Nahum 3:9

9 Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength, and it was infinite*; Put and Lubim were thy helpers.[a]

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 it shall come to pass, that all they that look upon thee shall flee from thee, and say, Nineveh is laid waste: who will bemoan her? whence shall I seek comforters for thee?
8 Art thou better than populous No, that was situate among the rivers, that had the waters round about it, whose rampart was the sea, and her wall was from the sea?
9 Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength, and it was infinite; Put and Lubim were thy helpers.
10 Yet was she carried away, she went into captivity: her young children also were dashed in pieces at the top of all the streets: and they cast lots for her honourable men, and all her great men were bound in chains.
11 Thou also shalt be drunken: thou shalt be hid, thou also shalt seek strength because of the enemy.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. thy helpers: Heb. in thy help
The King James Version is in the public domain.