Prophesied approximately 663-612 BC
Fall of Nineveh
Not much is known of Nahum himself. The prophet does not date himself except by the conditions expressed in his writing, and only calls himself Nahum the Elkoshite, most likely meaning that he came from a place named Elkosh.
There is conjecture that Capernaum was named for the prophet.
The Hebrew word which gives us the name Nahum means comfort, and it is fitting for his message since the destruction of Assyria would be a comfort to Israel. The phrase from which the name Capernaum is derived means village of comfort.
There is also a place called Alqosh in what is now northern Iraq which allegedly dates to Assyrian times, which is plausible, and for which there has been claimed a connection to the prophet for many centuries.
The context of the prophecy, especially in the first chapter, places the prophet in Jerusalem.
Historical background of Nahum's prophecy.
Some chronologies place the beginning of the rule of Hezekiah the king of Judah as early as 729 BC. Hezekiah ruled the kingdom of Judah for twenty-nine years. Others begin his reign as late as 715 BC. 2 Kings 18:10 states that Samaria was taken in the 6th year of the rule of Hezekiah, and that is generally accepted to have happened in 722 or 721 BC. So a starting date of 727 for the beginning of Hezekiah's rule is a fair estimate, counting the years inclusively, and 715 is far too late.
In 2 Kings 18:13 we read that Sennacherib the king of Assyria took 46 fenced cities of Judah in the 14th year of Hezekiah, which counting inclusively from 727 would be 714 BC.
The Bible records the siege of Jerusalem by Sennacherib most fully in 2 Kings chapters 18 and 19, which end with the annihilation of Sennacherib's army by apparently supernatural means: “32 Therefore thus saith Yahweh concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it. 33 By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith Yahweh. 34 For I will defend this city, to save it, for Mine own sake, and for My servant David's sake. 35 And it came to pass that night, that the angel of Yahweh went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh. 37 And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword: and they escaped into the land of Armenia. And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead.”
The period before “it came to pass”, as it says in 2 Kings 18:37, was actually quite a long time, since by the popular chronologies Esarhaddon ascended to the throne around 680 BC. While the Assyrian records are not clear about the circumstances of the death of Sennacherib, they are supportive of the Biblical account. Esarhaddon left inscriptions explaining that he was the youngest of his brothers and was the appointed successor of his father, which made his brothers jealous. Thereafter Esarhaddon attained the throne in the aftermath of a civil war against his brothers, whom he said “went out of their senses, doing everything that is wicked in (the eyes of) the gods and mankind, and (continued) their evil machinations” (ANET, p. 289).
When the Assyrians under Sennacherib had decimated Judah and had threatened Jerusalem, Hezekiah became “sick unto death”, as it is described in 2 Kings chapter 20, and he entered into prayer to Yahweh the God of Israel. He was at that time visited by the prophet Isaiah, who was nearing the end of his own ministry. Then Isaiah delivered the word of Yahweh to the king, as it is recorded in that same chapter: “5 Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of My people, Thus saith Yahweh, the God of David your father, I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears: behold, I will heal you: on the third day you shalt go up unto the house of Yahweh. 6 And I will add unto your days fifteen years; and I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for Mine own sake, and for My servant David's sake.” From the chronology of Scripture, these last 15 years of the life of Hezekiah were apparently from just after 714 to about 699 BC.
The destruction of the Assyrian army is reported at the end of 2 Kings chapter 19, however the illness of Hezekiah happened “in those days”, as 2 Kings chapter 20 attests, and therefore the promise of 2 Kings 20:6 certainly preceded the records of 2 Kings 19:35-37. This matter confuses all of the so-called scholars who attempt a chronology, because they all perceive the fifteen years to follow the destruction of the Assyrian army, rather than to coincide with the siege. The Bible is not written as a perfectly linear narrative. Hezekiah's illness must have occurred near the beginning or not long before the siege of Jerusalem, as Yahweh promises him that “I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for Mine own sake, and for My servant David's sake.” Jerusalem must have been under siege for a good portion of these final 15 years of the life of Hezekiah, since the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem lasted for several years.
