Nineveh’s Great Ungodliness
Verse 1 – Woe to the bloody city! It is all full of lies and robbery. Its victim never departs.
Verse 2 – The noise of a whip and the noise of rattling wheels, of galloping horses, of clattering chariots!
Verse 3 – Horsemen charge with bright sword and glittering spear. There is a multitude of slain, a great number of bodies, countless corpses-they stumble over the corpses –
It appears that Nahum is in the battle, perhaps in a vision. He can hear and see the bodies of the slain in Nineveh.
Verse 4 – Because of the multitude of harlotries of the seductive harlot, the mistress of sorceries, who sells nations through her harlotries, and families through her sorceries.
Like a harlot, Nineveh had used its beauty and prestige to deduce other nations. Then when the other nations relaxed and thought Assyria were their friend, the Assyrians attacked and plundered them. Nineveh was vicious and deceitful.
Verse 5 – “Behold, I am against you,” says the Lord of hosts; “I will lift your skirts over your face, I will show the nations your nakedness, and the kingdoms your shame.
God intends to strip Nineveh of all that they were proud of.
Verse 6 – I will cast abominable filth upon you, make you vile, and make you a spectacle.
Verse 7 – It shall come to pass that all who look upon you, and say, Nineveh is laid waste! Who will bemoan her? Where shall I seek comforters for you?”
Verse 8 – Are you better than No Amon that was situated by the River, that had the waters around her, whose rampart was like the sea, whose wall was like the sea?
Verse 9 – Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength, and it was boundless; Put and Lubin were your helpers.
Verse 10 – Yet she was carried away, she went into captivity; her young children also were dashed to pieces at the head of every street; they cast lots for her honorable men, and all her great men were bound in chains.
The Egyptian children were dashed to pieces by the Assyrians, just as Assyria had recently done to Israel.
Verse 11 – You also will be drunk; you will be hidden ; you also will seek refuge from the enemy. (Made drunk – made to drink the cup of Jehovah’s wrath.)
Verse 12 – All your strongholds are fig trees with ripened figs: If they are shaken, they fall into the mouth of the eater.
Verse 13 – Surely, your people in your midst are women! The gates of your land are wide open for your enemies; fire shall devour the bars of your gates.
The capture of Nineveh will be easy, as if only women were their stronghold.
Verse 14 – Draw your water for the siege! Fortify your strongholds! Go into the clay and tread the mortar! Make strong the brick-kiln!
Verse 15 – There the fire will devour you, the sword will cut you off; it will eat you up like a locust. Make yourself many-like the locust! Make yourself many-like the swarming locusts!
Verse 16 – You have multiplied your merchants more than the stars of heaven. The locusts plunders and flies away.
Verse 17 – Your commanders are like swarming locusts, and your captains like great grasshoppers, which camp in the hedges in a cold day; but when the sun rises they flee away, and the place where they are is not known.
Verse 18 – Your shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria; your nobles rest in the dust. Your people are scattered on the mountains, and no one gathers them.
The shepherds – the leaders slumber – lie in a death sleep – death.
Verse 19 – Your injury has no healing, your wound is severe. All who hear news of you will clap their hands over you, for upon whom has not your wickedness passed continually?
All the nations hated to be ruled by the Assyrians, but they wanted to be like them, powerful and wealthy. But power can be seductive, so watch out when you reach great wealth. Those who lust after power will be powerfully destroyed, as was the Assyrians.