Nahum 2:3
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New International Version
The shields of the soldiers are red; the warriors are clad in scarlet. The metal on the chariots flashes on the day they are made ready; the spears of juniper are brandished.

New Living Translation
Shields flash red in the sunlight! See the scarlet uniforms of the valiant troops! Watch as their glittering chariots move into position, with a forest of spears waving above them.

English Standard Version
The shield of his mighty men is red; his soldiers are clothed in scarlet. The chariots come with flashing metal on the day he musters them; the cypress spears are brandished.

New American Standard Bible
The shields of his mighty men are colored red, The warriors are dressed in scarlet, The chariots are enveloped in flashing steel When he is prepared to march, And the cypress spears are brandished.

King James Bible
The shield of his mighty men is made red, the valiant men are in scarlet: the chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his preparation, and the fir trees shall be terribly shaken.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The shields of his warriors are dyed red; the valiant men are dressed in scarlet. The fittings of the chariot flash like fire on the day of its battle preparations, and the spears are brandished.

International Standard Version
The shields deployed by Israel's elite forces are scarlet, their valiant men are clothed in crimson. When they are prepared, the polished armament on their chariots will shine, and lances will be brandished about ferociously.

NET Bible
The shields of his warriors are dyed red; the mighty soldiers are dressed in scarlet garments. The metal fittings of the chariots shine like fire on the day of battle; the soldiers brandish their spears.

New Heart English Bible
The shield of his mighty men is made red. The valiant men are in scarlet. The chariots flash with steel in the day of his preparation, and the pine spears are brandished.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The shields of his warriors are painted red. His soldiers have red uniforms. The metal on his chariots flashes fiery red, so do the spears when they are waved on the day he prepares for battle.

JPS Tanakh 1917
The shield of his mighty men is made red, The valiant men are in scarlet; The chariots are fire of steel in the day of his preparation, And the cypress spears are made to quiver.

New American Standard 1977
The shields of his mighty men are colored red,
            The warriors are dressed in scarlet,
            The chariots are enveloped in flashing steel
            When he is prepared to march,
            And the cypress spears are brandished.

Jubilee Bible 2000
The shield of his valiant ones shall be red, the men of his army are in scarlet, the chariot as fire of torches in the day which shall be made ready; the fir trees shall be terribly shaken.

King James 2000 Bible
The shield of his mighty men is made red, the valiant men are in scarlet: the chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his preparation, and the cypress trees shall be terribly shaken.

American King James Version
The shield of his mighty men is made red, the valiant men are in scarlet: the chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his preparation, and the fir trees shall be terribly shaken.

American Standard Version
The shield of his mighty men is made red, the valiant men are in scarlet: the chariots flash with steel in the day of his preparation, and the cypress'spears are brandished.

Douay-Rheims Bible
The shield of his mighty men is like fire, the men of the army are clad in scarlet, the reins of the chariot are flaming in the day of his preparation, and the drivers are stupefied.

Darby Bible Translation
The shield of his mighty men is made red, the valiant men are in scarlet: the chariots [glitter] with the sheen of steel, in the day of his preparation, and the spears are brandished.

English Revised Version
The shield of his mighty men is made red, the valiant men are in scarlet: the chariots flash with steel in the day of his preparation, and the spears are shaken terribly.

Webster's Bible Translation
The shield of his mighty men is made red, the valiant men are in scarlet: the chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his preparation, and the fir-trees shall be terribly shaken.

World English Bible
The shield of his mighty men is made red. The valiant men are in scarlet. The chariots flash with steel in the day of his preparation, and the pine spears are brandished.

Young's Literal Translation
The shield of his mighty ones is become red, Men of might are in scarlet, With fiery torches is the chariot in a day of his preparation, And the firs have been caused to tremble.
Study Bible
The Overthrow of Nineveh
2For the LORD will restore the splendor of Jacob Like the splendor of Israel, Even though devastators have devastated them And destroyed their vine branches. 3The shields of his mighty men are colored red, The warriors are dressed in scarlet, The chariots are enveloped in flashing steel When he is prepared to march, And the cypress spears are brandished. 4The chariots race madly in the streets, They rush wildly in the squares, Their appearance is like torches, They dash to and fro like lightning flashes.…
Cross References
Job 39:23
"The quiver rattles against him, The flashing spear and javelin.

