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by Gary H. Everett
STUDY NOTES ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
Using a Theme-based Approach
to Identify Literary Structures
By Gary H. Everett
THE BOOK OF NAHUM
January 2013 Edition
All Scripture quotations in English are taken from the King James Version unless otherwise noted. Some words have been emphasized by the author of this commentary using bold or italics.
All Old Testament Scripture quotations in the Hebrew text are taken from Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia: With Westminster Hebrew Morphology, electronic ed., Stuttgart; Glenside PA: German Bible Society, Westminster Seminary, 1996, c1925, morphology c1991, in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004.
All New Testament Scripture quotations in the Greek text are taken from Greek New Testament, Fourth Revised Edition (with Morphology), eds. Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, M. Robinson, and Allen Wikgren, Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft (United Bible Societies), c1966, 1993, 2006, in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004.
All Hebrew and Greek text for word studies are taken from James Strong in The New Strong's Dictionary of Hebrew and Greek Words, Nashville: Thomas Nelson, c1996, 1997, in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004.
The Crucifixion image on the book cover was created by the author’s daughter Victoria Everett in 2012.
© Gary H. Everett, 1981-2013
All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced, stored, or transmitted in any form without prior permission of the author.
Foundational Theme How to Serve the Lord with All Our Mind
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF NAHUM
Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures supports the view of the verbal, plenary inspiration of the biblical text of the Holy Scriptures, meaning that every word originally written down by the authors in the sixty-six books of the Holy Canon were God-breathed when recorded by men, and that the Scriptures are therefore inerrant and infallible. Any view less than this contradicts the testimony of the Holy Scriptures themselves. For this reason, the Holy Scriptures contain both divine attributes and human attributes. While textual criticism engages with the variant readings of the biblical text, acknowledging its human attributes, faith in His Word acknowledges its divine attributes. These views demand the adherence of mankind to the supreme authority of the Holy Scriptures above all else. The Holy Scriptures can only be properly interpreted by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, an aspect of biblical scholarship that is denied by liberal views, causing much misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the Holy Scriptures.
Introductory Material - The introduction to the book of Nahum will deal with its historical setting, literary style, and theological framework.  These three aspects of introductory material will serve as an important foundation for understanding God’s message to us today from this divinely inspired book of the Holy Scriptures.
 Someone may associate these three categories with Hermann Gunkel’s well-known three-fold approach to form criticism when categorizing the genre found within the book of Psalms: (1) “a common setting in life,” (2) “thoughts and mood,” (3) “literary forms.” In addition, the Word Biblical Commentary uses “Form/Structure/Setting” preceding each commentary section. Although such similarities were not intentional, but rather coincidental, the author was aware of them and found encouragement from them when assigning the three-fold scheme of historical setting, literary style, and theological framework to his introductory material. See Hermann Gunkel, The Psalms: A Form-Critical Introduction, trans. Thomas M. Horner, in Biblical Series, vol. 19, ed. John Reumann (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Fortress Press, 1967), 10; see also Word Biblical Commentary, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard, and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas, Texas: Word Incorporated, 1989-2007).
“We dare not divorce our study from understanding the historical setting of every passage of Scripture
if we are going to come to grips with the truth and message of the Bible.”
(J. Hampton Keathley) 
 J. Hampton Keathley, III, “Introduction and Historical Setting for Elijah,” (Bible.org) [on-line]; accessed 23 May 2012; available from http://bible.org/seriespage/introduction-and-historical-setting-elijah; Internet.
Each book of the Holy Scriptures is cloaked within a unique historical setting. An examination of this setting is useful in the interpretation of the book because it provides the context of the passage of Scripture under examination. The section on the historical setting of the book of Nahum will provide a discussion on its title, historical background, authorship, date and place of writing, recipients, and occasion. This discussion supports the Jewish tradition that Nahum was the author of the book of Nahum, with him and others recording his prophecies during his public ministry.
I. The Title
II. Historical Background
A. The Biography of Nahum the Prophet - The word Nahum is only used one time in the Old Testament, here in the opening verse of the book. There is also a Nahum (Naum) listed in the genealogy of Jesus in Luke 3:25. The Hebrew name “Nahum” ( נַחוּם ) (H5151) means, “comfort” ( Gesenius, BDB), “comfortable” ( Strong), and is therefore, in a sense, symbolical of the message of the book, which is intended to comfort the oppressed and afflicted people of Judah .
The prophet Nahum is identified as an “Elkoshite” (Nahum 1:1), which Jerome says was a town in Galilee ( Preface to Nahum).  However, Capernaum, the city in Galilee during Jesus' ministry, means, “Village of Nahum.” Some scholars have speculated, but without proof, that this was the ancient home of the prophet Nahum, although born in Elkosh.  The LXX spells Nahum as “ναουμ.” The Greek spelling of Capernaum is Καφαρναουμ. Thus, Nahum's name is spelled the same in both places. Also, Luke 3:25 spells the name Naum as “ναουμ,” again the same.
 Jerome, “Prefaces to the Books of the Vulgate Version of the Old Testament,” The Principle Works of St. Jerome, trans. W. H. Fremantle, G. Lewis, and W. G. Martley, in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series, vol. 6, eds. Henry Wace and Philip Schaff (New York: The Christian Literature Company, 1893), 501.
 Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, Nahum, in A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments, in e-Sword, v. 7.7.7 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), “Introduction.”
Luke 3:25, “Which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Amos, which was the son of Naum , which was the son of Esli, which was the son of Nagge,”
A. Internal Evidence
B. External Evidence - If we look outside of biblical literature for clues to authorship and into other ancient Jewish literature from which much Jewish tradition is found, the Babylonian Talmud says that the men of the great assembly wrote Ezekiel, the Twelve Prophets, Daniel, and the Book of Esther.
