Nineveh will be Utterly Cut Off
1 The burden against Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.
2 God's Wrath on His Enemies God is jealous, and the LORD avenges; The LORD avenges and is furious. The LORD will take vengeance on His adversaries, And He reserves wrath for His enemies;
3 The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, And will not at all acquit the wicked. The LORD has His way In the whirlwind and in the storm, And the clouds are the dust of His feet.
4 He rebukes the sea and makes it dry, And dries up all the rivers. Bashan and Carmel wither, And the flower of Lebanon wilts.
5 The mountains quake before Him, The hills melt, And the earth heaves at His presence, Yes, the world and all who dwell in it.
6 Who can stand before His indignation? And who can endure the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, And the rocks are thrown down by Him.
7 The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.
8 But with an overflowing flood He will make an utter end of its place, And darkness will pursue His enemies.
9 What do you conspire against the LORD? He will make an utter end of it. Affliction will not rise up a second time.
10 For while tangled like thorns, And while drunken like drunkards, They shall be devoured like stubble fully dried.
11 From you comes forth one Who plots evil against the LORD, A wicked counselor.
12 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;
13 For now I will break off his yoke from you, And burst your bonds apart."
14 The LORD has given a command concerning you: "Your name shall be perpetuated no longer. Out of the house of your gods I will cut off the carved image and the molded image. I will dig your grave, For you are vile."
15 Behold, on the mountains The feet of him who brings good tidings, Who proclaims peace! O Judah, keep your appointed feasts, Perform your vows. For the wicked one shall no more pass through you; He is utterly cut off.
? The prophet Nahum describes Nineveh?s destruction in very graphic detail.
? This choice of words "The burden against Nineveh" indicates that the prophecy is a heavy message of judgment upon Nineveh.
? This chapter reveals God?s judgment and mercy.
? Just as God intervened on behalf of Judah and Jerusalem in 701 BC and decimated the army of Sennacherib during the reign of Hezekiah, so God would soon destroy the Assyrian Empire completely.
? God loves his people, and He will indeed set right the wrongs committed against them in the deportation of the kingdom of Israel and the invasion of the kingdom of Judah, both by the Assyrian kingdom.
? God emphasizes continually that He will take vengeance on his enemies.
? "Overflowing flood" is an interesting choice of words in light of history. The word reveal the figure of a river overflowing its banks to represent an invading army that overruns a land and spreads desolation in its path (also see Isa 8:8; 10:5-19), Ctesias (a Greek historian of the fifth century B.C.) wrote that while a drunken feast was going on in Nineveh, a sudden flooding of the Tigris River swept away the city gates and washed away the foundations of the palace, thus permitting the Babylonian army to enter and burn the city.
? An "utter end" speaks of the punishment that God would mete out to the Assyrian would be so devastating that He would never need to repeat it because it would be an permanent blow.
? It is interesting that the Assyrians were in the midst of their reveling during the siege of the capital. According to the historian Diodorus Siculus (The Historical Library 2:26), the king and his courtiers were surprised in the midst of their "carousings" and the empire fell.
? Assyria, who had already "cut down" many peoples, would herself be cut down in their defiance of the Lord.
? The Assyrian king, with 185,000 of his men slain in one night, lifted the siege of Jerusalem and retired to Nineveh (2 Kings 19:35-36; Isa 37:36-37
? Though God permitted the Assyrians to destroy Israel, he would do so no more.
? Assyria had overcome Judah and reduced them to a vassal kingdom, required to pay tribute (2 Kings 18:14) to Assyria, but the Lord had purposed to liberate his people and break the bonds completely.
? Verse 14 is interesting when the prophet Nahum foretells the tragic end of a God-defying life. The dynasty of Sennacherib was to become extinct, a prophecy fulfilled in the suicide of Sennacherib's great-grandson, Saracus, in the last days of the Assyrian Empire.
? "I will dig your grave" are powerful words against king Sennacherib of Assyria. The place of Sennacherib's death is revealed in the Scriptures (2 Kings 19:37; Isa 37:38). While the king was worshiping his gods in the temple, his sons assassinated him.
? Verse 15 speaks of the wonderful news that will come when Nineveh has fallen (612 B.C.), especially to the Judeans. Just as God intervened on behalf of Jerusalem in 701 BC and destroyed the army of Sennacherib with His own hand, so God would soon destroy the Assyrian Empire completely (with a flood).
? The "wicked one" will be utterly cut off.