Nahum 2:9
Take ye the spoil of silver, take the spoil of gold: for there is none end of the store and glory out of all the pleasant furniture.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(9) And glory.—Better, there is abundance of all precious vessels.

Nahum 2:9-10. Take ye the spoil of silver, of gold — Here the Babylonians are addressed as if they had just entered the city; and are bid to take the spoil of it, there being none to make any resistance. We read in Diodorus, that Arbaces carried many talents of gold and silver to Ecbatana, the royal city of the Medes. For there is none end of the store, &c. — The Vulgate reads, There is no end of the riches, from all the desirable vessels. The sense of the Hebrew, however, is, The glory (namely, of their riches) is above all precious vessels; that is, beyond all that is generally esteemed precious; and greatly coveted. She is empty, and void, and waste — She is spoiled of every thing. And the heart melteth — The inhabitants have no heart, or courage, to defend themselves, but leave the city to be plundered and laid waste by the enemy. The knees smite together — They are quite overcome with fear.

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!Take ye the spoil of silver, take the spoil of gold - Nineveh had not hearkened of old to the voice of the prophet, but had turned back to sin; it cannot hearken now, for fear. He turns to the spoiler to whom God's judgments assigned her, and who is too ready to hear. The gold and silver, which the last Assyrian King had gathered into the palace which he fired, was mostly removed (the story says, treacherously) to Babylon. Arbaces is said to have borne this and to have removed the residue, to the amount of many talents, to Agbatana, the Median capital . "For there is none end of the store." Nineveh had stored up from her foundation until then, but at last for the spoiler. "When thou shalt cease to spoil, thou shalt be spoiled" Isaiah 33:1. Many "perish and leave their wealth to others" Psalm 49:10. "The wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just" Proverbs 13:22. "And glory out of all the pleasant furniture," (literally as in the margin, "glory out of all vessels of desire") i. e., however large the spoil, it would be but a portion only; yet all their wealth, though more than enough for the enemy and for them, could not save them. Her "glory," was but a "weight" to weigh her down, that she should not rise again Zechariah 5:8; Exodus 15:10. Their wealth brought on the day of calamity, availed not therein, although it could not be drawn dry even by the spoiler. Jerome: "They could not spoil so much as she supplied to be spoiled." 9. silver … gold—The conquerors are summoned to plunder the city. Nineveh's riches arose from the annual tribute paid by so many subject states, as well as from its extensive merchandise (Na 3:16; Eze 27:23, 24).

store—accumulated by the plunder of subject nations. It is remarkable, that while small articles of value (bronze inlaid with gold, gems, seals, and alabaster vases) are found in the ruins of Nineveh, there are is none of gold and silver. These, as here foretold, were "taken for spoil" before the palaces were set on fire.

glory out of all the pleasant furniture—or, "there is abundance of precious vessels of every kind" [Maurer].

Take: God speaks by his prophet, commanding that it be done, and foretelling that it certainly shall be done; and Scythians, Medes, and Chaldeans, or whoever else did associate in the war, and sacking of Nineveh, may be supposed to encourage one another in the plundering of the city.

Ye, conquering soldiers, you that come together in hope of this booty.

For here is enough for you all; Nineveh hath been long gathering, and hath gathered much treasure, it is uncountable; therefore take all you can lay hands on: possibly it may be the foretelling of the chief commander, his giving his soldiers leave to take what they could, forasmuch as after all they would leave enough, a great treasure for him.

Store of all sorts, both for use and luxury, both for necessity and superfluity.

Glory; splendid and rich furniture in their temples, palaces, public edifices, and private houses; their rich vessels, costly hangings, and gaudy apparel in their wardrobes, in their closets, and in their shops; all delightful to the eye, and rich in the real value.

Take: God speaks by his prophet, commanding that it be done, and foretelling that it certainly shall be done; and Scythians, Medes, and Chaldeans, or whoever else did associate in the war, and sacking of Nineveh, may be supposed to encourage one another in the plundering of the city.

Ye, conquering soldiers, you that come together in hope of this booty.

For here is enough for you all; Nineveh hath been long gathering, and hath gathered much treasure, it is uncountable; therefore take all you can lay hands on: possibly it may be the foretelling of the chief commander, his giving his soldiers leave to take what they could, forasmuch as after all they would leave enough, a great treasure for him.

Store of all sorts, both for use and luxury, both for necessity and superfluity.

