Nahum Chapter 1

Nahum Bible Study

Scripture & Commentary Below the Videos


“For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required,” Jesus declared (Luke 12:48). His words found graphic illustration in the fortunes of ancient Nineveh, the infamous capital of Assyria. Nineveh was an ancient Assyrian city of Upper Mesopotamia, located on the outskirts of Mosul in modern-day northern Iraq. It is located on the eastern bank of the Tigris River and was the capital of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. Today it is a common name for the half of Mosul that lies on the eastern bank of the Tigris and the Nineveh Governorate takes its name from it.

It was the largest city in the world for approximately fifty years until the year 612 BC when, after a bitter period of civil war in Assyria, it was sacked by a coalition of its former subject peoples, the Babylonians, Medes, Chaldeans, Persians, Scythians and Cimmerians. Its ruins are across the river from the modern-day major city of Mosul, in Iraq’s Nineveh Governorate. The two main tells, or mound-ruins, within the walls are Kuyunjiq (Kuyuncuk) and Tell Nabī Yūnus.

The great Gentile city had been given the privilege of knowing the one true God. Under Jonah’s preaching, the people of the metropolis repented, and God had graciously withheld His promised judgment.

A hundred years later, however, Nahum proclaims the downfall of the same city. The Assyrians forgot their life-saving revival and returned to their habits of violence, idolatry, and arrogance. As a result, the Babylonians would so utterly destroy the city that no trace of it would remain—a prophecy fulfilled in painful detail. In fact, until modern times the exact location of Nineveh (near modern-day Mosul in Iraq) had been forgotten.

The Hebrew word nahum (“comfort,” “consolation”) is a shortened form of Nehemiah (“Comfortof Yahweh”). The destruction of the capital city of Assyria brings comfort and consolation to Judah and all who live in fear of the cruelty of the Assyrians.

Themes: God judges disobedience, but He gives the repentant a “second chance.” Nahum is sometimes regarded as a sequel to the Book of Jonah.

Author: Nahum.

Time: Sometime before the fall of Nineveh (c. 660 B.C.).

Structure: The Book of Nahum can be divided simply into three parts. In chapter one, Nahum describes the Lord as Nineveh’s judge. In chapter two, he proclaims Nineveh’s judgment. In chapter three, he prophesies Nineveh’s complete ruin.

Nah 1:1  The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.

God’s Wrath Against Nineveh

Nah 1:2  God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies (sinners).

Isa 65:20  There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; BUT THE SINNER being an hundred years old shall be ACCURSED.

Ecc 8:12  Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that FEAR GOD, which fear before him:
Ecc 8:13  But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days (HUMAN LIVES HERE ON EARTH ARE NOTHING BUT A VAPOUR), which are as a shadow (His life, though it may seem long, yet in truth is but a shadow, which will quickly vanish and disappear); because HE FEARETH NOT before God.

Nah 1:3  The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked (the willful sinners including the disobedient lukewarm professing “Christians”): the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind (hurricane) and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. (God spoke to Job out of the whirlwind; he descended on Mount Sinai in a storm and tempest; and the clouds are his chariots; in which he rides swiftly)

Nah 1:4  He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth. (The Red Sea and the rivers: probably an allusion to the passage of the Red Sea and Jordan.The description of the coming of King Jesus, from the third to the sixth verse, is dreadfully majestic (reference the very last chapter on the Old Testament – Malachi 4. He is represented as controlling universal nature. The sea and the rivers are dried up, the mountains tremble, the hills melt, and the earth is burnt at his presence. )
Nah 1:5  The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein.
Nah 1:6  Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his ANGER? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him.

Psa 7:11 God judgeth the righteous, and GOD IS ANGRY WITH THE WICKED EVERYDAY.”

Nah 1:7  The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that TRUST IN HIM.

