Nahum 3

Listen to Nahum 3

Woe to Nineveh

1 Woe to 1the bloody city, all full of lies and plunder-- 2no end to the prey!
2 The crack of the whip, and 3rumble of the wheel, 4galloping horse and 5bounding chariot!
3 Horsemen charging, flashing sword and 6glittering spear, 7hosts of slain, heaps of corpses, dead bodies without end-- they stumble over the bodies!
4 And all for the countless whorings of the 8prostitute, 9graceful and of deadly charms, who betrays nations with her whorings, and peoples with her charms.
5 10Behold, I am against you, declares the LORD of hosts, and 11will lift up your skirts over your face; and I will make nations look at 12your nakedness and kingdoms at your shame.
6 I will throw filth at you and 13treat you with contempt and make you 14a spectacle.
7 And all who look at you 15will shrink from you and say, Wasted is 16Nineveh; 17who will grieve for her? 18Where shall I seek comforters for you?
8 19Are you better than 20Thebes[a] that sat 21by the Nile, with water around her, her rampart a sea, and water her wall?
9 22Cush was her strength; Egypt too, and that without limit; 23Put and the 24Libyans were her[b] helpers.
10 25Yet she became an exile; she went into captivity; 26her infants were dashed in pieces at the head of every street; for her honored men 27lots were cast, 28and all her great men were bound in chains.
11 29You also will be drunken; you will go into hiding; 30you will seek a refuge from the enemy.
12 All your fortresses are 31like fig trees with first-ripe figs-- if shaken they fall into the mouth of the eater.
13 Behold, your troops 32are women in your midst. The gates of your land are wide open to your enemies; fire has devoured your bars.
14 33Draw water for the siege; 34strengthen your forts; go into the clay; tread the mortar; take hold of the brick mold!
15 There will the fire devour you; the sword will cut you off. It will 35devour you 36like the locust. Multiply yourselves 37like the locust; multiply 38like the grasshopper!
16 You increased 39your merchants more than the stars of the heavens. 40The locust spreads its wings and flies away.
17 Your 41princes are 42like grasshoppers, 43your scribes[c] like clouds of locusts settling on the fences in a day of cold-- when the sun rises, they fly away; no one knows where they are.
18 Your shepherds 44are asleep, O king of Assyria; 45your nobles slumber. Your people 46are scattered on the mountains with none to gather them.
19 There is no easing your hurt; 47your wound is grievous. All who hear the news about you 48clap their hands over you. For 49upon whom has not come your unceasing evil?

Nahum 3 Commentary

Chapter 3

The sins and judgments of Nineveh. (1-7) Its utter destruction. (8-19)

Verses 1-7 When proud sinners are brought down, others should learn not to lift themselves up. The fall of this great city should be a lesson to private persons, who increase wealth by fraud and oppression. They are preparing enemies for themselves; and if the Lord sees good to punish them in this world, they will have none to pity them. Every man who seeks his own prosperity, safety, and peace, should not only act in an upright, honourable manner, but with kindness to all.

Verses 8-19 Strong-holds, even the strongest, are no defence against the judgments of God. They shall be unable to do any thing for themselves. The Chaldeans and Medes would devour the land like canker-worms. The Assyrians also would be eaten up by their own numerous hired troops, which seem to be meant by the word rendered "merchants." Those that have done evil to their neighbours, will find it come home to them. Nineveh, and many other cities, states, and empires, have been ruined, and should be a warning to us. Are we better, except as there are some true Christians amongst us, who are a greater security, and a stronger defence, than all the advantages of situation or strength? When the Lord shows himself against a people, every thing they trust in must fail, or prove a disadvantage; but he continues good to Israel. He is a strong-hold for every believer in time of trouble, that cannot be stormed or taken; and he knoweth those that trust in Him.

Cross References 49

  • 1. Ezekiel 24:9; [Habakkuk 2:12]
  • 2. [Nahum 2:12]
  • 3. [Nahum 2:4]
  • 4. [Judges 5:22]
  • 5. [Joel 2:5]
  • 6. Habakkuk 3:11
  • 7. [2 Kings 19:35]
  • 8. [Revelation 17:2; Revelation 18:3]
  • 9. [Isaiah 47:9, 12]
  • 10. [See Nahum 2:13 above]
  • 11. Jeremiah 13:22, 26; [Isaiah 3:17; Isaiah 47:3]
  • 12. Habakkuk 2:16
  • 13. Malachi 2:9; [Nahum 1:14]
  • 14. Hebrews 10:33; [1 Corinthians 4:9]
  • 15. Jeremiah 51:9; Revelation 18:10
  • 16. [Zephaniah 2:13]; See Nahum 1:1
  • 17. Isaiah 51:19; Jeremiah 15:5
  • 18. Lam. 1:2, 9, 16, 17, 21
  • 19. [Amos 6:2]
  • 20. Jeremiah 46:25
  • 21. [Ezekiel 29:3]
  • 22. See Daniel 11:43
  • 23. Genesis 10:6
  • 24. See 2 Chronicles 12:3
  • 25. Isaiah 20:4
  • 26. Isaiah 13:16
  • 27. Joel 3:3; Obadiah 11
  • 28. [Psalms 149:8]
  • 29. Jeremiah 25:17, 27; [Psalms 75:8; Isaiah 51:17; Obadiah 16]
  • 30. [Jeremiah 4:5, 6]
  • 31. [Revelation 6:13]
  • 32. Isaiah 19:16; Jeremiah 51:30
  • 33. [Isaiah 22:11]
  • 34. [See ver. 11 above]
  • 35. [Joel 2:3]
  • 36. [Joel 1:4, 6]
  • 37. [Joel 1:4, 6]
  • 38. [Joel 1:4, 6]
  • 39. [Ezekiel 27:23, 24]
  • 40. [See ver. 15 above]
  • 41. [Isaiah 10:8]
  • 42. [See ver. 15 above]
  • 43. Jeremiah 51:27
  • 44. [Psalms 76:5]
  • 45. Nahum 2:5
  • 46. [1 Kings 22:17]
  • 47. Jeremiah 10:19; Micah 1:9
  • 48. Lamentations 2:15; [Zephaniah 2:15]
  • 49. [Isaiah 37:18]

Footnotes 3

Chapter Summary


In this chapter is contained the prophecy of the destruction of Nineveh, and with it the whole Assyrian empire; the causes of which, besides those before mentioned, were the murders, lies, and robberies it was full of, Na 3:1 for which it should be swiftly and cruelly destroyed, Na 3:2,3 as also its whoredoms and witchcrafts, or idolatry, by which nations and families were seduced, Na 3:4 and hence she should be treated as a harlot, her nakedness exposed, and she cast out with contempt, and mocked at by all, Na 3:5-7 and all those things she placed her confidence in are shown to be of no avail; as her situation and fortresses, as she might learn from the case of No Amon, Na 3:8-12 nor the number of her inhabitants, which were weak as women; nor even her merchants, captains, nobles, and king himself, Na 3:13-18 nor the people she was in alliance with, who would now mock at her, her case being irrecoverable and incurable, Na 3:19.

Nahum 3 Commentaries

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