Nahum 3:2
The noise of a whip, and the noise of the rattling of the wheels, and of the pransing horses, and of the jumping chariots.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) The noise of . . .—Better, Hark to the whip, and hark to the rattling of the wheel, and the horse galloping, and the chariot bounding. The entry of the victorious besiegers is here described.

Nahum 3:2-3. The noise of a whip, &c. — These verses are highly poetical; the prophet tells them, that he already hears the sound of the whips driving on the horses, and the rattling of the chariot wheels, &c., of their enemies coming against them. The horseman lifteth up both the bright sword, &c. — In the Hebrew it is, The horseman lifteth up the flame of the sword, and the lightning of the spear, which is more poetical than our rendering. The style of the whole passage is extremely fine; scarce any thing can be more picturesque, or strongly descriptive of a victorious army.

3:1-7 When proud sinners are brought down, others should learn not to lift themselves up. The fall of this great city should be a lesson to private persons, who increase wealth by fraud and oppression. They are preparing enemies for themselves; and if the Lord sees good to punish them in this world, they will have none to pity them. Every man who seeks his own prosperity, safety, and peace, should not only act in an upright, honourable manner, but with kindness to all.The noise (literally, "voice") of the whip - There is cry against cry; the voice of the enemy, brought upon them through the voice of the oppressed. Blood hath a voice which crieth Genesis 4:10 to heaven; its echo or counterpart, as it were, is the cry of the destroyer. All is urged on with terrific speed. The chariot-wheels quiver in the rapid onset; the chariots bound, like living things; the earth echoes with the whirling swiftness of the speed of the cavalry. The prophet within, with the inward ear and eye which hears "the mysteries of the Kingdom of God" Matthew 13:11, Matthew 13:16 and sees things to come, as they shall come upon the wicked, sees and hears the scourge coming, with The words in Hebrew are purposely chosen with rough "r" sounds: רעשׁ ra‛ash, דהר dâhar, מרקדה meraqēdâh, a great noise, impetuously; and so describes it as present. Wars and rumors of wars are among the signs of the Day of Judgment. The "scourge," though literally relating to the vehement onset of the enemy, suggests to the thoughts, the scourges of Almighty God, wherewith He chastens the penitent, punishes the impenitent; the wheel, the swift changes of man's condition in the rolling-on of time. "O God, make them like a rolling thing" Psalm 83:14. 2. The reader is transported into the midst of the fight (compare Jer 47:3). The "noise of the whips" urging on the horses (in the chariots) is heard, and of "the rattling of the wheels" of war chariots, and the "horses" are seen "prancing," and the "chariots jumping," &c. The French reads this verse with a negative distributive, and so links this and the next verse with the former negative, Nahum 3:1; thus, The prey departeth not, nor the noise of the whip, nor, &c., intimating the long continuance of the Chaldeans insulting over the Ninevites.

The noise of a whip, with which the charioteer roused and animated the horses which drew the warlike chariots.

The noise of the rattling of the wheels, by the swift motion of the horses,

and of the pransing horses, in the chariots proudly and stately trampling, and of the jumping chariots, made to jump by the swiftness and strength of the horses which drew them.

The French reads this verse with a negative distributive, and so links this and the next verse with the former negative, Nahum 3:1; thus, The prey departeth not, nor the noise of the whip, nor, &c., intimating the long continuance of the Chaldeans insulting over the Ninevites.

The noise of a whip, with which the charioteer roused and animated the horses which drew the warlike chariots.

The noise of the rattling of the wheels, by the swift motion of the horses,

and of the pransing horses, in the chariots proudly and stately trampling, and of the jumping chariots, made to jump by the swiftness and strength of the horses which drew them.

The noise of a whip,.... Of a horseman or chariot driver whipping his horses to make speed to Nineveh, and enter into it, so near as to be heard by the inhabitants of it; and is thus represented in order to strike terror into them:

and the noise of the rattling of the wheels; that is, of the chariots upon the stones, whose drivers drove Jehu like, making the utmost haste they could to get in first, and seize the prey:

and of the pransing horses; or bounding steeds, upon a full gallop; either with horsemen on them riding full speed to partake of the booty; or in chariots, in which they caper and prance, and shake the ground as they go; hence it follows:

and of the jumping chariots; which, through the swiftness of the motion, seem to leap and dance as they run along.

The noise of a whip, {b} and the noise of the rattling of the wheels, and of the pransing horses, and of the jumping chariots.