GOD’S WRATH ABIDES ON THE SINNERJohn 3:36 “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not (MEANING DOES NOT OBEY – A SINNER) the Son shall not see life; but the WRATH (ANGER/CONDEMNATION) of God abideth on him.”

Nah 1:8  But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof (Nineveh, against whom this prophecy was), and darkness shall pursue his enemies.
Nah 1:9  What do ye imagine against the LORD? he will make an UTTER END: affliction shall not rise up the second time. (There shall be no need to repeat the judgment; The utter overthrow of Sennacherib’s host, soon about to take place, is an earnest of the “utter end” of Nineveh itself. The prophet had in few words summed up the close of Nineveh. Nineveh had, before this, been the instrument of chastising Israel and Judah.)
Nah 1:10  For while they be folden together as thorns, and while they are drunken as drunkards, they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry.
Nah 1:11  There is one (Sennacherib, or Rabshekah) come out of thee (From Nineveh. Against the Lord – Against the people of the Lord, 2Ch 32:1), that imagineth evil against the LORD, a wicked counsellor.
Nah 1:12  Thus saith the LORD; Though they be quiet (King Sennacherib invaded Judea with an army of nearly two hundred thousand men – the Assyrians.), and likewise many, yet thus shall they be cut down, when he shall pass through. (The angel of the Lord (a suffocating wind) slew of them in one night one hundred and eighty-five thousand 2Ki 19:35.) Though I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more.
Nah 1:13  For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder. (the Assyrian’s yoke, namely, the tribute imposed by Sennacherib on Hezekiah (2Ki 18:14)
Nah 1:14  And the LORD hath given a commandment concerning thee (Sennacherib, and the whole kingdom of Assyria), that no more of thy name be sown (that no more of thy seed, bearing thy name, as kings of Nineveh, be propagated; that thy dynasty become extinct): out of the house of thy gods will I cut off the graven image and the molten image: I will make thy grave; for thou art VILE.
Nah 1:15  Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.”


The Destruction of Nineveh

Nah 2:1  He (The Medo-Babylonian army under Cyaxares and Nabopolassar, that destroyed Nineveh, is prophetically meant) that dasheth in pieces is come up before thy face: keep the munition, watch the way, make thy loins strong, fortify thy power mightily.
Nah 2:2  For the LORD hath turned away the excellency of Jacob (the time for Nineveh’s overthrow is ripe, because Jacob (Judah) and Israel (the ten tribes) have been sufficiently chastised), as the excellency of Israel: for the emptiers have emptied them out (Brought them from their own land into captivity), and marred their vine branches. (Destroyed all the fruit of the land.)
Nah 2:3  The shield of his mighty men is made red (With the blood of the slain), the valiant men are in scarlet (the generals and other officers of the army were clothed in scarlet; partly to show their greatness and nobleness, and partly to strike their enemies with terror, and to hide their blood should they be wounded, and so keep up their own spirits, and not encourage their enemies): the chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his preparation (either to guide them in the night, or to set fire to houses or tents they should meet with, or to terrify the enemy), and the fir trees shall be terribly shaken. (By axes cutting them down for the war and/or the incredible force upon them)
Nah 2:4  The chariots shall rage in the streets (Of Nineveh, when taken), they shall justle one against another in the broad ways: they shall seem like torches, they shall run like the lightnings. (producing carnage and confusion)
Nah 2:5  He (The king of Babylon) shall recount his worthies (faithful officers and commanders): they shall stumble in their walk (through fear and hurry); they shall make haste to the wall (of Nineveh) thereof, and the defence shall be prepared. (A covering from attack)
Nah 2:6  The gates of the rivers shall be opened (Of the Tigris, upon which Nineveh stood), and the palace shall be dissolved. (as if melted, total destruction)
Nah 2:7  And Huzzab (the queen) shall be led away captive, she shall be brought up, and her maids shall lead her as with the voice of doves (moaning in fear), tabering (beating) upon their breasts. (as on a tambourine)
Nah 2:8  But Nineveh is of old like a pool of water: (Very populous, like a pond which hath been long breeding fish, and is full of them) yet they shall flee away (terrified). Stand, stand, shall they cry; (meaning the chieftains, and most valiant among the Ninevites) but none shall look back.
Nah 2:9  Take ye the spoil of silver, take the spoil of gold: for there is none end of the store and glory out of all the pleasant furniture. (the Chaldeans encourage one another in the plundering of the city. Though the king burnt his treasures, vestments, etc., he could not totally destroy the silver and the gold. Nor did he burn the riches of the city; these fell a prey to the conquerors; and there was no end of the store of glorious garments, and the most costly vessels and furniture.)
Nah 2:10  She is empty, and void, and waste: and the heart melteth, and the knees smite together, and much pain is in all loins, and the faces of them all gather blackness. (The completeness of her judgment is declared)
Nah 2:11  Where is the dwelling of the lions (Tyrants and bloody warriors of the kings of Assyria, comparable to lions for their strength, courage, and cruelty, tyranny, and oppression), and the feedingplace of the young lions (sons of the kings of Assyria), where the lion, even the old lion, walked, and the lion’s whelp, and none made them afraid? (there were none to resist their power, curb their insolence, and put a stop to their cruelty and oppression; or make them afraid of pursuing such methods.)
Nah 2:12  The lion did tear in pieces enough for his whelps, and strangled for his lionesses, and filled his holes with prey, and his dens with ravin. (It was as full of spoils of all nations as a lion’s den is of remains of its prey.)
Nah 2:13  Behold, I am against thee (Nineveh), saith the LORD of hosts, and I will burn her chariots in the smoke, and the sword shall devour thy young lions (the swords of the Medes and Chaldeans shall destroy the princes, the sons of their king.): and I will cut off thy prey from the earth (that they should no more prey upon their neighbours; and what they had got should be taken away from them), and the voice of thy messengers shall no more be heard. (They are not worthy to be heard again, that have once spoken reproachfully against God)