Glory; splendid and rich furniture in their temples, palaces, public edifices, and private houses; their rich vessels, costly hangings, and gaudy apparel in their wardrobes, in their closets, and in their shops; all delightful to the eye, and rich in the real value.

Take ye the spoil of silver, take the spoil of gold,.... Of which there was a great quantity in this rich and populous city: these are the words of the prophet, or of the Lord by the prophet, to the Medes and Chaldeans, to seize the spoil of the city, now fallen into their hands; suggesting that this was by the order and will of God, though they saw it not: or of the generals of the army of the Medes and Babylonians, giving leave to the common soldiers to take part of the plunder, there being enough for them all, officers and private men:

for there is none end of the store and glory out of all the pleasant furniture: no end of the wealth which had been hoarded up, and of their household goods and rich apparel, which their coffers, houses, and wardrobes, were full of, the value of which could not be told. The king of Assyria, perceiving that he, his family, and his wealth, were like to fall into the hands of the enemy, caused a pile of wood to be raised, and in it heaped his gold, silver, and royal apparel, and, enclosing himself, his eunuchs, and concubines in it, set fire to it, and destroyed himself and them. It is said (n) there were no less in this pile than a thousand myriads of talents of gold, which are about fourteen hundred millions sterling, and ten times as many talents of silver, together with apparel and furniture unspeakable; and yet, after all this, the princes of the Babylonians and Medes carried off vast quantities. The Babylonian prince loaded several ships with the ashes of the pile, and a large quantity of gold and silver, discovered to him by an eunuch, a deserter; and the Median prince, what of the gold and silver left out of the pile, which were many talents, that fell into his hands, he sent to Ecbatana, the royal city of Media (o).

(n) Athenaeus apud Rollin's Ancient History, &c. vol. 2. p. 31, 32. See the Universal History, vol. 4. p. 306. (o) Diodor. Sicul. l. 2. p. 114, 115.

{h} Take ye the spoil of silver, take the spoil of gold: for there is none end of the store and glory out of all the pleasant furniture.

(h) God commands the enemies to spoil Nineveh, and promises them infinite riches and treasures.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. All the wealth of the city is abandoned by the inhabitants, fleeing for their life, and the scene of plunder is pictured in the exclamations of the prophet, Spoil the silver!

and glory … furniture] and wealth of all precious vessels, but the term vessels means virtually “articles.” Jewels, rich apparel, costly vessels and whatever men think precious would be found in the rich capital in abundance (Zechariah 14:14). The enormous riches of Nineveh are frequently alluded to in the inscriptions; the treasures brought home by Assurbanipal’s army after the capture of Thebes or No (ch. Nahum 3:8) were fabulous.