The annals of Sennacherib have been preserved in several ancient inscriptions which have been discovered by archaeologists, including the Sennacherib Prism and the Taylor Prism. The king, according to the generally accepted chronologies, ruled Assyria from 704 to 681 BC. But if the generally accepted date for the rule of Sargon II and the fall of Samaria is accepted, then Sennacherib's rule must have started at least 10 years sooner, if the Scripture is correct. However it may be that Sennacherib, being the successor and son of Sargon II was considered king by the scribes of Judah before he actually took the throne, since he was crown prince and co-regent with his father. There are a multitude of problems when assessing ancient chronologies, however the archaeological records certainly attest to the historicity of the events themselves. The following translation from the Annals of Sennacherib concerns the siege of Jerusalem in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah (from Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, edited by James B. Pritchard and published by Princeton University Press in 1969, p. 288, translated by D. D. Luckenbill):
“As to Hezekiah, the Judahite, he did not submit to my yoke, I laid siege to 46 of his strong cities, walled forts and to the countless small villages in their vicinity, and conquered (them) by means of well-stamped (earth-)ramps, and battering-rams brought (thus) near (to the walls) (combined with) the attack by foot soldiers, (using) mines, breeches as well as sapper work. I drove out (of them) 200,150 people, young and old, male and female, horses, mules, donkeys, camels, big and small cattle beyond counting, and considered (them) booty. Himself I made a prisoner in Jerusalem, his royal residence, like a bird in a cage. I surrounded him with earthwork in order to molest those who were leaving his city's gate. His towns which I had plundered, I took away from his country and gave them (over) to Mitinti, king of Ashdod, Padi, king of Ekron, and Sillibel, king of Gaza. Thus I reduced his country, but I still increased the tribute and the katrû-presents (due) to me (as his) overlord which I imposed (later) upon him beyond the former tribute, to be delivered annually. Hezekiah himself, whom the terror-inspiring splendor of my lordship had overwhelmed and whose irregular and elite troops which he had brought into Jerusalem, his royal residence, in order to strengthen (it), had deserted him, did send me, later, to Nineveh, my lordly city, together with 30 talents of gold, 800 talents of silver, precious stones, antimony, large cuts of red stone, couches (inlaid) with ivory, nîmedu-chairs (inlaid) with ivory, elephant-hides, ebony-wood, boxwood (and) all kinds of valuable treasures, his (own) daughters, concubines, male and female musicians. In order to deliver the tribute and to do obeisance as a slave he sent his (personal) messenger.”
The Biblical account being accurate, the Annals of Sennacherib seem to be an early instance of political spin. There is no doubt that these annals were created as memorials boasting of the conquests of these kings. Therefore Sennacherib's claim to have left Hezekiah a prisoner “like a bird in a cage” is only to save face after the loss of so many thousands of his troops at the hand of Yahweh the God of Israel, and his subsequent withdrawal of the siege. The siege was clearly a defeat since it failed in its purpose to take the city and lead its people captive, recorded in the words of the Assyrian ambassador Rabshakeh in 2 Kings chapter 18. Ironically, while Sennacherib boasted that he had left Hezekiah “like a bird in a cage”. The prophet Isaiah had written (Isaiah 31:5) that “5 As birds flying, so will Yahweh of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also He will deliver it; and passing over He will preserve it”, and Isaiah's words were a prophecy of the destruction of Sennacherib's army.
Some of the statements in Nahum's first chapter it seems that he is alluding to the events of the reign of Hezekiah, but from the third chapter of Nahum it is evident that he is not writing until after 663 BC. However since Nineveh fell around 612 BC, the prophet must be writing before that time. It is safe to place the date of Nahum's prophecy within that 50-year period.
Nahum is the sequel to the book of Jonah. It's theme is 'the burden of Nineveh'.
Nineveh is first mentioned in the book of Genesis as being founded by Asshur, a descendant of Shem.
In the book of Jonah we learn of it's wickedness, and reformation, as a result of the preaching of Jonah.