Ezekiel 23:14
"So she increased her harlotries. And she saw men portrayed on the wall, images of the Chaldeans portrayed with vermilion,

Ezekiel 23:15
girded with belts on their loins, with flowing turbans on their heads, all of them looking like officers, like the Babylonians in Chaldea, the land of their birth.

Ezekiel 23:24
'They will come against you with weapons, chariots and wagons, and with a company of peoples. They will set themselves against you on every side with buckler and shield and helmet; and I will commit the judgment to them, and they will judge you according to their customs.

Ezekiel 26:7
For thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I will bring upon Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses, chariots, cavalry and a great army.

Nahum 3:2
The noise of the whip, The noise of the rattling of the wheel, Galloping horses And bounding chariots!
Treasury of Scripture

The shield of his mighty men is made red, the valiant men are in scarlet: the chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his preparation, and the fir trees shall be terribly shaken.

made.

Isaiah 63:1-3 Who is this that comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? …

Zechariah 1:8 I saw by night, and behold a man riding on a red horse, and he stood …

Zechariah 6:2 In the first chariot were red horses; and in the second chariot black horses;

Revelation 6:4 And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given …

Revelation 12:3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red …

in scarlet. or, dyed scarlet. flaming. or, fiery. the fir tree.

Isaiah 14:8 Yes, the fir trees rejoice at you, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, …

Zechariah 11:2 Howl, fir tree; for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty are spoiled: …

(3) His mighty men.--That is, those of the besieger of Nahum 2:1.

Made red.--That is, with blood; not with reference to the bright red copper, which was the material of the shield, for the word usually means "dyed red."

In scarlet.--Red was the favourite colour, not only of the Medes, from whom Xenophon says the Persians obtained their purple tunics, but also of the Babylonians; compare the description in Ezekiel 23:14-15, and Layard's Nineveh, p. 347. Both Medes and Babylonians were engaged in the present siege. The rest of the verse runs, the chariots are [equipped] with flashing steel in the day of his preparation, and the cypress lances are brandished. The "flashing steel" may refer to ornaments of this material attached to the chariot, or, as we incline to think, to scythes or sharp instruments fastened to the wheels. Some form of this weapon may well have been in use long before the present date. Xenophon relates that Cyrus was the first to introduce the scythe-chariot. Ctesias, however, speaks of it as of much earlier origin. The older Hebrew commentators render this word p'ldth, "torches," as in the Authorised Version. With this rendering, the swiftly-moving war-chariots are likened to flashing torches, as they are in the next verse.

Nahum 2:4-5 describe the state of the city while sustaining this siege. There is a slight contrast between this portraiture and that of Nahum 2:3, which has been made the most of by Kleinert. "Without, God arranges His hosts; within is the disorder of wild terror: without, a steady approach against the city; within, a frantic rushing hither and thither: without, a joyful splendour; within, a deadly paleness, like torch-light." The last part of Nahum 2:4 is thus made a description of the aspect of the Ninevites, not their chariots. This appears to us a fanciful interpretation. In its behalf, the description of a panic in Isaiah 13:8 has been adduced: "They shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames." But it is obviously better to restrict the reference throughout to the chariots of the besieged city, darting hither and thither in wild undisciplined attempts to resist the invader's onset.

