Nahum 1:13
For now will I break his yoke from off you, and will burst your bonds in sunder.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) Now will I break.—Similarly Isaiah, “I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountain tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders” (Isaiah 14:25; comp. Jeremiah 30:8).

1:9-15 There is a great deal plotted against the Lord by the gates of hell, and against his kingdom in the world; but it will prove in vain. With some sinners God makes quick despatch; and one way or other, he will make an utter end of all his enemies. Though they are quiet, and many very secure, and not in fear, they shall be cut down as grass and corn, when the destroying angel passes through. God would hereby work great deliverance for his own people. But those who make themselves vile by scandalous sins, God will make vile by shameful punishments. The tidings of this great deliverance shall be welcomed with abundant joy. These words are applied to the great redemption wrought out by our Lord Jesus and the everlasting gospel, Ro 10:15. Christ's ministers are messengers of good tidings, that preach peace by Jesus Christ. How welcome to those who see their misery and danger by sin! And the promise they made in the day of trouble must be made good. Let us be thankful for God's ordinances, and gladly attend them. Let us look forward with cheerful hope to a world where the wicked never can enter, and sin and temptation will no more be known.For now will I break his yoke from off thee - God, lest His own should despair, does not put them off altogether to a distant day, but saith, now. Historically, the beginning of the fall is the earnest of the end. By the destruction of Sennacherib, God declared His displeasure against Assyria; the rest was matter of time only. Thus, Haman's wise men say to him, "If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him" Esther 6:13; as He saith in Isaiah, "I will break the Assyrian in My land, and upon My mountains tread him underfoot; then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders" Isaiah 14:25. : "In that He saith, not 'I will loose,' 'will undo,' but 'I will break,' 'will burst,' He sheweth that He will in such wise free Jerusalem, as to pour out displeasure on the enemy. The very mode of speaking shows the greatness of His displeasure against those who, when for the secret purpose of His judgments they have power given them against the servants of God, feed themselves on their punishments, and moreover dare to boast against God, as did the Assyrian, 'By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom' Isaiah 10:13." 13. will I break his yoke—the Assyrian's yoke, namely, the tribute imposed by Sennacherib on Hezekiah (2Ki 18:14).

from off thee—O Judah (Isa 10:27).

The Lord confirms the prediction, by declaring how it should be done.

Now; ere long; and in few years after this was done, though we cannot precisely determine how soon it was.

I will break, as that which is broken into pieces,

his yoke, Sennacherib’s, or rather the tyranny and oppression of the Assyrian kingdom,

from off thee, O Israel, and Jerusalem.

And will burst thy bonds; those unjust impositions and edicts, which, as strong bonds, fastened his heavy yoke upon thy neck. They are the bonds of Assyria, as laid upon Israel; they are Israel’s bonds, as borne by Israel. For now will I break his yoke from off thee,.... The Assyrian yoke from off the Jews, who had been obliged to pay tribute, or send presents to the king of Assyria, from the times of Ahaz; and were in bondage, while shut up and besieged by his army, and the country all around laid under contribution; from all which they were delivered when his army was in that dreadful manner destroyed:

and will burst thy bonds in sunder; and set thee entirely free from the bondage of the enemy, and all fear of it; a type of that freedom from the yoke of sin, Satan, and the law, which the people of God have by Jesus Christ.

For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 13. - His yoke. The yoke of Assyria, probably referring to the vassalage of Judah (2 Kings 18:14; 2 Chronicles 33:11). (For the metaphor of "yoke" denoting subjugation, setup. Leviticus 26:13; Jeremiah 27:2; Ezekiel 34:27.) Jeremiah (Jeremiah 30:8) seems to use these words of Nahum to announce the deliverance of Israel from captivity. Burst thy bonds in sunder; by the final overthrow of the Assyrian power (Psalm 2:3; Jeremiah 2:20). (Heb. Ch. 2:1). "And Jehovah appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah." מנּה does not mean to create, but to determine, to appoint. The thought is this: Jehovah ordained that a great fish should swallow him. The great fish (lxx κῆτος, cf. Matthew 12:40), which is not more precisely defined, was not a whale, because this is extremely rare in the Mediterranean, and has too small a throat to swallow a man, but a large shark or sea-dog, canis carcharias, or squalus carcharias L., which is very common in the Mediterranean, and has so large a throat, that it can swallow a living man whole.

(Note: The aqualus carcharias L., the true shark, Requin, or rather Requiem, reaches, according to Cuvier, the length of 25 feet, and according to Oken the length of four fathoms, and has about 400 lance-shaped teeth in its jaw, arranged in six rows, which the animal can either elevate or depress, as they are simply fixed in cells in the skin. It is common in the Mediterranean, where it generally remains in deep water, and is very voracious, swallowing everything that comes in its way - plaice, seals, and tunny-fish, with which it sometimes gets into the fishermen's net on the coat of Sardinia, and is caught. As many as a dozen undigested tunny-fish have been found in a shark weighing three or four hundredweight; in one a whole horse was found, and its weight was estimated at fifteen hundredweight. Rondelet (Oken, p. 58) says that he saw one on the western coast of France, through whose throat a fat man could very easily have passed. Oken also mentions a fact, which is more elaborately described in Mller's Vollstndiges Natur-system des Ritters Carl v. Linn (1 Thessalonians 3.p. 268), namely, that in the year 1758 a sailor fell overboard from a frigate, in very stormy weather, into the Mediterranean Sea, and was immediately taken into the jaws of a sea-dog (carcharias), and disappeared. The captain, however, ordered a gun, which was standing on the deck, to be discharged at the shark, and the cannon-ball struck it, so that it vomited up again the sailor that it had swallowed, who was then taken up alive, and very little hurt, into the boat that had been lowered for his rescue.)

The miracle consisted therefore, not so much in the fact that Jonah was swallowed alive, as in the fact that he was kept alive for three days in the shark's belly, and then vomited unhurt upon the land. The three days and three nights are not to be regarded as fully three times twenty hours, but are to be interpreted according to Hebrew usage, as signifying that Jonah was vomited up again on the third day after he had been swallowed (compare Esther 4:16 with Esther 5:1 and Tob. 3:12, 13, according to the Lutheran text).

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