Verses 9-13. - § 2. The city is plundered, and henceforth lies waste, in terrible contrast with its former excellency, Verse 9. - The prophet calls on the invaders to come and gather the spoil of the city, which God gives into their hands. Take ye the spoil. Fabulous stories are told of the amount of the precious metals stored in Nineveh and Babylon. "Sardanapalus is said to have placed a hundred and fifty golden beds, and as many tables of the same metal, on his funeral pile, besides gold and silver vases and ornaments in enormous quantities, and purple and many-coloured raiments (Athen., lib. 12.). According to Diodorus, the value of the gold taken from the temple of Bolus alone by Xerxes amounted to above 7350 Attic talents, of £21,000,000 sterling money" (Layard, 'Nineveh,' 2:416, etc.; comp. Daniel 3:1, where the size of the golden image or pillar, sixty cubits high and six cubits broad, shows how plentiful was gold in these countries). Bonomi: "The riches of Nineveh are inexhaustible, her vases and precious furniture are infinite, copper constantly occurs in their weapons, and it is most probable a mixture of it was used in the materials of their tools. They had acquired the art of making glass.... The well known cylinders are a sufficient proof of their skill in engraving gems. Many beautiful specimens of carving in ivory were also discovered .... The condition of the ruins is highly corroborative of the sudden destruction that came upon Nineveh by fire and sword .... It is evident from the ruins that both Khorsabad and Nimroud were sacked and then set on fire. Neither Botta nor Layard found any of that store of silver and gold and 'pleasant furniture' which the palaces contained; scarcely anything, even of bronze, escaped the spoiler" ('Nineveh and its Discoveries,' pp. 334, 336). There is none end of the store; Vulgate, Non finis est divitiarum; Septuagint, οὐκ η΅ν πέρας τοῦ κόσμου αὐτῆς, "There was no end of her ornament." And glory out of all the pleasant furniture; literally, vessels of desire. It is plainer to translate, There is abundance of all precious furniture. Nahum 2:9At the conquest of Nineveh the numerous inhabitants flee, and the rich city is plundered. Nahum 2:8. "And Nineveh like a water-pond all her days. And they flee! Stand ye, O stand! and no one turns round. Nahum 2:9. Take silver as booty, take ye gold! And no end to the furnishing with immense quantity of all kinds of ornamental vessels. Nahum 2:10. Emptying and devastation! and the heart has melted, and trembling of the knees, and labour pain in all loins, and the countenance of every one withdraws its ruddiness." Nineveh is compared to a pool, not merely with reference to the multitude of men who had gathered together there, but, as water is everywhere an element of life, also with reference to the wealth and prosperity which accrued to this imperial city out of the streaming together of so many men and so many different peoples. Compare Jeremiah 51:13, where Babel is addressed as "Thou that dwellest on many waters, art rich in many treasures." מימי היא, since the days that she exists. היא equals אשׁר היא, the relation being indicated by the construct state; מן הוא in Isaiah 18:2 is different. But they flee. The subject to נסים is not the waters, although nūs is applied to water in Psalm 104:7, but, as what follows shows, the masses of men who are represented as water. These flee away without being stopped by the cry "Stand ye" (i.e., remain), or even paying any attention to it. Hiphnâh, lit., "to turn the back" (‛ōreph, Jeremiah 48:39), to flee, but when applied to a person already fleeing, to turn round (cf. Jeremiah 46:5). In Nahum 2:9 the conquerors are summoned to plunder, not by their generals, but by God, who speaks through the prophet. The fact is hereby indicated, "that this does not happen by chance, but because God determines to avenge the injuries inflicted upon His people" (Calvin). With ואין קצה the prophecy passes into a simple description. There is no end lattekhūnâh, to the furnishing with treasures. Tekhūnâh, from kūn, not from tâkhan, lit., the setting up, the erection of a building (Ezekiel 43:11); here the furnishing of Nineveh as the dwelling-place of the rulers of the world, whilst in Job 23:3 it is applied to the place where the throne of God has been established. In כּבד the ל might be thought of as still continuing in force (Ewald, Hitzig), but it answers better to the liveliness of the description to take כּבד as beginning a fresh sentence. כּבד written defectively, as in Genesis 31:1 : glory, equivalent to the great amount of the wealth, as in Genesis (l.c.). Kelē chendâh, gold and silver vessels and jewels, as in Hosea 13:15. That there were immense treasures of the precious metals and of costly vessels treasured up in Nineveh, may be inferred with certainty from the accounts of ancient writers, which border on the fabulous.

(Note: For proofs, see Layard's Nineveh, ii. 415ff., and Movers, Phnizier (iii. 1, pp. 40, 41). After quoting the statements of Ctesias, the latter observes that "these numbers are indeed fabulous; but they have their historical side, inasmuch as in the time of Ctesias the riches of Nineveh were estimated at an infinitely greater amount than the enormous treasures accumulated in the treasuries of the Persian empire. That the latter is quite in accordance with truth, may be inferred from the fact that the conquerors of Nineveh, the Medes and Chaldaeans, of whose immense booty, in the shape of gold, silver, and other treasures, even the prophet Nahum speaks, furnished Ecbatana and Babylon with gold and silver from the booty of Nineveh to an extent unparalleled in all history.")

Of all these treasures nothing was left but desolate emptiness. This is expressed by the combination of three synonymous words. Būqâh and mebhūqâh are substantive formations from būq equals bâqaq, to empty out, and are combined to strengthen the idea, like similar combinations in Zephaniah 1:15; Ezekiel 33:29, and Isaiah 29:2. Mebhullâqâh is a synonymous noun formed from the participle pual, and signifying devastation (cf. Isaiah 24:1, where even bâlaq is combined with bâqaq). In Nahum 2:11 the horror of the vanquished at the total devastation of Nineveh is described, also in short substantive clauses: "melted heart" (nâmēs is a participle), i.e., perfect despondency (see Isaiah 13:7; Joshua 7:5); trembling of the knees, so that from terror men can hardly keep upon their feet (pı̄q for pūq; it only occurs here). Chalchâlâh formed by reduplication from chı̄l: spasmodic pains in all loins, like the labour pains of women in childbirth (cf. Isaiah 21:3). Lastly, the faces of all turning pale (see at Joel 2:6).

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