Nahum

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Nahum was a minor prophet whose prophecy is recorded in the Tanakh, the Old Testament. His book comes in chronological order between Micah and Habakkuk in the Bible. Nahum's name means "comforter" or “Consolation” or “Consoler”, and he was from the town of Elkoshite, "God the ensnarer".[1]

There is a question as to the time and purpose of this writing. There are those who suggest that his writings are a prophecy written in about 615 BC or they may be an historical account written as a liturgy just after its downfall in 612 BC to remind people lest they forget. The form we now have may be both the result of the Prophecy and subsequent recorded final writing of an earlier prophecy.

He supposedly preached during the reign of King Manesseh, an evil kings in Judah’s long history. Not only did the king need to learn the lessons of being a good king and the people needed to repent of their idolatry in a nation that had completely turned its back on The Way of God. So, this would mean Nahum was written near the end of the Assyrian Empire, and its capital city, Nineveh.[2] and conquering the northern kingdom of Israel and exercising their power over Judah in the south (2 Kings 17:1–6; 2 Kings 18:13 through 2 Kings 19:37).

A great deal of confusion has followed the interpretations of Nahum by men like Calvin. God has created a cause and effect universe and tyrants would have no power to wreak their havoc if the people had not already rejected the way of God and His righteousness as they had done in 1 Samuel 8. Charles L. Taylor, Jr. writes "it is one of the world’s classic rebukes of militarism…. All tyrants are doomed. They make enemies of those whom they attack and oppress; they become corrupt, dissolute, drunken, effeminate; they are lulled into false security… ". [3]

Nahum | Nahum 1 | Nahum 2 | Nahum 3

Preceded by: Micah - Followed by: Habakkuk

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  1. 0512 אֶלְקשִׁי‎ ‘Elqoshiy [el-ko-shee’] patrial from a name of uncertain derivation; adj pr gent; [BDB-49a] [{See TWOT on 90 }] AV-Elkoshite 1; 1 Elkoshite= "God the ensnarer"
    1) a native and/or descendant of Elkosh (location unknown)
  2. III. Message of the book: Nahum single–mindedly proclaims the destruction and doom of Nineveh, the Assyrian capital.
    IV. Nineveh: “The ancient capital of Assyria. First mentioned in Genesis. The country was also called the land of Nimrod by Micah. Balaam prophesied the captivity of Israel by Assyria, and Asaph sings of their alliance with Moab. Jonah was sent to the city about 800 B.C. and Nahum devotes the whole of his book to “the burden of Nineveh,”... Isaiah says that Sennacherib resided in the city; and it was probably the scene of his death, while worshipping in the temple of Nisroch, his god. The last notice of it is by Zephaniah, B.C. 630. Assyria is alluded to as having been destroyed, according to prophesy by Ezekiel, and Jeremiah omits it from the catalogue of all nations. The city is not mentioned in the inscriptions of the Persian dynasty. Herodotus passed very near, if not over, the site of the city, about 200 years after its destruction, but does not mention it, except as having once been there. Xenophon, with his 10,000 Greeks, encamped near the site (B.C. 401) but does not mention its name, although he describes the mounds as they appear now. Alexander marched over the very place and won a great victory at Arbela, in sight of it, but his historians make no note of it. The Emperor Claudius planted a colony there and restored the name Nineve. Tacitus calls it Ninos when taken by Meherdates. On the coins of Trajan it is Ninus and on those of Maximinus it is Niniva; Claudeopolis being added on both coins. Many relics of the Romans have been found; vases, sculptures, figures in bronze and marble, terra-cottas, and coins. The site was again deserted when Heraclius gained a victory over the Persians, A.D. 627. The Arabs named their fort, on the east bank of the Tigris, Ninawi (A.D. 637). The accounts of its immense extent are various and not very reliable. Diodorus Siculus says the dimensions were (according as we estimate his figures, from 32 to 60, or even) 74 miles in circuit. The walls were 100 feet high and wide enough for 3 chariots to drive abreast, flanked by 1500 towers, each 200 feet high (accounts which have not yet been verified). Layard says: ‘If we take the 4 great mounds of Nimrud, Koyunjik, Khorsabad, and Karamles as the corners of a square, it will be found to agree pretty accurately with the 60 miles of Jerodotus, which make the three days’ journey of Jonah.’ Within this space there are many mounds and remains of pottery, bricks, etc. The name of Nineveh is found on the Egyptian monuments of the date of Thothmes III, about 1400 B.C.” (Smith’s Bible Dictionary). Lesson 86: Nahum</Ref Like Amos he did so in a vivid poetic style.
    Nahum’s view of the judgment of Nineveh is a continuation of the story of Jonah who was sent to Nineveh to preach repentance and hope to the Assyrian people who heard and heeded the warning for a time. During the time of Nahum, the Assyrians had returned to their own ways, being conquered by those ways of Balaam[4]