saying, that they were so ferocious, and so uncaring, about others, that they had taken all that had any value away from the people they fought. They were not satisfied to take enough for their needs they had stripped all the wealth away from their neighbors, and greedily kept it for themselves.


Nahum 2:13 "Behold, I [am] against thee, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will burn her chariots in the smoke, and the sword shall devour thy young lions: and I will cut off thy prey from the earth, and the voice of thy messengers shall no more be heard."


"Burn her chariots" Nineveh, known for burning the captured cities, would receive the same fate.


"Thy messengers": The voice of the messengers who carried the edicts of the mighty king of Assyria to the captured nations would become mute.


The LORD of hosts is the same as Almighty God. Chariots, in this Scripture, are speaking of all the war materials. God destroyed all of their fighting men. They would never again, be able to pillage and destroy their neighbors and their goods.


These "messengers" were those who carried decrees from their king. The Lord destroyed all their weapons of war, and destroyed the city as well.


Nahum Chapter 2 Questions


1. Nahum tells __________ that they had better prepare.


2. They had been _________ in their dealings with God's people.


3. What had really brought down Israel?


4. The shield of his mighty men is turned ______.


5. How does Nahum describe the attack on Nineveh?


6. There were so many chariots in the street, it seemed they were doing what?


7. What does "recount" in verse 5 mean?


8. Who fought in Nineveh?


9. What is the river in verse 6?


10. "Huzzab" is, probably, who?


11. Why were people in the nearby cities mourning?


12. How many people were in Nineveh?


13. What happens to their gold and silver?


14. Where had they gotten it?


15. There had been so much gold and silver, that their _____________was made of it.


16. How was their fear described?


17. Why were they called lions?


18. When God destroyed Nineveh, it was as if He had killed the _______ in his own den.


19. The LORD of hosts is the same as __________ ______.


20. Who were the "messengers"?





Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Nahum Menu | Return to Bible Menu


Nahum 3



Nahum Chapter 3

Verses 1-6: Nineveh is called the "bloody city" and is pictured as a "harlot" whose "witchcrafts" and "whoredoms" shall be brought down to the dust. "Discover" means to "uncover." Thus, Nineveh shall be exposed for what she is: the "mistress" of the "nations."


The prophet Nahum, asserting that the destruction of Nineveh was justly deserved, makes 3 charges against her (verses 1, 4, 8-10).


Nahum 3:1 "Woe to the bloody city! it [is] all full of lies [and] robbery; the prey departeth not;"


"Blood city": The first accusation was a charge well documented in history. Assyria proved to be an unusually cruel, blood-thirsty nation.


"Lies": Assyria employed falsehood and treachery to subdue her enemies (2 Kings 18:28-32).


"Robbery" (see 2:11-12). Preying upon her victims, she filled her cities with the goods of other nations.


In the last lesson, we saw the punishment that God brought upon Nineveh. In this lesson, we see some of the reasons why God judged them so harshly. They were ruthless people, and they killed people without reason. They are called bloody, because of all the innocent blood they shed.


They were not satisfied with their own wealth, but cheated and stole to get what belonged to others. They looted the countries that they took of all of their wealth.



Verses 2-3: These verses reach back to the scene portrayed (in 2:3-5). Assyria was so overrun that she is filled with corpses, causing the defenders to stumble over them.


Nahum 3:2 "The noise of a whip, and the noise of the rattling of the wheels, and of the prancing horses, and of the jumping chariots."


Woe to the bloody city! Nineveh: the threatening against which are continued in a strain of invective, astonishing for its richness, variety, and energy. One may hear and see the whip crack, the horses prancing, the wheels rumbling, the chariots bounding after the galloping steeds.


What a picture, and a true representation of a battle, when one side is broken, and all the cavalry of the conqueror fall in upon them, hewing them down with their swords, trampling them to pieces under the hoofs of their horses! War, yet sometimes thou art the scourge of the Lord.


The noise of the army was accompanied by the whip cracking over the back of the horses, and the rattling of the chariot wheels. The prancing horses were speaking of the horses pulling the chariots. The chariots were coming so fast, they would jump up in the air, when they hit a bump.


Nahum 3:3 "The horseman lifteth up both the bright sword and the glittering spear: and [there is] a multitude of slain, and a great number of carcases; and [there is] none end of [their] corpses; they stumble upon their corpses:"


The reflection from the drawn and highly polished swords; and the hurled spears, like gashes of lightning, dazzling the eyes; the slain lying in heaps, and horses and chariots stumbling over them!


