The Vision of Nahum

Chapter 1

The majesty of God in goodness to his people and severity against his enemies, 1-15.

1 [The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.]

God is jealous, and the LORD avenges./
The LORD avenges and has indignation./
The LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries/
and he reserves wrath for his enemies.

The LORD is slow to anger and great in power,/
and will not at all acquit the wicked./
The LORD has his way in the whirlwind and in the storm,/
and the clouds are the dust of his feet.

He rebukes the sea and makes it dry,/
and dries up all the rivers./
Bashan and Carmel languish,/
and the flower of Lebanon languishes.

The mountains quake at him/
and the hills melt./
The earth is upheaved at his presence,/
even the world and all who dwell therein.

Who can stand before his indignation?/
And who can abide in the fierceness of his anger?/
His fury is poured out like fire,/
and the rocks are broken apart by him.

The LORD is good,/
a stronghold in the day of trouble./
And he knows those who trust in him.

But with an over-running flood/
he will make an utter end of the place thereof,/
and darkness shall pursue his enemies.

What do you devise against the LORD?/
He will make an utter end./
Affliction shall not rise up the second time.

10 For while they are tangled together as thorns/
and while they are drunken as drunkards,/
they shall be devoured as fully dried stubble.

11 There is one gone out of you/
who devises evil against the LORD./
He is a wicked counselor.

12 Thus says the LORD:/
"Though they are quiet and likewise many,/
yet thus they shall be cut down,/
and he shall pass away./
Though I have afflicted you,/
I will no longer afflict you.

13 For now I will break his yoke from off you/
and will tear off your bonds."

14 And the LORD has given a commandment concerning you,/
that no more of your name be sown./
"Out of the house of your gods I will cut off/
the engraved image and the molten image./
I will make your grave, for you are vile."

15 Behold upon the mountains the feet of him/
who brings good tidings, who publishes peace!/
O Judah, keep your solemn feasts/
and perform your vows,/
for the wicked shall no longer pass through you./
He is utterly cut off.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Nahum, Chapter 1[➚]


John Gill's Chapter Summary:

This chapter begins with the title of the book, showing the subject matter of it; and describing the penman of it by his name and country (verse 1); which is followed with a preface to the whole book; setting forth the majesty of a jealous and revenging God; the power of his wrath and fury; of which instances are given in exciting tempests; drying up the sea and the rivers; making the most fruitful mountains barren, which tremble before him; and even the whole world, and the inhabitants thereof, his indignation being intolerable; and yet he is slow to anger, good to those who trust in him, whom he knows, and whose protection he is in a time of trouble (verses 2-7). Next the destruction of the Assyrian empire, and of the city of Nineveh, is prophesied of; and is represented as an utter and an entire destruction, and which would come upon them suddenly and without warning, while they were in drunkenness (verses 8-10). A particular person among them is spoken of, described as a designing wicked man, an enemy to the Lord and his people, thought to be Sennacherib king of Assyria (verse 11); from whose evil designs, yoke and bondage, the Jews should be delivered; and he and his posterity be cut off, because of his vileness (verses 12-14); and the chapter is concluded with tidings of joy to Judah, who are exhorted to keep their feasts and perform their vows on this occasion (verse 15).

[v.1] - "Nahum" - Hebrew: ‫‫נ‬‫ח‬‫ו‬‫ם‬‬ (Nakh-oom')—comfort, comforter, or consolation.

[v.2] - "God is jealous, and the LORD avenges" - This can also be read as, "The LORD is a jealous God, and a revenger."

[v.5] - "upheaved" - Literally, "lifted up."

[v.6] - "abide" - Literally, "stand up."

[v.8] - "of the place thereof" - Literally, "of her place." This is referring to Nineveh. The feminine pronoun is used to refer to cities and nations.

[v.11a] - This verse can also be read as, "From you has gone forth a deviser of evil against Yahweh, an impious adviser." The Assyrians are spoken of here. From John Calvin's Commentary: "For why did God threaten the Assyrians with a sudden inundation and with perpetual darkness (verse 8)? The reason is here subjoined,— because they consulted against him and his Church."

[v.11b] - "wicked counselor" - Literally, "counselor of Belial."

[v.12a] - "quiet" - That is, at peace, secure, quiet (John Owen).

[v.12b] - "cut down" - Literally, "shorn."

[v.12c] - "and he shall pass away" - "The last verb is in the singular number, ‫ו‬‫ע‬‫ב‬‫ד‬, 'and he shall pass through' or away, that is, the wicked counselor mentioned in the preceding verse." —John Owen