Nahum One

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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

Nineveh. Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, was destroyed in 612 b.c., by a confederacy of the hosts of Babylon, Media, and Scythia, according to the generally accepted Biblical chronology, so the prophecy of Nahum was given before that. The exact date, however, is unknown.

Nahum. Nahum was a prophet of Judah, but his prophecy focuses entirely on Nineveh and Assyria. His home was in Elkosh, which may later have been renamed Kaphar-Nahum (the village of Nahum), or Capernaum, in honor of its most famous citizen.

Nahum 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.

his adversaries. Nineveh had turned to God at the preaching of Jonah, perhaps a century or so before Nahum's prophecy. Having once heard and professed the truth, the guilt of Nineveh became all the more inexcusable when she turned from the Lord into greater violence and wickedness than ever. Hence, Nahum prophesied God would soon take revenge on “His adversaries.”

Nahum 1:3 The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.

in the storm. Although tornadoes and other violent storms are natural phenomena in the world under God's Curse (Genesis 3:17-19), their causes are very complex and their timing and intensity cannot yet be predicted by scientists. Angels, however, with greater wisdom, can—to some degree—control them for God's purposes. In fact, as Job's experiences showed, even Satan and his fallen angels may have this knowledge (Job 1:13-20).

Nahum 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.

drieth up all the rivers. Compare Joel 1:20; Revelation 11:6; 16:12. The catastrophic natural phenomena implied here go far beyond any events that occurred when Nineveh was destroyed by the Babylonians and their allies. However, such events are described in connection with the great tribulation period of the last days. This may well mean that at least some of the prophecies of Nahum, like many other Old Testament prophetic Scriptures, have both near and far fulfillments. The immediate focus was on wicked Nineveh and its coming destruction. The long-range view, however, looks toward end-time catastrophes on all these Bible lands, including the Assyro/Babylonian region where Nineveh once reigned.

Nahum 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.

burned at his presence. Note such last-day characteristics as revealed in Revelation 6:12; 8:7; 2 Peter 3:10.

Nahum 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.

Nahum 1:7 The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.

day of trouble. “The day of trouble” may refer to the tribulation period of the last days. This comforting promise to those who trust in the Lord would seem more appropriately applied to the persecuted believers of that day, rather than to any believing Ninevites (if there were any) at the time when Nineveh was destroyed by the invading armies of Babylon and its confederates.

Nahum 1:8 But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies.

Nahum 1:9 What do ye imagine against the LORD? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.

Nahum 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.

Nahum 1:11 There is one come out of thee, that imagineth evil against the LORD, a wicked counsellor.

imagineth evil. Many scholars believe that Nahum prophesied in Judah at least partially during the reign of Hezekiah. If so, this could well be a prediction of the imminent invasion of Judah and Jerusalem by the Assyrian armies under Sennacherib.

Nahum 1:12 Thus saith the LORD; Though they be quiet, and likewise many, yet thus shall they be cut down, when he shall pass through. Though I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more.

he shall pass through. Again assuming that this passage refers mainly to the armies of Sennacherib, this is a remarkable prophecy of the miraculous deliverance of Jerusalem. “Though they [the Assyrians] be quiet [i.e., asleep], and likewise many [185,000], yet thus shall they be cut down [all slain], when he [i.e., the angel of the Lord] shall pass through” (2 Kings 19:35).

Nahum 1:13 For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder.

Nahum 1:14 And the LORD hath given a commandment concerning thee, that no more of thy name be sown: 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.

make thy grave. Over and over again Nahum prophesies the utter demise—not only of Sennacherib (2 Kings 19:36-37) and his descendants—but eventually even of Nineveh and the entire Assyrian empire. This was completely fulfilled.

Nahum 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.

publisheth peace. This beautiful pre-Christian gospel message evidently was repeated and extended by Isaiah, sometime after the miraculous deliverance from Sennacherib (Isaiah 52:7).