"The horseman lifteth up both the bright sword and the glittering spear": Or, "the flame of the sword and the glittering spear". They ride with a drawn sword, which, being brandished to and fro, looks like a flame of fire; or with a spear made of polished iron, or steel, which, when vibrated and moved to and fro, glitters like lightning.


A large number of which, entering the city must be terrible to the inhabitants of it.


"And there is a multitude of slain, and a great number of carcasses": Of dead men lying in the streets, pierced and slain with the bright sword and glittering spear of the Medes and Chaldeans.


"And there is none end of their corpses": The number of them could not be told; they lay so thick in all parts of the city, that there was no telling them.


"They stumble upon their corpses": The Ninevites in fleeing, and endeavoring to make their escape, and the Medes and Chaldeans pursuing them.


This is speaking of so many being killed in battle that the horses and chariots just ride right over the dead bodies. The glittering spear and sword means they have been shined up for battle.


Nahum 3:4 "Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the well favored harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts."


The second charge against Nineveh was spiritual and moral harlotry. The nation was likened to a beautiful prostitute who seduced the nations with her illicit enticements.


"Whoredoms", in the spirit, are speaking of idolatry. It is unusual to speak of it in that nature with these people who had always been idolaters, but the worship of false gods was a sin, whether they were heathen, or Jewish.


Their Worship was of a sensual nature and whoredom in the physical was part of it. They practiced sorcery and witchcraft, as well. They conquered other countries and drug them into their idolatrous way of life. There was really nothing good that could be said about their mode of worship.



Verses 5-6: Nineveh would be publicly exposed, resulting in shame and humiliation.


Nahum 3:5 "Behold, I [am] against thee, saith the LORD of hosts; and I will discover thy skirts upon thy face, and I will show the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame."


"Behold, I am against thee, saith the Lord of hosts": Because her doings were against him (see Nahum 2:13).


"And I will discover thy skirts upon thy face": Turn up the skirts of her garments over her head, and thereby discover what should be concealed, than which nothing is more disagreeable and abominable to modest persons. It is here threatened she should be used in character as a harlot, or as women oftentimes are by rude soldiers, when a city is taken by them.


"And I will show the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame": All her charms shall be taken away and she became odious as a harlot to her former lovers. All her impostures, arts, and tricks, and shameful actions, will be discovered.


Her aims and views at universal monarchy will be seen and her weakness to effect it made to appear. Upon the whole, she will become the object of the scorn and derision of kingdoms and nations.


This is just saying that God would not only destroy her, but humiliate her in the process. He would expose her shameful ways as an example of what would happen to others who did such terrible things.


Nahum 3:6 "And I will cast abominable filth upon thee, and make thee vile, and will set thee as a gazingstock."


"And I will cast abominable filth upon thee": like a weight, that what thou wouldest not take heed to as sin, thou mayest feel in punishment.


Abominable things had God seen (Jer. 13:27), in her doings; with abominable things would he punish her.


Man was pleased to sin, and forget it as a thing past. "God maketh him to possess the iniquities of his youth" (Job 13:26), and binds them around him, so that they make him to appear what they are, "vile".


Psalm 50:21 "These things hast thou done and I kept silence".


I will reprove thee and set them in order before thine eyes. "And will set thee as a gazingstock": that all, while they gaze at thee, take warning from thee (compare 2 Chronicles 7:20).


Ezek. 28:17 "I will cast thee to the ground; I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee."


Whoever does not amend on occasion of others, others shall be amended on occasion of him.


This whole land will be a public spectacle, and all of her abominations would be out where they could be seen. Her punishments would be public, too.


Nahum 3:7 "And it shall come to pass, [that] all they that look upon thee shall flee from thee, and say, Nineveh is laid waste: who will bemoan her? whence shall I seek comforters for thee?"


"Nineveh is laid waste": Instead of mourning, there would be rejoicing at her fall. None would be found to comfort her; she would bear her misery alone.


The prophet predicts the ultimate destruction of mighty Nineveh in the prophetic present: "Nineveh is laid waste."


No one wanted to be associated with her. They were afraid God would think they were caught up in her sins. They fled away from her, to prove they had no association with her. No one would comfort her.



Verses 8-10: Nahum sets forth the third and final charge against Nineveh: they hadn't learned from No-amon, also known as Thebes.


No-amon was the great capital of southern Egypt, 400 miles south of Cairo. One of the most magnificent ancient civilizations of the world, it was renowned for its 100 gates, a temple measuring 330 feet long and 170 feet wide, and its network of canals.


It fell to Ashurbanipal of Assyria (in 663 B.C.). Like No-amon by the Nile, Nineveh was situated by the Tigris River, enjoying the security of conquered nations around her. However, her end would be like that of No-amon.


