A STUDY OF NAHUM
Commentary by Dr. Mark G. Cambron
Nahum went to Nineveh many years after Jonah. He was a native of Elkosh. The period of his prophecy was during the time of Isaiah and Hezekiah.
I. The Judge (1:1-7)
II. The Judgment (1:8 - 3:19)
A. The Judgment Declared (1:8-15)
B. The Judgment Described (2)
C. The Judgment Defended (3)
Nahum was a prophet, and lived in Judaea, a native of Elkosh. His prophecy is divided into three parts: (1) Which states the purpose of God in inflicting punishment on Nineveh; (2) The prophet announces more in detail the destruction of Nineveh; and (3) The prophet announces still more details of the destruction of Nineveh.
The prophet’s name, Nahum, means Comforter, which cannot be found in any other place in the Scriptures.
The key verse is 1:7
“The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.”
Nahum prophesied during the time of Isaiah and Hezekiah.
As Jonah preached doom to Nineveh 150 years before Nahum, yet the city repented from the king down to the most humble peasant. Nahum preached unforgivable doom upon Nineveh which brought about her crushing defeat, death, and scattering.
Jehovah (the LORD) is a jealous God, and he who bows down to an image is up for destruction. No god can stand equal with the God of Israel.
Jehovah is avenging and wrathful upon His enemies and upon the people of Israel.
Jehovah is slow to anger and great in power. He is a Holy God. He is Righteous altogether, and as Assyria is the object of Jehovah’s wrath, He shows the sins, the whoring of Assyria, her influence upon the nations she conquered for idolatry causes the True God to wince in anger against all gods. For He, Jehovah, alone is God. There is no other God but Jehovah.
And Jehovah will by no means leave the guilty unpunished. While Assyria is not a part of Israel, yet Israel’s God is the One who created the ground on which Assyria raised her cities and built her temple. Even the wealth is controlled by Jehovah.
He rebukes the sea, causing it to dry up. He dries up all the rivers: Bashan and Carmel wither. The blossoms of Lebanon languish.
Earthquakes come uncontrollable, and the hills become no more.
His presence causes the earth to upheave. It is Jehovah who is in control of the very earth that Assyrians claim as their own.
The people of all nations are at His mercy — Who stands before his justice? Who can endure the flames of his wrath? It is poured out as a fiery river that comes out of erupting volcanoes. The rocks, mighty in weight, are crushed by His fingers.
But Jehovah is good: A mighty stronghold in trouble. And you say you are running to Him for deliverance? Why, don’t you know He, Jehovah, is Omnipotent (all powerful)? Omniscient (all knowing)? Yes, He is not fooled by your play at righteousness. He knows who is trusting Him.
There is no Ark of Noah to flee to! For He will destroy with overflowing floods. He will complete His fury upon his enemies in the dark. Nothing is hidden from him.
What can puny man with his armies by the millions do to defeat Jehovah? They shall be destroyed before they make a move. Distress will not raise its head again.
No hope for the enemies of Jehovah.
His attention is directed to Israel. Oh, how Jehovah has chastised His people.
A wicked counselor has arisen among you and in turn we read in other Scripture where there shall be one who Israel (some of them) will hear and heed, but He is false. He does mighty miracles charming the nation and the world by his deceit — even claiming to be God — the antichrist. Any leader can get a following, small it may be. But his man will deal out death by the guillotines — beheading those who will not bow to his image].
God says He will not afflict Israel any more, for today (1994) Israel is cured of idolatry.
Israel, there is complete deliverance by your God. I will treat Assyria as she treated you. What nation shall it be that will over Israel and protect her from Assyria — it shall be Babylon!
You shall be set free.
Jehovah now turns to Assyria declaring complete victory over her. She shall go down without a remembrance for good.
Here comes the sent one — does he have good news or bad news. Good news, of course. (To the Christian, we praise God for the one you sent that preached the Good News, glad tidings, which is the Gospel — who announces “peace.” And His name shall be called “Wonderful Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Price of Peace [Isaiah 9:6]). “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
Celebrate your feast days. Pay what you promised Him.
