Nahum 1:2-15

God's Wrath Against Nineveh

2 1The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD is avenging and wrathful; 2the LORD takes vengeance on his adversaries and 3keeps wrath for his enemies.
3 4The LORD is slow to anger and 5great in power, and 6the LORD will by no means clear the guilty. 7His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
4 8He rebukes the sea and makes it dry; he dries up all the rivers; 9Bashan and 10Carmel wither; the bloom of 11Lebanon withers.
5 12The mountains quake before him; 13the hills melt; the earth heaves before him, 14the world and all who dwell in it.
6 15Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the heat of his anger? His wrath 16is poured out like fire, and 17the rocks are broken into pieces by him.
7 18The LORD is good, 19a stronghold in the day of trouble; 20he knows those who take refuge in him.
8 But 21with an overflowing flood he will make a complete end of the adversaries,[a] and 22will pursue his enemies into darkness.
9 What 23do you plot against the LORD? 24He will make a complete end; trouble will not rise up a second time.
10 For they are 25like entangled thorns, like drunkards as they drink; 26they are consumed like stubble fully dried.
11 From you came one 27who plotted evil against the LORD, a worthless counselor.
12 Thus says the LORD, "Though they are at full strength and many, 28they will be cut down and pass away. 29Though I have afflicted you, I will afflict you no more.
13 And now 30I will break his yoke from off you and will burst your bonds apart."
14 The LORD has given commandment about you: 31"No more shall your name be perpetuated; from 32the house of your gods I will cut off the carved image and the metal image. 33I will make your grave, 34for you are vile."
15 [b]35Behold, upon the mountains, 36the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace! 37Keep your feasts, O Judah; 38fulfill your vows, 39for never again shall the worthless pass through you; he is utterly cut off.

Nahum 1:2-15 Meaning and Commentary

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.

Nahum 1:2-15 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.
6 Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the heat of his anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken into pieces by him.
7 The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.
8 But with an overflowing flood he will make a complete end of the adversaries, and will pursue his enemies into darkness.
9 What do you plot against the LORD? He will make a complete end; trouble will not rise up a second time.
10 For they are like entangled thorns, like drunkards as they drink; they are consumed like stubble fully dried.
11 From you came one who plotted evil against the LORD, a worthless counselor.
12 Thus says the LORD, "Though they are at full strength and many, they will be cut down and pass away. Though I have afflicted you, I will afflict you no more.
13 And now I will break his yoke from off you and will burst your bonds apart."
14 The LORD has given commandment about you: "No more shall your name be perpetuated; from the house of your gods I will cut off the carved image and the metal image. I will make your grave, for you are vile."
15 Behold, upon the mountains, the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace! Keep your feasts, O Judah; fulfill your vows, for never again shall the worthless pass through you; he is utterly cut off.

Cross References 39

  • 1. See Exodus 20:5
  • 2. [Psalms 92:9]
  • 3. [Psalms 103:9]
  • 4. See Exodus 34:6
  • 5. Job 9:4; Psalms 147:5
  • 6. See Exodus 34:7
  • 7. [Psalms 97:2]; See Psalms 18:9-13
  • 8. Psalms 106:9; [Isaiah 50:2]
  • 9. Isaiah 33:9
  • 10. See Joshua 19:26
  • 11. Isaiah 33:9
  • 12. [Jeremiah 4:24; Habakkuk 3:6]
  • 13. Amos 9:13
  • 14. Psalms 98:7
  • 15. [Malachi 3:2]
  • 16. 2 Chronicles 34:21; [Psalms 79:6]
  • 17. Ezekiel 38:20
  • 18. Jeremiah 33:11; See Psalms 100:5
  • 19. Psalms 46:1; Isaiah 25:4
  • 20. Psalms 1:6; John 10:14, 27; 1 Corinthians 8:3; 2 Timothy 2:19
  • 21. [Isaiah 30:28]
  • 22. Isaiah 8:22
  • 23. [Isaiah 10:7]
  • 24. [Jeremiah 4:27]
  • 25. See Micah 7:4
  • 26. See Joel 2:5
  • 27. [ver. 9; 2 Kings 19:22, 23]
  • 28. Isaiah 10:33, 34; [Isaiah 37:36]
  • 29. ver. 9; [Isaiah 9:1]
  • 30. [Isaiah 9:4; Isaiah 10:27; Isaiah 14:25]
  • 31. [Psalms 109:13]
  • 32. [2 Kings 19:37]
  • 33. [Isaiah 30:33]; See Ezekiel 32:21-23
  • 34. [Nahum 3:6]
  • 35. See Isaiah 52:7
  • 36. [Romans 10:15]
  • 37. [Isaiah 30:29]
  • 38. See Numbers 30:2
  • 39. [ver. 12]; See Joel 3:17

Footnotes 2

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