We now see that Nineveh's reformation was not maintained, and in the time of Nahum (some 50 years later) it's evil brought misery to the ancient world.
The Medes and the Neo-Babylonians invaded Assyria and reduced Nineveh to ashes.
So complete and utter was the ultimate destruction of Nineveh that the armies of Alexander the Great marched over the plains where it had once stood, unaware that it had ever been there.
Nahum's message was uttered when the Assyrian Empire, with it's chief city Nineveh, was at the height of it's prosperity and master of the ancient world.
The significance of this book is in it's two-fold message:
Apostasy is followed by certain judgment.
Prophecy is followed by certain fulfillment.
Nahum in the Hebrew is Nachum.
From H5375; a burden; specifically tribute, or (abstractly) porterage; figuratively an utterance, chiefly a doom, especially singing; mental, desire: - burden, carry away, prophecy, X they set, song, tribute.
The purpose of Nahum's entire prophecy is to foretell the vengeance which Yahweh will take against the Assyrians for their destruction of Israel and Judah.
The references to the adversaries, the enemies, and the wicked are all references to the Assyrians. One place in Isaiah where the purpose of Yahweh in reference to Assyria is summarized is in Isaiah chapter 10: “5 O Assyrian, the rod of Mine anger, and the staff in their hand is Mine indignation. 6 I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of My wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. [So we see that Assyria is the rod by which Yahweh would punish the children of Israel. The hypocritical nation is Israel.] 7 Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few. 8 For he saith, Are not my princes altogether kings? 9 Is not Calno as Carchemish? is not Hamath as Arpad? is not Samaria as Damascus? 10 As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria; 11 Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols? [The Assyrian is too proud of himself for the task assigned him by God.] 12 Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when Yahweh hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks. 13 For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man: 14 And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped. [A lesson to those of us who are successful in our endeavors is that we should always be humble in our success, and give the credit for it to God.] 15 Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood. [The Assyrian was only a tool in the hand of God, and therefore should not have vaunted himself against that God.] 16 Therefore shall the Sovereign, Yahweh of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire. 17 And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day; [this is one strong indication that the children of Israel would participate in the destruction of Nineveh, and there are others later in the chapter] 18 And shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standardbearer fainteth. 19 And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them. [Little would be left of the Assyrians.]”
Perhaps the Word of God is using these once-glorious places in Israel as a proverb. For Isaiah had already mentioned these same places on several occasions, and in chapter 33 of his prophecy he wrote a similar oracle naming these same places in connection with the vengeance of Yahweh: “9 The land mourneth and languisheth: Lebanon is ashamed and hewn down: Sharon is like a wilderness; and Bashan and Carmel shake off their fruits. 10 Now will I rise, saith Yahweh; now will I be exalted; now will I lift up Myself.”
Mountains and hills are analogies for nations large and small.
Nahum is referring to the children of Israel who are obedient to their God, indicating that they would be looked after by Him. He is a strong hold in a day of trouble, and therefore keeping His ways one may abide His anger. On the other hand, destruction is certain to those of His enemies.
At verse 11 the Septuagint has the future tense of the verb: “Out of you shall proceed a device against Yahweh, counselling evil things hostile to Him.”
In 2 Kings chapters 18 and 19 there is the account of the Assyrian officer who blasphemed Yahweh the God of Israel, which is representative of Assyrian pride and insolence that is illustrated here in Nahum.
From 2Kings 18:17-34
The people worshiped other gods in the high places, but Hezekiah put a stop to that, apparently they worshiped Yahweh in those high places instead.
Basically demanding a tribute of soldiers.
However the response of Hezekiah to this blasphemy of the Assyrians was humble, for he cared not for his own reproach, but that the Assyrians reproached his God, and rather than respond with his own words Hezekiah appealed to his God. This helps to clarify the account of 2 Kings chapter 20, that Hezekiah's illness and his repentance coincided with the events of Sennacherib's siege of Jerusalem, rather than following it. (mainstream belief is that it follows the seige)
While this event with Rabshakeh and Hezekiah is from a somewhat earlier time than Nahum's, it nevertheless represents the pride of Assyria for which the Assyrians would be destroyed. It also seems to be the first affliction of Judah which Nahum infers in verse 9, which is also referred to in verse 12:
Assyria would not take Jerusalem. Hezekiah's allegiance (faith) with Yahweh preserved them.
