Nahum: Judgment On Nineveh.

Like other prophets, Nahum describes what he has written as a ‘burden’, in this case against Nineveh (v. 1). His name means ‘comfort’, and like Isaiah his predecessor is poetic in his use of imagery and language. He predicts Nineveh’s coming destruction (3:5-7), which occurred in 612 B.C., but he writes about the capture of Thebes as in the past, which occurred in 663 B.C. A date “between 660-650 B.C.,” would place it “in the days of King Manasseh of Judah, a loyal vassal of Assyria” (NGSB p.1435). The covenant LORD is a jealous God who will take vengeance on His enemies, with the whole of creation as His instruments (vv. 1-6). However, in this judgment the LORD is also good to His people, for “He knows those who trust in Him” (v. 7).

They will rely on the words of “a wicked counsellor”(vv. 8-11), one who will be cut down, along with their idols (vv. 12-14). But there would arise one who bring good tidings to Judah, peace to those who keep His covenant (v. 15). The LORD would once again visit His people with blessing-restoring the excellence of Jacob and Israel (2:1-2). The mighty will fall, led away captive (vv. 3-7). God’s people will no longer fear, but as Israel plundered the Egyptians, His people here will plunder Nineveh (vv. 8-12). Their messengers were lying sorcerers who will be judged and remembered no more (2:13-3:4). Walking in shame, they will have no comforters (vv. 5-7). They would fair no better than Ethiopia and Egypt (vv. 8-11).

Nineveh would be helpless to defend itself. It would be too late for them to shore up their defences like of old. When the sun rose, their commanders and generals would flee and not be found (vv. 12-17). The shepherds of the king of Assyria slumbered, as judgment was on the horizon, and their would be no healing of their sickness (vv. 18-19). “The “news” of Nineveh’s incurable “wound” and fatal “injury” is received with general applause. The God of Israel, to whom alone vengeance belongs (Dt. 32:35; Rom. 12:19), has finally put an end to the continual wickedness that had caused such injustice and suffering. The vision of Nahum had its initial fulfillment in 612 B.C.” (NGSB p.1441).

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