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Bible

Understanding

Made Easy

Nahum

Introduction

  • In this wonderful book of the Bible, God shows His displeasure with the oppressors of the Jewish people. 

  • Nineveh was the capital of Assyria. 

  • As you probably know already, Assyria had already conquered the Northern Kingdom of Israel and took them into captivity before this prophecy of Nahum (2 Kings 17:3-10). 

  • In fact, Bible scholars date the final destruction and captivity of the Northern Kingdom of Israel at approximately 720 B.C. (Butler, 1991). 

  • Thus, this is a prophecy that encourages the Southern Kingdom of Judah due to the fact that they are not in captivity at the time of Nahum’s prophecy.

God Will Punish The Assyrians

  • Please keep in mind that even though God used Assyria to punish the Northern Kingdom of Israel, He would still punish Assyria for their own sins (Nahum 1:1, 15). 

  • Obviously, God was being fair to the non-Jewish Assyrians, because the truth of God’s Word was preached to them and caused them to repent of their sins in the time of Jonah when God warned them then (Jonah 1:1-2; 3:1-10) (Coffman, 1989). 

  • We know that Jonah lived years before Nahum. 

  • The repentance of the people of Nineveh caused them to not be destroyed by God in the time of Jonah, which was long before the life of Nahum. 

  • Jonah’s prophecy to Nineveh is dated at around the years of 785-745 B.C. (or earlier) by Bible scholars, because he is mentioned as an active prophet in the time of Jeroboam II, king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel (2 Kings 14:23-29) (Butler, 1991). 

  • Nahum is believed to have prophesied the destruction of Nineveh around the year of 650 B.C., because he mentions that “populous No” of Egypt was already destroyed, which occurred in 663 B.C. and spoke of the future destruction of Nineveh, which happened around 612-605 B.C (Butler, 1991). 

  • Thus, Nahum must have prophesied between the times of these two events.

The Day Of Grace Ends For Nineveh of The Assyrians

  • Moving on, unfortunately, in the time of Nahum, Nineveh had returned to its evil ways and God determined to destroy them again. 

  • Thus, God does not play favorites, but will judge every sinful nation and gives forewarning of the coming judgment to get the people to repent. 

  • Although God is very slow to anger, He will still become angry if provoked long enough (Nahum 1:3; Psalm 103:8). 

  • Christians should take note that even though God is a very patient Person and has a very mild temper, we should not provoke Him, because He can punish us in this life and/or the life to come if we do not repent of our sins (Hebrews 12; Revelation 20:12-15; Matthew 7:21-23; Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:8-9). 

  • Furthermore, God is in control of all nature, including the ability to create natural disasters, such as earthquakes (Nahum 1:3-5). 

  • This should make mankind respect the Person and power of God, because who can run from a Person with this type of power? 

  • Not one (Nahum 1:6)!

God is Able To Separate The Good From The Bad

  • Though God is going to judge His enemies (the Assyrians in particular in this prophecy), He also knows those who trust in Him and thus, He is able to separate the good and the bad.

  • He is able to reward His own people and punish the wicked (Nahum 1:7-8). 

  • This is what the Judge, Jesus Christ, will do at the end of the world as He calls both the righteous and wicked dead to life at the resurrection of the body and assigns them to their eternal destinations (John 5:26-29; Romans 14:10; 1 Peter 4:17). 

  • God’s prophecy of doom for Assyria, as revealed through Nahum, would be so complete when Assyria would be judged that God would only have to destroy them once (Nahum 1:9-10).

God Delivers The Southern Kingdom Of Judah From Assyria And Promises To Completely Destroy The Assyrians

  • Although God used the Assyrians as His tool to punish the Northern Kingdom of Israel, the Assyrians were not worshippers of the true God and in fact were God’s enemies.

  • So much so, that they marched against the Southern Kingdom of Judah to take it and insulted the name of God as a weak, powerless Person unable to deliver the Jews of the Southern Kingdom from Assyrian conquest. 

  • The Assyrians would prove to be completely wrong, because God, Himself, though His angel, wiped out the Assyrian army and saved Jerusalem, Himself, as accurately foretold by Nahum. (2 Kings 18-19) (Clark, n.d.). 

