Nahum

The Oracle of Nineveh
(Jonah 1:1-3)

1This is the oracle of Nineveh, the book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite:

2The LORD is a jealous and avenging God;

the LORD is avenging and full of wrath.

The LORD takes vengeance on His foes

and reserves wrath for His enemies.

3The LORD is slow to anger

and great in power;

the LORD will by no means

leave the guilty unpunished.

His path is in the whirlwind and storm,

and clouds are the dust beneath His feet.

4He rebukes the sea and dries it up;

He makes all the rivers run dry.

Bashan and Carmel wither,

and the flower of Lebanon wilts.

5The mountains quake before Him,

and the hills melt away;

the earth trembles at His presence—

the world and all its dwellers.

6Who can withstand His indignation?

Who can endure His burning anger?

His wrath is poured out like fire;

even rocks are shattered before Him.

7The LORD is good,

a stronghold in the day of distress;

He cares for those who trust in Him.

8But with an overflowing flood,

He will make an end of Nineveha

and pursue His enemies into darkness.

9Whatever you plot against the LORD,

He will bring to an end.

Affliction will not rise up

a second time.

10For they will be entangled as with thorns

and consumed like the drink of a drunkard—

like stubble that is fully dry.

11From you, O Nineveh, comes forth

a plotter of evil against the LORD,

a counselor of wickedness.

12This is what the LORD says:

“Though they are allied and numerous,

yet they will be cut down and pass away.

Though I have afflicted you, O Judah,

I will afflict you no longer.

13For from you I will now break off his yoke

and tear away your shackles.”

14The LORD has issued a command concerning you, O Nineveh:

“There will be no descendants

to carry on your name.

I will cut off the carved image and cast idol

from the house of your gods;

I will prepare your grave,

for you are contemptible.”

15Look to the mountains—

the feet of one who brings good news,

who proclaims peace!

Celebrate your feasts, O Judah;

fulfill your vows.

For the wicked will never again march through you;

they will be utterly cut off.

Footnotes:

8 a Hebrew of her place

Nahum 2

The Overthrow of Nineveh

1One who scatters advances

against you, O Nineveh.

Guard the fortress!

Watch the road!

Brace yourselfa !

Summon all your strength!

2For the LORD will restore the splendor of Jacob

like the splendor of Israel,

though destroyers have laid them waste

and ruined the branches of their vine.

3The shields of his mighty men are red;

the valiant warriors are dressed in scarlet.

The fittings of the chariots flash like fire

on the day they are prepared,

and the spears of cypress

have been brandished.b

4The chariots dash through the streets;

they rush around the plazas,

appearing like torches,

darting about like lightning.

5He summons his nobles;

they stumble as they advance.

They race to its wall;

the protective shield is set in place.

6The river gates are thrown open,

and the palace erodes away.

7It is decreed that the city be exiled

and carried away;

her maidservants moan like doves,

and beat upon their breasts.

8Nineveh has been like a pool of water

throughout her days,

but now it is draining away.

“Stop! Stop!” they cry,

but no one turns back.

9“Plunder the silver!

Plunder the gold!”

There is no end to the treasure,

an abundance of every precious thing.

10She is emptied!

Yes, she is desolate and laid waste!

Hearts melt, knees knock,

bodies tremble, and every face grows pale!

11Where is the lions’ lair

or the feeding ground of the young lions,

where the lion and lioness prowled with their cubs,

with nothing to frighten them away?

12The lion mauled enough for its cubs

and strangled prey for the lioness.

It filled its dens with the kill,

and its lairs with mauled prey.

13“Behold, I am against you,”

declares the LORD of Hosts.

“I will send your chariots up in smoke

and the sword will devour your young lions.

I will cut off your prey from the earth,

and the voices of your messengers

will no longer be heard.”

Footnotes:

1 a Hebrew gird your loins
3 b Hebrew; LXX and Syriac prepared, and the horsemen rush to and fro

Nahum 3

Judgment Against Nineveh

1Woe to the city of blood,

full of lies,

full of plunder,

never without prey.

2The crack of the whip,

the rumble of the wheel,

galloping horse

and bounding chariot!

3Charging horseman,

flashing sword,

shining spear;

heaps of slain,

mounds of corpses,

dead bodies without end—

they stumble over their dead—

4because of the many harlotries of the harlot,

the seductive mistress of sorcery,

who betrays nations by her prostitution

and clans by her witchcraft.

5“Behold, I am against you,”

declares the LORD of Hosts.

“I will lift your skirts over your face.

I will show your nakedness to the nations

and your shame to the kingdoms.

6I will pelt you with filth

and treat you with contempt;

I will make a spectacle of you.

7Then all who see you

will recoil from you and say,

‘Nineveh is devastated;

who will grieve for her?’

Where can I find

comforters for you?”

8Are you better than Thebes,a

situated by the Nile with water around her,

whose rampart was the sea,

whose wall was the water?

9Cushb and Egypt were her boundless strength;

Put and Libya were her allies.

10Yet she became an exile;

she went into captivity.

Her infants were dashed to pieces

at the head of every street.

They cast lots for her dignitaries,

and all her nobles were bound in chains.

11You too will become drunk;

You will go into hiding

and seek refuge from the enemy.

12All your fortresses are fig trees

with the first ripe figs;

when shaken, they fall

into the mouth of the eater!

13Behold, your troops are like your women;

the gates of your land

are wide open to your enemies;

fire consumes their bars.

14Draw your water for the siege;

strengthen your fortresses.

Work the clay and tread the mortar;

repair the brick kiln!

15There the fire will devour you;

the sword will cut you down

and consume you like a young locust.

Make yourself many like the young locust;

make yourself many like the swarming locust!

16You have multiplied your merchants

more than the stars of the sky.

The young locust strips the land

and flies away.

17Your guardsmenc are like the swarming locust,

and your scribesd like clouds of locusts,

that settle on the walls on a cold day.

When the sun rises, they fly away,

and no one knows where.

18O king of Assyria, your shepherds slumber;

your officers sleep.

Your people are scattered on the mountains

with no one to gather them.

19There is no healing for your injury;

your wound is severe.

All who hear the news of you

will applaud your downfall,

for who has not experienced

your endless cruelty?

Footnotes:

8 a Hebrew No-amon; also in verse 10
9 b That is, the upper Nile region
17 c Or princes
17 d Or marshals


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