Nahum 3:5-19

5 1Behold, I am against you, declares the LORD of hosts, and 2will lift up your skirts over your face; and I will make nations look at 3your nakedness and kingdoms at your shame.
6 I will throw filth at you and 4treat you with contempt and make you 5a spectacle.
7 And all who look at you 6will shrink from you and say, Wasted is 7Nineveh; 8who will grieve for her? 9Where shall I seek comforters for you?
8 10Are you better than 11Thebes[a] that sat 12by the Nile, with water around her, her rampart a sea, and water her wall?
9 13Cush was her strength; Egypt too, and that without limit; 14Put and the 15Libyans were her[b] helpers.
10 16Yet she became an exile; she went into captivity; 17her infants were dashed in pieces at the head of every street; for her honored men 18lots were cast, 19and all her great men were bound in chains.
11 20You also will be drunken; you will go into hiding; 21you will seek a refuge from the enemy.
12 All your fortresses are 22like fig trees with first-ripe figs-- if shaken they fall into the mouth of the eater.
13 Behold, your troops 23are women in your midst. The gates of your land are wide open to your enemies; fire has devoured your bars.
14 24Draw water for the siege; 25strengthen 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 26devour you 27like the locust. Multiply yourselves 28like the locust; multiply 29like the grasshopper!
16 You increased 30your merchants more than the stars of the heavens. 31The locust spreads its wings and flies away.
17 Your 32princes are 33like grasshoppers, 34your 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 35are asleep, O king of Assyria; 36your nobles slumber. Your people 37are scattered on the mountains with none to gather them.
19 There is no easing your hurt; 38your wound is grievous. All who hear the news about you 39clap their hands over you. For 40upon whom has not come your unceasing evil?

Nahum 3:5-19 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO NAHUM 3

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 3:5-19 In-Context

3 Horsemen charging, flashing sword and glittering spear, hosts of slain, heaps of corpses, dead bodies without end-- they stumble over the bodies!
4 And all for the countless whorings of the prostitute, graceful and of deadly charms, who betrays nations with her whorings, and peoples with her charms.
5 Behold, I am against you, declares the LORD of hosts, and will lift up your skirts over your face; and I will make nations look at your nakedness and kingdoms at your shame.
6 I will throw filth at you and treat you with contempt and make you a spectacle.
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.
12 All your fortresses are like fig trees with first-ripe figs-- if shaken they fall into the mouth of the eater.
13 Behold, your troops are women in your midst. The gates of your land are wide open to your enemies; fire has devoured your bars.
14 Draw water for the siege; strengthen 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 devour you like the locust. Multiply yourselves like the locust; multiply like the grasshopper!
16 You increased your merchants more than the stars of the heavens. The locust spreads its wings and flies away.
17 Your princes are like grasshoppers, your scribes 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 are asleep, O king of Assyria; your nobles slumber. Your people are scattered on the mountains with none to gather them.
19 There is no easing your hurt; your wound is grievous. All who hear the news about you clap their hands over you. For upon whom has not come your unceasing evil?

Cross References 40

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

Footnotes 3

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