1 The burden or oracle (the thing to be lifted up) concerning [a]Nineveh [the capital of Assyria]. The book of the vision of Nahum of Elkosh.
2 The Lord is a jealous God and avenging; the Lord avenges and He is full of wrath. The Lord takes vengeance on His adversaries and reserves wrath for His enemies.(A)
3 The Lord is slow to anger and great in power and will by no means clear the guilty. The Lord has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.(B)
4 He rebukes and threatens the sea and makes it dry, and dries up all the rivers. Bashan [on the east] and Mount Carmel [on the west] wither, and [in the north] the blossom of Lebanon fades.
5 The mountains tremble and quake before Him and the hills melt away, and the earth is upheaved at His presence—yes, the world and all that dwell in it.
6 Who can stand before His indignation? And who can stand up and endure the fierceness of His anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken asunder by Him.
7 The Lord is good, a Strength and Stronghold in the day of trouble; He knows (recognizes, has knowledge of, and understands) those who take refuge and trust in Him.(C)
8 But with an [b]overrunning flood He will make a full end of [Nineveh’s very] site and pursue His enemies into darkness.
9 What do you devise and [how mad is your attempt to] plot against the Lord? He will make a full end [of Nineveh]; affliction [which My people shall suffer from Assyria] shall not rise up the second time.
10 For [the Ninevites] are as bundles of thorn branches [for fuel], and even while drowned in their drunken [carousing] they shall be consumed like stubble fully dry [in the day of the Lord’s wrath].(D)
12 Thus says the Lord: Though they be in full strength and likewise many, even so shall [the Assyrians] be cut down when [their evil counselor] shall pass away. Though I have afflicted you [Jerusalem], I will not cause you to be afflicted [for your past sins] any more.(F)
13 For now will I break his yoke from off you and will burst your bonds asunder.(G)
14 And the Lord has given a commandment concerning you [evil Assyrian counselor], that no more of your name shall be born nor shall your name be perpetuated. Out of the house of your gods I will cut off the graven and molten images; I will make [their temple] your tomb, for you are vile and despised.(H)
15 Behold! upon the mountains the feet of him who brings good tidings [telling of the Assyrian’s death], who publishes peace! Celebrate your feasts, O Judah; perform your vows. For the wicked counselor [the king of Assyria] shall no more come against you or pass through your land; he is utterly cut off. (I) [Then the prophet Nahum sarcastically addresses his message to Nineveh:]
- Nahum 1:1 Under the preaching of Jonah, the king of Nineveh and all its people repented (Jonah 3:5). They must not only have heard his startling testimony of the terrible suffering which running away from obedience to God had cost him, but they must have been terrified at the evidence of the truth of his near-death experience in the belly of the great fish. So the whole city turned to God. But when Nahum came to Nineveh some 150 years later, all that was forgotten, and the later generations had become hopelessly godless. God’s wrath was not to be turned away this time. Jonah had been sent to preach, “Repent!” But Nahum’s one “burden (the thing to be lifted up)” is the message that Nineveh is to be destroyed—utterly.
- Nahum 1:8 Countless authorities confirm the literal accuracy of this reference. Diodorus of Sicily refers to a legend that Nineveh could never be taken until the river became its enemy. Arbaces the Scythian had besieged the city in vain for two years, but in the third year, the river Khoser during a flood season washed away a considerable section of the very great wall, and through this opening the besiegers gained entrance. Nah. 2:6 refers to the devastating flood, and 3:13, 15 probably to the destruction of Nineveh by fire. The vivid descriptions of chapter 3 “are true to their records and their sculptures.”
- Nahum 1:11 The reference here may be to Sennacherib, who reigned over Assyria from 705-681 b.c.
- Nahum 1:2 : Exod. 20:5.
- Nahum 1:3 : Exod. 34:6, 7.
- Nahum 1:7 : Ps. 1:6; Hos. 13:5; John 10:14, 27.
- Nahum 1:10 : Mal. 4:1.
- Nahum 1:11 : II Kings 19:20-23; Isa. 10:5-7; 36:15-20.
- Nahum 1:12 : II Kings 19:35-37; John 5:14.
- Nahum 1:13 : Isa. 14:25.
- Nahum 1:14 : Isa. 37:38.
- Nahum 1:15 : Isa. 52:7; Rom. 10:15.