Verse 15 is chapter 2 in the Hebrew.
The reference to the wicked who “shall no more pass through you” is not a reference to sinful people, although it may be prophetic of that if Judah had indeed repented and continued in the ways of Yahweh their God. But in the immediate context here it must be a reference to the Assyrians themselves, who in the opening of this prophecy were explicitly called the adversaries and enemies of Yahweh.
Nahum 2:1 (2:2)
The emptiers are the Assyrians, and this is a reference to the earlier deportations of Israel. “He that dasheth in pieces is come up before your face” because the Assyrians had once again come to Jerusalem, apparently when Manasseh (Hezekiah's son) was taken captive.
The following is from the Encyclopedia Britannica article on Nineveh: “From the ruins it has been established that the perimeter of the great Assyrian city wall was about 7.5 miles long and in places up to 148 feet wide; there was also a great unfinished outer rampart, protected by a moat, and the Khawṣar River flowed through the centre of the city to join the Tigris on the western side of it.” With this description, Nahum 2:6 may be better understood.
The meaning seems to be that the people of Nineveh shall disappear as a pool of water is breached and cannot stay in its place.
Again, from later in Isaiah chapter 10 where the destruction of Assyria was also prophesied: “24 Therefore thus saith Yahweh GOD of hosts, O My people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite you with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against you, after the manner of Egypt. 25 For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and Mine anger in their destruction. 26 And Yahweh of hosts shall stir up a scourge for him according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb: and as his rod was upon the sea, so shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt. 27 And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off your shoulder, and his yoke from off your neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.” This certainly indicates that the children of Israel would play a significant role in the destruction.
This is after Jonah warned Nineveh. They returned to wickedness and was going to be destroyed.
The Hebrew word for wellfavoured does not indicate favor which comes from God. Rather, in order to make a comparison Nahum insinuates that Nineveh is, allegorically, an attractive whore.
The two great mounds where the ruins of Nineveh are found continue to attest to the perfection of the Word of Yahweh.
The reference to No is a reference to the city in Egypt called Amon-No, which is also known as Thebes.
The reference is to No (Thebes) in verse 8 and not to Nineveh, which is being addressed. Therefore the rendering of the last clause as it is found in the NAS version is more accurate: “Put and Lubim were among her helpers.” Thebes stood against Assyria with the help of these surrounding nations, yet it was nevertheless destroyed by the Assyrians, and the prophet is using its example as a warning to the Assyrians themselves.
Here Nahum continues to refer to No, or Thebes in Egypt, as a warning to Assyria.
Rendering the final phrase “because of an enemy” would have been better in consideration of both context and grammar, because there is no definite article in the Hebrew. The Septuagint Greek has only “because of enemies”, where Brenton added a pronoun and wrote “because of your enemies.”
Durogatory statement that the powerful men were as women.
In the prophecies of Hosea and Amos, Yahweh chastised the children of Israel for the whoredom of international trade. Nineveh is portrayed here in that same manner, as is the whore of Babylon in the Revelation, chapter 18. The stars of heaven often refer to the people of God in scripture, and Nineveh certainly multiplied her merchants above the children of Israel. Ostensibly, all of history's great empires were built for the sake of the world's merchants.
Where it says that “the cankerworm spoileth, and flieth away”, it is evident that once the damage is done, those who caused it would not be found. Nineveh was not taken over. Rather it was destroyed and those who destroyed it had left for good.
The references to insects here present a different analogy. The mighty warriors of Assyria will flee before their enemies like grasshoppers when the time comes that Nineveh falls.
While after the fall of Nineveh there were scatterings of Assyrian people in diverse places, there were no longer any great Assyrian peoples, and the national identity was completely destroyed.