Nahum 3:8 "Art thou better than populous No, that was situate among the rivers, [that had] the waters round about it, whose rampart [was] the sea, [and] her wall [was] from the sea?"


The reference to "populous No" should be translated "No-amon" (city of Amun), known to Greeks as Thebes and today as Luxor. It was the capital of the Eighteenth through Twentieth Dynasties of "Egypt"; and was the favorite burial place of the Pharaohs of that period.


Thebes, however, fell to the Assyrians (in 663 B.C.), and served as an appropriate warning to the people of Nineveh.


No worshipped the solar god Amon. They were worshipping false gods, as well as Nineveh was. It was a large populated city also. We can see in the following Scriptures, that No is destroyed like Nineveh for the same sins.


Jeremiah 46:25-26 "The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saith; Behold, I will punish the multitude of No, and Pharaoh, and Egypt, with their gods, and their kings; even Pharaoh, and [all] them that trust in him:" "And I will deliver them into the hand of those that seek their lives, and into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of his servants: and afterward it shall be inhabited, as in the days of old, saith the LORD."


No was an unwalled city, with the sea as her protection from attack. Worship of false gods brought the destruction of No, as it did of Nineveh.


Nahum 3:9 "Ethiopia and Egypt [were] her strength, and [it was] infinite; Put and Lubim were thy helpers."


"Ethiopia ... Egypt ... Lubim": No-amon was well protected on all sides, nestled between lower Egypt on the north and Ethiopia on the south. The location of Put is best identified in the general vicinity of North Africa.


Josephus says that Put, the third son of Ham (Gen. 10:6), was the founder of Libya. "Put and "Lubim" refer to the districts of Libya.


"Lubim" is speaking of the Libyans. These were a confederate, and all of them were evil. They all worshipped false gods. In a sense, they all symbolized the unsaved world.


Nahum 3:10 "Yet [was] she carried away, she went into captivity: her young children also were dashed in pieces at the top of all the streets: and they cast lots for her honorable men, and all her great men were bound in chains."


"Yet was she carried away, she went into captivity": Not by Nebuchadnezzar; though this city was afterwards taken, and its inhabitants carried captive, by that monarch, as was foretold (Jer. 46:25).


But the prophet here does not predict an event to be accomplished, and instance in that, and argue from it. Which could have no effect on Nineveh and its inhabitants, or be an example or terror to them.


But refers to what had been done, a recent fact, and which they were well acquainted with. Aben Ezra says, this city No was a city of the land of Egypt, which the king of the Chaldeans took as he went to Nineveh. But when, and by whom it was taken, is nowhere said.


"Her young children also were dashed in pieces at the top of all the streets": Against the walls of the houses, or upon the stones and pavements of the streets. Which cruelties were often used by conquerors upon innocent babes at the sacking of cities (Psalm 137:9).


"And they cast lots for her honorable men": The soldiers did, who should have them, and sell them for slaves; which was done without any regard to their birth and breeding (Joel 3:3).


"And all her great men were bound in chains": As nobles may be meant by "honorable men", by "great men" may be designed the gentry, merchants, and others. These were taken and bound in iron chains, handcuffed, or tied together, and so led captive into a foreign land. And Nineveh might expect the same treatment.


The great sins of No brought great destruction, as it had on Nineveh. The size of both of these cities was great, but God does not look at their size. He looks at their sins. They brought the judgment of God upon themselves.


Nahum 3:11 "Thou also shalt be drunken: thou shalt be hid, thou also shalt seek strength because of the enemy."


"Drunken": As predicted (1:10), Nineveh would be made to drink of God's wrath, making her drunk and defenseless to His judgment.


This has returned to speaking of Nineveh. God's wrath will be poured on Nineveh, as it was on No. They can hide in their strong drink, but it will not save them.



Verses 12-13: Nahum employed a series of metaphors to emphasize that Nineveh's strong defenses would be easily overrun. Their walls would be like ripe fruit that falls at the slightest shaking and their battle forces like weak women.


Nahum 3:12 "All thy strong holds [shall be like] fig trees with the firstripe figs: if they be shaken, they shall even fall into the mouth of the eater."


"All thy strong holds shall be like fig trees with the first ripe figs": Upon them, or like them: "and the first ripe figs"; which are easily shook and gathered; and so easily should the fortresses and towers of Nineveh, in which they trusted for safety, be taken by the enemy, not only one, but all of them.


"If they be shaken, they shall even fall into the mouth of the eater": As such ripe fruit is very desirable, and the mouth of a man is open and ready for them. So, if he gives the tree but the least shake, they will fall into his mouth or about him in great plenty.


