Nahum 1:1

1 1An oracle concerning 2Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum of Elkosh.

Nahum 1:1 Meaning and Commentary

Nahum 1:1

The burden of Nineveh
Of the city of Nineveh, and the greatness of it, (See Gill on Jonah 1:2); (See Gill on Jonah 3:3); Jonah was sent to this city to threaten it with ruin for its sins; at that time the king and all his people humbled themselves and repented, and the threatened destruction was averted; but they relapsing to their former iniquities, this prophet foretells what would be their certain fate; very rightly therefore the Targum, and some other Jewish writings F13, observe, that Jonah prophesied against this city of old; and that Nahum prophesied after him a considerable time, perhaps at a hundred years distance. This prophecy is called a burden; it was taken up by the prophet at the command of the Lord, and was carried or sent by him to Nineveh; and was a hard, heavy, grievous, and burdensome prophecy to that city, predicting its utter ruin and desolation; and which, as Josephus F14 says, came to pass hundred fifteen years after this prophecy; and which event is placed by the learned Usher F15 in the year of the world 3378 A.M., and which was 626 B.C.; and by others F16 in the year of the world 3403 A.M., of the flood 1747, in 601 B.C.; but by Dean Prideaux F17 and Mr. Whiston F18, in 612 B.C.; the book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite;
no other prophecy is called, a book but this, as Abarbinel observes; and gives this reason for it, because the other prophets immediately declared their prophecies, as Jonah; but Nahum never went to the Ninevites, but wrote his prophecy in a book, and sent it to them. It is called "the book of the vision"; what it contains being made known to him by the Lord in a vision, as was common; hence the prophets are called seers; and the prophet is described by the place of his birth, an Elkoshite; though some think he is so called from his father, whose name was Helkesi, and said to be a prophet too, as Jerom relates; and with this agrees the Targum, which calls him Nahum of the house or family of Koshi; but Jarchi says that Elkosh was the name of his city; Aben Ezra and Kimchi are in doubt which to refer it to, whether to his city, or to his ancestors; but there seems no reason to doubt but that he is so called from his native place; since Jerom F19 says, that there was a village in Galilee called Helkesi in his days, and which he had seen; though scarce any traces of the old buildings could be discerned, it was so fallen to ruin, yet known, to the Jews; and was shown him by one that went about with him; and which is, by Hesychius F20 the presbyter, placed in the tribe of Simeon. This is another instance, besides that of Jonah, disproving the assertion of the Jews, that no prophet rose out of Galilee, ( John 7:52 ) .


F13 Tzemach David, fol. 15. 1.
F14 Antiqu. l. 9. c. 11. sect. 3.
F15 Annales Vet. Test. A. M. 3378.
F16 Universal History, vol. 4. p. 331.
F17 Connexion par. 1. B. 1. p. 47, 48.
F18 Chronological Table, cent. 9.
F19 Proem. in Nahum.
F20 Apud Reland. Palestina Illustrata, tom. 2. p. 748.

Nahum 1:1 In-Context

1 An oracle concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum of Elkosh.
2 The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD is avenging and wrathful; the LORD takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies.
3 The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and the LORD will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
4 He rebukes the sea and makes it dry; he dries up all the rivers; Bashan and Carmel wither; the bloom of Lebanon withers.
5 The mountains quake before him; the hills melt; the earth heaves before him, the world and all who dwell in it.

Cross References 2

  • 1. See Isaiah 13:1
  • 2. Nahum 2:8; Nahum 3:7; See Jonah 1:2
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