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The Jewish Study Bible Contextualizes the Hebrew Bible with accompanying scholarly text on Jewish traditions and history.

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Commentary on Nahum

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1.1 :

Superscription. As mentioned in the introduction, this is an unusual double title, thereby emphasizing the central theme of the book, the fall of Nineveh. Elkoshite: There is no known location that may correspond to this town. Some scholars doubt that the reference is to a town at all and others (cf. Targum) have suggested that the writer may have invented it as a wordplay (Heb “God is harsh”; cf. Isa. 19.4 ).

1.2–14 :

The LORD responds to Assyria and to Israel’s plight. There are remnants of an acrostic in these vv., but this has been disrupted through the transmission of the passage, and can no longer be reconstructed. These initial vv. are extremely traditional, quoting common themes and phrases.

2–3 :

These vv. offer an interpretation and elaboration of Exod. 34.6–7 (cf. Num. 14.18; Jonah 4.2; Ps. 145.8 ); also cf. Josh. 24.19; Jer. 3.5, 12 .

4 :

The sea, often considered a mythological place of chaos (cf. Isa. 27.1 ). Dries it up, as during the exodus (Exod. 14.21; Ps. 106.9 ).

5 :

For similar theophanic imagery, see Mic. 1.5; Isa. 13.13; Jer. 4.24; 2 Sam. 22.8 || Ps 18.8 , among many others.

7 :

As the community reads about the LORD’s power and the ridiculousness of any attempt to withstand God’s fury, this v. serves to reassure them that not all need be afraid of such fury and power.

8 :

If her place is correct, it refers to Nineveh. The same consonantal text may be read “His opposition” (see translators’ note c‐c on p. 1220).

11 :

The verse may be translated as follows: “From you has come forth a plotter of evil against the LORD, a lawless counselor.” This counselor is identified as an Assyrian king, or as an “archetypal Assyrian king,” and in the Jewish tradition in particular, as Sennacherib (see 2 Kings 18.13–19.37 ). Readers would associate the figure of this counselor with that of the leader of whatever group they are opposing.

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