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Bible Commentaries
Nahum 2

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-13


Verses 1-13:

Judgment Falls In The Streets Of Nineveh

Verse 1 sounds an herald that the one (Jehovah) who dasheth, as a disperser, has come upon Nineveh’s face, to confront her in judgment from her evil. Do all you can, Judah, all you will, all you may, as you watch for your enemy, prepare for the conflict, for I am ready to help you, as a remnant, after the many days of your captivity punishment in this foreign, heathen land; describes Nineveh as God’s "battle-ax." Proverbs 25:18; Job 40:7; 2 Samuel 20:8; 2 Kings 4:29.

Verse 2 explains that it was the Lord who had chastened backslidden and rebellious Israel and Judah, permitting their enemies to be restored. Though their Assyrian enemies had destroyed their vineyards and fruit trees, the Lord had cut down those Assyrian enemies now, Psalms 80:8-19; See also Jeremiah 25:29-30.
Verse 3 describes Nineveh in battle array with shields of red, either painted red or of copper, with regal-like robes of scarlet or crimson, fighting robes of the Medo-Babylonian heathen, chariot wheels rolled rapidly, as fire flew from rocks, like flaming torches, headed for battle, Isaiah 5:28; It was a day of battle preparation as described Jeremiah 46:14; Ezekiel 7:14; Shields and lances, made of fir trees, were in every man’s hand for destructive purposes in battle.

Verse 4 describes the excitement of last minute drills and demonstrations of Nineveh’s men and equipment in readiness for a battle to death, Jeremiah 46:9. Chariot’s driven in fury, jostled and collided in the streets and broad ways, as they run like lightning, even in and through the market place of the city of Nineveh, Luke 10:18. The idea is that where lightning strikes it leaves ruin and destruction, a thing soon to strike this long wicked city of Nineveh, Proverbs 8:26; Matthew 24:27.

Verse 5 prophesies that "he", king of Nineveh and Assyria, shall recount his "worthies," or muster, call up his troops, his heroes and brave men first, to motivate others to enter the battle carnage, Judges 5:13; Nehemiah 3:5; It is asserted that they shall be so hurried in preparation for the pending battle that they go forth in fear and haste, to do battle at the city wall, where they have a covering protection from which to do battle. For the besiegers against them shall be prepared, Ezekiel 4:2.

Verse 6 further prophesies that the besiegers shall come through the flood gates of the river, where the stream has rapidly receded from a flood, and the Ninevites have not had forces or forethought to close up the passages. And the city Nineveh shall be dissolved, or utterly destroyed, as capital of the Assyrian Empire. The people were to melt in fear, as caught by a snare, 1 John 4:18.

Verse 7 states that Huzzab, thought to be queen of Nineveh, shall be captured, led out by the enemy as a trophy or spoil of war, dethroned and dishonored, with her servant maids mourning dolefully like doves over her fate and theirs, tabering or beating their breasts, as an expression of unbearable grief so deep that one can hardly breathe, Luke 18:23.

Verse 8 states that Nineveh from ancient times, from antiquity, an unbroken empire for more than 600 years, had been the pool where people had come like drops of water in confluence, flowing into her from all parts of the world, Genesis 10:11. Though they, the soldiers, cry "stand, stand," in this hour of Divinely decreed doom, trying to encourage one another in battle, yet the supply lines will flee in fear, and not look back, like cowards, Isaiah 8:7; Jeremiah 41:13: Revelation 17:15.

Verse 9 describes the cry of heathen spoilers against the Ninevites, crying that each seize the silver and the gold that Nineveh had ill-gotten through exorbitant taxes and illicit business practices against Israel. Riches wickedly gotten are declared to be a curse to the taker, and that such gain will not long be held, or bring a good conscience to its holder; They only prepared for the booty of another, Job 27:17. This plunder of Nineveh was declared to be as a result of the persecution she had inflicted on Israel. It was an hour of Divine retribution vengeance, justly sent from God. They also took the finest of her furniture, belonging to the rich and the royal houses, See Ezekiel 27:23-24.

Verse 10 pictures the deserted deity of rubble and ruin as empty, void. and a waste. The city is left without wealth, without monuments, and with a melted heart in the bosom of the few who escaped death. Their knees smote together, out of weakness and fear; Sharp pains shot through their loins, as they were sick, and grew pale, at stomach, at the sight and smell of the stench of their own destruction, as from the smoke, dust, and rubble of ruin, their faces gathered grime and blackness, Joel 2:6; Lamentations 4:8; Lamentations 5:10.

Verse 11 asks just where may the place the old lions walked, and they and the young lions and whelps were fed, now to be found? Is any able to locate this former place of their keeping? These lions were once a symbol of Nineveh and Assyria’s fearless ruling power, but where is it all now? Nahum 1:8. If it is not absolutely destroyed by direct mandate of a God of justice, in vengeance and retribution, for her sins against His people, Israel, Job 4:10-11; Ezekiel 19:2; Ezekiel 19:7.

Verse 12 describes how the lion, king of beasts, once made the kill, stalked and slew enough prey to satisfy the hunger of his lioness and her whelps, by tearing and strangling, and mangling and dragging the food to his hole, his cave; This symbolized the Assyrian king’s forays of destruction and tyranny against, and enslaving weaker people, as slaves and vassals, to furnish a livelihood for Nineveh, her queen and maids, etc., a source of her "stay and staff," Isaiah 3:1.

Verse 13 recalls the lamentation and final decreed judgment of God for the total destruction of Nineveh and termination of the Empire of Assyria. The Holy God states directly that He will: 1) burn her chariots in the smoke, Psalms 37:20; Psalms 46:9; Psalms 46:2) cause the sword to devour, cut down, her young lions, soldiers of youth, 3) cut off her prey or sources of good and livelihood from the earth, and 4) cause the voice of her message bearers to be silenced, heard no more, 2 Kings 19:23. Ichabod had been written and decreed upon this corpse of 600 years duration. She had fallen, was now being buried, to rise no more, Nahum 3:5; Ezekiel 19:9; Ezekiel 29:3; Ezekiel 38:3; Ezekiel 39:1. They shall no more prey upon smaller nations, demanding tribute and gifts of silver and gold.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Nahum 2". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/nahum-2.html. 1985.
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