Nahum 3:16
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
You have increased the number of your merchants till they are more numerous than the stars in the sky, but like locusts they strip the land and then fly away.

New Living Translation
Your merchants have multiplied until they outnumber the stars. But like a swarm of locusts, they strip the land and fly away.

English Standard Version
You increased your merchants more than the stars of the heavens. The locust spreads its wings and flies away.

New American Standard Bible
You have increased your traders more than the stars of heaven-- The creeping locust strips and flies away.

King James Bible
Thou hast multiplied thy merchants above the stars of heaven: the cankerworm spoileth, and flieth away.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
You have made your merchants more numerous than the stars of the sky. The young locust strips the land and flies away.

International Standard Version
You added to your inventory of businessmen— they number more than the stars of heaven. The creeping locust sheds its skin and flies away.

NET Bible
Increase your merchants more than the stars of heaven! They are like the young locust which sheds its skin and flies away.

New Heart English Bible
You have increased your merchants more than the stars of the skies. The grasshopper strips, and flees away.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
You have produced more businessmen than there are stars in the sky. [They are] like locusts that attack and then fly away.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Thou hast multiplied thy merchants Above the stars of heaven; The canker-worm spreadeth itself, and flieth away.

New American Standard 1977
You have increased your traders more than the stars of heaven—
            The creeping locust strips and flies away.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Thou hast multiplied thy merchants above the stars of heaven; the cankerworm spoils and flies away.

King James 2000 Bible
You have multiplied your merchants more than the stars of heaven: the locust plunders, and flies away.

American King James Version
You have multiplied your merchants above the stars of heaven: the cankerworm spoils, and flees away.

American Standard Version
Thou hast multiplied thy merchants above the stars of heaven: the canker-worm ravageth, and fleeth away.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Thou hast multiplied thy merchandises above the stars of heaven: the bruchus hath spread himself and flown away.

Darby Bible Translation
Thou hast multiplied thy merchants more than the stars of the heavens; the cankerworm spreadeth himself out and flieth away.

English Revised Version
Thou hast multiplied thy merchants above the stars of heaven: the cankerworm spoileth, and flieth away.

Webster's Bible Translation
Thou hast multiplied thy merchants above the stars of heaven: the canker-worm spoileth, and flieth away.

World English Bible
You have increased your merchants more than the stars of the skies. The grasshopper strips, and flees away.

Young's Literal Translation
Multiply thy merchants above the stars of the heavens, The cankerworm hath stripped off, and doth flee away.
Study Bible
Judgment against Nineveh
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. 16You have increased your traders more than the stars of heaven-- The creeping locust strips and flies away. 17Your guardsmen are like the swarming locust. Your marshals are like hordes of grasshoppers Settling in the stone walls on a cold day. The sun rises and they flee, And the place where they are is not known.…
Cross References
Psalm 105:34
He spoke, and locusts came, And young locusts, even without number,

Isaiah 23:8
Who has planned this against Tyre, the bestower of crowns, Whose merchants were princes, whose traders were the honored of the earth?

Joel 1:4
What the gnawing locust has left, the swarming locust has eaten; And what the swarming locust has left, the creeping locust has eaten; And what the creeping locust has left, the stripping locust has eaten.
Treasury of Scripture

You have multiplied your merchants above the stars of heaven: the cankerworm spoils, and flees away.

above.

Genesis 15:5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, …

Genesis 22:17 That in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply …

Nehemiah 9:23 Their children also multiplied you as the stars of heaven, and brought …

Jeremiah 33:22 As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the …

spoileth. or, spreadeth himself.

(16) Spoileth.--Better, spreads itself out: swarms out to spoil.

Verse 16. - Its extensive commercial relations shall not save it. Thou hast multiplied thy merchants. Nineveh was most favourably situated for carrying on commerce with other countries. The roads from Asia Minor, Syria, Egypt, and Phoenicia, that led into Media, Persia, and the interior of Asia, converged at Nineveh, and brought thither merchandise from all lands; and the Assyrians themselves exported their own produce and manufactures to the far West. Among these are enumerated textile fabrics, carpets, dyed attire, and embroidered work, carvings in ivory, gems, spices (see Rawlinson, 'Anc. Mon.,' 2:179, etc.; Layard, 'Nineveh,' 2:414, etc.). The cankerworm spoileth; or, spreadeth itself for plunder; Vulgate, expansus est; Septuagint, ὥρμησεν, "attacked." The cankerworm (see note on ver. 15) are the enemy,who spread themselves over the rich produce of Nineveh, and then flee away laden with spoil. Pusey makes the cankerworm represent Nineveh. She spread herself everywhere wasting and plundering, and now she is gone, has disappeared. But the former explanation better suits the comparison in ver. 15, where "the licker" is the enemy; and it is most natural that the prophet should allude to the fate of that commercial wealth which he has just mentioned, as in previous verses he contrasts the riches and power of Nineveh with the ruin that awaits them. Thou hast multiplied thy merchants above the stars of heaven,.... A hyperbolical expression, setting forth the great number of merchants that were in Nineveh, and in the land of Assyria; who either were the natives of the place, or came thither for the sake of merchandise, which serve to enrich a nation, and therefore are encouraged to settle; and from whom, in a time of war, much benefit might be expected; being able to furnish with money, which is the sinews of war, as well as to give intelligence of the designs of foreign princes, they trading abroad:

the cankerworm spoileth, and flieth away; or "puts off" (c) its clothes, disrobes and changes its form; or breaks out with force, as the Septuagint, out of its former worm state, and appears a beautiful butterfly, and then flies away. The word is rendered a caterpillar, Psalm 105:34 and what we translate "spoileth" is used of stripping, or putting off of clothes, 1 Samuel 19:24 and the sense may be, that though their merchants were multiplied above the stars of heaven, in which there may be an allusion to the increase of caterpillars, Nahum 3:15 yet, as the caterpillar drops its clothes, and flies away, so their merchants, through fear of the enemy, would depart in haste, or be suddenly stripped of their riches, which make themselves wings, and fly away, Proverbs 23:5. These merchants, at their beginning, might be low and mean, but, increasing, adorning, and enriching themselves in a time of peace, fled away in a time of war: or, "spreads itself" (d), and "flies away"; so these creatures spread themselves on the earth, and devour all they can, and then spread their wings, and are gone; suggesting that in like manner the merchants of Nineveh would serve them; get all they could by merchandise among them, and then betake themselves elsewhere and especially in a time of war, which is prejudicial to merchandise; and hence nothing was to be expected from them, or any dependence had upon them.

(c) "exspoliavit", De Dieu; "proprie est, exuere, vestem detrahere et exspoliare", De Dieu. (d) "Diffundit se", Munster, so the Targum; "effunditur", Cocceius. 16. multiplied thy merchants—(Eze 27:23, 24). Nineveh, by large canals, had easy access to Babylon; and it was one of the great routes for the people of the west and northwest to that city; lying on the Tigris it had access to the sea. The Phoenicians carried its wares everywhere. Hence its merchandise is so much spoken of.

the cankerworm spoileth, and fleeth away—that is, spoiled thy merchants. The "cankerworm," or licking locust, answers to the Medo-Babylonian invaders of Nineveh [G. V. Smith]. Calvin explains less probably, "Thy merchants spoiled many regions; but the same shall befall them as befalls locusts, they in a moment shall be scattered and flee away." Maurer, somewhat similarly, "The licking locust puts off (the envelope in which his wings had been folded), and teeth away" (Na 2:9; compare Joe 1:4). The Hebrew has ten different names for the locust, so destructive was it.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.
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