Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Nahum-Chapter 1

Nahum was a little-known prophet who lived in Galilee, most likely at a place called Elkosh (God the ensnarer) out of Galilee. Besides Jonah, this again disproves the assertion by the Sanhedrin that no prophet arises out of Galilee in John 7.52. His name means “consolation” or “full of comfort” and the book was written around 620 BC. His message contains a prophecy about the downfall of Ninevah because after they repented at the time of Jonah, they fell back into sin. However, Nahum never went to Ninevah but this prophecy tells us that Yehovah is determined to break the yoke off Judah that Assyria has placed on them.

v 1…The oracle (burden, weight because its message is heavy) of Ninevah (abode of Ninus), the book (no other prophecy is called a “sefer”-it was sent to them) of the vision of Nahum the Ekloshite.

v 2…A jealous and avenging God is the Lord (Yehovah); the Lord is avenging and wrathful. The Lord takes vengeance on his foes, and he reserves wrath for his enemies (God can cause delays on his punishments because he is merciful).

v 3…The Lord is slow to anger (patient to execute-Exo 20.5, 34.14) and great in power, and the Lord will by no means leave (the guilty) unpunished (acquit). In whirlwind (tempest) and storm is his way (manifestations of divine wrath in national judgments), and clouds are the dust beneath his feet (as a man goes upon the dust, so Yehovah goes upon the clouds).

v 4…He rebukes the sea and makes it dry (like at the Red Sea-Exo 14.15); he dries up all the rivers (since they obey him, too). Bashan and Carmel wither; the blossoms of Lebanon wither (all very fruitful but now with no rain).

v 5…Mountains quake because of him (Amos 8.8), and the hills dissolve; indeed the earth is upheaved (lifts itself) by his presence, the world and all its inhabitants in it (it is foolish to resist Yehovah).

v 6…Who can stand before his indignation (fury)? Who can endure the burning of his anger? His wrath is poured out like a fire (in a torrent, consuming everything in its path), and the rocks are broken up by him (anything that seems strong and immovable, like Ninevah, are trodden down).

v 7…he Lord (Yehovah) is good (in himself, the perfection of his nature), a stronghold in the day of trouble (any trouble, but this term alludes to the birth-pains), and he knows those who take refuge in him (who has faith-John 10.27-30; 2 Tim 2.19).

v 8…But (to Ninevah) with an overflowing flood (literally fulfilled by an overflow of the Tigris, washing away two and a half miles of wall allowing the armies of the Medes and Babylon to come in). He will make a complete end of its site (Ninevah’s), and will pursue his enemies into darkness (complete destruction).

v 9…What do you (Judea) think of the Lord? He will make a complete end of it (Ninevah will not come back); the distress will not rise up twice (to afflict the Jews again because its destruction will be so complete, so don’t worry about them again).

v 10…Like tangled thorns (useless, fit for burning), and like those who drunken with their drink (can’t help themselves), they are consumed (devoured), as stubble completely withered.

v 11…From you has gone forth one (various Assyrian conquerors and kings) who plotted evil against the Lord (by planning to destroy the Jewish people-Isa 10.7; 36.14-20), a wicked counselor (of Belial).

v 12…Thus says the Lord, “Though they are at full strength and likewise many (the Assyrian army had huge numbers), even so, they will be cut off and pass away. Though I have afflicted you (using Assyria as a rod to punish Judah-Isa 9.4, 10.5; Mic 5.1), I will afflict you no longer.

v 13…And now, I will break his yoke bar from you (the oppression that caused them to be bowed down), and I will tear off your shackles (bondage).”

v 14…The Lord (Yehovah) has issued a command concerning you (Ninevah), “Your name will no longer be perpetuated (Assyrian power will become extinct). I will cut off idol and image from the house of your gods. I will prepare your grave, for you are contemptible (no moral worth)-Assyria’s power and their idolatry will be destroyed).”

v 15…Behold (take note), on the mountains the feet of him who brings good news (Hebrew “basar” also meaning flesh or bread, where we get the word “gospel” from; that their oppressor has been destroyed by an army, as announced in v 14), who announces peace! Celebrate your feasts, O Judah (giving thanks for Yehovah’s blessings); pay your vows. For never again will the wicked one (kings of Assyria) pass through you; he is cut off (Hebrew “karet” or “loosed from the community) completely (because this hostile power of the world has been destroyed by Yehovah).

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Tying into the New Testament

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