Woe to Nineveh


Leviticus 19:17 “Thou shalt NOT HATE THY BROTHER in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise REBUKE (LOVE) THY NEIGHBOUR, and NOT SUFFER (ALLOW, CONDONE, EXCUSE) SIN  upon him.”

Nah 3:2  The noise of a whip, and the noise of the rattling of the wheels, and of the pransing horses, and of the jumping chariots.
Nah 3:3  The horseman (The Chaldeans and their confederates) lifteth up both the bright sword and the glittering spear: and there is a multitude of slain, and a great number of carcases; and there is none end of their corpses; they stumble upon their corpses:
Nah 3:4  Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the wellfavoured harlot (they are represented under the emblem of a beautiful harlot or public prostitute, enticing all men to her, inducing the nations to become idolatrous (THE “AMERICAN DREAM” HAS CORRUPTED MORE PEOPLE AND NATIONS THAN ANYTHING ELSE), and, by thus perverting them, rendering them also objects of the Divine wrath), the mistress of witchcrafts (MODERN DAY WITCHCRAFT INCLUDES YOGA, MARTIAL ARTS, HARRY POTTER, ETC), that selleth nations through her whoredoms (SPIRITUAL FORNICATION – THE GREAT MAJORITY OF THOSE WHO PROFESS CHRIST ARE NOTHING BUT WHORES OF THE WORLD), and families through her witchcrafts.
Nah 3:5  Behold, I am against thee, saith the LORD of hosts; and I will discover thy skirts upon thy face, and I will shew the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame.