In like manner, as the fortresses of Nineveh, being of importance, were desirable by the Chaldeans and Medes, and for which they were gaping. So, upon the least assault they would fall into their hands (see Rev. 6:13).


Just as it is easy to shake ripe fruit from the tree, the strong holds will be easily turned over. They will not stand.


Nahum 3:13 "Behold, thy people in the midst of thee [are] women: the gates of thy land shall be set wide open unto thine enemies: the fire shall devour thy bars."


"Behold, thy people in the midst of thee are women": Or like women, weak and feeble, fearful and timorous. Frightened at the first approach of the enemy and run away. And run up and down in the utmost consternation and distress, having neither skill nor courage to oppose them.


Some regard may be had to the effeminacy of their king (see Nahum 2:7). The sense is, they should be at once dispirited, and lose all strength of mind and body. And have neither heads nor hearts to form schemes, and execute them in their own defense.


And thus, should they be, even in the midst of the city, upon their own ground. Where anywhere, it might be thought they would exert themselves, and play the man, since everything lay at stake. This was another thing they trusted in, the multitude of their people, even of their soldiers. But these would be of no avail, since they would lose all their military skill and bravery.


"The gates of thy land shall be set wide open to thine enemies": Instead of guarding the passes and avenues, they would abandon them to the enemy. And, instead of securing the gates and passages, they would run away from them. And the enemy would find as easy access as if they were thrown open on purpose for them.


Perhaps this may respect the gates of the rivers being opened by the inundation, which threw down the wall, and made a way into the city (see Nahum 2:6).


"The fire shall devour thy bars": With which their gates had been shut, but now opened, and in the enemies' hands. Who would set fire to them, that the way to go in and out might be open and free.


This is not speaking of females, but of men who are as weak as women. The gates open wide let the invaders in. The bars that the gates were closed with have been burned, and are gone. It was no trouble for the enemy to just walk in and take them.



Verses 14-15: The prophet taunted the people with sarcasm, urging them to prepare for battle, to fortify the city's defenses, only to be destroyed. As the locust leaves nothing, stripping all the foliage, so there would be nothing left of Nineveh (Amos 7:1).


Nahum 3:14 "Draw thee waters for the siege, fortify thy strong holds: go into clay, and tread the mortar, make strong the brickkiln."


"Draw thee waters for the siege": Before the siege is begun, fetch water from the river, wells, or fountains without the city, and fill cisterns, and such like receptacles of water, with them. That there may be sufficiency of it to hold out, which is often wanting in long sieges.


The want of which gives great distress to the besieged. This is put for all necessary provisions, which should be made when a city is in danger of being blocked up. This, and what follows, are said ironically; signifying, let them do what they would or could for their support and security, it would be all in vain.


"Fortify thy strong holds": Repair the old fortifications, and add new ones to them. Fill them with soldiers, arms, and ammunition.


"Go into clay, and tread the mortar; make strong the brickkiln": Repair the brickkilns, keep them in good order. Employ men in digging clay, and treading it, and making it into bricks, and burning them in the kiln, that there be no want of bricks to repair the fortifications. Or such breaches as might be made by the enemy.


Bricks were much used instead of stone in those countries; but when they had done their utmost, they would not be able to secure themselves, and keep out the enemy.


Nahum is warning them that the battle is now. They must draw water to drink. Making the brick walls and buildings even stronger would be good, if this battle was not ordained of God. God has judged them and all the preparation they can make will not be enough.


Nahum 3:15 "There shall the fire devour thee; the sword shall cut thee off, it shall eat thee up like the cankerworm: make thyself many as the cankerworm, make thyself many as the locusts."


"Shall the fire devour thee": All is toil within, the fire of God's wrath falls and consumes at once. Mankind still, with mire and clay; build themselves Babels. They go into clay, and become themselves earthly like the mire they steep themselves in.


They make themselves strong, as though they thought "that their houses shall continue forever" (Psalm 49:11). And say, "So, take thine ease eat, drink and be merry" (Luke 12:19-20). God's wrath descends. "Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee".


"It shall eat thee up like the cankerworm." What in thee is strongest shall be devoured with as much ease as the locust devours the tender grass. The judgments of God, not only overwhelm as a whole, but find each tender part, as the locust devours each single blade.


"Make thyself many as the cankerworm": As though thou wouldest equal thyself in oppressive number to those instruments of the vengeance of God, gathering from all quarters armies to help thee; yea, though thou make thy whole self into one oppressive multitude, yet it shall not avail thee. Nay, He saith, thou hast attempted to do it.


This fire is sent by God, it destroys everything before it. Those who do not die in battle will be destroyed, because there will be no food. The locusts have eaten the food.