(b) He shows how the Chaldeans will hasten, and how courageous their horses will be in beating the ground when they come against the Assyrians.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2, 3. Graphic description of the attack on Nineveh. Nahum 3:2 describes rather what is heard when the onset commences: cracking whips and prancing horsemen and rattling wheels; and Nahum 3:3 what is seen: charging horsemen, and flashing swords and glittering spears. On the whip, Layard, II. 356.

jumping chariots] i.e. bounding either from their excessive speed, or from the obstacles which they meet in the uneven ground before the city.

Verse 2. - The noise of a whip. The prophet describes the advance of the investing army. He hears the cracking of the whips of the charioteers, and the rattling of the wheels of the chariots, and the galloping horses, and the chariots bounding over the plain. Probably all the expressions in this verso refer to chariots and to horses yoked to them, which varied in number from one to three. The whip was a simple thong attached to a short handle. Comp. Virg., 'Georg.,' 3:106, etc. -

"... illi instant verbere torto
Et proni dant lora, volat vi fervidus axis;
Jamque humiles, jamque elati sublime videntur
Aera per vacuum ferri, atque adsurgere in auras."
Nahum 3:2This threat is explained in Nahum 3:2., by a description of the manner in which a hostile army enters Nineveh and fills the city with corpses. Nahum 3:2. "The cracking of whips, and noise of the rattling of wheels, and the horse in galloping, and chariots flying high. Nahum 3:3. Riders dashing along, and flame of the sword, and flashing of the lance, and multitude of slain men and mass of dead men, and no end of corpses; they stumble over their corpses. Nahum 3:4. For the multitude of the whoredoms of the harlot, the graceful one, the mistress of witchcrafts, who sells nations with her whoredoms, and families with her witchcrafts." Nahum sees in spirit the hostile army bursting upon Nineveh. He hears the noise, i.e., the cracking of the whips of the charioteers, and the rattling (ra‛ash) of the chariot-wheels, sees horses and chariots driving along (dâhar, to hunt, cf. Judges 5:22; riqqēd, to jump, applied to the springing up of the chariots as they drive quickly along over a rugged road), dashing riders (ma‛ăleh, lit., to cause to ascend, sc. the horse, i.e., to make it prance, by driving the spur into its side to accelerate its speed), flaming swords, and flashing lances. As these words are well adapted to depict the attack, so are those which follow to describe the consequence or effect of the attack. Slain men, fallen men in abundance, and so many corpses, that one cannot help stumbling or falling over them. כּבד, the heavy multitude. The chethib יכשׁלו is to be read יכּשׁלוּ (niphal), in the sense of stumbling, as in Nahum 2:6. The keri וכשׁלוּ is unsuitable, as the sentence does not express any progress, but simply exhibits the infinite number of the corpses (Hitzig). גויּתם, their (the slain men's) corpses. This happens to the city of sins because of the multitude of its whoredoms. Nineveh is called Zōnâh, and its conduct zenūnı̄m, not because it had fallen away from the living God and pursued idolatry, for there is nothing about idolatry either here or in what follows; nor because of its commercial intercourse, in which case the commerce of Nineveh would appear here under the perfectly new figure of love-making with other nations (Ewald), for commercial intercourse as such is not love-making; but the love-making, with its parallel "witchcrafts" (keshâphı̄m), denotes "the treacherous friendship and crafty politics with which the coquette in her search for conquests ensnared the smaller states" (Hitzig, after Abarbanel, Calvin, J. H. Michaelis, and others). This policy is called whoring or love-making, "inasmuch as it was that selfishness which wraps itself up in the dress of love, and under the appearance of love seeks simply the gratification of its own lust" (Hengstenberg on the Rev.). The zōnâh is described still more minutely as טובת חן, beautiful with grace. This refers to the splendour and brilliancy of Nineveh, by which this city dazzled and ensnared the nations, like a graceful coquette. Ba‛ălath keshâphı̄m, devoted to witchcrafts, mistress of them. Keshâphı̄m (witchcrafts) connected with zenūnı̄m, as in 2 Kings 9:22, are "the secret wiles, which, like magical arts, do not come to the light in themselves, but only in their effects" (Hitzig). מכר, to sell nations, i.e., to rob them of liberty and bring them into slavery, to make them tributary, as in Deuteronomy 32:30; Judges 2:14; Judges 3:8, etc. (not equals כמר from כבר, to entangle: Hitzig). בּזנוּניה, with (not for) their whoredoms. Mishpâchōth, families, synonymous with עמּים, are smaller peoples or tribes (cf. Jeremiah 25:9; Ezekiel 20:32).
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