“And who wrote all the books? Moses wrote his book and a portion of Bil’am [Numbers, xxii.], and Job. Jehoshua wrote his book and the last eight verses of the Pentateuch beginning: “And Moses, the servant of the Lord, died.” Samuel wrote his book, Judges, and Ruth. David wrote Psalms, with the assistance of ten elders, viz.: Adam the First, Malachi Zedek, Abraham, Moses, Hyman, Jeduthun, Asaph, and the three sons of Korach. Jeremiah wrote his book, Kings, and Lamentations. King Hezekiah and his company wrote Isaiah, Proverbs, Songs, and Ecclesiastes. The men of the great assembly wrote Ezekiel, the Twelve Prophets, Daniel, and the Book of Esther. Ezra wrote his book, and Chronicles the order of all generations down to himself. [This may be a support to Rabh’s theory, as to which, R. Jehudah said in his name, that Ezra had not ascended from Babylon to Palestine until he wrote his genealogy.] And who finished Ezra’s book? Nehemiah ben Chachalyah.” ( Babylonian Talmud, Tract Baba Bathra (Last Gate), 1.Mishna 5) 
 Michael L. Rodkinson, New Edition of the Babylonian Talmud, vol. 13 (New York: New Talmud Publishing Company, 1902), 45.
The date of the writing of the book of Nahum must precede the fall of Nineveh (612 B.C.), which it predicts (Nahum 3:7), and it must come later than the fall of Thebes in 663 B.C., of which it refers (Nahum 3:8). 
 R. F. Youngblood, F. F. Bruce, R. K. Harrison, and Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, rev. ed. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995), in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004), “Nineveh” and “No, No Amon.”
Nahum 3:7, “And it shall come to pass, that all they that look upon thee shall flee from thee, and say, Nineveh is laid waste: who will bemoan her? whence shall I seek comforters for thee?”
Nahum 3:8, “Art thou better than populous No, that was situate among the rivers, that had the waters round about it, whose rampart was the sea, and her wall was from the sea?”
LITERARY STYLE (GENRE)
“Perhaps the most important issue in interpretation is the issue of genre.
If we misunderstand the genre of a text, the rest of our analysis will be askew.”
(Thomas Schreiner) 
 Thomas R. Schreiner, Interpreting the Pauline Epistles, second edition (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, c1990, 2011), 11.
Within the historical setting of the kingdom of Israel, the author of the book of Nahum chose to write using the literary style of the ancient prophetic literature. Thus, the book of Nahum is assigned to the literary genre called “prophecy.” Included in the genre of prophecy are the three books of the Old Testament major prophets and twelve minor prophets.
“Scholarly excellence requires a proper theological framework.”
(Andreas Kösenberger) 
 Andreas J. Kösenberger, Excellence: The Character of God and the Pursuit of Scholarly Virtue (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2011), 161.
Based upon the historical setting and literary style of the book of Nahum, an examination of the purpose, thematic scheme, and literary structure to this book of the Holy Scriptures will reveal its theological framework. This introductory section will sum up its theological framework in the form of an outline, which is then used to identify smaller units or pericopes within the book of Nahum for preaching and teaching passages of Scripture while following the overriding message of the book. Following this outline allows the minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to take his followers on a spiritual journey that brings them to the same destination that the author intended his readers to reach.
VIII. Thematic Scheme
IX. Literary Structure
X. Outline of Book
Clarke, Adam. The Book of the Prophet Jonah. In Adam Clarke's Commentary, Electronic Database. Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc., 1996. In P.C. Study Bible, v. 3.1 [CD-ROM] Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc., 1993-2000.
Gill, John. Nahum. In John Gill’s Expositor. In e-Sword, v. 7.7.7 [CD-ROM] Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005.
Jamieson, Robert. A. R. Fausset, and David Brown. Nahum. In A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments. In e-Sword, v. 7.7.7 [CD-ROM] Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005.
Metzger, Bruce M., David A. Hubbard, and Glenn W. Barker, eds. Word Biblical Commentary. Dallas, Texas: Word Incorporated, 1989-2007.
Cicero. The Treatises of M. T. Cicero on the Nature of the Gods; on Divination; on Fate; on the Republic; on the Laws; and on Standing for the Consulship. Trans. C. D. Yonge. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1853.
Gunkel, Hermann. The Psalms: A Form-Critical Introduction. Trans. Thomas M. Horner. In Biblical Series, vol. 19. Ed. John Reumann. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Fortress Press, 1967.
Jerome. “Prefaces to the Books of the Vulgate Version of the Old Testament.” The Principle Works of St. Jerome. Trans. W. H. Fremantle, G. Lewis, and W. G. Martley. In A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series, vol. 6. Eds. Henry Wace and Philip Schaff. New York: The Christian Literature Company, 1893.
Keathley, III, J. Hampton. “Introduction and Historical Setting for Elijah.” (Bible.org) [on-line]. Accessed 23 May 2012. Available from http://bible.org/seriespage/introduction-and-historical-setting-elijah; Internet.
Kösenberger, Andreas J. Excellence: The Character of God and the Pursuit of Scholarly Virtue. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2011.
Rodkinson, Michael L. New Edition of the Babylonian Talmud, vol. 13. New York: New Talmud Publishing Company, 1902.
Schreiner, Thomas R. Interpreting the Pauline Epistles, second edition. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, c1990, 2011.
Suetonius. The Lives of the Twelve Caesars by Suetonius. Trans. Joseph Gavorse. New York: Modern Library, 1931.
Youngblood, R. F., F. F. Bruce, R. K. Harrison, and Thomas Nelson Publishers. Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, rev. ed. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995. In Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004.
the Third Sunday after Epiphany