NAHUM – CHURCH DOCTRINE VS. SCRIPTURE
Below are 3 sources of what the modern churches preach today about the book of Nahum.
The purpose is to expose the apostasy and perversion of the scriptures, and to educate our people about the truth of our heritage. That we, the anglo-saxon race who are the descendants of ancient Israel, are the people of Abraham's seed and therefore the heirs of the promises of Yahweh. Not the Jews who distort and pervert the scriptures and teach the 'traditions of men'.
The book of Nahum is a Prophetic Oracle. The prophet Nahum wrote it approximately 663-612 B.C. just before the fall of Nineveh in 612 B.C. He was raised up to preach God’s judgment for a second time to Nineveh. Jonah was the first about 120 years earlier.
Its purpose is to pronounce the final warning and judgment upon Nineveh, and he also addresses the rest of the Assyrian empire. They returned to wickedness shortly after they repented back in Jonah’s day. They would neglect Nahum and his message.
Within fifty years, Nineveh would be completely decimated and utterly wiped from the face of the Earth.
• In chapter 1, Nahum warns of Judgment, and describes the awesome power of God, “Mountains quake because of Him and the hills dissolve; indeed the earth is upheaved by His presence, the world and all the inhabitants in it” (1:5). He then goes on to encourage a hope for the Southern Kingdom because of the coming judgment of Nineveh. “Thus says the LORD, "Though they are at full strength and likewise many, Even so, they will be cut off and pass away. Though I have afflicted you, I will afflict you no longer” (1:12).
• Chapter 2-3, Nahum predicts the annihilation of Nineveh, “And it will come about that all who see you will shrink from you and say, 'Nineveh is devastated! Who will grieve for her?' Where will I seek comforters for you?” (3:7). It was damaged so severely that it was lost in time. It wouldn’t be until the 19th century that the remains of Nineveh would be identified.
Summary of the Book of Nahum
The book contains the "vision of Nahum" (1:1), whose name means "comfort" and is related to the name Nehemiah, meaning "The Lord comforts" or "comfort of the Lord." (Nineveh's fall, which is Nahum's theme, would bring comfort to Judah.) Nothing is known about him except his hometown (Elkosh), and even its general location is uncertain.
In 3:8-10 the author speaks of the fall of Thebes, which happened in 663 b.c., as already past. In all three chapters Nahum prophesied Nineveh's fall, which was fulfilled in 612. Nahum therefore uttered this oracle between 663 and 612, perhaps near the end of this period since he represents the fall of Nineveh as imminent (2:1; 3:14,19). This would place him during the reign of Josiah and make him a contemporary of Zephaniah and the young Jeremiah.
Assyria (represented by Nineveh, 1:1) had already destroyed Samaria (722-721 b.c.), resulting in the captivity of the northern kingdom of Israel, and posed a present threat to Judah. The Assyrians were brutally cruel, their kings often being depicted as gloating over the gruesome punishments inflicted on conquered peoples. They conducted their wars with shocking ferocity, uprooted whole populations as state policy and deported them to other parts of their empire. The leaders of conquered cities were tortured and horribly mutilated before being executed (see note on 3:3). No wonder the dread of Assyria fell on all her neighbors!
About 700 b.c. King Sennacherib made Nineveh the capital of the Assyrian empire, and it remained the capital until it was destroyed in 612. Jonah had announced its destruction earlier (Jnh 3:4), but the people put on at least a show of repentance and the destruction was temporarily averted (see Jnh 3:10 ). Not long after that, however, Nineveh reverted to its extreme wickedness, cruelty and pride. The brutality reached its peak under Ashurbanipal (669-627), the last great ruler of the Assyrian empire. After his death, Assyria's influence and power waned rapidly until 612, when Nineveh was overthrown (see notes on 1:14; 2:1). (Further historical information is given in notes throughout the book.)
The focal point of the entire book is the Lord's judgment on Nineveh for her oppression, cruelty, idolatry and wickedness. The book ends with the destruction of the city.
