Nahum 2 (NIV)
Nineveh to Fall
“This chapter is a masterpiece of ancient literature, unsurpassed for its graphic portrayal of a military assault.”
–James Montgomery Boice
An attacker advances against you, Nineveh.
Guard the fortress,
watch the road,
marshal all your strength!
2 The Lord will restore the splendor of Jacob
like the splendor of Israel,
though destroyers have laid them waste
and have ruined their vines.
3 The shields of the soldiers are red;
the warriors are clad in scarlet.
The metal on the chariots flashes
on the day they are made ready;
the spears of juniper are brandished.
4 The chariots storm through the streets,
rushing back and forth through the squares.
They look like flaming torches;
they dart about like lightning.
5 Nineveh summons her picked troops,
yet they stumble on their way.
They dash to the city wall;
the protective shield is put in place.
Ninevah’s wall, which was almost 8 miles long with 15 gates, was surrounded by a moat 150 feet wide. The moat had to be filled before attackers could reach the city wall. The “protective shield” refers to a large defensive shelter covered with hides to deflect stones and arrows. (The Archaeological Study Bible)
6 The river gates are thrown open
and the palace collapses.
7 It is decreed that Nineveh
be exiled and carried away.
Her female slaves moan like doves
and beat on their breasts.
8 Nineveh is like a pool
whose water is draining away.
“Stop! Stop!” they cry,
but no one turns back.
9 Plunder the silver!
Plunder the gold!
The supply is endless,
the wealth from all its treasures!
If you love ships and the sea, this poem (with a reference to the wealth of Nineveh) will delight you.
–British poet John Masefield (1878-1967)
Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.
Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
With a cargo of diamonds,
Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.
Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.
10 She is pillaged, plundered, stripped!
Hearts melt, knees give way,
bodies tremble, every face grows pale.
11 Where now is the lions’ den,
the place where they fed their young,
where the lion and lioness went,
and the cubs, with nothing to fear?
The lion is an appropriate image for Assyria, which was known for its viciousness. Ninevah itself contained numerous lion sculptures. (The Archaeology Study Bible)
12 The lion killed enough for his cubs
and strangled the prey for his mate,
filling his lairs with the kill
and his dens with the prey.
13 “I am against you,”
declares the Lord Almighty.
“I will burn up your chariots in smoke,
and the sword will devour your young lions.
I will leave you no prey on the earth.
The voices of your messengers
will no longer be heard.”
“I am against you” — what frightening words from God! They are the opposite of the good news of salvation, “I will be with you.”
Isaiah 43:2-3 (ESV)
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Though there is danger and dismay all around, the Jews hear God’s promise that He is their rescuer and restorer, and that this time will serve a good purpose towards their future. Are you in the middle of a disaster or a storm now? God’s care is holding you even now, and you can trust Him to bring you to the other side of it. God says to you: I will be with you.
HERE is Ginny Owens and “If you want me to.”