Verse 3. - The prophet describes, as though himself an eyewitness, the army advancing against Nineveh. The shield of his mighty men is made red. "His heroes" may be either God's heroes, as sent by him to war against the evil city, or those of the "dasher in pieces" of ver. 1. The shields of the early Assyrians were usually circular or oval in shape, formed of wicker work, with a central boss of wood or metal. In the latest period they were made straight at bottom and rounded only at top (Rawlinson's 'Anc. Mon.,' 1:440). Some bronze shields have been brought to England from Nineveh; these are circular, about two feet and a half in diameter, the rim bending inwards, and forming a deep groove round the edge. The handles are of iron, and fastened by six bosses or nails, the heads of which form an ornament on the outer face of the shield (Layard, 'Discoveries,' p. 194). There were used also in sieges tall oblong shields, sufficient to protect the entire body, constructed of wicker work or the hides of animals (Bonomi, 'Nineveh and its Discoveries,' p. 320, etc.). The shields are said to be "made red," either because they were really so coloured (though the monuments have not confirmed this opinion), or else because of the polished copper with which they were sometimes covered (Josephus, 'Ant.,' 13:12. 5). Septuagint, pointing differently, ὅπλα δυναστείας αὐτῶν ἐξ ἀνθρώπων, "the arms of their power from among men." Are in scarlet. The word rendered "scarlet" is found nowhere else. Septuagint, mistaking the word, ἐμπαίζοντας ἐν πυρί, "sporting in fire:" Vulgate, in coccineis. It is derived from the term applied to the coccus, or worm which was used in dyeing to give to cloth a deep scarlet colour (Henderson). Some have seen in the colour of the soldiers' garments an emblem of the Divine wrath of which they were the appointed ministers. This colour was much affected by combatants in old times as in modern days. Professor Edwards quotes Aelian, 'Var. Hist.' 6:6, "it was necessary to enter into battle clothed in purple, that the colour might denote a certain dignity, and if drops of blood from wounds were sprinkled on it, it became terrible to the enemy" (comp. Xen., 'Cyrop.,' 1:3, 2). Red or purple seems to have been the favourite colour of the Medea and Babylonians (Ezekiel 23:14), blue or violet that of the Assyrians (Ezekiel 23:6; Ezekiel 28:23, etc.) (Orelli). The chariots shall be with flaming torches; literally, are with fire of steels; i.e. flash with steel, and so the clause should be translated, as in the Revised Version. Commentators generally refer the description to the steel bosses of the wheels; but the Assyrian chariots (and those of the Medes and Chaldeans were not dissimilar) were conspicuous for shining metal, hung round with gleaming weapons and figures of the heavenly bodies, carrying bright armed warriors, the homes covered with trappings, which flashed under the sunshine, and fastened to poles of glittering steel. There is no trace in the monuments of chariots armed with scythes, which seem to have been unknown before the time of Cyrus. They are first mentioned in 2 Macc. 13:2 (see Livy, 37:41). The word peladoth, translated "torches," is an ἅπαξ λεγόμενον. The LXX. renders it, αἱ ἡνίαι, "the reins," whence Jerome obtained his version, igneae habenae curruum; but it means, "things made of iron or steel,"and by critics uninstructed in monumental discoveries was naturally referred to the scythes with which chariots were armed in later times, instead of to the gleaming metal with which they were adorned. In the day of his preparation. When the Lord marshals the host for battle, as Isaiah 13:4. The fir trees shall be terribly shaken, i.e. the spears with their fir or cypress shafts are brandished. So Homer often calls the spear "the ash," from the material of which the handle was made (comp. 'Il.,' 16:143; 22:225, etc.). The Septuagint rendering is very far from the present text, Οἱ ἱππεῖς θορυβηθήσονται, "The horsemen shall be thrown into confusion." Nor is the Vulgate any better, Agitatores cosopiti sunt, which is explained to mean that the invaders are so carried away by their courage and fury, that they act as if intoxicated. "Sensus utique non spernedus," says a Roman Catholic commentator, "at unum desidero, ut scil. ex verbo ipso fluat" - which is certainly not the case. The text is possibly corrupt, and might be corrected from the Septuagint. Certainly there seems to be no other passage in the Hebrew Scriptures where the metaphor of "cypress" is used for "a spear." After the mention of the chariots, it is not unnatural that the writer should proceed, "and the riders are in active motion," urging their horses with hand and whip and gesture (see Knabenbauer, in loc.). The shield of his mighty men is made red,.... The shields of the soldiers in the armies of the Babylonians and Medes, those dashers in pieces that would come up against Nineveh, should be red; either with the blood of the slain, or thus coloured on purpose to inject terror to their enemies; or this may express the lustre of them, which being gilded, or made of gold or brass, in the rays of the sun glittered, and looked of a fiery red; see the Apocrypha:

