Nineveh will be Laid Waste
1 He who scatters has come up before your face. Man the fort! Watch the road! Strengthen your flanks! Fortify your power mightily.
2 For the LORD will restore the excellence of Jacob Like the excellence of Israel, For the emptiers have emptied them out And ruined their vine branches.
3 The shields of his mighty men are made red, The valiant men are in scarlet. The chariots come with flaming torches In the day of his preparation, And the spears are brandished.
4 The chariots rage in the streets, They jostle one another in the broad roads; They seem like torches, They run like lightning.
5 He remembers his nobles; They stumble in their walk; They make haste to her walls, And the defense is prepared.
6 The gates of the rivers are opened, And the palace is dissolved.
7 It is decreed: She shall be led away captive, She shall be brought up; And her maidservants shall lead her as with the voice of doves, Beating their breasts.
8 Though Nineveh of old was like a pool of water, Now they flee away. 'Halt! Halt!" they cry; But no one turns back.
9 Take spoil of silver! Take spoil of gold! There is no end of treasure, Or wealth of every desirable prize.
10 She is empty, desolate, and waste! The heart melts, and the knees shake; Much pain is in every side, And all their faces are drained of color.
11 Where is the dwelling of the lions, And the feeding place of the young lions, Where the lion walked, the lioness and lion's cub, And no one made them afraid?
12 The lion tore in pieces enough for his cubs, Killed for his lionesses, Filled his caves with prey, And his dens with flesh.
13 "Behold, I am against you," says the LORD of hosts, "I will burn your chariots in smoke, and the sword shall devour your young lions; I will cut off your prey from the earth, and the voice of your messengers shall be heard no more."
? The prophet is mocking Nineveh, challenging them to put forth every possible effort and to strengthen every fortification in order to withstand the approaching army of the Mede, Cyaxares, and the Babylonian, Nabopolassar.One thing is for certain, Nineveh will fall, for the Lord himself had decreed it.
? Red and scarlet are interesting colors, the Babylonians liked to overlay their shields with copper making them bright red. The Greek historian Xenophon records how the Medes wore bright red battle tunics.
? The Assyrians would gather their mightiest warriors only to stumble and be caught off guard.
? After holding out in their fortified city for two years, the Assyrians witnessed heavy rains that broke down the walls of the city. When the canals of the Tigris River were opened, the palace was destroyed.
? Once Assyria falls there will be no end to the wealth that will be for the victors. Ancient writers confirm that there were great treasuries accumulated in Nineveh, the results of repeated campaigns by the Assyrian empire builders.
? The once powerful and wealthy city is pictured as absolutely desolate, plundered, and utterly destroyed. The words in the Hebrew suggest the idea of emptiness.
? The horrendous cruelty of the Assyrians was the reason that God destroyed them. Assyrian relics reveal how totally brutal their monarchs were. They boasted that they made the blood of their enemies to flow on the high places of the mountains. One even declared that he dyed a mountain red with his enemies' blood.
? God would burn Assyria?s chariots refers to their reliance on their deadly chariots, which proved to be of no avail during their final devastation. Since Assyria delighted in burning the cities of other nations (almost every description of every battle included such a declaration), she would be recompensed in kind.
? The Assyrian kings sent messengers demanding tribute of conquered people; now their voices would be silenced for ever.