Nineveh is attacked. The detailed descriptions of a military assault on Nineveh and of battles in its streets anticipate the imminent end of the
The shatterer (or “scatterer”; see note d) is the enemy army attacking Nineveh.
This verse appears to be out of place, as the parentheses added by the translators indicate. It describes the restoration
of Judah, interrupting the narrative
of the attack on Nineveh. It probably once followed
or is a later scribal addition.
The description of the army attacking Nineveh continues from v. 1
The Hebrew term translated by mantelet is a noun from the root, “weave,” and may be a woven shield to protect soldiers in battle.
These river gates controlled a network of canals that brought water into Nineveh from the Tigris and Khoser rivers nearby. They appear to have
been opened by the enemy to flood the city (v. 8
Title. The location of the Judean town Elkosh is unknown.
God's terrifying power. These verses make up an incomplete acrostic
poem, in which each two-line verse unit begins with the succeeding letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
The emphasis on the vengeance and wrath of God at the beginning of Nahum is related to the book's central theme: God's judgment of Nineveh for its cruelties.
God often appears in the form of a thunderstorm (Ex 19.16–17; Ps 77.17–18
The traditional enemy of the storm god in ancient Near Eastern mythology is the sea (alias river), a tradition reflected at points in biblical thought (Ps 89.9–10; Hab 3.8, 15
God's appearance shakes the world of nature (Am 1.2; Mic 1.3–4
). Bashan, the highlands east of the Jordan, Carmel, the mountain range touching the Mediterranean Sea in northern Israel, and Lebanon, the coastal range north of Israel, were famous for their elevation and natural vegetation.
Nineveh will be judged and Judah restored. The audience shifts repeatedly in this brief speech from Nineveh to Judah and back again.
Nahum addresses the Ninevites (you is masculine plural in Hebrew).
Thorns (Isa 34.13
), drunkards (Lam 4.21
), and stubble (Ob 18
) are all images used for enemies whom God punishes.
Nahum addresses the city of Nineveh (you is now feminine singular) and describes its king as one who has gone out.
While you is still feminine singular in form, Nahum is now addressing Judah, describing its new freedom from Assyrian control as a
release from imprisonment.
Nahum turns to address the Assyrian king (you is now masculine singular).
The poem concludes with words of hope to Judah, delivered by a member of the heavenly court.
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