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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Nahum 1:7

The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble, And He knows those who take refuge in Him.

Adam Clarke Commentary

The Lord is good - In the midst of judgment he remembers mercy; and among the most dreadful denunciations of wrath he mingles promises of mercy. None that trust in him need be alarmed at these dreadful threatenings; they shall be discriminated in the day of wrath, for the Lord knoweth them that trust in him.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Nahum 1:7". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https: 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The Lord is good: a stronghold in the day of trouble - “Good and doing good,” and full of sweetness; alike good and mighty; good in giving Himself and imparting His goodness to His own; yea “none is good, save God” Luke 18:19; Himself the stronghold wherein His own amy take refuge; both in the troubles of this life, in which “He will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able” 1 Corinthians 10:13, and in that Day, which shall hem them in on every side, and leave no place of escape except Himself.

And He knoweth them that tuust in Him - So as to save them; as Rahab was saved when Jericho perished, and Lot out of the midst of the overthrow and Hezekiah from the host of Sennacherib. He knows them with an individual, ever-present, knowledge. He says not only, “He shall own them,” but He ever “knoweth them.” So it is said; “The Lord knoweth the way of the righteous” Psalm 1:6; “The Lord knoweth the, days of the upright” Psalm 37:18; and our Lord says, “I know My sheep” John 10:14, John 10:27; and Paul, “The Lord knoweth them that are His” 2 Timothy 2:19. God speaks of this knowledge also in the past, of His knowledge, when things as yet were not, “I have known thee by name;” or of loving kindness in the past, “I knew thee in the wilderness” Hosea 13:5, “you alone have I known of all the families of the earth” Amos 3:2, its contrariwise our Lord says, that He shall say to the wicked in the Great Day, “I never knew you” Matthew 7:23. That God, being what He is, should take knowledge of us, being what we are, is such wondrous condescension, that it involves a purpose of love, yea, His love toward us, as the Psalmist says admiringly, “Lord, what is man that Thou takest knowledge of him?” Psalm 144:3.

Them that trust in Him - It is a habit, which has this reward; “the trusters in Him,” “the takers of refuge in Him.” It is a continued unvarying trust, to which is shown this everpresent love and knowledge.

Yet this gleam of comfort only discloses the darkness of the wicked. Since those who trust God are they whom God knows, it follows that the rest He knows not. On this opening, which sets forth the attributes of God toward those who defy Him and those who trust in Him, follows the special application to Nineveh.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Nahum 1:7". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https: 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Nahum 1:7

The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble.

Goodness a stronghold

The great design of religion is to bring us to God and true blessedness. In order to this, there must be full and practical confidence in God,--submission to His providence and law,--unquestioning repose in Himself. The text, though not possessing the form of a promise, is a declaration concerning God Himself, which includes the whole system of promise. Such is God. If such is God, then happy the people that is in such a case; yea, blessed they whose God is the Lord.

I. “The Lord is Good.”

1. The expression reminds us of the absolute goodness of the Divine nature, and especially of the Divine benevolence. Whatever goodness there is in the creature is derived--God is its source; it is limited--in God it is unbounded; dependent--in God it is essential and independent; mutable--in God it is changeless.

2. The active character of the Divine goodness. He “doeth” good. In inanimate creation are displayed His perfections. All living beings look up to God. He universally provides. But we are of more value than many sparrows. And He cares for us.

3. God’s goodness in its suitableness to man’s present condition. He is a sinner. Providential blessings continued. Evil tendencies of sin checked. A wisely ordered scheme of redemption; and hence, forbearance, salvation.

II. “A stronghold in the day of trouble.” Figure forcible in the East, where predatory expeditions are usual. God a “stronghold for defence of His people. Recollect what He is in Himself. All His attributes are employed for the benefit of His people. In the day of trouble they are shut up with God.

III. “He knoweth them that trust in him.” To trust in God implies satisfied persuasion He will be and do as He has said. Two results--we shall seek all good in Him. We shall abide with Him. Trust in God and doing good are ever conjoined--in nature as well as duty. (G. Cubitt.)

The goodness of God in seasons of calamity

This book is “The Burden of Nineveh.” Nahum was contemporary with Hezekiah. The immediate design of the prophecy was to minister comfort to the afflicted and alarmed Jews; for the defeat of the enemies of the Church involves its deliverance. The name of the prophet indicates this design;--it signifies comfort or comforter. The text teaches that the Lord is good, even in seasons of calamity.

1. Such seasons are not only not inconsistent with the Divine goodness, but m various ways manifest it. There is always much affliction in the world. When we suffer under calamities, unworthy thoughts of God are apt to rise within us, and especially suspicions of His goodness. If we indulge these suspicions, they will alienate our hearts from God and His service, and prompt us to impatience, murmuring, and impiety. But they are not inconsistent with God’s goodness. The punishment of transgression is not in consistent with goodness. Days of judgment on us may be merciful warnings, to others. They are often means of delivering and purifying the Church. They are instructors and monitors to future ages.

