The Book of Nahum Bible Study Chapter 1 Part 3 and Chapter 2 Part 1

We go on to Nahum 1:15 and Nahum 2:1-7

1:15: This is verse 15 of chapter 1 in the English Bible but is the first verse of chapter 2 in the Tanakh.  It is very similar to the verse found in Isaiah 52:7 where there is a great proclamation of the gospel. Here, however, the proclamation has to do with the fact that G-d judges the enemies of Israel. G-d is slow to anger but He is also faithful to His Word. Though it may take time, His judgement will fall. Chapter 2 is a powerful testimony to that truth. 

  • Mountains: In many places throughout the Bible, mountains speak prophetically of the nations/seats of government. In Isaiah 52:7 the gospel was presented to the nations. In the same way, God’s judgement of Israel’s enemies, and the deliverance of His people, will be proclaimed throughout the world. 
  • Good tidings: This speaks of the proclamation of good news. This includes the good news of redemption (spiritual salvation) or the good news of deliverance (physical salvation). This verse announces to us G-d’s promise to deliver Israel – in this case the southern kingdom of Judah. G-d’s deliverance is not simply for the sake that Israel does not suffer, but in order that she might be freed to worship, and act in faithfulness toward, Him. She is again given the ability to fulfil her obligations and unique call placed upon her by G-d. 
  • The wicked one: The evil counsellors wanted the wicked activity to keep on going. In 2 Kings 18 and 19 we read how the Assyrians mocked, threatened and brought fear to those living in Jerusalem. Judah is no longer going to have to listen to her enemies threaten her or fill her with fear. 

2:1: The Assyrians were instructed to get ready to fight Babylon. Their preparedness was in vain. Babylon was going to triumph over them.

v2: Excellence: In the book of Jeremiah (Jer 13:9-10), the ‘pride’ refers to the temple. This verse talks about the restoration of temple worship in Jerusalem. People from the northern kingdom will once again come to Jerusalem to worship. They are going to realise that Jerusalem is the pride of G-d’s people – not Samaria.

v3: This is a description of the soldiers of Assyria. Although they were prepared for war and looked perfect, arrayed in splendor, they would be no match for G-d’s judgement as He poured it out, through the Babylonians, upon them.

  • Flaming torches: These chariots were well prepared. 
  • Their (cypress) spears are brandished (going to be made ready)Dipped in poison. 

v4: They were going to be a magnificent army, completely prepared to do battle. However, they would not be able to overcome G-d’s judgement. 

v5: They were going to go into battle but would have to retreat to the walls to take cover/hide under them. 

  •  Defence: Protective shield. In Hebrew this is the same word that is used for the covering of the Sukkah or the booth used at the Feast of Tabernacles. This was a temporary shelter, a shack, that was built for a short period of time (eg over harvest time) and then was abandoned when it was no longer needed (no longer had a purpose).

v6: Opened: Opened up like a flood gate

  • The palace is dissolved: Referring to the palace of Nineveh. 

v7: Lead her (empires, in Hebrew are always written in the feminine – hence the feminine pronoun) as with the voice of doves:  Their cries sounded like the sad moaning sound that is synonymous with the sound of a dove. 

  • Beating their breasts: They were so grieved that they beat their chests. 

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