Proverbs 27:5-6 “OPEN REBUKE is better than secret love. 6 FAITHFUL are the WOUNDS of a FRIEND; but the KISSES (WORLDLY LOVE) of an enemy are DECEITFUL.”1 Timothy 5:20 “THEM THAT SIN REBUKE BEFORE ALL, THAT OTHERS MAY FEAR.”
Nah 3:6  And I will cast abominable filth upon thee, and make thee vile, and will set thee as a gazingstock. (TO BE SET AS AN EXAMPLE, TO BE MOCKED, ETC)
Nah 3:7  And it shall come to pass, that all they that look upon thee shall flee from thee, and say, Nineveh is laid waste (COMPLETELY DESTROYED BOTH BUILDINGS AND PEOPLE): who will bemoan her? whence shall I seek comforters for thee? (her neighbours, whom she has oppressed and cruelly used, these will laugh and rejoice, instead of lamenting her case)
Nah 3:8  Art thou better than populous No, that was situate among the rivers, that had the waters round about it, whose rampart was the sea, and her wall was from the sea? ((“No-ammon,” the Egyptian name for Thebes in Upper Egypt; meaning the portion or possession of Ammon, the Egyptian Jupiter (whence the Greeks called the city Diospolis), who was especially worshipped there. The Egyptian inscriptions call the god Amon-re, that is, Amon the Sun; he is represented as a human figure with a ram’s head, seated on a chair (Jer  46:25; Eze 30:14-16). The blow inflicted on No-ammon, described in Nah 3:10, was probably by the Assyrian Sargon (Isa 18:1; Isa 20:1)
Nah 3:9  Ethiopia (CUSH) and Egypt were her strength, and it was infinite; Put (PHUT – WEST OF LOWER EGYPT) and Lubim were thy helpers.
Nah 3:10  Yet was she carried away (AS MIGHTY AS SHE ONCE WAS), she went into captivity: her young children also were dashed in pieces at the top of all the streets: and they cast lots for her honourable men, and all her great men were bound in chains.
Nah 3:11  Thou also shalt be drunken: thou shalt be hid, thou also shalt seek strength because of the enemy. (Thou also hall be rewarded God’s displeasure)
Nah 3:12  All thy strong holds shall be like fig trees with the firstripe figs: if they be shaken, they shall even fall into the mouth of the eater. (Ripe figs – Whose weight and ripeness will bring them quickly to the ground. Shaken – If but lightly touched.)
Nah 3:13  Behold, thy people in the midst of thee are women (unable to fight for thee (Isa 19:16; Jer 50:37; Jer 51:30): the gates of thy land shall be set wide open unto thine enemies: the fire shall devour thy bars (that held the gate).
Nah 3:14  Draw thee waters for the siege (Fill all thy cisterns, and draw the waters into the ditches), fortify thy strong holds: go into clay, and tread the morter, make strong the brickkiln. (Yet, though stored within and fenced without, it shall not stand (see Isa 27:10-11)
Nah 3:15  There shall the fire devour thee; the sword shall cut thee off, it shall eat thee up like the cankerworm: make thyself many as the cankerworm, make thyself many as the locusts.
Nah 3:16  Thou hast multiplied thy merchants above the stars of heaven: the cankerworm spoileth, and flieth away.
Nah 3:17  Thy crowned are as the locusts (Thou hast numerous princes and numerous commanders), and thy captains as the great grasshoppers, which camp in the hedges in the cold day, but when the sun ariseth they flee away, and their place is not known where they are. (Cold deprives the locust of the power of flight; so they settle in cold weather and at night, but when warmed by the sun soon “flee away.” So shall the Assyrian multitudes suddenly disappear, not leaving a trace behind)
Nah 3:18  Thy shepherds (leaders) slumber (lie dead), O king of Assyria: thy nobles shall dwell in the dust: thy people is scattered upon the mountains, and no man gathereth them.

Psa 7:5  Let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it (PUT ME TO DEATH); yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust. Selah.
Nah 3:19  There is no healing of thy bruise; thy wound is grievous: all that hear the bruit of thee shall clap the hands (INSULTING AND REJOICING) over thee: for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually? (Thy tyranny, pride, oppression and cruelty; Thou hast been a universal oppressor, and therefore all nations rejoice at thy fall and utter desolation.)