2. In seasons of calamity the Lord is good, for He reveals Himself to us as a stronghold, and invites us to flee to Him for safety and comfort.

3. In days of trouble the Lord is good, for He affectionately watches over all who honour Him with their trust. (James Stark, D. D.)

The Divine goodness a refuge in trouble

These words have been well compared to a burst of sunshine on a cloudy tempestuous day. The prophet opens his commission with setting forth the terrors of the Lord. But on a sudden this appalling strain ceases. As though impelled by an inward feeling which had obliged him to look around for something to uphold him amid these terrors, he thinks and speaks of the goodness of the Lord.

I. What this goodness is. We are not to understand here the Divine purity, or holiness, but the benevolence, the kindness, the graciousness of the Lord. The goodness of God, taken in this sense, is that perfection of His nature which inclines Him to deal graciously with His creatures; rich and happy in Himself, to give out of His riches and happiness, and make His creatures partakers of them, as far as their different capacities will admit. This goodness of God is, like every other perfection of His nature, infinite. By this I mean, it cannot be added to, it could not be greater. And His is holy goodness. It always moves and acts in conformity with His just and holy nature. Here it is that we make such mistakes in thinking of God. We take one of His attributes, and we look on it alone, as though God had no other attribute but that; and then a mystery comes over His nature and doings. This goodness is also self-moved, spontaneous, free. It requires nothing in us to call it into exercise towards us; it requires nothing whatever out of God to bring it into operation. It is not the Cross and work of the Lord Jesus that makes God good and gracious to us sinners. He was good and gracious to us before. It was God’s love to us that found for us a Saviour. The Cross and mediation of Christ is the way the Divine goodness has opened for itself into our world. It is the channel through which it flows to us, not the fountain whence it takes its rise.

II. What this God of goodness is to His people in the day of their trouble. “A stronghold.” This language conveys the idea of protection and defence. The countries in which the Old Scriptures were written were scenes of almost incessant warfare. Men were continually exposed to hostile inroads and invasions, and were obliged to have fortresses or holds to flee to for security. God is this refuge to the troubled soul in various ways. Sometimes keeping impending trouble off. At other times removing His people out of reach of trouble. More frequently giving them strength to bear their trouble. The prophet here intimates that the Lord’s goodness shall be the stronghold, the strength and the support. The mere thought of His goodness is to be a consolation and a stay.

III. What assurance they who trust Him have that He will be this to them. “He knoweth them that trust in Him. This brings the infinite knowledge of God to bear upon their case. When I make a living Being my refuge, when I fly to Him to protect me, it is clear that He must know I am come to Him for protection, and know too what my dangers are that He may shield me against them. He knows both us and our troubles. It is impossible for words to exaggerate the attention God pays to His suffering people. The mere act of trusting in God seems to be something spoken of here as something like a claim on His attention and care. Then if you are in affliction, encourage yourselves in the Lord your God. He is all-sufficient in Himself. Make Him the centre of your affections, desires, and consolations. Flee to Him to hide you. (C. Bradley.)

God a refuge

At Holyhead there is a splendid breakwater which cost a million and a half of money. Rising thirty feet above the waves it defies their utmost fury. We are not surprised that it should be built on so massive a scale, for in a great storm each wave strikes with the sledge hammer force of three tons to the square foot. Though a hurricane blow, and the sea be mountains high, shipping sheltered behind it ride in perfect safety. This is a type of the security God is to those Who trust Him.

God is our refuge

A heathen could say, when a bird, scared by a hawk, flew into his bosom for refuge, “I will not kill thee, nor betray thee to thine enemy, seeing thou fliest to me for sanctuary”: much less will God either slay or give up the soul that takes sanctuary in His name. (W. Gurnall.)

Secure in God

Readers of Darwin will recall the description he gives of a marine plant which rises from a depth of one hundred and fifty to two hundred feet, and floats on the great breakers of the western ocean. The stem of this plant is less than an inch through; yet it grows and thrives and holds its own against the fierce smitings and pressures of breakers which no masses of rock, however hard, could long withstand. What is the secret of this marvellous resistance and endurance? How can this slender plant face the fury of the elements so successfully, and, in spite of storm and tempests, keep its hold, and perpetuate itself from century to century? The answer has leaped to every lip: It reaches down into the still depths, where it fixes its grasp after the fashion of the instinct that has been put into it, to the naked rocks; and no commotion of the waters can shake it from its fastenings. When a man has deep and inner clingings to God, when the roots of his life go down and take hold on God, mere surface agitation and pressures will not overcome him. He may be floated here and there within a given sweep like a plant bosomed on the sea, and there may be times when it is very rough arid the strain is great, but he will survive it all and preserve his integrity. (F. A. Noble.)

God’s shielding love

Astronomers tell us that every year millions of meteoric bodies make their way towards our earth with a speed many times greater than that of the swiftest cannon-ball. These, beyond doubt, would strike the earth and destroy its inhabitants but for the air which surrounds it, That air, soft and yielding as it seems, offers so powerful a resistance to the swift motion of the falling meteors that they become vaporised through increased heat, and if they reach the earth at all, it is only in the form of minute meteoric dust. This physical fact has its counterpart in the spiritual realm. The influences Of evil which assail the Christian as he goes through the world are often enough to crush and kill in him all spiritual life and joy and beauty, but round about him there is the atmosphere of the Divine love, and that love resists all evil, being as a consuming fire, keeping back from contact with the trusting soul everything that would destroy its purity and blast its blessedness. The love of God is a perfect protection to every Christian believer; with it around us we can walk with untrembling tread, knowing that no “weapon formed against us can prosper,” (Great Thoughts.)

God a refuge

I once heard of a lonely traveller who sought to cross one of the western prairies. The only thing he had to guide him was a path that had been made by other travellers in the rank grass. But he had not gone very far before the snow began to fall, at first in scattered flakes, like large white feathers, but by and by with thick and blinding fierceness. He soon lost every trace of the path along which he travelled. He was lost, bewildered, and as the darkness began to gather around him he was greatly alarmed. He cried out for help, but the wild winds only laughed at him as hey swept by. He was almost in despair when he saw through the blinding flakes a flickering light. Toward it he bent his exhausted energies. Stumbling and falling, over the drifts that had accumulated here and there, he at length came to a settler’s cottage. Can you imagine his thankfulness and joy when-he found the storm behind him, in that friendly hut? He was safe. He was happy. In the moment of greatest peril he had found a refuge. Now that is just what God is to every traveller caught in the storm of life. If you but see the light that streams out from the windows of His palace, of His heart, and follow it, you will be safe from harm. The door of mercy is always open; the fires of His love and forgiveness are always glowing; the welcome which He gives is always abundant.

God’s ways with friends and enemies

The sentiment of the passage is, that the same power which the Almighty displays for the destruction of His enemies, He employs for the protection of His friends.

I. The benignity of the ever-blessed God. “The Lord is good.” Goodness is associated with every idea it is possible to form of the Most High. Goodness is the perfection of His nature, the foundation of His actions, and comprehends all His other attributes, When His goodness supplies the needy, it is bounty; when it visits the miserable, it is pity; when it pardons the guilty, it is mercy; when it performs His promises, it is faithfulness; when it protects our persons, it is His power; when it orders events to our advantage, it is His wisdom; and when it converts and saves the soul, it is His grace. But where shall we look for its especial display? Not in providence but in redemption. His goodness here is love. This love is,--

1. Comprehensive in its objects.

2. Satisfying in its nature.

3. Exalting in its influence.

4. Perpetual in its existence.


1. The distressing period to which the text refers. Such as national calamities; family trouble; soul trouble.

2. The refuge unfolded to our view. A stronghold, i.e., a fortification, a place of strength and defence.

III. The approbation he expresses in their confidence. “He knoweth them that trust in Him.” It is supposed that we betake ourselves to the shelter which Divine goodness provides foe our safety. A refuge, unless it be embraced, is no refuge at all.

1. What is the trust of which the text speaks? It is the fruit of faith.

2. What is the import of the term, “He knoweth them”? It is designed to express a distinguishing and an approving knowledge. He regards their confidence in Him with peculiar favour. (J. B. Good.)

How good God is

Two kinds of persons are spoken of here.

I. Those who are in trouble.

1. Trouble may be the result of our own imprudence. Or perhaps worse, of our sinfulness.

2. It may arise from family or business perplexities. Sometimes trouble is allowed to come and go unheeded. The rod is felt, but not the hand that brought it down. Sometimes trouble is received angrily or peevishly. It is very hard to contend against these feelings.

II. The characters that calmly wait for God; expecting some further development of His mind, and not venturing to judge according to present appearances.

I. Trusting in God supposes there is some occasion for trust. The work of faith is to trust in God when all outward things go wrong, and there is nothing but the Word of God to rely on.

2. Trusting in God is the highest manifestation of real principle.

3. Trusting in God is not an adventure. His revealed will puts a peradventure out of the question. (W. G. Barrett.)

The Lord’s favour to those who trust in Him

The Bible abounds with the most sublime descriptions of God, and represents, in a variety of passages, His awful character and glorious perfections. On reading the description in the passage connected with the text It may appear to contain a contradiction. It may seem to represent the Almighty under two different characters. We may be ready to think that He cannot be at once “a jealous God” and “good, slow to anger.” There is no real difficulty. God is in Himself the same, infinitely glorious in all perfections. The seeming differences in His character arise from the different characters of those with whom He has to deal. In this respect His character, like the cloud which accompanied Israel, has a dark side and a bright side. To His adversaries He is a “jealous God.” To His people He is “rich in mercy.” The description here given--

I. Of the people of God. “They that trust in Him.” Trust is often used for the whole of religion. It signifies a confidence in His power and faithfulness for protection and support, and for a supply of all things necessary to life and godliness. Things which characterise this confidence are--

1. It is habitual.

2. It is practical.

3. It is a patient and persevering trust.

4. It is a solid and well- grounded confidence.

Trust in God must be founded on His promise.

II. Of the favour of God to his people.

1. “The Lord is good.” God is goodness. Even His severity against sin is the effect of His goodness.

2. He is “a stronghold in the day of trouble.” The Lord s people are not exempt from trouble. But if they have peculiar trials they have peculiar support under them.

3. The Lord “knoweth them that are His.” He sees, distinguishes, approves. Especially has He respect to them as putting their trust in Him. He sees the humble confidence with which they repose in His truth and faithfulness. Surely blessed arc the people who make the Lord their trust. (E. Cooper.)

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Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Nahum 1:7". The Biblical Illustrator. https: 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"Jehovah is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that take refuge in him."

It is a characteristic of all God's prophets that, in the very midst of the most terrible announcements of doom and punishment, there always appears the word of hope, encouragement, solace, or reassurance for God's true people. He never forgets them. Whatever disasters may overwhelm humanity, God will look after those who love him and see to it that they will be spared from any type of disaster that could remove them from the earth; but that appears to be a policy regarding particularly the whole body of the redeemed, and not necessarily applicable to each instance of righteousness and service to God. When Herod Agrippa II threatened to exterminate the infant church, God struck him to death at Caesarea; when Jerusalem fell to the Romans, not a Christian lost his life. Forewarned by Christ himself, they fled to Pella. Christ promised to be with his church "always, even unto the end of the world" (Matthew 28:20), echoing exactly the same sentiment expressed here.

Three profound affirmations of the character of God appear in this single verse:

"First, he is inately and inherently good, and can never be associated with the opposite attributes. Secondly, he is the incomparable refuge for his own in times of their distress, "A Bulwark Never Failing," as Luther put it; and third, he knows, in the sense of loving, covenant care, all who have reposed their faith in him."[7]

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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Nahum 1:7". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https: Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

The Lord is good,.... To Israel, as the Targum adds; to Hezekiah and his, people, that betook themselves to him, and put their trust in him; whom he defended and preserved from the king of Assyria, to whom he was dreadful and terrible, destroying his army in one night by an angel; and so delivered the king of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from that terror that had seized them, and that danger they were exposed unto; and so the Lord is good in himself, in the perfections of his nature, in the works of his hands, in all his persons to his people, that fear him, trust in him, and seek him, and wait for him, and on him:

a strong hold in the day of trouble; or, he is "good for a strong hold"F23טוב יהוה למעוז "bonus Dominus ad robur", Burkius; "bonus est Jehovah in arcem", Cocceius. , &c. it was a day of trouble, rebuke, and blasphemy, with Hezekiah and his people, when they were besieged by the army of Sennacherib king of Assyria, and had received from Rabshakeh by his orders a railing and reproaching letter; and then the Lord was a strong hold to them, to whom they betook themselves, and he protected and defended them. The whole time of this life is a time of trouble to the saints, though it is but a day, a short time; in which they meet with much from their own corrupt hearts, and the sin that dwells in them; from Satan and his temptations; from carnal professors, their principles and practices; and from a profane and persecuting world; and from the Lord himself, who sometimes lays his afflicting hand upon them, and hides his face from them; and yet he is their rock and their refuge, their strong tower and place of defence; where they find safety and plenty in all their times of distress and want:

and he knoweth them that trust in him; in his word, as the Targum; and they are such that know him, and are sensible of the vanity of all other objects of trust; who betake themselves to him for shelter and protection; lean and stay themselves upon him, and commit all unto him, and expect all from him: these he knows, loves, and has the strongest affection for; he approves of them, and commends their faith and confidence; he takes notice of them, visits them, and makes himself known unto them, even in their adversity; he owns and acknowledges them as his own, claims his right in them now, and will confess them hereafter; and he takes care of them that they perish not, whoever else do; see Psalm 1:6; he knows the necessities of those that trust in him, as Jarchi; he knows them for their good, takes care of them, provides for, them, and watches over them, as Kimchi. The ancients formerly had their γνωστηρας and μυνητας, "notores"F24Dannhaver, apud Burkium in loc. Vid. Turnebi Adversar. l. 29. c. 36. , such as knew them, and were their patrons and defenders; as when a Roman citizen was condemned to be whipped or crucified in a province where he was not known, and claimed the Roman privileges, such persons were his witnesses and advocates; and thus the Lord is represented as one that knows his people, and is their patron and advocate. The goodness of God expressed in this text is set off with a foil by the terribleness of his wrath and vengeance against his enemies.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Nahum 1:7". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https: 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

The LORD [is] good, h a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.

(h) Lest the faithful should be discouraged by hearing the power of God, he shows them that his mercy appertains to them, and that he has care over them.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Nahum 1:7". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https: 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Here Nahum enters on his special subject, for which the previous verses have prepared the way, namely, to assure his people of safety in Jehovah under the impending attack of Sennacherib (Nahum 1:7), and to announce the doom of Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian foe (Nahum 1:8). The contrast of Nahum 1:7, Nahum 1:8 heightens the force.

he knoweth — recognizes as His own (Hosea 13:5; Amos 3:2); and so, cares for and guards (Psalm 1:6; 2 Timothy 2:19).

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Nahum 1:7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https: 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.

Knoweth — He approves, owns, and preserves them.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Nahum 1:7". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https: 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

The Prophet expresses more clearly here what we referred to in our last lecture, — that God is hard and severe toward refractory men, and that he is merciful and kind to the teachable and the obedient, — not that God changes his nature, or that like Proteus he puts on various forms; but because he treats men according to their disposition. (214) As then the Prophet has hitherto taught us, that God’s wrath cannot be sustained by mortals; so now, that no one might complain of extreme rigor, he, on the other hand, shows that God favors what is right and just, that he is gentle and mild to the meek, and therefore ready to bring help to the faithful, and that he leaves none of those who trust in him destitute of his aid.

First, by saying that God is good, he turns aside whatever might be objected on the ground of extreme severity. There is indeed nothing more peculiar to God than goodness. Now when he is so severe, that the very mention of his name terrifies the whole world, he seems to be in a manner different from himself. Hence the Prophet now shows that whatever he had hitherto said of the dreadful judgment of God, is not inconsistent with his goodness. Though God then is armed with vengeance against his enemies he yet ceases not to be like himself, nor does he forget his goodness. But the Prophet does here also more fully confirm the Israelites and the Jews in the belief, that God is not only terrible to the ungodly, but that, as he has promised to be the guardian of his Church, he would also succor the faithful, and in time alleviate their miseries. Good then is Jehovah; and it is added for help The intention of the Prophet may be hence more clearly understood, when he says that he is for strength in the day of distress; as though he said, — “God is ever ready to bring help to his people:” (215) And he adds, in the day of distress, that the faithful may not think that they are rejected, when God tries their patience by adversities. How much soever then God may subject his people to the cross and to troubles, he still succors them in their distress.

He lastly adds, He knows them who hope in him. This to know, is no other thing than not to neglect them. Hence God is said to know them who hope in him, because he always watches over them, and takes care of their safety: in short, this knowledge is nothing else but the care of God, or his providence in preserving the faithful. The Prophet, at the same time, distinguishes the godly and sincere worshipers of God from hypocrites: when God leaves many destitute who profess to believe in him, he justly withholds from them his favor, for they do not from the heart call on him or seek him.

We now then understand the Prophet’s meaning. He shows, on the one hand, that God is armed with power to avenge his enemies; And, on the other, he shows that God, as he has promised, is a faithful guardian of his Church. How is this proved? He sets before us what God is, that he is good; and then adds, that he is prepared to bring help. But he does not in vain mention this particular, — that he takes care of the faithful, who truly, and from the heart, hope in him; it is done, that they may understand that they are not neglected by God, and also that hypocrites may know that they are not assisted, because their profession is nothing else but dissimulation, for they hope not sincerely in God, however they may falsely boast of his name. It now follows —

Good isJehovah for protection in the day of distress;
And he knoweth them who trust in him.

The word מעיז is from עז, strength, and having the formative מ, it attains a causative sense, and means that which affords or gives strength, — a fortress, a stronghold, or protection. — Ed.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Nahum 1:7". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https: 1840-57.

Scofield's Reference Notes

he knoweth them that trust, Psalms 1:6; 2 Timothy 2:19 (See Scofield "Psalms 2:12").

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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Nahum 1:7". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https: 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Nahum 1:7 The LORD [is] good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.

Ver. 7. The Lord is good] To Israel (though terrible to the Assyrians, as hath been plainly and plentifully set forth), to the pure in heart, Psalms 73:1, and he doth good, Psalms 119:68, to those that are good, that are upright in their hearts, Psalms 125:4. These shall taste and see that the Lord is good: these shall feelingly say, "Oh, blessed is the man that trusteth in him," Psalms 34:8, "Oh, praise the Lord, for he is good," &c.

A strong hold in the day of trouble] Praesidium, aut fortalitium, A strong fort or fortification, better than a tower of brass or town of war: "the righteous run thereinto and are safe," Proverbs 18:10. Hezekiah (for whose sake this is spoken) had the experience of it. He had a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of blasphemy: the children were come to the birth, and there was not strength to bring forth, Isaiah 37:3. To God, therefore, he runs in this doleful day of his, and had present help. And what though the gods of the nations had not delivered them; yet Hezekiah’s God, in whom he trusted, did not deceive him, as Sennacherib said he would, Nahum 1:10; Nahum 1:12. He is the champion of his Church, and will be the strong hold of his people, when the heathen’s tutelar gods and the Papists’ patron saints will leave them in the lurch. England was sometime said to have a warlike George, but the Papists being offended with us (to do us, as they suppose, a mischief), have robbed us of our George, and left us God alone to be our champion: for which honour and favour all true English hearts are bound to thank them, and can merrily sing, as he did once, Contemno minutulos istos deos, mode Iovem propitium habeam, We care not for their he-saints or she-saints to shelter us, so that the great God will be good to us, a stronghold in the day of trouble.

And he knoweth them that trust in him] That hover and cover under his wings, as the chickens do under the hen’s: for that is the force of the Hebrew word here used. Such as these God knoweth for his, 2 Timothy 2:19; he knoweth their soul in adversity, Psalms 31:7; he knoweth how to deliver them, as he did the righteous Lot, 2 Peter 2:9; then, when they know not what to do, as Jehoshaphat, 2 Chronicles 20:12, yet if their eyes be toward him, their affiance in him, he will extricate and deliver them. So well pleased is he with those that trust in him (for that is meant here by his knowing of them, Psalms 1:6 cf. Job 9:29, 1 Thessalonians 5:12), he taketh such complacence and delight in them Psalms 147:11; Psalms 33:18, and such continual care of them (as hath been proved by a universal experience, not one instance can be given to the contrary), that they shall be sure to have whatsoever heart can wish or need require, 2 Samuel 22:2-3, even miraculous lovingkindness from God in a strong city, Psalms 17:7; Psalms 31:21, so great as cannot be uttered, Psalms 31:19. This is for the comfort of God’s Israel. But lest the wicked (as they are apt) should meddle with children’s meat, which was never meant for them; lest Nineveh should please herself in a fond conceit of God’s goodness to her also, and so turn it into wantonness, the prophet brings in a stinging "but" in the next words.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Nahum 1:7". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https: 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Nahum 1:7. The Lord is good, &c.— The Lord is good to him who trusts in him in the day of trouble: he careth for those who confide in him. This is said very appositely by the prophet, prophesying against Nineveh, after the overthrow of the army of Sennacherib, and the mercies vouchsafed to Hezekiah, who had put his trust in the Lord.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Nahum 1:7". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https: 1801-1803.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae



Nahum 1:7. The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.

WHEN God interposed in a cloud between the camp of Israel and the camp of the Egyptians, the cloud was to those a pillar of fire, to give them light; but to these a cloud of darkness, to obstruct their way. And such is the varied aspect of Jehovah to his friends and enemies in all ages. Towards the Ninevites, who had now nearly filled up the measure of their iniquities, and forced, as it were, from Jehovah a decree of utter and everlasting excision, he is represented in terms the most awful that language could afford: “God is jealous, and the Lord revengeth, and is furious: the Lord will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.. Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? His fury is poured out like fire; and the rocks are thrown down by him [Note: ver. 2, 6.]”. But, lest the Lord’s people should apply this description of Jehovah indiscriminately to all persons of whatever character, the prophet stops abruptly, and declares, that towards his own believing people Jehovah is of a very different character; for that “he is good, and a strong hold in the day of trouble, and knoweth them that trust in him.”

Let us for our comfort consider Jehovah as he is here depicted to us;

I. In the perfections of his nature—

[“He is good;” every way “good;” and appears to be so in all that he has ever done. His works of creation were all, after an attentive survey of them by the Divine Artificer, pronounced to be “very good.” In the course of so many thousands of years there never has been found one single instance in which any work of his could be improved; so perfect has been the adaptation of every part to its respective use, and so complete the subservience of each to the good of the whole. His works of providence come less within the sphere of human observation, because we know not all the ends that are to be accomplished by them: but of those which have been the most dark or most calamitous we have had the unanimous testimony of the best judges, that “he has done all things well;” and that, however “clouds and darkness may have been round about him, justice and judgment have been the basis of his throne.” Of his works of redemption what shall we say? In what terms can we convey any just notion of them? Verily the tongue of an archangel is incapable of expressing the goodness of God in giving his only dear Son to die for us [Note: 1 John 4:8-10.]: this mystery far exceeds the comprehension of any finite intelligence: its “height and depth and length and breadth can never be explored:” suffice it to say, that the incarnation and death of the Son of God is the one subject of adoration amongst all the hosts of heaven, and will continue to be so through the countless ages of eternity [Note: Revelation 5:12-14.].

But, whilst the goodness of God is readily acknowledged in reference to those who are the objects of mercy, it may be doubted in reference to those who shall be the objects of his everlasting displeasure. It may be asked, How can his punitive justice be good? I answer, If he did not maintain the rights of justice he could not be “good.” Whatever ungodly men may imagine, justice is necessary in every government: and, if an earthly monarch would be thought essentially defective if he suffered all the laws of the realm to be outraged and set at nought with impunity, so would Jehovah, with reverence be it spoken, act unworthily as the Moral Governor of the universe, if he made no difference between the observers of his laws, and those who violated them without remorse. His law is a transcript of his holy will; and the honour of it must be maintained, either by the observance of its precepts, or by the execution of its penalties. Besides, if the justice of God were not displayed in the punishment of sin, he would neither be revered in heaven, nor feared on earth. In heaven, his justice and holiness and truth would be altogether darkened, and the radiance of all his other perfections obscured: and on earth, Satan would retain an undisputed sway over the hearts of men.

In every view therefore we must say, not only that God is good, but that his goodness, no less than “his greatness, is unsearchable.”]

We have a further insight given us into the character of God,

II. In the provisions of his covenant—

[Sin has brought misery along with it: and since the first introduction of sin into the world, “man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward.” But God has entered into covenant with his only dear Son as our head and representative; and has made over to us himself as our God, at the same time that he takes us to himself as his people. In the day of trouble we feel, that none but God can afford us any effectual help: and he engages at that season to be a very present help unto us. Whatever our affliction be, we may go to him with it, and find him “a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall [Note: Isaiah 25:4.].” What a strong-hold he is we see in the instance of Hezekiah, when surrounded by the Assyrian army, whom, according to all human appearance, it was impossible for him to withstand: one assurance of protection from Jehovah enabled that holy prince to despise all the menaces of his blaspheming adversary, and to rest as secure and as composed as if there had been no danger at hand [Note: Isaiah 37:21-33.].

But if in temporal troubles God is such a refuge, much more is he when the soul is oppressed with a sense of sin. Hear what he speaks to us by his beloved Son: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Yes: our adorable Saviour was fitly represented to us by the cities of refuge, which were open day and night to the manslayer, and which afforded him perfect security from the pursuer of blood, the very instant he entered within their gates. Such a city is the Lord Jesus, “whose name is a strong tower, to which the fighteous runneth and is safe.” Has he not himself said, “Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out?” Let the afflicted sinner go to him, and he shall find that this “man,” this God-man, “will be to him as an hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place; as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land [Note: Isaiah 32:2.].” Verily “He will save to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him.”]

We shall have a yet deeper insight into his character, if we view him,

III. In the dispensations of his grace—

[“He knoweth those who trust in him;” not merely as distinguishing them from others, but as feeling towards them the most affectionate regard: (in this sense the word “knoweth” is frequently used [Note: Psalms 1:6.].) He views them with the tenderest sympathy and compassion, being “touched with a feeling of all their infirmities [Note: Hebrews 4:15.],” and being “afflicted in all their afflictions [Note: Isaiah 63:9.].” Of his people, when suffering under their Egyptian task-masters, he said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their task-masters; for I know their sorrows [Note: Exodus 3:7.].” And the same tender regard is shown by him to a solitary individual as to a whole nation: for David says, “When my spirit was overwhelmed, thou knewest my path [Note: Psalms 142:3.];” and again, “Thou hast known my soul in adversities [Note: Psalms 31:7.].” The act of trusting in God is itself so pleasing and acceptable in his sight, that there is not any thing which he will not do for one who looks to him in such a frame [Note: Psalms 31:19.]. So abundantly will he communicate to such an one the riches of his grace, that he will make his soul like a well-watered garden, filled with the richest fruits, suited to every season of the year [Note: Jeremiah 17:7-8.]. Whatever enemies may assault him, God will “keep his soul in perfect peace [Note: Isaiah 26:3.],” and make him even as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever [Note: Psalms 125:1.].’]

What improvement shall we make of this subject?

I answer,

1. “Acquaint yourselves with God”—

[Study the character of God as drawn in the Holy Scriptures. Some think of him as a God of all mercy; and others, as clothed only in the terrors of inexorable justice. But the true character of God is, that he is “a just God and a Saviour.” In the Lord Jesus Christ this union of justice and mercy is fully displayed. Once view him as dying, rising, reigning for sinful man, and then all the description given of God in our text will be seen in its true light, and all the brightness of the Godhead irradiate your souls.]

2. Glorify him as God—

[As far as we know God, even though it be only in the notices which he has given us of himself in the works of creation, we ought to “glorify him as God [Note: Romans 1:21.].” How much more then ought we to do so, when all his glory is made to shine before us in the face of Jesus Christ! How should we love him, serve him, trust in him, and delight ourselves in him! O, beloved, let your hearts ascend to him, and your souls be devoted to him, as the occasion demands. Is he “good?” praise him for his goodness. Is he “a strong-hold?” flee to him, and dwell continually in him. Does he “know those who trust in him?” let him have joy over you as monuments of his grace, and delight in you as heirs of his glory [Note: Zephaniah 3:17.]. In a word, live but for him; and as he has “bought you with a price, see that ye glorify him with your bodies and your spirits, which are his [Note: 1 Corinthians 6:20.].”]

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Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Nahum 1:7". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https: 1832.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The Lord is good; though so terrible to his enemies, to obstinate sinners, yet he is as gentle, kind, and good to his people, to Israel; so the Chaldee paraphrast.

Is good; in his just severity he continueth to be good. None of that consuming anger comes from any want of goodness in God; yea, it is as much an effect of his goodness, as just punishments on incorrigible malefactors are the effects of goodness in a judge or magistrate. But here the prophet intends rather the kindness and grace of God towards his people, to whom he doth good, and will do more. Psalms 73:1 119:68.

