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Old Testament Survey

Nahum




Key Verses

1:7, 8
3:5


Key Chapters

Chapter 1


Key Concepts

Avenging, Vengeance


Thoughts for Reading

God is faithful.
Sin is, and will, be punished.


Nahum 1:3
The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.

Title -- Author

Nineveh was so destroyed that in the second century A.D., there was no certainty as to the city’s actual location.

Nahum identifies himself as an Elkoshite. This is most likely the town from which the prophet comes. However, the location of this town is not known. His name means "consolation" or "comfort." This fits his message since Nahum preaches on the destruction of Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, the nation which carried the Northern kingdom into captivity. This dates the message as occurring before 612 B.C., the actual date of Nineveh’s destruction by a Babylonian / Medes alliance. The book talks of the Assyrian destruction of the Egyptian city of Thebes (3:8), an event which occurred in 663 B.C. This, then, sets the time frames for this prophet. It is likely that the actual message was delivered within ten years or so of the conquest of Thebes, so the book dates to 663-654 B.C. The later date is tied to the concept of delivering the prophecy prior to the rebuilding of Thebes.

On the other hand, many read Nahum to be saying that the fall of Nineveh is imminent (2:1; 3:14, 19), interpreting this to mean “shortly” in human terms. This would place the prophet much closer to the 612 B.C. date. Of course, the return of Jesus is imminent and there has been a two thousand year wait so far. The older date gives more historical force to the prophecy.

Nahum’s message sounds much like that of Jonah, which was delivered some 150 years earlier. While the people of Jonah’s day may have repented, the city has again fallen away.

PURPOSE

Nahum’s prophecy is clearly a judgment on Nineveh and Assyria. What is interesting is that, unlike the other prophets, there is no similar condemnation upon Judah. This message is clearly a message of comfort for Judah. The clear message is that God is in control and will fight for His people. This is a principle frequently encountered in the Old Testament history books.

Nahum 1:7-8
The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. 8But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies.

A simple outline of Nahum is:

Jesus in Nahum

This book contains no direct or indirect prophecies about Christ. However, with the understanding that all Scripture is about or points to Jesus, one may see Christ as Nahum’s Judge, the jealous God and avenger of His adversaries (1:2).

To be effective, repentance must be from the heart.

Has your’s been that deeply desired?

Or, has your repentance been a mere ritual?

 

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December 15, 2019

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