Nahum 3:14
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Draw water for the siege, strengthen your defenses! Work the clay, tread the mortar, repair the brickwork!

New Living Translation
Get ready for the siege! Store up water! Strengthen the defenses! Go into the pits to trample clay, and pack it into molds, making bricks to repair the walls.

English Standard Version
Draw water for the siege; strengthen your forts; go into the clay; tread the mortar; take hold of the brick mold!

New American Standard Bible
Draw for yourself water for the siege! Strengthen your fortifications! Go into the clay and tread the mortar! Take hold of the brick mold!

King James Bible
Draw thee waters for the siege, fortify thy strong holds: go into clay, and tread the morter, make strong the brickkiln.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Draw water for the siege; strengthen your fortresses. Step into the clay and tread the mortar; take hold of the brick-mold!

International Standard Version
"Draw water, because a siege is coming! Strengthen your fortresses! Make the clay good and strong! Mix the mortar! Go get your brick molds!

NET Bible
Draw yourselves water for a siege! Strengthen your fortifications! Trample the mud and tread the clay! Make mud bricks to strengthen your walls!

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Store water for the siege! Strengthen your defenses! Step into the claypits and trample the clay! Grab the brick mold!

Jubilee Bible 2000
Draw thee waters for the siege, fortify thy strong holds: go into clay, and tread the mortar, make strong the brickkiln.

King James 2000 Bible
Draw your water for the siege, fortify your strongholds: go into the clay, and tread the mortar, make strong the brick kiln.

American King James Version
Draw you waters for the siege, fortify your strong holds: go into clay, and tread the mortar, make strong the brick kiln.

American Standard Version
Draw thee water for the siege; strengthen thy fortresses; go into the clay, and tread the mortar; make strong the brickkiln.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Draw thee water for the siege, build up thy bulwarks: go into the clay, and tread, work it and make brick.

Darby Bible Translation
Draw thee water for the siege, strengthen thy fortresses; go into the clay, and tread the mortar, make strong the brick-kiln.

English Revised Version
Draw thee water for the siege, strengthen thy fortresses: go into the clay, and tread the mortar, make strong the brickkiln.

Webster's Bible Translation
Draw thee waters for the siege, fortify thy strong holds: go into clay, and tread the mortar, make strong the brick-kiln.

World English Bible
Draw water for the siege. Strengthen your fortresses. Go into the clay, and tread the mortar. Make the brick kiln strong.

Young's Literal Translation
Waters of a siege draw for thyself, Strengthen thy fortresses, Enter into mire, and tread on clay, Make strong a brick-kiln.
Parallel Commentaries
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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 14-19. - § 3. In spite of all its efforts and all its resources, Nineveh shall meet with a terrible end. Verse 14. - Nahum ironically bids the Ninevites prepare for the siege they were about to sustain. Draw thee waters for the siege. The drinking water necessary for a long siege is meant. This injunction is not particularly applicable to Nineveh, which from its situation was abundantly supplied with water, unless there was danger that the enemy would divert the courses of the rivers. But the warning would come home with peculiar force to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, among whom Nahum prophesied (2 Kings 20:20; Isaiah 22:11; Isaiah 30:20). Fortify thy strong holds; strengthen thy fortresses. Repair all defects in thy defences (2 Chronicles 11:11). The mode of doing this in the Assyrian fashion is then denoted. Go into clay, and tread the mortar. The soil round Nineveh was of a tenacious quality; and when moistened with water and kneaded either with feet or hands, with the addition usually of a little chopped straw, was easily formed into bricks. These, even without the aid of fire, became dry and hard in the course of a few days. But it is plain from the investigations of ruins that the Assyrians used both kiln-baked and sun-dried bricks, though the mass of the walls was usually composed of the latter, the more durable material being employed merely as an accessory (see Bouomi, 'Nineveh and its Palaces,' p. 9; Layard, 'Nineveh,' 2:252). Xenophon, 'Anab.,' 3:4. 11, speaks of the brick wall (πλίνθινον τεῖχος) of a town he calls Mespila. Make strong the brick kiln. There is an uncertainty about the meaning of the last word (malben), which occurs only in two other places (2 Samuel 12:31 and Jeremiah 43:9). In the latter passage it may possibly mean "a square" or "open quadrangle." Jerome has, tene laterem; the LXX., κατακράτησον ὑπερ πλίνθον "make them strong above (equivalent to 'stronger than') brick," connecting it with the following verse. Some translate it, "brick mould." If the Anglican Version is correct, the prophet bids them repair their kilns, unused in the days of prosperity, when they had no need to look to the security of their walls. Virtually the same sense is elicited by rendering, "lay hold of the brick mould."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Draw thee waters for the siege,.... Before the siege is begun, fetch water from the river, wells, or fountains without the city, and fill cisterns, and such like receptacles of water, with them; that there may be sufficiency of it to hold out, which is often wanting in long sieges; the want of which gives great distress to the besieged: this is put for all necessary provisions, which should be made when a city is in danger of being blocked up: this, and what follows, are said ironically; signifying, let them do what they would or could for their support and security, it would be all in vain:

fortify thy strong holds; repair the old fortifications, and add new ones to them; fill them with soldiers, arms, and ammunition:

go into clay, and tread the mortar; make strong the brick kiln; repair the brick kilns, keep them in good order; employ men in digging clay, and treading it, and making it into bricks, and burning them in the kiln, that there be no want of bricks to repair the fortifications, or such breaches as might be made by the enemy. Bricks were much used instead of stone in those countries; but when they had done their utmost, they would not be able to secure themselves, and keep out the enemy.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

14. Ironical exhortation to Nineveh to defend herself.

Draw … waters—so as not to be without water for drinking, in the event of being cut off by the besiegers from the fountains.

make strong the brick-kiln—or "repair" [Maurer]; so as to have a supply of bricks formed of kiln-burnt clay, to repair breaches in the ramparts, or to build new fortifications inside when the outer ones are taken by the foe.

Nahum 3:14 Additional Commentaries
Context
Judgment against Nineveh
13Behold, your people are women in your midst! The gates of your land are opened wide to your enemies; Fire consumes your gate bars. 14Draw for yourself water for the siege! Strengthen your fortifications! Go into the clay and tread the mortar! Take hold of the brick mold! 15There fire will consume you, The sword will cut you down; It will consume you as the locust does. Multiply yourself like the creeping locust, Multiply yourself like the swarming locust.…
Cross References
2 Chronicles 32:3
he consulted with his officials and military staff about blocking off the water from the springs outside the city, and they helped him.

2 Chronicles 32:4
They gathered a large group of people who blocked all the springs and the stream that flowed through the land. "Why should the kings of Assyria come and find plenty of water?" they said.

Jeremiah 46:3
"Prepare your shields, both large and small, and march out for battle!

Nahum 2:1
An attacker advances against you, Nineveh. Guard the fortress, watch the road, brace yourselves, marshal all your strength!
Treasury of Scripture

Draw you waters for the siege, fortify your strong holds: go into clay, and tread the mortar, make strong the brick kiln.

Draw.

2 Chronicles 32:3,4,11 He took counsel with his princes and his mighty men to stop the waters …

Isaiah 22:9-11 You have seen also the breaches of the city of David, that they are …

Isaiah 37:25 I have dig, and drunk water; and with the sole of my feet have I …

fortify.

Nahum 2:1 He that dashes in pieces is come up before your face: keep the fortification, …

Isaiah 8:9 Associate yourselves, O you people, and you shall be broken in pieces; …

Jeremiah 46:3,4,9 Order you the buckler and shield, and draw near to battle…

Joel 3:9-11 Proclaim you this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty …

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