|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:8-19 Strong-holds, even the strongest, are no defence against the judgments of God. They shall be unable to do any thing for themselves. The Chaldeans and Medes would devour the land like canker-worms. The Assyrians also would be eaten up by their own numerous hired troops, which seem to be meant by the word rendered merchants. Those that have done evil to their neighbours, will find it come home to them. Nineveh, and many other cities, states, and empires, have been ruined, and should be a warning to us. Are we better, except as there are some true Christians amongst us, who are a greater security, and a stronger defence, than all the advantages of situation or strength? When the Lord shows himself against a people, every thing they trust in must fail, or prove a disadvantage; but he continues good to Israel. He is a strong-hold for every believer in time of trouble, that cannot be stormed or taken; and he knoweth those that trust in Him.
Verse 11. - Thou also shalt be drunken. Nahum makes the application: The fate of Thebes shall be thine, O Nineveh. Thou shalt drink to the full the cup of God's wrath (see note on Obadiah 1:16; and comp. Jeremiah 25:15, 17, 27). The metaphor indicates the effect of some overwhelming calamity that makes men reel with terror or stupefies them with amazement. Thou shalt be hid; thou shalt be powerless, or reduced to nothing; Ασῃ ὑπερεωραμένη,"Thou shalt be despised" (Septuagint); Eris despecta (Vulgate). Nineveh, which was taken and destroyed between B.C. 626 and 608, was so effectually "hidden" that its very site was discovered only in late years, and its monuments have only been partially disinterred after immense labour. Thou also shalt seek strength because of the enemy; or, thou also shalt seek a stronghold from the enemy. As the Egyptians fled for refuge from one place to another (see note on ver. 10), so shall the Assyrians attempt in vain to escape the enemy. History records that they endeavoured to effect a retreat from Nineveh during the siege (see Introduction, § I.).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thou also shalt be drunken,.... This is said to Nineveh, whose turn would be next to drink of the cup of the wrath of God, and be inebriated with it, so that they should not know where they were, or what they did; and be as unable to guide and help themselves as a drunken man. So the Targum,
"thou also shalt be like to a drunken man;''
this was literally true of Nineveh when taken; see Nahum 1:10,
thou shalt be hid; or, "thou shall be", as if thou wast not; as Nineveh is at this day, "hid" from the sight of men, not to be seen any more. So the Targum,
"thou shall be swallowed up or destroyed.''
The Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and Arabic versions, render it "despised"; or the meaning is, she should "hide herself" (w); or be lurking about through shame, as drunken, or through fear of her enemies:
thou also shall seek strength because of the enemy; seek to others to help them against the enemy, not being able with their own strength to face them: or, seek strength "of the enemy" (x); beg their lives of him, and their bread; pray for quarter, and desire to be taken under his protection; to so low and mean a state and condition should Nineveh and its inhabitants be reduced, who had given laws to all about them, and had been a terror to them.
(w) "latitans", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "abscondes te", Vatablus; "eris abscondita", Burkius. (x) , Sept.; "ab hoste", Montanus, Calvin, Drusius, Grotius, Cocceius.
Wesley's Notes on the Bible
3:11 Thou also - Thou shalt drink deep of the bitter cup of God's displeasure. Hid - Thou shalt hide thyself. O Nineveh, as well as Alexandria. Shalt seek - Shalt sue for, and intreat assistance.
Nahum 3:11 Parallel Commentaries
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible