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by Editor - Joseph S. Exell
The Preacher’s Complete Homiletic
ON THE BOOKS OF THE
By the REV. JAMES WOLFENDALE
Author of the Commentaries on Deuteronomy and Chronicles
FUNK & WAGNALLS COMPANY
LONDON AND TORONTO
ON THE BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
WITH CRITICAL AND EXPLANATORY NOTES, INDEXES, ETC., BY VARIOUS AUTHORS
THE WRITER. Little is known concerning the Prophet Nahum. He was a native of Elkosh (ch. Nahum 1:1); and prophesied soon after Isaiah and Micah, viz., after the carrying away of the ten tribes by the Assyrians (B. C. 721), and after the destruction of the army of Sennacherib at the walls of Jerusalem (B. C. 712), and before the fall of Nineveh [Wordsworth].
THE BOOK. It is the complement and the counterpart of the book of Jonah, says Pusey. Nineveh repented after Jonah’s preaching, and God was represented as merciful. But in the time of Nahum the city had fallen into violence, and the judgment of God is proclaimed. Nineveh had no more place for repentance, and the Prophet pronounces sentence. Both books form connected parts of one moral history.
CONTENTS. The phrase, “the burden of Nineveh,” intimates that Nineveh is the object of the prophecy. There are three parts. “The first
(1) contains the introduction (1–10) and the theme of the Prophet’s oracle (11–14). The second
(2) sets forth the calamity which should come upon the Assyrian empire. The third
(3) recapitulates the reasons for the judgments that should be thus inflicted, and announces the certainty of their coming. The whole forms one continuous composition.”
STYLE. His poetry puts him in the first rank of Hebrew literature. His sentences are brief, contain multum in parvo, as in the descriptions of God, the siege of Nineveh, and the destruction of No-Ammon. “He is inferior to none of the minor prophets, and scarcely to Isaiah himself, in animation, boldness, and sublimity; or to the extent and proportion of his book, in the variety, freshness, richness, elegance, and force of his imagery. The rhythm is regular and singularly beautiful; and with the exception of a few foreign or provincial words, his language possesses the highest degree of classical purity. His description of the Divine character at the commencement is truly majestic; that of the siege and fall of Nineveh inimitably graphic, vivid, and impressive” [Henderson]. “In the organism of Scripture, Nahum occupies an important position, not so much on account of the theological as of the historical significance of his prophecy. Its theological importance culminates in the representation of God, Jehovah, Sabaoth (cf. Nahum 2:13), as the actual Judge—a representation accurately adapted to the situation of the world; and this description is not essentially different from that in the earliest public writings and those of the preceding prophets” [Lange]. Nahum has also a message to men and nations in these latter days. If having received the message of the Gospel from the Divine Jonah, which is Christ, they fall away by unbelief, as it was predicted by Christ and his Apostles (Luke 18:8; Matthew 24:12; 1 Timothy 4:1), that many do, then they may see their destiny in the prophecy of Nahum, foretelling the misery and shame, confusion, overthrow, and desolation of the great city of Nineveh, which is the prophetic type of the sin and doom of the Infidel form of Anti-Christianism [Wordsworth].
the Fifth Week after Epiphany