A strong hold; it might have been rendered, good to be a strong hold, as the Hebrew affix imports, and is sometimes rendered. Though Israel seems to be exposed to the violence of enemies, and to be without any munition or fortress, yet verily the Lord their God is for a defence and fortress to them, Psalms 31:3 61:3 Proverbs 18:10, and is their strength also in that fortress.

In the day of trouble; at all times of affliction and danger, when outward pressures fill us with anguish and fears.

Knoweth; discerneth, approveth, owneth, and will make it appear that he doth preserve, that he may deliver his peculiar ones. He knows the wicked, and will restrain, rebuke, and destroy them; he knows the good, and will protect, rescue, and save them.

Them; whether you consider them in a body and community, or by themselves apart, or singly.

That trust; believe, depend, and wait on God, they that depend by faith, and wait with hope.

In him; on God, or on Christ, or on the word and promise of God. So God was to those that trusted in his word of promise in Hezekiah’s time.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Nahum 1:7". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https: 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

7. Jehovah is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble — LXX., “Good is the Lord to those who trust in him in the day of trouble,” which gives a sentence parallel in thought to the one following. Nowack and others think that neither the present Hebrew text nor LXX. has preserved the original; he reconstructs 7a, partly to secure his alphabetic arrangement, “Good is Jehovah to those who trust in him, a stronghold in the day of trouble.”

Stronghold — A place of defense, of shelter. Whatever the exact wording of the original, the sense is that Jehovah cares for those who put their trust in him even in the hour of deepest distress (Psalms 37:39). Hence Judah, though oppressed, need not despair.

He knoweth — See on Hosea 8:4. Here in a favorable sense, “care,” “guide” (Hosea 13:5; Psalms 1:6). “God is said to know them who hope in him, because he always watches over them, and takes care of their safety; in short, this knowledge is nothing else but the care of God, or his providence in preserving the faithful” (Calvin).

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Nahum 1:7". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https: 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

In contrast, Yahweh is also good, not just angry and vengeful (cf. Romans 11:22). He Himself is a more secure hiding place than any mountain, hill, or great city, like Nineveh, when people face trouble (cf. Psalm 27:1; Psalm 37:39; Psalm 43:2; Psalm 52:7). Furthermore He knows those who take refuge in Him by drawing near to Him and resting their confidence in Him. He takes note of those who trust in Him as well as those who incur His wrath. Whereas the previous revelations of God reflect His imminent dealings with the Assyrians, this aspect of His character (name) should have encouraged the Israelites to trust and obey Him.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Nahum 1:7". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https: 2012.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Nahum 1:7. The Lord is good — But though God is thus terrible in his power, yet he is merciful, gracious, and beneficent in his nature, and is a sure refuge and protection to those who worship and serve him sincerely, and put their trust in him; and he knows and pays a particular regard to all such, so that they are never overlooked or neglected by him; he approves, owns, and preserves them.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Nahum 1:7". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https: 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Hope. Septuagint, "fear." He approves of his faithful servants. (Haydock)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Nahum 1:7". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https: 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

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.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Nahum 1:7". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https: 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble. Here Nahum enters on his special subject, for which the previous verses have prepared the way-namely, to assure his people of safety in Yahweh under the impending attack of Sennacherib (Nahum 1:7), and to announce the doom of Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian foe (Nahum 1:8). The contrast of Nahum 1:7-8 ("But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place," Nineveh) heightens the force.

And he knoweth them that trust in him - "knoweth," recognizes as His own (Hosea 13:5, "I did know thee in the wilderness;" Amos 3:2, "You only have I known of all the families of the earth"); and so cares for and guards those that trust in Him, as Hezekiah did when attacked by Sennacherib (Psalms 1:6, "The Lord knoweth the way of the righteous;" 2 Timothy 2:19, "The Lord knoweth them that are His"). In illustration of Hezekiah's trust, we read, "He spake comfortably to the people, Be strong and courageous; be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him; because there be more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles: and the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah."

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Nahum 1:7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https: 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.
1 Chronicles 16:34; Ezra 3:11; Psalms 25:8; 100:5; 136:1-26; 145:6-10; Jeremiah 33:11; Lamentations 3:25; Romans 11:22; 1 John 4:8-10
strong hold
or, strength.
Psalms 18:1,2; 27:5; 62:6-8; 71:3; 84:11; 91:1,2; 144:1,2; Proverbs 18:10; Isaiah 25:4; 26:1-4; 32:2
in the
Psalms 20:1; 50:15; 59:16; 86:7; 91:15; Isaiah 37:3,4
and he
Psalms 1:6; Matthew 7:23; John 10:27; Galatians 4:9; 2 Timothy 2:19
1 Chronicles 5:20; 2 Chronicles 16:8,9; 32:8,11,21; Psalms 84:12; Jeremiah 17:7,8; Daniel 3:28; Daniel 6:23; Matthew 27:43

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Nahum 1:7". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:

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Thursday, July 16th, 2020
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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