New American Standard Bible
All because of the many harlotries of the harlot, The charming one, the mistress of sorceries, Who sells nations by her harlotries And families by her sorceries.
King James Bible
Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the wellfavoured harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts.
Darby Bible Translation
Because of the multitude of the fornications of the well-favoured harlot, mistress of sorceries, that selleth nations through her fornications, and families through her sorceries,
World English Bible
because of the multitude of the prostitution of the alluring prostitute, the mistress of witchcraft, who sells nations through her prostitution, and families through her witchcraft.
Young's Literal Translation
Because of the abundance of the fornications of an harlot, The goodness of the grace of the lady of witchcrafts, Who is selling nations by her fornications, And families by her witchcrafts.
Nahum 3:4 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the well-favored harlot - There are "multitudes of slain" because of the "multitude of whoredoms" and love of the creature instead of the Creator. So to Babylon Isaiah saith, "they (loss of children and widowhood) shall come upon thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, for the great abundance of thine enchantments" Isaiah 47:9. The actual use of "enchantments," for which Babylon was so infamous, is not elsewhere attributed to the Assyrians. But neither is the word elsewhere used figuratively; nor is Assyria, in its intimate relation to Babylon, likely to have been free from the longing, universal in pagandom, to obtain knowledge as to the issue of events which would affect her. She is, by a rare idiom, entitled "mistress of enchantments," having them at her command, as instruments of power. Mostly, idolatries and estrangement from God are spoken of as "whoredoms," only in respect of those who, having been taken by God as His own, forsook Him for false gods.
But Jezebel too, of whose offences Jehu speaks under the same two titles 2 Kings 9:22, was a pagan. And such sins were but part of that larger all-comprehending sin, that man, being made by God for Himself, when he loves the creature instead of the Creator, divorces himself from God. Of this sin world empires, such as Nineveh, were the concentration. Their being was one vast idolatry of self and of "the god of this world." All, art, fraud, deceit, protection of the weak against the strong 2 Kings 16:7-9; 2 Chronicles 28:20-21, promises of good Isaiah 36:16-17, were employed, together with open violence, to absorb all nations into it. The one end of all was to form one great idol-temple, of which the center and end was man, a rival worship to God, which should enslave all to itself and the things of this world. Nineveh and all conquering nations used fraud as well as force, enticed and entangled others, and so sold and deprived them of freedom. (see Joel 3:3).
Nor are people less sold and enslaved, because they have no visible master. False freedom is the deepest and most abject slavery. All sinful nations or persons extend to others the infection of their own sins. But, chiefly, the "wicked world," manifoldly arrayed with fair forms, and "beautiful in the eyes of those who will not think or weigh how much more beautiful the Lord and Creator of all," spreads her enticements on all sides "the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eye, and the pride of life," "her pomps and vanities," worldly happiness and glory and majesty, and ease and abundance, deceives and sells mankind into the power of Satan. It is called well-favored (literally, good of grace), because the world has a real beauty, nor , "unless there were a grace and beauty in the things we love, could they draw us to them." They have their beauty, because from God; then are they deformed, when "things hold us back from God, which, unless they were in God, were not at all."
We deform them, if we love them for our own sakes, not in Him; or for the intimations they give of Him. : "Praise as to things foul has an intensity of blame. As if one would speak of a skilled thief, or a courageous robber, or a clever cheat. So though he calls Nineveh a well-favored harlot, this will not be for her praise, (far from it!) but conveys the heavier condenmation. As they, when they would attract, use dainty babblings, so was Nineveh a skilled artificer of ill-doing, well provided with means to capture cities and lands and to persuade them what pleased herself." She selleth not nations only but families, drawing mankind both as a mass, and one by one after her, so that scarce any escape.
The adultery of the soul from God is the more grieveus, the nearer God has brought any to Himself, in priests worse than in the people, in Christians than in Jews, in Jews than in pagan; yet God espoused mankind to Him when He made him. His dowry were gifts of nature. If this be adultery, how much sorer, when betrothed by the Blood of Christ, and endowed with the gift of the Spirit!
Poetically the little book of Nahum is one of the finest in the Old Testament. Its descriptions are vivid and impetuous: they set us before the walls of the beleaguered Nineveh, and show us the war-chariots of her enemies darting to and fro like lightning, ii. 4, the prancing steeds, the flashing swords, the glittering spears, iii. 2,3. The poetry glows with passionate joy as it contemplates the ruin of cruel and victorious Assyria. In the opening chapter, i., ii. 2, Jehovah is represented as coming …
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, "Come here, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters,
with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality."
"For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality."
and the light of a lamp will not shine in you any longer; and the voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard in you any longer; for your merchants were the great men of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery.
It will come about at the end of seventy years that the LORD will visit Tyre. Then she will go back to her harlot's wages and will play the harlot with all the kingdoms on the face of the earth.
"But these two things will come on you suddenly in one day: Loss of children and widowhood. They will come on you in full measure In spite of your many sorceries, In spite of the great power of your spells.
"Stand fast now in your spells And in your many sorceries With which you have labored from your youth; Perhaps you will be able to profit, Perhaps you may cause trembling.
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