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The Prophets Before the Exile

(Category 8 of 16)

Watch our Read Scripture video on the book of Nahum, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. There is one Read Scripture video dedicated to the book of Nahum, which aims to help you see its unique contribution to the story of Jesus, but also how they work within the Bible’s overall framework.

In this book, Nahum portrays the downfall of Nineveh and Assyria as an image of how God will confront and bring down all violent human empires.

Explore Nahum



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The book of


“FOR everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required” (Luke
12:48). Nineveh had been given the privilege of knowing the one true God.
Under Jonah’s preaching this great gentile city had repented, and God had graciously
stayed His judgment. However, a hundred years later, Nahum proclaims
the downfall of this same city. The Assyrians have forgotten their revival and have
returned to their habits of violence, idolatry, and arrogance. As a result, Babylon
will so destroy the city that no trace of it will remain—a prophecy fulfilled in
painful detail.
The Hebrew word nahum (“comfort,” “consolation”) is a shortened form of
Nehemiah (“Comfort of Yahweh”). The destruction of the capital city of Assyria is
a message of comfort and consolation to Judah and all who live in fear of the cruelty
of the Assyrians. The title of this book in the Greek and Latin Bibles is Naoum
and Nahum.


1 THE 1burden aagainst Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.

God’s Wrath on His Enemies

2 God is ajealous, 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 aslow to anger and bgreat in power, And will not at all acquit the wicked.

cThe LORD has His way In the whirlwind and in the storm, And the clouds are the dust of His feet.
4 aHe rebukes the sea and makes it dry, And dries up all the rivers. bBashan and Carmel wither,

CHAPTER 1 References

1 aZeph. 2:13
2 aEx. 20:5
3 aEx. 34:6, 7
b[Job 9:4] cPs.
4 aMatt. 8:26
bIs. 33:9
5 1Tg. burns
6 a[Mal. 3:2] 7 a[Jer. 33:11] b2 Tim. 2:19

And the flower of Lebanon wilts.
5 The mountains quake before Him, The hills melt, And the earth 1heaves at His presence, Yes, the world and all who dwell in it.

6 Who can stand before His indignation? And awho can endure the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, And the rocks are thrown down by Him.

7 aThe LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And bHe 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.

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9 aWhat do you 1conspire against the LORD? bHe will make an utter end of it. Affliction will not rise up a second time.
10 For while tangled alike thorns, bAnd while drunken like drunkards, cThey shall be devoured like stubble fully dried.
11 From you comes forth one Who plots evil against the LORD, A 1wicked counselor.

12 Thus says the LORD:

“Though they are 1safe, and likewise many, Yet in this manner they will be acut 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: 1“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 agrave, For you are vile b.”2

15 Behold, on the mountains The afeet of him who brings good tidings, Who proclaims peace! O Judah, keep your appointed feasts, Perform your vows. For the 1wicked one shall no more pass through you; He is butterly cut off.

The Destruction of Nineveh


1 He1 who scatters has come up before your face. Man the fort! Watch the road! Strengthen your flanks! Fortify your power mightily.

2 For the LORD will restore the excellence of Jacob Like the excellence of Israel, For the emptiers have emptied them out And ruined their vine branches.

3 The shields of his mighty men are made red, The valiant men are in scarlet. The chariots come with flaming torches In the day of his preparation, And 1the spears are brandished.
4 The chariots rage in the streets,

9 aPs. 2:1;
Nah. 1:11
b1 Sam. 3:12
1Or devise
10 a2 Sam.
23:6; Mic. 7:4
bIs. 56:12;
Nah. 3:11 cIs.
5:24; 10:17;
Mal. 4:1
11 1Lit. counselor
of Belial
12 a[Is.
10:16–19, 33,
34] 1Or at
peace or complete
14 aEzek.
32:22, 23
bNah. 3:6 1Lit.
No more of
your name
shall be fruitful
15 aIs. 40:9;
52:7; Rom.
10:15 bIs. 29:7,
8 1Lit. one of

