Nahum Chapter Three
Read Nahum 3:1-7
v.1 Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and robbery; the prey departeth not;
Habakkuk Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and stablisheth a city by iniquity!
It was also a city that owed its prosperity to sharp business practices, and other criminal activity. Truth and honesty has been banished from among them, no man cared what mischief he did, nor to whom. These men never seem to be able to get enough and are obsessed with getting more. Many are in the same condition today, especially when it comes to the love of money, power or to the use of drugs and the crimes used to finance their passions.
v.2 The noise of a whip, and the noise of the rattling of the wheels, and of the prancing horses, and of the jumping chariots.
Their city will be taken by war. They will suffer the same end that Jeremiah prophesied for Philistine cities:
Jeremiah 47:3 At the noise of the stamping of the hoofs of his strong horses, at the rushing of his chariots, and at the rumbling of his wheels, the fathers shall not look back to their children for feebleness of hands;
And we can see in our imagination the racing chariots, horses crazed by the scent of blood, the drivers cracking their whips driving them on to even greater effort, the wheels rattling and rumbling over uneven stone streets. All the while soldiers are lashing out with swords, spears and lances, killing right and left indiscriminately anyone who chances to be in their path.
v.3 The horseman 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:
The Chaldean Calvary will run wild in the streets as well; reaching into the places that the chariot mounted soldiers cant reach. The swords and spears will drip blood; the city will be littered with corpses. The number of the slain will be so great that the no one can move or run without stumbling over them or walking on them.
v.4 4Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the wellfavoured harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts.
In an earlier study we looked at
Judeans being considered harlots because of their worship of idols. God also condemned them because of their
worship of the inhabitants of the heavens, astrology and for sorcery. The same condition existed in
Isaiah 47:9-10 But these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great abundance of thine enchantments. 10For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said, None seeth me.
We also find
similar language in the New Testament used to describe
Revelation 18:2-3 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. 3For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
As we look around us I wonder what God thinks of
v.5 Behold, I am against thee, saith the LORD of hosts; and I will discover thy skirts upon thy face, and I will show the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame.
The Lord declares that he is against
v.6 6And I will cast abominable filth upon thee, and make thee vile, and will set thee as a gazingstock.
God would cause
A person or thing gazed at with scorn or abhorrence; an object of curiosity or contempt.
v.7 And it shall come to pass, that all they that look upon thee shall flee from thee, and say, Nineveh is laid waste: who will bemoan her? whence shall I seek comforters for thee?
Jeremiah 15:5-6 For who shall have
pity upon thee, O
Zephaniah had prophesied her destruction this way.
Zephaniah And he will stretch
out his hand against the north, and destroy
Read Nahum 3:8-19 Gods Judgment Is Sure
v.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?
Even though this city was situated
II Chronicles 12:3 With twelve hundred
chariots, and threescore thousand horsemen: and the people were without number
that came with him out of
But the military
v.10 Yet was she carried away, 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.
v.11 Thou also shalt be drunken: thou shalt be hid, thou also shalt seek strength because of the enemy.
The prophet here is not talking
about becoming drunk on strong drink but rather than being drunk on alcohol
they were totally incapacitated by the fury of God. Jeremiah used similar language in his writing
Jeremiah 25:14-16 For thus saith the LORD God of
This mighty nation will be degraded to the point that they will creep in secret to their neighbors, begging them to come to their assistance in the face of their enemy.
v.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.
The citys strongholds, their
fortified towers, their redoubts designed to trap and destroy an attacker would
fall to their enemies like ripe figs fall when you shake the tree. In
v.13 Behold, thy people in the midst of thee are women: the gates of thy land shall be set wide open unto thine enemies: the fire shall devour thy bars.
The prophet Jeremiah uses similar
language in his prophecy concerning the fall of
Jeremiah 51:30 The mighty men of
While there are
women that can be formidable opponents in any endeavor, most are not and in a
battle are victims rather than warriors.
The men of
v.14 Draw thee waters for the siege, fortify thy strong holds: go into clay, and tread the mortar, make strong the brickkiln.
v.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.
They will be devoured by fire and
the sword. Even if armies were as many
as the cankerworm or the locust when a plague of these insects occur they still
would not prevail. We remember the
language of Joel when she warned
Joel 1:4 That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpillar eaten.
v.16 Thou hast multiplied thy merchants above the stars of heaven: the cankerworm spoileth, and fleeth away.
v.17 Thy crowned are as the locusts, 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.
The princes and rulers of
v.18 Thy shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria: thy nobles shall dwell in the dust: thy people is scattered upon the mountains, and no man gathereth them.
The prophet begins his final pronouncement of their fate. Their shepherds sleep when they should be watching (the same applies to our spiritual shepherds today in many places). Consequently these nobles, their rulers, the ones responsible to watch for their welfare will sleep in the dust; they would be killed and buried in the earth.
Just like sheep would be scattered without shepherds to look after them; her people will be scattered upon the mountains never to be gathered together again. Just as we noted in earlier study, the city ceased to exist and within 100 years or so no one even remembered where it was. The following from Wikipedia:
In the days of the Greek historian Herodotus, 400 BC, Nineveh had become a thing of the past; and when Xenophon the historian passed the place in the Retreat of the Ten Thousand the very memory of its name had been lost. It was buried out of sight.
Xenophon was with a Greek army that mounted an expedition
against Artaxerxes III in
v.19 There is no healing of thy bruise; thy wound is grievous: all that hear the bruit of thee shall clap the hands over thee: for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?
So another nation, one who even
repented and turned to God at the preaching of Jonah, has become so evil that
God has removed them from the earth. God
has now confirmed again through the prophecy of Nahum what we saw in the
prophecy of Zephaniah concerning
Zephaniah This is the
And there will be
no healing of her destruction; there will be no restoration of