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The Doom of Nineveh
1-7. Another threat against Nineveh, showing that disaster has come upon her on account of her sins. The keynote of the whole chapter is the fierce cry, Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies, etc. In ancient states the capital was virtually the kingdom, and to Nineveh are here ascribed all the characteristics of the Assyrian monarchy. The cruelties perpetrated by the Assyrians were shocking. Captive princes who had offered resistance in defence of their country were shut up in cages and exposed to the gaze of the populace; the heads of those already executed were hung round the necks of those still living, and others were flayed alive. The Assyrians appear to have been the most ruthless people of antiquity (see Camb. Bible).
2, 3. Picture of the attack made by the enemy’s cavalry and chariots, these instruments of the divine vengeance.
4-7. The reason for this doom, the evil influence which this great empire has exerted among the nations. Jehovah assumes responsibility for the execution of this judgment; He will carry it out to the last extremity.
8-10. Nations and cities quite as proud and strong have fallen when the hour of divine judgment has sounded.
Populous No] RV ’No-Amon,’ i.e. Thebes. See Intro. Rivers] RM ’canals.’ The sea] i.e. the Nile. Her wall, etc.] The Nile was her protection. All the provinces of Egypt helped her (Nahum 3:9).
11. Strength] RV ’a stronghold.’
12-15. The outer defences have fallen; it is the beginning of the end.
14. Go into clay, etc.] make bricks to strengthen the walls.
15-17. Cankerworm.. grasshopper] species of locusts.
16-19. Prosperity and pride have been ’the cankerworm that spoileth,’ so that in the great crisis there is no power of resistance; it is a mortal wound.
18. Thy shepherds slumber] Thy great rulers have passed away. Thy nobles, etc.] RV ’thy worthies are at rest.’
19. No healing of thy bruise] RV ’No assuaging of thy hurt.’ Bruit of thee] i.e. the report of thy downfall.
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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Nahum 3". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 8 / Ordinary 13