Nahum 3:9

9 1Cush was her strength; Egypt too, and that without limit; 2Put and the 3Libyans were her[a] helpers.

Nahum 3:9 Meaning and Commentary

Nahum 3:9

Ethiopia and Egypt [were] her strength
That is, the strength, support, protection, and defence of No, whether Alexandria, or Thebes, or Memphis: Egypt was, for these cities were in it, and subject to it; or, if this was a free city, as some think, yet in alliance with Egypt, and under its protection; and in like connection it was with Ethiopia, that is, Arabia, a country that lay near to it; and yet, though it was strengthened by such powerful neighbours and allies, it was not secure from the devastation of the enemy: and it [was] infinite;
or there was "no end" F15; of its strength, or of the number of its allies, or the forces they were able to bring in its defence. The Ethiopians were very numerous, as may be learnt from ( 2 Chronicles 14:9 ) and so were the Egyptians, to whom some interpreters strictly connect this sentence. In the times of Amasis, as Mela F16 relates, there were twenty thousand cities inhabited in it; and Josephus F17 says there were in it seven hundred and fifty myriads of men; as Sethon, king of Egypt, and Tirhakah, king of Ethiopia, were about this time the allies of the Jews, in whom they trusted, no doubt they were confederate together, and so both the strength of this city; see ( Isaiah 36:6 ) ( 37:9 ) : Put and Lubim, were thy helpers;
Put, or the Putim, were the people of the Moors, that dwelt in Mauritania; and Lubim were the Lybians that bordered on Egypt, and whose country is sometimes reckoned a part of it. The Jews F18 say Lybia is Egypt; see ( Acts 2:10 ) these several people were the confederates of No; and helped them, not only by their commerce with them, but in time of war assisted them against their enemies; and yet, though so strengthened by alliances, were not safe and secure; and therefore Nineveh could not depend upon such helps and helpers.


F15 (huq Nyaw) "non est finis", Pagninus, Montanus, Munster, Cocceius.
F16 De Orbis Situ. l. 1. c. 9.
F17 De Bello Jud. l. 2. c. 16. sect. 4.
F18 T. Hieros. Celaim, c. 8. fol. 31. 3.

Nahum 3:9 In-Context

7 And all who look at you will shrink from you and say, Wasted is Nineveh; who will grieve for her? Where shall I seek comforters for you?
8 Are you better than Thebes that sat by the Nile, with water around her, her rampart a sea, and water her wall?
9 Cush was her strength; Egypt too, and that without limit; Put and the Libyans were her helpers.
10 Yet she became an exile; she went into captivity; her infants were dashed in pieces at the head of every street; for her honored men lots were cast, and all her great men were bound in chains.
11 You also will be drunken; you will go into hiding; you will seek a refuge from the enemy.

Cross References 3

  • 1. See Daniel 11:43
  • 2. Genesis 10:6
  • 3. See 2 Chronicles 12:3

Footnotes 1

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.