Nineveh will be Made Desolate
"Though Nineveh of old was like a pool of water, Now they flee away. 'Halt! Halt!" they cry; But no one turns back. Take spoil of silver! Take spoil of gold! There is no end of treasure, Or wealth of every desirable prize. 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." Nahum 2:8-10
COMMENTARY - NAHUM 2:8-10
8. But--rather, "Though"
of old--rather, "from the days that she hath been"; from the earliest period of her existence. Alluding to Nineveh's antiquity (Ge 10:11). "Though Nineveh has been of old defended by water surrounding her, yet her inhabitants shall flee away.", less probably (compare Na 3:8-12), interprets, the "waters" of her numerous population (Isa 8:7; Jer 51:13; Re 17:15).
Stand, stand, shall they cry--that is, the few patriotic citizens shall cry to their fleeing countrymen; "but none looketh back," much less stops in flight, so panic-stricken are they.
9. silver . . . gold--The conquerors are summoned to plunder the city. Nineveh's riches arose from the annual tribute paid by so many subject states, as well as from its extensive merchandise (Na 3:16; Eze 27:23, 24).
store--accumulated by the plunder of subject nations. It is remarkable, that while small articles of value (bronze inlaid with gold, gems, seals, and alabaster vases) are found in the ruins of Nineveh, there are is none of gold and silver. These, as here foretold, were "taken for spoil" before the palaces were set on fire.
glory out of all the pleasant furniture--or, "there is abundance of precious vessels of every kind".
10. Literally, "emptiness, and emptiedness, and devastation." The accumulation of substantives without a verb (as in Na 3:2), the two first of the three being derivatives of the same root, and like in sound, and the number of syllables in them increasing in a kind of climax, intensify the gloomy effectiveness of the expression. Hebrew, Bukah, Mebukah, Mebullakah (compare Isa 24:1, 3, 4; Zep 1:15).
faces of all gather blackness--(See on Joe 2:6). CALVIN translates, "withdraw (literally, 'gather up') their glow," or flush, that is, grow pale. This is probably the better rendering. JFB
View Section - Nahum 2:1-13