Never again will Assyria rise against you — He is cut off completely.
Look at the defeated to be of Israel What are we to do in Nineveh’s destruction. Man the fortress. Watch the road. Gather together your strength.
Jehovah is restoring Israel’s glory. Though the enemies of Israel have known devastation, Israel shall be lifted up. Her enemies were so cruel, even destroying their vines.
Oh, the destruction of Assyria is so minutely described:
Look at that army —All in khaki? Why no! Everything is red — the color which tends to make the bearer stronger and the enemy weaker. The shields are red. Her warriors are dressed in scarlet. The chariots are wrapped in steel. Cypress spears are brought out.
Oh, what a clang and noise, yelling and shouting. The chariots break the silence. All are congregating in the square. As steel is brandished in their shields and the sun glistens upon their swords, they look like torches, like lightning bolts.
Even the elements are against Assyria. The rain has been falling for hours. The mighty Tigris River is rising beyond its natural bed. The waters are eating the fortress away, and those who ran to the walls fall in water with the stones of fortress and walls.
The palace is gone.
The whole city of Nineveh is being washed away, all things, people, animals, trees, and all are becoming cast away.
Yes, poor Nineveh, she had swimming pool her nobles, but everyone is fleeing.
Stop, soldiers, stop.
Here comes the enemy. Plunder the silver and remember the gold. Nineveh stored her wealth gained by her armies’ exploits.
Treasure is for the taking, Babylon.
But in a moment, Nineveh’s wealth has been found and plundered. All are in a shock.
Even in the young and old wild animals — the lions and their pride enjoy the fresh flesh of those of Nineveh.
Time and time again have the lions returned to feast upon the unprotected citizens of Nineveh.
The cubs were fed by the lions. All were fed — even much flesh is stored up for tomorrow.
Orders have been given by the Conquerer “Kill all lions” — and so all were killed, and not to feed as they did for awhile.
The battle still rages! It is truly the bloody city.
The sound of the whip. The noise of the chariots’ wheels. The galloping horses. The many chariots.
Horsemen are charging. As swords are unsheathed. Spears are held high. Great is the slaughter. Corpses are piling high. The countless dead. Soldiers are stumbling over the dead.
All of this has been caused by the Assyrians’ harlotries and the mediums sorceries, even making herself rich by her enchantments.
Jehovah Sabbaoth speaks, “I am against you. I will make you naked for open shame and make your disgrace known to the nations (Gentiles).”
I shall make you the vilest of all mankind.
No one walks to acknowledge their relation to you. They shall shrink from you and say as the elders said to Pharaoh when God sent one amazing plague after another “Egypt is destroyed.” They say “Assyria is destroyed.” Comforters has she none.
Just think, Nineveh, are you better situated than No-aman [a city in upper Egypt] by the Nile, with waters surrounded her.
Where is Ethiopia? You relied upon her for a long time. Egypt was on your call, Put and Eubim also.
Everything was yours, but you lost everything.
How degrading Nineveh has become. Captivity became her home. Her small children were dashed to pieces. The victorious soldiers over Nineveh’s cast lots for her noblemen, making a senate member to become a wine taster.
Her great men were bound in chains.
All the populace were at the mercy of her enemies. There is no place to hide.
Your fortresses are destroyed.
There are no men left — only women. Anything your enemies desire are theirs. Fire has destroyed your gates.
Oh, there is still something to do. Store up water for the siege. Strengthen your fortresses! With what? You need bricks? Tread out the clay and tread the mortar.
What for? The fire will destroy you. The sword will mow you down.
How desolate and weak they have become.
Did you ever see so many guardsmen? There is no one left.
Look at the plight of Nineveh after her defeat. Your shepherds are sleeping? No, the enemy has taken all the sheep.
Your nobles are lying down? No, they are dead. Your peoples are scattered? What people? Where ever they are, no one wants them.
No relief. Your wounds cannot be cured. And think of this curse: All who hear about you will clap their hands over you. Your sinfulness has fallen upon all.