Nineveh will be Ultimately Cut Down
"From you comes forth one Who plots evil against the LORD, A wicked counselor. Thus says the LORD: "Though they are safe, and likewise many, Yet in this manner they will be cut down When he passes through. Though I have afflicted you, I will afflict you no more; For now I will break off his yoke from you, And burst your bonds apart." Nahum 1:11-13
COMMENTARY - NAHUM 1:11-13
11. The cause of Nineveh's overthrow: Sennacherib's plots against Judah.
come out of thee--O Nineveh. From thyself shall arise the source of thy own ruin. Thou shalt have only thyself to blame for it.
imagineth evil--Sennacherib carried out the imaginations of his countrymen (Na 1:9) against the Lord and His people (2Ki 19:22, 23).
a wicked counsellor--literally, "a counsellor of Belial." Belial means "without profit," worthless, and so bad (1Sa 25:25; 2Co 6:15).
12-14. The same truths repeated as in Na 1:9-11, Jehovah here being the speaker. He addresses Judah, prophesying good to it, and evil to the Assyrian.
Though they be quiet--that is, without fear, and tranquilly secure. So Chaldee. Or, "entire," "complete"; "Though their power be unbroken, and though they be so many, yet even so they shall be cut down" (literally, "shorn"; as hair shaved off closely by a razor, Isa 7:20). As the Assyrian was a razor shaving others, so shall he be shaven himself. Retribution in kind. In the height of their pride and power, they shall be clean cut off. The same Hebrew stands for "likewise" and "yet thus." So many as they are, so many shall they perish.
when he shall pass through--or, "and he shall pass away," namely, "the wicked counsellor" (Na 1:11), Sennacherib. The change of number to the singular distinguishes him from his host. They shall be cut down, he shall pass away home (2Ki 19:35, 36). English Version is better, "they shall be cut down, "when" He (Jehovah) shall pass through," destroying by one stroke the Assyrian host. This gives the reason why they with all their numbers and power are to be so utterly cut off. Compare "pass through," that is, in destroying power (Eze 12:12, 23; Isa 8:8; Da 11:10).
Though I have afflicted thee--Judah, "I will afflict thee no more" (Isa 40:1, 2; 52:1, 2). The contrast is between "they," the Assyrians, and "thee," Judah. Their punishment is fatal and final. Judah's was temporary and corrective. JFB
View Section - Nahum 1:1-15