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Bible Commentaries

Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Nahum 1

Verse 1

burden . Compare Isaiah 13:1 Isaiah 27:13 . See the Structure, p. 930), and Habakkuk. = A prophetic oracle: or, the prophetic doom of Nineveh, written about ninety (603-514 = B.C.) years before Nineveh's doom; and while the Assyrian Empire was at its height. The doom of Nineveh came therefore 176 years after Jonah's mission. The prophecy was addressed to Nahum's own People, but as a menace to Nineveh.

Nineveh . This heading is not "undoubtedly by a later hand", as alleged. The words "the place thereof" (Nahum 1:8 ) would be unintelligible without it. Nineveh is not mentioned again until Nahum 2:8 ; and is only hinted at elsewhere (Nahum 3:1 , Nahum 3:18 ). The Structure below is the best commentary.

vision . Like Isaiah, always one whole. Not written before or separately from, its deliverance.

Nahum = the compassionate, or consoler. The name refers back to Jehovah's compassion connected with Jonah's mission eighty-seven years before. Nothing is known of Nahum beyond his book.

Elkoshite . Hebrew. 'Elkoshi. A village of this name exists to-day, twentyfour miles north of Nineveh (now Konyunjik). See Layard's Nineveh and its Remains, i. p. 233.

Verse 2

GOD . Hebrew El. App-4 .

jealous . Reference to Pentateuch (Exodus 20:5-7 . Deuteronomy 4:24 ). App-92 . See the Structure (book comments for Nahum), and note the subjects of "A" and "A"; "B" and "B"; "C" and "C".

the LORD . Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4 . Note the Figure of speech Epizeuxis ( App-6 ), for great emphasis.

revengeth = avengeth.

is furious = a possessor of wrath. Hebrew "lord of wrath".

take vengeance on = be an Avenger to.

wrath . Figure of speech Ellipsis (Absolute). App-6 .

for = against.

Verse 3

slow to anger = long-suffering. Reference to Pentateuch (Ex. Nah 34:6 , Nah 34:7 ). App-92 . Hebrew "Long of anger". The opposite of Proverbs 14:17 . Compare Jonah 4:2 .

great . Compare Job 9:4 ; and see the Structure "-3-5", above.

will not, &c . Reference to Pentateuch (Exodus 34:7 . Numbers 14:18 ).

acquit = clear, or hold guiltless.

Verse 4

He rebuketh the sea . Reference to Pentateuch (Exodus 14:0 .) Compare Psalms 106:9 .

and drieth up, &c . Compare Joshua 4:23 .Psalms 74:15 .

Verse 5

The mountains quake, &c . Compare Micah 1:3 , Micah 1:4 .

burned = upheaved.

world . Hebrew. tebel = the world as inhabited.

Verse 6

abide = stand up. Compare Jeremiah 10:10 . Malachi 3:2 .

Verse 7

good . See the Structure "7", above. Compare 1 Chronicles 16:34 .Psalms 100:5 .Jeremiah 33:11 .Lamentations 3:25 .

strong hold = a place of safety.

He knoweth, &c . Compare Psalms 1:6 . 2 Timothy 2:12 .

trust in = flee for refuge to. Hebrew. hasah. App-69 .

Verse 8

But, &c. Note the transition in Nahum 1:8 , which is explained by the Structure "8", above.

the place thereof . Hebrew her place: i.e. Nineveh's. See note on title above (Nahum 1:1 ).

Verse 9

imagine = devise. Compare Psalms 2:1 .

affliction = distress, or trouble; Hebrew. zarar , as in Nahum 1:7 , i.e. the trouble that now threatens Nineveh.

the second time . Referring to the rising up after Jonah's proclamation. Compare "rise", Jeremiah 51:64 . Same word as "abide", Nahum 1:6 , above.

Verse 10

folden = entangled.

thorns . The emblem of hostile armies (Isaiah 10:17 ; Isaiah 27:4 ).

Verse 11

of. Genitive of Origin. App-17 .

thee: i.e. Nineveh (feminine)

evil . Hebrew. ra'a . App-44 .

a wicked counsellor = a counselor of Belial. The counsellor probably = Rabshakeh; and Belial = Sennacherib. See note on p. 1261.

Verse 12

quiet = secure.

cut down = cut down (like dry stubble).

when he, &c . Reference to Pentateuch (Exodus 12:12 ). Compare Isaiah 8:8 . Daniel 11:10 .

-12 Though, &c . = And [now, O Judah], &c. Through not seeing the Structure and the change of subject at "-12-14", modern critics say "the first part of this verse is certainly more or less corrupt"; and they alter the Hebrew text to make it agree with the last clause, the subject changing there to the removal of evil from Judah.

thee: i.e. Judah (Nahum 1:13 ).

Verse 13

will I break, &c . Reference to Pant. (Genesis 27:40 ). App-92 .

his yoke . Some codices read "his rod".

Verse 14

no more of thy name, &c. : i.e. the dynasty of Nineveh should end.

make = make [it]: i.e. "the house of thy gods".

grave = sepulchre. Hebrew. keber . See note on Genesis 23:4 . App-35 .

vile = despicable. Compare Isaiah 37:37 , Isaiah 37:38 .

Verse 15

Behold . Figure of speech Asterismos ( App-6 ), for emphasis, calling attention to the reference to Isaiah 52:7 , the the hypotheticalsecond Isaiah, 100 years before he is supposed by modern critics to have lived.

keep thy solemn feasts. Figure of speech. Polyptoton. App-6 . Hebrew "feast thy solemn feasts" : used for great emphasis. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 16:16 , &c.; Nah 23:21 , &c). App-92 .

the wicked . Hebrew [the man of] Belial . See note on Nahum 1:11 .

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Nahum 1". "Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bul/nahum-1.html. 1909-1922.