The Vision of Nahum

Chapter 3

The miserable ruin of Nineveh, 1-19.

Woe to the bloody city!/
It is all full of lies and robberies./
The prey does not depart.

The noise of a whip and the noise of the rattling of the wheels,/
of the prancing horses, and of the bounding chariots!

The horseman mounting,/
the flashing sword, and the glittering spear!/
There is a multitude of slain and a great number of carcasses,/
and there is no end of their corpses./
They stumble upon their corpses,

All because of the multitude of the lewd deeds of the well-favored harlot,/
the mistress of witchcrafts,/
who sells nations through her lewd deeds/
and families through her witchcrafts.

"Behold, I am against you," says the LORD of hosts,/
"and I will lift your skirts over your face/
and I will show the nations your nakedness/
and the kingdoms your shame.

And I will cast abominable filth upon you and make you vile/
and will set you as a spectacle.

And it shall come to pass, that all those who look upon you/
shall flee from you/
and say, 'Nineveh is laid waste!/
Who will bemoan her?'/
From where shall I seek comforters for you?"

Are you better than No-Amon/
that was situated among the rivers,/
that had the waters around it,/
whose rampart was the sea and her wall was from the sea?

Cush and Egypt were her strength, and it was infinite./
Put and Lubim were your helpers.

10 Yet she was carried away./
She went into captivity./
Her young children also were dashed in pieces/
at the head of all the streets./
And they cast lots for her honorable men,/
and all her great men were bound in chains.

11 You also shall be drunken./
You shall be hid./
You also shall seek strength/
because of the enemy.

12 All your strongholds shall be like fig-trees with the first ripe figs./
If they are shaken, they shall even fall into the mouth of the eater.

13 Behold, your people in the midst of you are women./
The gates of your land shall be set wide open to your enemies./
The fire shall devour your bars.

14 Draw waters for the siege./
Fortify your strongholds./
Go into clay and tread the mortar./
Make the brick-kiln strong.

15 The fire shall devour you there./
The sword shall cut you off./
It shall eat you up like the licking-locust./
Make yourself many as the licking-locust./
Make yourself many as the swarming-locust.

16 You have multiplied your merchants/
above the stars of heaven/
The licking-locust strips and flies away.

17 Your crowned ones are as the swarming-locusts,/
and your captains as the swarms of locusts,/
which settle in the hedges on the cold day./
But when the sun arises they flee away,/
and the place where they are is unknown.

18 Your shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria./
Your nobles shall dwell in the dust./
Your people are scattered upon the mountains/
and no man gathers them.

19 There is no healing of your breach./
Your wound is grievous./
All who hear your fame shall clap the hands over you./
For upon whom has your wickedness not passed continually?


Matthew Henry Commentary - Nahum, Chapter 3[➚]


John Gill's Chapter Summary:

In this chapter is contained the prophecy of the destruction of Nineveh, and with it the whole Assyrian empire; the causes of which, besides those before mentioned, were the murders, lies, and robberies it was full of (verse 1); for which it should be swiftly and cruelly destroyed (verses 2-3); as also its lewdness and witchcrafts, or idolatry, by which nations and families were seduced (verse 4); and hence she should be treated as a harlot, her nakedness exposed, and she cast out with contempt, and mocked at by all (verses 5-7); and all those things she placed her confidence in are shown to be of no avail; as her situation and fortresses, as she might learn from the case of No-Amon (verses 8-12); nor the number of her inhabitants, which were weak as women; nor even her merchants, captains, nobles, and king himself (verses 13-18); nor the people she was in alliance with, who would now mock at her, her case being irrecoverable and incurable (verse 19).

[v.3] - "the flashing sword, and the glittering spear" - Literally, "flame of the sword, and lightning of the spear."

[v.6] - "and will set you as a spectacle" - This can also be read as, "and will make you an example."

[v.15a] - "licking-locust" - The licking-locust (called the canker-worm in the KJV) is in the Hebrew language called this because of its licking up the fruits of the earth, by which the land becomes barren. The licking-locust is also known as the devourer.

[v.15b] - "swarming-locust" - The swarming-locust (sometimes just called the locust) were known for their vast increase, the multitude they bring forth and the large numbers in which they appear.

[v.16] - "licking-locust" - See the note for verse 15.

[v.17] - "swarming-locusts" - See the note for verse 15.

[v.19] - "All who hear your fame shall clap the hands over you" - From the Pulpit Commentary: "All who hear of your destruction will rejoice over it (Psalm 47:1; Lamentations 2:15)."