"Now when the sun shone upon the shields of gold and brass, the mountains glistered therewith, and shined like lamps of fire.'' (1 Maccabees 6:39)

the valiant men are in scarlet; the generals and other officers of the army were clothed in scarlet; partly to show their greatness and nobleness, and partly to strike their enemies with terror, and to hide their blood should they be wounded, and so keep up their own spirits, and not encourage their enemies:

the chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his preparation; that is, when the Medes and Chaldeans, under their respective commander or commanders, shall prepare for the siege of the city, and to make their onset and attack upon it, the chariots used by them in war, which was common in those times, would have flaming torches in them; either to guide them in the night, or to set fire to houses or tents they should meet with, or to terrify the enemy: or "the chariots shall be as flaming torches" (g); they should run with such swiftness, that the wheels, being of iron, or cased with it, should strike fire upon the stones in such quantities, that they should look like torches flaming:

and the fir trees shall be terribly shaken; with the motion of the chariots; or this may be interpreted of spears and lances, and such like instruments of war, made of fir; which should be in such great numbers, and with so much activity used against the Ninevites, that it would look like shaking a forest of fir trees. The Targum interprets these of the great men and generals of their armies glittering in dyed garments; and Kimchi's father, of the princes and great men of the city of Nineveh, who would be seized with terror, and reel about like drunken men; and so all that follows in the next verse Nahum 2:4.

(g) So is sometimes used as See Nold. Concord. Ebr. Part. p. 162. No. 728. So Piscator, and the Tigurine version. 3. his mighty men—the Medo-Babylonian general's mighty men attacking Nineveh.

made red—The ancients dyed their bull's-hide shields red, partly to strike terror into the enemy, chiefly lest the blood from wounds which they might receive should be perceived and give confidence to the foe [Calvin]. G. V. Smith conjectures that the reference is to the red reflection of the sun's rays from shields of bronze or copper, such as are found among the Assyrian remains.

in scarlet—or crimson military tunics (compare Mt 27:28). Xenophon mentions that the Medes were fond of this color. The Lydians and Tyrians extracted the dye from a particular worm.

chariots … with flaming torches—that is, the chariots shall be like flaming torches, their wheels in lightning-like rapidity of rotation flashing light and striking sparks from the stones over which they pass (compare Isa 5:28). English Version supposes a transposition of the Hebrew letters. It is better to translate the Hebrew as it is, "the chariots (shall be furnished) with fire-flashing scythes" (literally, "with the fire," or glitter, of iron weapons). Iron scythes were fixed at right angles to the axles and turned down, or parallel to it, inserted into the felly of the wheel. The Medes, perhaps, had such chariots, though no traces of them are found in Assyrian remains. On account of the latter fact, it may be better to translate, "the chariots (shall come) with the glitter of steel weapons" [Maurer and G. V. Smith].

in the day of his preparation—Jehovah's (Isa 13:3). Or, "Medo-Babylonian commander's day of preparation for the attack" (Na 2:1). "He" confirms this, and "his" in this verse.

the fir trees—their fir-tree lances.

terribly shaken—branded so as to strike terror. Or, "shall be tremulous with being brandished" [Maurer].2:1-10 Nineveh shall not put aside this judgment; there is no counsel or strength against the Lord. God looks upon proud cities, and brings them down. Particular account is given of the terrors wherein the invading enemy shall appear against Nineveh. The empire of Assyria is represented as a queen, about to be led captive to Babylon. Guilt in the conscience fills men with terror in an evil day; and what will treasures or glory do for us in times of distress, or in the day of wrath? Yet for such things how many lose their souls!
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