CHAPTER 2 References

1 1Vg. He who
3 1Lit. the cypresses
shaken; LXX,
Syr. the
horses rush
about; Vg. the
drivers are
7 1Heb. Huzzab
8 1Lit. Stand
9 aEzek. 7:19;
Zeph. 1:18
10 1LXX, Tg.,
Vg. gather
Joel 2:6
11 aJob 4:10,
11; Ezek.
12 aIs. 10:6;
Jer. 51:34 1Lit.
2Torn flesh
13 aJer. 21:13;
Ezek. 5:8;
Nah. 3:5
b2 Kin.
19:9–13, 23
1Lit. her

CHAPTER 3 References

1 aEzek. 22:2,
3; 24:6–9;
Hab. 2:12 1Lit.
2 1bounding or


They jostle one another in the broad roads; They seem like torches, They run like lightning.

5 He remembers his nobles; They stumble in their walk; They make haste to her walls, And the defense is prepared.
6 The gates of the rivers are opened, And the palace is dissolved.
7 1It is decreed: She shall be led away captive, She shall be brought up; And her maidservants shall lead her as with the voice of doves, Beating their breasts.

8 Though Nineveh of old was like a pool of water, Now they flee away. 1“Halt! Halt!” they cry; But no one turns back.
9 1Take spoil of silver! Take spoil of agold! There is no end of treasure, Or wealth of every desirable prize.
10 She is empty, desolate, and waste! The heart melts, and the knees shake; Much pain is in every side, And all their faces 1are drained of color.

11 Where is the dwelling of the alions, And the feeding place of the young lions, Where the lion walked, the lioness and lion’s cub, And no one made them afraid?
12 The lion tore in pieces enough for his cubs, 1Killed for his lionesses, aFilled his caves with prey, And his dens with 2flesh.

13 “Behold, aI am against you,” says the LORD of hosts, “I will burn 1your chariots in smoke, and the sword shall devour your young lions; I will cut off your prey from the earth, and the voice of your bmessengers shall be heard no more.”

The Woe of Nineveh


1 Woe to the abloody city! It is all full of lies and robbery. Its 1victim never departs.
2 The noise of a whip And the noise of rattling wheels, Of galloping horses, Of 1clattering chariots!
3 Horsemen charge with bright sword and glittering spear. There is a multitude of slain, A great number of bodies, Countless corpses—

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They stumble over the corpses—
4 Because of the multitude of 1harlotries of the 2seductive harlot, aThe mistress of sorceries, Who sells nations through her harlotries, And families through her sorceries.

5 “Behold, I am aagainst you,” says the LORD of hosts; b“I will lift your skirts over your face, I will show the nations your nakedness, And the kingdoms your shame.
6 I will cast abominable filth upon you, Make you a vile ,1 And make you ba spectacle.
7 It shall come to pass that all who look upon you aWill flee from you, and say, b‘Nineveh is laid waste! cWho will bemoan her?’ Where shall I seek comforters for you?”

8 aAre you better than bNo1 Amon That was situated by the 2River, That had the waters around her, Whose rampart was the sea, Whose wall was the sea?
9 Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength, And it was boundless; aPut and Lubim were 1your helpers.
10 Yet she was carried away, She went into captivity; aHer young children also were dashed to pieces bAt the head of every street; They ccast lots for her honorable men, And all her great men were bound in chains.
11 You also will be adrunk; You will be hidden; You also will seek refuge from the enemy.

