Nahum predicts the fall of Nineveh

Nahum 1:1   Nahum (whose name means ‘comfort’) comes from Elkosh in the southern Jewish kingdom of Judah. He has a vision of Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, where Jewish people from the northern kingdom of Israel have been living in slavery for over a hundred years.


The Hill Country of Judah

Nahum lived in the hill country of Judah


Nahum 1:2-10   The LORD expresses his anger against the Assyrians. “The LORD is a jealous God who punishes; the LORD punishes and is filled with anger. The Lord punishes those who are against him, and he stays angry with his enemies." (Nahum 1:2)

Nahum 1:11-14   Nahum prophesies the destruction of Nineveh: "You will not have descendents to carry on your name. I will destroy the idols and metal images that are in the temple of your gods. I will make a grave for you, because you are wicked." (Nahum 1:14)

Nahum 1:15-16   He looks forward to victory over the Assyrians and the ensuing peace. “Look, there on the hills, someone is bringing good news! He is announcing peace!" (Nahum 1:15)

Nahum 2:1-3:3   Nahum pictures Nineveh under attack and foresees its fall. "The people lose their courage, and their knees knock. Stomachs ache, and everyone's face grows pale." (Nahum 2:10)

War chariots race through its streets and gold is plundered from the palace. "Many are dead; their bodies are piled up - too many to count. People stumble over the dead bodies." (Nahum 3:3)


Assyrian King Sennacherib on his throne (British Museum)

The Assyrian King Sennacherib on his throne at Nineveh  (British Museum)


Nahum 3:4-19   Nineveh is likened to a prostitute who is being punished. "I will pull your dress up over your face and show the nations your nakedness and the kingdoms your shame. I will throw filthy rubbish on you and make a fool of you." (Nahum 3:5-6)

Nineveh's downfall (which came in 612 BC) is compared with the destruction of Thebes (Luxor), the capital of Egypt, by the Assyrians themselves in 663BC. "Thebes was captured and went into captivity. Her small children were beaten to death at every street corner. Lots were thrown for her important men, amd all of her leaders were put in chains." (Nahum 3:10)

Nahum concludes that all who hear of Nineveh’s destruction will clap their hands with joy "because everyone has felt your endless cruelty." (Nahum 3:19)

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