The LORD God judges Nineveh.
VERSE 1. He who dashes in pieces has come up against you. Keep the fortress! Watch the way! Strengthen your waist! Fortify your power mightily!
NIV translation. An attacker advances against you, Nineveh. Guard the fortress, watch the road, brace yourselves, marshal all your strength!
NLT translation. Your enemy is coming to crush you, Nineveh. Man the ramparts! Watch the roads! Prepare your defenses! Call out your forces!
He who dashes in pieces has come up against you. The advance of this attacker is so certain that Nahum speaks of it in the present tense.
VERSE 2. For the LORD restores the excellency of Jacob as the excellency of Israel, for the destroyers have destroyed them and ruined their vine branches.
the LORD restores the excellency. Judah’s glory will be restored.
Jacob … Israel. These might be synonyms for the entire nation.
VERSE 3. The shield of his mighty men is made red. The valiant men are in scarlet. The chariots flash with steel in the day of his preparation, and the pine spears are brandished.
The shield of his mighty men is made red. The shields of the Medes and Babylonians were red.
The valiant men are in scarlet. The warriors’ scarlet- colored attire would make them quite striking in appearance.
VERSE 4. The chariots rage in the streets. They rush back and forth in the wide ways. Their appearance is like torches. They run like the lightnings.
VERSE 5. He summons his picked troops. They stumble on their way. They dash to its wall, and the protective shield is put in place.
He. This probably refers to the king of Assyria.
The gates of the rivers. It is not clear what this refers to. There are five main theories:
- fortified bridges
- city gates near the banks of the Tigris River
- sluice gates in dams in the city moats
- breaches made in the wall by the torrential rush of water
- floodgates to control the flow of the Khosr River that passed through the city.
VERSE 7. It is decreed: she is uncovered, she is carried away; and her servants moan as with the voice of doves, beating on their breasts.
It is decreed. The destiny of Nineveh is decreed by the LORD God.
she is carried away. The people of Nineveh will be taken into exile.
VERSE 8. But Nineveh has been from of old like a pool of water, yet they flee away. “Stop! Stop!” they cry, but no one looks back.
they flee away. Nineveh is flooded. They people flee for their lives.
“Stop! Stop!” they cry. Some people shout for the everyone to stop fleeing. But they do not turn back.
no one looks back. Fleeing for their lives, the people leave their possessions behind.
VERSE 9. Take the plunder of silver. Take the plunder of gold, for there is no end of treasure, an abundance of every precious thing.
VERSE 10. She is empty, void, and waste. The heart melts, the knees knock together, their bodies and faces have grown pale.
VERSE 11. Where is the den of the lions, and the feeding place of the young lions, where the lion and the lioness walked with the lion’s cubs, and no one made them afraid?
Where is the den of the lions. Nahum taunts Nineveh.
VERSE 12. The lion tore in pieces enough for his cubs, and strangled prey for his lionesses, and filled his caves with the kill and his dens with prey.
VERSE 13. “Behold, I am against you,” says the LORD of Hosts, “and I will burn her chariots in the smoke, and the sword will devour your young lions; and I will cut off your prey from the earth, and the voice of your messengers will no longer be heard.”
I am against you. The LORD God is against Nineveh.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.