4 aIs. 47:9–12
2Lit. goodly
charm, in a
bad sense
5 aNah. 2:13
bIs. 47:2, 3
6 aNah. 1:14
bHeb. 10:33
7 aRev. 18:10
bJon. 3:3; 4:11
cJer. 15:5
8 aAmos 6:2
bJer. 46:25
Thebes; Tg.,
Vg. populous
2Lit. rivers,
the Nile and
the surrounding
9 aEzek. 27:10
1LXX her
10 aHos. 13:16
bLam. 2:19
cJoel 3:3
11 aNah. 1:10
12 aRev. 6:12,
13 aIs. 19:16
bJer. 51:30
14 aNah. 2:1
15 aJoel 1:4
16 aRev. 18:3,
17 aRev. 9:7
18 aPs. 76:5, 6
bJer. 50:18
c1 Kin. 22:17
19 aMic. 1:9
bLam. 2:15

12 All your strongholds are afig trees with ripened figs: If they are shaken, They fall into the mouth of the eater.
13 Surely, ayour people in your midst are women! The gates of your land are wide open for your enemies; Fire shall devour the bbars of your gates.

14 Draw your water for the siege! aFortify your strongholds! Go into the clay and tread the mortar! Make strong the brick kiln!
15 There the fire will devour you, The sword will cut you off; It will eat you up like a alocust.

Make yourself many—like the locust! Make yourself many— like the swarming locusts!
16 You have multiplied your amerchants more than the stars of heaven. The locust plunders and flies away.
17 aYour commanders are like swarming locusts, And your generals like great grasshoppers, Which camp in the hedges on a cold day; When the sun rises they flee away, And the place where they are is not known.

18 aYour shepherds slumber, O bking of Assyria; Your nobles rest in the dust. Your people are cscattered on the mountains, And no one gathers them.
19 Your injury has no healing, aYour wound is severe . bAll who hear news of you Will clap their hands over you, For upon whom has not your wickedness passed continually?

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The Eternal Dwelling of God in Zion

A Song of Ascents.

1 LORD, remember David And all his afflictions;
2 How he swore to the LORD, aAnd vowed to bthe Mighty One of Jacob:
3 “Surely I will not go into the chamber of my house, Or go up to the comfort of my bed;
4 I will anot give sleep to my eyes Or slumber to my eyelids,
5 Until I afind a place for the LORD, A dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”

6 Behold, we heard of it ain Ephrathah; bWe found it cin the fields of 1the woods.
7 Let us go into His tabernacle; aLet us worship at His footstool.
8 aArise, O LORD, to Your resting place, You and bthe ark of Your strength.
9 Let Your priests abe clothed with righteousness, And let Your saints shout for joy.

10 For Your servant David’s sake, Do not turn away the face of Your 1Anointed.

PSALM 132 References

2 aPs. 65:1
bGen. 49:24
4 aProv. 6:4
5 aActs 7:46
6 a1 Sam.
17:12 b1 Sam.
7:1 c1 Chr.
13:5 1Heb.
Jaar, lit.
7 aPs. 5:7; 99:5
8 aNum. 10:35
bPs. 78:61
9 aJob 29:14
10 1Commissioned
Heb. Messiah
11 a[Ps. 89:3,
4, 33; 110:4] b2 Sam. 7:12
13 a[Ps. 48:1,
2] 1home
14 aPs. 68:16
15 aPs. 147:14
1supply of
16 a2 Chr. 6:41
b1 Sam. 4:5
17 aEzek.
29:21 b1 Kin.
11:36; 15:4
2Heb. Messiah
18 aPs. 35:26

11 aThe LORD has sworn in truth to David; He will not turn from it: “I will set upon your throne bthe 1fruit of your body.
12 If your sons will keep My covenant And My testimony which I shall teach them, Their sons also shall sit upon your throne forevermore.”

13 aFor the LORD has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His 1dwelling place:
14 “Thisa is My resting place forever; Here I will dwell, for I have desired it.
15 aI will abundantly bless her 1provision; I will satisfy her poor with bread.
16 aI will also clothe her priests with salvation, bAnd her saints shall shout aloud for joy.
17 aThere I will make the 1horn of David grow; bI will prepare a lamp for My 2Anointed.
18 His enemies I will aclothe with shame, But upon Himself His crown shall flourish.”




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