Nahum 3:16 "Thou hast multiplied thy merchants above the stars of heaven: the cankerworm spoileth, and fleeth away."


"Multiplied thy merchants": Nineveh had increased her traders, or merchants, bringing immense wealth, which is just more to destroy.


As we said in an earlier lesson, this had been a trade center to many cities around Nineveh. There will be no merchants left after this war. They will be destroyed from within.


Nahum 3:17 "Thy crowned [are] as the locusts, and thy captains as the great grasshoppers, which camp in the hedges in the cold day, [but] when the sun ariseth they flee away, and their place is not known where they [are]."


"Great grasshoppers": Not only was Nineveh's commercial strength gone (verse 16), but her governing resources disappeared as well. After camping for the night within the massive walls of this great citadel, the locusts, depicting Assyria's leadership, flew away with the first rays of warm sunshine in search of food.


The "crowned" are speaking of those who were in authority. It appears, they had run in and took what they could, from other countries they had conquered, and had run away.


There were many high officials. Their actions were done secretly. They are not equipped to fight, all they know how to do is take something someone else has worked for. They are helpless, in battle, to save Nineveh.



Verses 18-19: The destiny of Nineveh was certain. She had received the death blow; she would not recover. And all who hear of it would rejoice. Assyria had devastated the nations with her atrocities and cruelties; the news of her downfall brought happiness and mirth among the nations.


Nahum 3:18 "Thy shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria: thy nobles shall dwell [in the dust]: thy people is scattered upon the mountains, and no man gathereth [them]."


"The shepherds slumber ... dwell in the dust": The Assyrian leaders and army, described in terms of exhaustion and sleep, were dead; the people were scattered. There were none left to help against the invasion of the Babylonians, to whom they fell (in 612 B.C.).


Those who were to be caring for the people, are some of the first to be killed, and they have no shepherd to lead them. The people, without a leader, scatter for safety.


Nahum 3:19 "[There is] no healing of thy bruise; thy wound is grievous: all that hear the bruit of thee shall clap the hands over thee: for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?"


"There is no healing of thy bruise": Made by the fatal blow given to the empire by the taking of Nineveh. The ruin of it was irreparable and irrecoverable. The city of Nineveh was no more, and the Assyrian empire sunk, and never rose again. Or, "there is no contraction of thy bruise"; as when a wound is healed, or near it, the skin round about is wrinkled and contracted.


"All that hear the bruit of thee": The news, the report of the destruction of Nineveh, and of the ruin of the Assyrian empire, and the king of it.


"Shall clap the hands over thee": For joy; so far were they from lending a helping hand in the time of distress, that they clapped both hands together, to express the gladness of their hearts at hearing such news.


"For upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?" to which of thy neighbors hast thou not been troublesome and injurious? Which of them hast thou not oppressed, and used with violence and cruelty? What province or city but have felt the weight of thine hand, have been harassed with wars, and distressed with tributes and exactions?


This injury to Nineveh will not be healed. All of those who Nineveh had abused are tickled at her destruction. They are so glad; they clap their hands in joy. They had been so cruel to others that no one really cared that they were destroyed. They had sown wickedness, and now, they were reaping their evil rewards.


Nahum Chapter 3 Questions


1. What is Nineveh called in verse 1?


2. Why were they called by that name?


3. What was the noise of the whip?


4. What is verse 3 speaking of?


5. "Whoredoms", in the spiritual sense, are speaking of what?


6. They practiced ____________ and _______________, as well.


7. What does Nahum mean by "discover thy skirts upon thy face"?


8. And I will cast ____________ filth upon thee.


9. Why did all who looked on flee?


10. What sin was in the city of No?


11. What did No have in common with Nineveh?


12. What false god did they worship at No?


13. What protected No, if they were an unwalled city?


14. Who is "Lubim" speaking of?


15. What did Egypt, Ethiopia, and Libya have in common?


16. They all symbolize the ___________ ________.


17. What horrible thing happened to the children of No?


18. What did they try to hide in?


19. How were their strong holds like ripe fig trees?


20. Who were the women, in verse 13, speaking of?


21. What is Nahum warning them of in verse 14?


22. What were some of the ways they would be destroyed?


23. The merchants tell us they were a ________ center.


24. Who are the "crowned" speaking of?


25. Thy shepherds ____________.


26. Who were some of the first to be killed?


27. What happens to the people without a leader?


28. The injury of Nineveh will ______ be healed.


29. What reaction did their neighboring countries have to Nineveh's fall?





Go to Previous Section | Go to Next Section | Return to Top

Return to Nahum Menu | Return to Bible Menu

###