Nachum 3

1 Hoy (woe) to the ir damim (bloody city)! It is all full of lies and booty; no end to the plunder;
2 The crack of the shot (whip), and the noise of the rattling of the wheels, and of the prancing susim, and of the jolting merkavah (chariot);
3 The parash (horsemen, cavalry) charging, the flash of the cherev and the glittering spear; and there is a multitude of slain, and a great number of dead bodies; and there is no end of their geviyot (corpses); they stumble over their geviyot;
4 Because of the multitude of the harlotries of the alluring zonah, the ba’alat keshafim (the mistress of sorceries), that enslaveth Goyim through her prostitutions, and mishpochot through her keshafim;
5 Hineni, I am against thee, saith Hashem Tzva’os; and I will lift thy skirts over thy faces, and I will show the Goyim thy nakedness, and the mamlachot thy shame.
6 And I (Hashem) will cast abominable filth upon thee, and make thee contemptibly vile, and will make thee a spectacle.
7 And it shall come to pass, that all they that look upon thee shall flee from thee, and say, Nineveh is in ruins; who will bemoan her? From where shall I seek menachamim (comforters) for thee?
8 Art thou better than No Amon (Thebes), that was situated on the Nile, that had the mayim round about it, whose rampart was the yam, and her waters were her chomah?
9 Ethiopia and Mitzrayim were her strength, and it was boundless; Put and Luvim (Libya) were her allies.
10 Yet she went into golus, she went into captivity; her olalim also were dashed in pieces at the head of all the streets; and they cast goral (lots) for her honorable men, and all her gedolim were bound in chains.
11 Thou also shalt be drunken, thou shalt be hid, thou also shalt seek maoz from the enemy.
12 All thy strongholds shall be like te’enim (fig trees) with the first ripe figs; if they be shaken, they shall even fall into the peh (mouth) of the ochel (eater).
13 Hinei, thy troops in the midst of thee are nashim (women); the gates of thy land shall be set wide open unto thine enemies; the eish shall devour thy (gate) bars.
14 Draw thee water for the matzor (siege), fortify thy strongholds, go unto clay, and tread the mortar, repair the brickwork.
15 There shall the eish devour thee, the cherev shall consume thee, it shall eat thee up like the grasshopper. Make thyself many as the grasshopper, make thyself many as the arbeh (locust).
16 Thou hast multiplied thy merchants more than the kokhavim of HaShomayim; but, like the locust, they strip the land, then fly away.
17 Thy commanders are as the swarming locusts, and thy officials as the great grasshoppers, which camp in the hedges on a cold day, but when the shemesh ariseth they flee away, and their place is whereabouts unknown.
18 Thy ro’im (shepherds) slumber, O melech of Asshur (Assyria); thy nobles shall dwell in the dust; thy people are scattered upon the mountains, and no man gathereth them.
19 There is no healing of thy shever (fracture, injury); thy wound is grievous; all that hear the news of thee shall clap their hands over thy fall; for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed tamid (continually)?

Nachum 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.

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.

Nachum 3 Commentaries

The Orthodox Jewish Bible fourth edition, OJB. Copyright 2002,2003,2008,2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International. All rights reserved.