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The Lord Was Against Nineveh
God had used Nineveh as His rod to chastise His people, Israel. Now He sends a warning by his prophet that someone was coming to attack and scatter Nineveh. He told them to (1) Guard their fortresses! (2) Watch the road! (3) Be brave! And to (4) Prepare for battle! What a strong prophecy. God told Nineveh to use all possible means of defense; but He warned that it would all be in vain. God's people had been sufficiently chastised and now the Lord is going to restore their power and glory. Fear would fill the hearts of Nineveh in the day of attack when they observed the red shields of the enemy and their uniforms of crimson. The chariots were flashing with metal as preparations were made for battle and the invading soldiers were brandishing their long spears of fir; they were ready for battle.
The Lord was against Nineveh. In vivid details God described the siege and capture of Nineveh. When the enemies came their horses pranced, and their armed chariots darted around like lightning. They ran to and fro and jostled one against another. The king called his nobles to defend Nineveh. In their haste they stumbled over each other as they tried in futility to prepare to defend the city. Nahum even envisioned the invader opening the dam gates on the Tigris River and flooding the city. Nahum even saw the palace washed away. Assyria had destroyed many cities, palaces, and temples, and now they would reap what they had sown. When Nineveh was carried away her women would make mournful sounds and beat their breasts like doves that cooed and flapped their wings
The people of Nineveh would run as their city was flooded with water and none would stop to defend her. The invading solders would plunder Nineveh of her vast wealth. The invading army would empty Nineveh of her treasures, and it would become a desolate wasteland. Nineveh would be like a lion's feeding ground for the Assyrians. Lions killed only what they needed for food. The Assyrians killed simply because they were vicious toward their enemies. Nothing could be worse than the fate of Nineveh. The Almighty God was against them.
The battle is set against Nineveh -- Nah_2:1-4 : This horrible destruction was to come against Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire. They were encouraged to prepare for what they were about to face. Those that had scattered so many others would now be scattered themselves. David wrote, "Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him." ( Psa_68:1 ) They were told to keep the munitions or military equipment, watch the road, gird their loins; collect together all their strength.” They had crushed other and now it was their turn to be afraid. They would be repaid for their cruelty against God's peo-ple. The plunderers had stripped everything from the people of God. Now God restored the majesty of Jacob as the majesty of Israel. God gave Judah the opportunity to prosper as a nation again.
The Babylonian army that would invade Assyria was mighty and strong. The red and scarlet has reference to the appearance of their implements of war. The army was an imposing sight. The chariots would move with such speed in the streets that the swords that were attached to the wheels would appear to be flaming torches. They would be so many in number that they would bump into one another. The Assyrians would come waving their lances, ready for battle.
Resistance to the invasion is futile -- Nah_2:5-7 : The watchmen of Nineveh would announce to the king that they enemy was approaching. Preparation would be made for the battle but it would do no good. Nineveh had a large and strong army, but God was against them. The officers run to defend the walls, but in their haste they stumble in their armor. Once they reach the wall a defense is prepared. However, their efforts were all in vain. The invading army opened the river gates and flooded the city in order to enter and destroy the city and the palace.
The flooding of the city and the destruction of the palace should make them recognize that God is against them. They had taken spoils from many nations that they had plundered in battle. Now their palace, the city and their nation would be destroyed. Huzzab like was a figurative expression for the place where the palace stood. Those that cared for the palace would be lead away in mourning and despair.
Nineveh was plundered -- Nah_2:8-10 : Nineveh is pictured as a large pool of water. This was true because of the many people that were there. The cry for the people was "Stand, Stand!" Instead the people fled in fear and desperation. All hope was gone because God was against them. The pool of people was emptying. Many today are just as they were. They feel that they can ignore God and still be safe and protected from any punishment. The sad truth is that many will learn too late that they should have obeyed God. They only way to prepare for the future is to walk with God.
There was much wealth in the city of Nineveh. The invaders would plunder and take a great store of goods. The only advantage that the people of Nineveh received from the invaders stopping to plunder the city was that more of them had time to escape with their lives. "Nineveh is doomed! Destroyed! Her people tremble with fear; their faces turn pale." Nineveh was empty of inhabitants and of all its treasures. Nineveh had destroyed other cities and now they reap what they have sown.
The destruction of Nineveh will be complete -- Nah_2:11-13 : The leaders of Nineveh are compared to lions. They had been very savage in their treatment of others. Many people had fallen prey to their cruel treatment. They had shown no mercy and now they would receive no mercy. Jesus said, "Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy." ( Mat_5:7 ) If you show no mercy then you will receive no mercy. The gods of idolatry had failed to provide help for Nineveh. The splendor, wealth, glory and power would all be destroyed.
The Almighty said to Nineveh, "Behold, I am against thee, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will burn her chariots in the smoke, and the sword shall devour thy young lions: and I will cut off thy prey from the earth, and the voice of thy messengers shall no more be heard." ( Nah_2:13 ) People had streamed through the gates of Nineveh for centuries to destroy others. Now all those messengers are dead. There is no one to go out through the gate. Literally, what a man sows he will reap. "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." ( Gal_6:7-8 )
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Nahum 2". "Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Seventh Sunday after Easter