Introduction

\\INTRODUCTION TO NAHUM\\

This book is called, in the Vulgate Latin version, "the Prophecy of
Nahum"; and in the Syriac and Arabic versions, "the Prophecy of the
Prophet Nahum"; and in \\#Na 1:1\\; it is called "the Book of the Vision of
Nahum"; which is very singular; and from whence we learn of what place
this prophet was; but of this more will be said on that verse. His name
signifies "consolation": and though the subject of his prophecy chiefly
relates to the destruction of the Assyrian empire, and of Nineveh, the
chief city of it; yet this was a comfort to the people of the Jews,
that an enemy so powerful, and who was so troublesome to them, and whom
they dreaded, should one day be destroyed. In what age Nahum lived is
not said; and writers very much disagree about it. Some make him to be
the most ancient of all the prophets; who suppose him to prophesy of
the destruction of Nineveh, before the reigns of Joash king of Judah,
and Jehu king of Israel, as Huetius {a} observes; and others bring him
down as low, placing him after Ezekiel, in the times of Zedekiah,
Clemens of Alexandria {b}; neither of which is likely. The Jewish
chronologers {c} generally make him to live in the times of Manasseh,
and so Abarbinel; but Josephus {d}, with more probability, puts him in
the times of Jotham; though perhaps what the greater number of
interpreters give into may be most correct; as that he lived in the
times of Hezekiah, and was contemporary with Isaiah, Hosea, Amos, and
Micah; and that this prophecy was delivered out after the ten tribes
were carried captive by the king of Assyria, which was in the sixth year
of Hezekiah, and before Sennacherib's invasion of Judea, and siege of
Jerusalem, which was in the fourteenth year of his reign; and which is
thought to be referred to in the "first" chapter of this prophecy. Mr.
Whiston {e} places him in the year of the world A. M. 3278, or 726 B.C.;
and says that he foretold the destruction of Nineveh an hundred fifteen
years before it came to pass, so says Josephus {f}. How long this
prophet lived, and where he died, and was buried, is uncertain.
Pseudo-Epiphanius {g} says he died and was buried in Begabar. Isidore
{h} says it was in Bethafarim; both which are to be corrected by
Dorotheus, who calls the place Bethabara, as Huetius {i} observes; the
same where John was baptizing, \\#Joh 1:28\\; but Benjamin of Tudela {k}
says his grave was to be seen in a place called Einsiphla, in the land
of Chaldea; and speaks of a synagogue of this prophet in the province of
Assyria {l}; but on these things we cannot depend. Of the authority of
this prophecy there need be no doubt, as appears from the inscription of
the book, the sublimity and majesty of the style, and its agreement with
other prophets; see \\#Na 1:15\\; compared with \\#Isa 52:7\\; and the
accomplishment of the prophecies contained in it, which respect the ruin
of the Assyrian empire, and particularly Nineveh, the metropolis of it;
the cause of which were their sins and transgressions, the inhabitants
thereof were guilty of, and are pointed at in it.

{a} Demonstr. Evangel. prop. 4. p. 298.
{b} Strom. l. 1. p. 329.
{c} Seder Olam Rabbi, c. 10. p. 55. &. Zuta, p. 105. Juchasin, fol. 12.
2. Tzemach David, fol. 15. 1. Shalshelet Hakabala, fol. 12. 1.
{d} Antiqu. l. 9. c, 11. sect. 3.
{e} Chronological Tables, cent. 8.
{f} Antiqu. l. 9. c. 11. sect. 3.
{g} De Proph. Vit. & Inter. c. 17.
{h} De Vit. & Mort. Sanct. c. 46.
{i} Ut supra. (Demonstr. Evangel. prop. 4. p. 298.)
{k} Itinerarium, p. 30.
{l} Ibid. p. 62.

\\INTRODUCTION TO NAHUM 1\\

This chapter begins with the title of the book, showing the subject
matter of it; and describing the penman of it by his name and country,
\\#Na 1:1\\; which is followed with a preface to the whole book; setting
forth the majesty of a jealous and revenging God; the power of his
wrath and fury; of which instances are given in exciting tempests;
drying up the sea and the rivers; making the most fruitful mountains
barren, which tremble before him; yea, even the whole world, and the
inhabitants thereof, his indignation being intolerable; and yet he is
slow to anger, good to them that trust in him, whom he knows, and whose
protection he is in a time of trouble, \\#Na 1:2-7\\. Next the destruction
of the Assyrian empire, and of the city of Nineveh, is prophesied of;
and is represented as an utter and an entire destruction, and which
would come upon them suddenly and unawares, while they were in their
cups, \\#Na 1:8-10\\. A particular person among them is spoken of,
described as a designing wicked man, an enemy to the Lord and his
people, thought to be Sennacherib king of Assyria, \\#Na 1:11\\; from whose
evil designs, yoke and bondage, the Jews should be delivered; and he
and his posterity be cut off, because of his vileness, \\#Na 1:12-14\\; and
the chapter is concluded with tidings of joy to Judah, who are exhorted
to keep their feasts and perform their vows on this occasion, \\#Na 1:15\\.