Prophecy Of Nahum
The majesty of God, his goodness to his people, and severity to his enemies.
1 The burden of Ninive. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elcesite. 2 The Lord is a jealous God, and a revenger: the Lord is a revenger, and hath wrath: the Lord taketh vengeance on his adversaries, and he is angry with his enemies. 3 The Lord is patient, and great in power, and will not cleanse and acquit the guilty. The Lord's ways are in a tempest, and a whirlwind, and clouds are the dust of his feet. 4 He rebuketh the sea, and drieth it up: and bringeth all the rivers to be a desert. Basan languisheth and Carmel: and the flower of Libanus fadeth away. 5 The mountains tremble at him, and the hills are made desolate: and the earth hath quaked at his presence, and the world, and all that dwell therein.
6 Who can stand before the face of his indignation? and who shall resist in the fierceness of his anger? his indignation is poured out like fire: and the rocks are melted by him. 7 The Lord is good and giveth strength in the day of trouble: and knoweth them that hope in him. 8 But with a flood that passeth by, he will make an utter end of the place thereof: and darkness shall pursue his enemies. 9 What do ye devise against the Lord? he will make an utter end: there shall not rise a double affliction. 10 For as thorns embrace one another: so while they are feasting and drinking together, they shall be consumed as stubble that is fully dry.
8 "Of the place thereof"... Viz., of Ninive.
11 Out of thee shall come forth one that imagineth evil against the Lord, contriving treachery in his mind. 12 Thus saith the Lord: Though they were perfect: and many of them so, yet thus shall they be cut off, and he shall pass: I have afflicted thee, and I will afflict thee no more. 13 And now I will break in pieces his rod with which he struck thy back, and I will burst thy bonds asunder. 14 And the Lord will give a commandment concerning thee, that no more of thy name shall be sown: I will destroy the graven and molten thing out of the house of thy God, I will make it thy grave, for thou art disgraced. 15 Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, and that preacheth peace: O Juda, keep thy festivals, and pay thy vows: for Belial shall no more pass through thee again, he is utterly cut off.
11 "Shall come forth one"... Some understand this of Sennacherib. But as his attempt against the people seems to have been prior to the prophecy of Nahum, we may better understand it of Holofernes.
12 "Though they were perfect"... That is, however strong or numerous their forces may be, they shall be cut off; and their prince or leader shall pass away and disappear.
14 "Will give a commandment"... That is, a decree, concerning thee, O king of Ninive, thy seed shall fail, etc.
15 "Belial"... The wicked one, viz., the Assyrian.
God sends his armies against Ninive to destroy it.
1 He is come up that shall destroy before thy face, that shall keep the siege: watch the way, fortify thy loins, strengthen thy power exceedingly. 2 For the Lord hath rendered the pride of Jacob, as the pride of Israel: because the spoilers have laid them waste, and have marred their vine branches. 3 The shield of his mighty men is like fire, the men of the army are clad in scarlet, the reins of the chariot are flaming in the day of his preparation, and the drivers are stupefied. 4 They are in confusion in the ways, the chariots jostle one against another in the streets: their looks are like torches, like lightning running to and fro. 5 He will muster up his valiant men, they shall stumble in their march: they shall quickly get upon the walls thereof: and a covering shall be prepared.
2 "Hath rendered the pride of Jacob"... He hath punished Jacob for his pride; and therefore Ninive must not expect to escape. Or else, rendering the pride of Jacob means rewarding, that is, punishing Ninive for the pride they exercised against Jacob.
3 "Of his mighty men"... He speaks of the Chaldeans and Medes sent to destroy Ninive.-- Ibid.
3 "Stupefied"... consopiti. That is, they drive on furiously like men intoxicated with wine.
5 "Stumble in their march"... By running hastily on.
6 The gates of the rivers are opened, and the temple is thrown down to the ground. 7 And the soldier is led away captive: and her bondwomen were led away mourning as doves, murmuring in their hearts. 8 And as for Ninive, her waters are like a great pool, but the men flee away. They cry: Stand, stand, but there is none that will return back. 9 Take ye the spoil of the silver, take the spoil of the gold: for there is no end of the riches of all the precious furniture. 10 She is destroyed, and rent, and torn: the heart melteth, and the knees fail, and all the loins lose their strength: and the faces of them all are as the blackness of a kettle.
11 Where is now the dwelling of the lions, and the feeding place of the young lions, to which the lion went, to enter in thither, the young lion, and there was none to make them afraid? 12 The lion caught enough for his whelps, and killed for his lionesses: and he filled his holes with prey, and his den with rapine. 13 Behold I come against thee, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will burn thy chariots even to smoke, and the sword shall devour thy young lions: and I will cut off thy prey out of the land, and the voice of thy messengers shall be heard no more.
The miserable destruction of Ninive.
1 Woe to thee, O city of blood, all full of lies and violence: rapine shall not depart from thee. 2 The noise of the whip, and the noise of the rattling of the wheels, and of the neighing horse, and of the running chariot, and of the horsemen coming up, 3 And of the shining sword, and of the glittering spear, and of a multitude slain, and of a grievous destruction: and there is no end of carcasses, and they shall fall down on their dead bodies. 4 Because of the multitude of the fornications of the harlot that was beautiful and agreeable, and that made use of witchcraft, that sold nations through her fornications, and families through her witchcrafts. 5 Behold I come against thee, saith the Lord of hosts: and I will discover thy shame to thy face, and will shew thy nakedness to the nations, and thy shame to kingdoms.
6 And I will cast abominations upon thee, and will disgrace thee, and will make an example of thee. 7 And it shall come to pass that every one that shall see thee, shall flee from thee, and shall say: Ninive is laid waste: who shall bemoan thee? whence shall I seek a comforter for thee? 8 Art thou better than the populous Alexandria, that dwelleth among the rivers? waters are round about it: the sea is its riches, the waters are its walls. 9 Ethiopia and Egypt were the strength thereof, and there is no end: Africa and the Libyans were thy helpers. 10 Yet she also was removed and carried into captivity: her young children were dashed in pieces at the top of every street, and they cast lots upon her nobles, and all her great men were bound in fetters.
8 "Populous Alexandria"... No-Ammon. A populous city of Egypt destroyed by the Chaldeans, and afterwards rebuilt by Alexander, and called Alexandria. Others suppose No-Ammon to be the same as Diospolis.
11 Therefore thou also shalt be made drunk, and shalt be despised: and thou shalt seek help from the enemy. 12 All thy strong holds shall be like fig trees with their green figs: if they be shaken, they shall fall into the mouth of the eater. 13 Behold thy people in the midst of thee are women: the gates of thy land shall be set wide open to thy enemies, the fire shall devour thy bars. 14 Draw thee water for the siege, build up thy bulwarks: go into the clay, and tread, work it and make brick. 15 There shall the fire devour thee: thou shalt perish by the sword, it shall devour thee like the bruchus: assemble together like the bruchus, make thyself many like the locust.
16 Thou hast multiplied thy merchandises above the stars of heaven: the bruchus hath spread himself and flown away. 17 Thy guards are like the locusts: and thy little ones like the locusts of locusts which swarm on the hedges in the day of cold: the sun arose, and they flew away, and their place was not known where they were. 18 Thy shepherds have slumbered, O king of Assyria, thy princes shall be buried: thy people are hid in the mountains, and there is none to gather them together. 19 Thy destruction is not hidden, thy wound is grievous: all that have heard the fame of thee, have clapped their hands over thee: for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?
17 "Locusts of locusts"... The young locusts.