  • Nahum 1:11-15 foretells the destruction of the Assyrians when they tried to take Jerusalem in the Southern Kingdom. 

  • Again, God killed the Assyrians Himself (2 Kings 18-19). 

  • A greater promise than just the deliverance of Judah from the power of the Assyrians that did take some cities of Judah except Jerusalem in the time of King Hezekiah is being made, because God is promising a deliverance from the power of Assyria forever more (2 Kings 18:13)! 

  • Of course, this occurred after Assyria was destroyed by the Babylonians later on in Bible history. 

  • Thus, Nahum is also foretelling the destruction of Assyria through Babylon (Nahum 1:15).

  • God was going to destroy Assyria, because they were idol worshippers, and destroy their idols as well (Nahum 1:14).

The Deliverance Of The Southern Kingdom Of Judah Was Symbolic Of The Delivering Power Of The Gospel Salvation In Jesus Christ From Eternal Punishment

  • Please keep in mind, before leaving Nahum 1:15, the deliverance of the Southern Kingdom of Judah from the power of the Assyrians is a type of the deliverance of the Christian from the power of Satan to be afflicted by this evil menace no more (Jamiesson, Fausset, & Brown, 2004)! 

  • The Apostle Paul used these same Words from Nahum 1:15 in Romans 10:15 regarding the delivering power of the Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ, which reads, “And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” 

  • Although Satan still afflicts the church to this very day (Revelation 2:10), there will be a day, when he and his angels will be thrown in the lake of fire to afflict God’s church no more (Matthew 25:41)! 

  • This will certainly be a day of rejoicing for the Christian, because the enemy will be cast down forever!

Further Revelation Regarding The Destruction Of Assyria

  • Nahum 2 further describes the destruction of the Assyrian Empire and the looting of it. 

  • The opening verse of Nahum 2 emphatically tells us that the enemy of Assyria was none other than God, Himself! 

  • The people of the city of Nineveh are being foretold that they would flee the city when the enemy comes and the Babylonians would loot its treasures (Nahum 2:8-9) (Coffman, 1989).

God Convicts Nineveh For Their Sinful Ways

  • Nahum 3 concludes God’s prophecy against the enemy of the Jewish people, which again is Assyria. 

  • God convicts the citizens of Nineveh for their sinful ways. 

  • They were a bloody city, because they conquered many nations for gain (Nahum 3:1). 

  • No other nation could trust them, because they constantly lusted for materialistic gain (Nahum 3:1). 

  • They shed the blood of many nations, obviously in pursuit of wealth. 

  • God’s judgment would be so devastating that there would be a countless number of slain Assyrians to the point that men and/or their horses would trip over the dead bodies (Nahum 3:2-3) (MacDonald, 1995). 

  • Furthermore, they were indicted by God as sinful, because they were idol worshippers as well (Nahum 3:4). 

  • Nineveh had no excuse for being idol worshippers, because Jonah had gotten them to repent of their sins, which idolatry must have been one, in

  • the past. 

  • God would put Nineveh to shame in front of the nations of the world (Nahum 3:5-7).

Assyria Would Be Powerless In Stopping Their Own Destruction At The Hands Of God!

  • Lastly, in Nahum 3:8-10, God asks the Assyrians if they are better than the city of “populous No” in Egypt? 

  • No had allies in Ethiopia, Egypt, Put, and Lubim, but this still did not save them.

  • They were captured and defeated despite the fact that they were a mighty nation, which shows the Assyrians that they are not invincible as well. 

  • The enemies of Assyria would surely destroy them and the nations will applaud Assyria’s defeat, because Assyria had done so wickedly to so many (Nahum 3:11-19). 

  • God’s judgment, at the hands of the Babylonians, would be so great that it would be a fatal wound to the nation of Assyria. 

  • It would no longer be a nation (Dobson, Feinberg, Hindson, Kroll, Wilmington, 1999). 

  • This Word from God, in the form of Nahum’s prophecy, has been fulfilled today, because Assyria no longer exists as a nation and has not existed for thousands of years as of this date.

  • Biblical scholars believe that Nineveh was conquered somewhere in the time frame of 610-605 B.C. (Butler, 1991). 

  • God’s Word always fulfills itself. 

  • This is proof that we can trust the Word of God in all things! Hallelujah!

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