According to Ro 11:22, God is not only kind but also stern. In Nahum, God is not only "slow to anger" (1:3) and "a refuge . . . for those who trust in him" (1:7), but also one who "will not leave the guilty unpunished" (1:3). God's righteous and just kingdom will ultimately triumph, for kingdoms built on wickedness and tyranny must eventually fall, as Assyria did.
In addition, Nahum declares the universal sovereignty of God. God is Lord of history and of all nations; as such, he controls their destinies.
Who wrote the book?
The only mention in Scripture of Nahum the Elkoshite occurs in the first verse of his own book. While scholars have proposed a number of theories about Nahum’s hometown, Elkosh, the best option identifies it with a city in southern Judah that later came to be known as Elcesi, near where the prophet Micah lived. Nahum’s prophecy against the city of Nineveh would have been significant for the people of Judah, who would have needed encouragement in the face of the terrifying power of the Assyrian Empire.
Where are we?
The book of Nahum mentions the recent fall of No-amon, or Thebes, which occurred in 663 BC (Nahum 3:8), as well as the coming destruction of Nineveh, which happened in 612 BC (1:1; 3:11–15). But when, during this more than fifty-year period, did Nahum preach? The Assyrian Empire, which had its capital at Nineveh, was at its most powerful in the first half of this period, having a stranglehold on Judah during King Manesseh’s reign (2 Chronicles 33:10–13). Also, while the book of Nahum mentions the destruction of Thebes, it does not mention its reconstruction, which took place in 654 BC. This leads us to date Nahum’s prophecy between the years of 663 and 654 BC.
Nahum preached during the reign of King Manesseh, one of the most evil kings in Judah’s long history, a man who needed the pain of his own experience to teach him the lessons of being a good king. Commentator J. Barton Payne suggests that Manasseh’s great conversion took place late in his reign, around 648 BC, a mere half-dozen years before his death.¹ That means Nahum preached during the darkest period in Judah’s history to that point, a time filled with idolatry of all kinds in a nation that had completely turned its back on God. The Lord’s willingness to send Nahum, whose name means “comfort,” into such a hopeless situation evidences His unrelenting and overwhelming grace.²
Why is Nahum so important?
Nahum’s singular focus on the impending judgment of Nineveh offers a continuation of the story that began in Jonah. Sometime around 760 BC, God sent Jonah to Nineveh to preach repentance and hope to the Assyrian people, a message they heard and adopted—at least for a time. One hundred years later, during the time of Nahum, the Assyrians had returned to their bullish ways, conquering the northern kingdom of Israel and lording their power over Judah in the south (2 Kings 17:1–6; 18:13–19:37). Jonah failed to realize what Nahum reminded the people of Judah: God’s justice is always right and always sure. Should He choose to grant mercy for a time, that good gift will not compromise the Lord’s ultimate sense of justice for all in the end.
What's the big idea?
After allowing approximately two hundred years of powerful Assyrian kings and rulers, God announced through Nahum His plans to judge the city of Nineveh. While the book as a whole clearly shows God’s concern over sin, His willingness to punish those guilty of wickedness, and His power to carry out His desire for judgment, it also contains rays of hope shining through the darkness. Most significant, the people of Judah would have immediately taken hope in the idea that Nineveh, their primary oppressor for generations, would soon come under judgment from God. Also, a small but faithful remnant in an increasingly idolatrous Judah would have been comforted by declarations of God’s slowness to anger (Nahum 1:3), His goodness and strength (1:7), and His restorative power (2:2).
How do I apply this?
No doubt we all have felt overwhelmed by the darkness both within ourselves and in our world. Nahum lived in a dark time, a time in which the faithful few must have wondered how long they would have to resist cultural and spiritual compromise.
Have you ever found your will to do what’s right weakening as you became discouraged with what you saw in your life and in the world around you? The prophet Nahum reminds us of God’s active hand, working even in the darkest of times to bring justice and hope throughout the world.
One lesson to learn from Nineveh, which was 'saved' once before, but destroyed, is that the “church” doctrine of “once saved, always saved” is not scriptural.