Bible Commentaries
Nahum 3

Peake's Commentary on the BiblePeake's Commentary

Verses 1-7

Nahum 3. A fresh Picture of the End of Nineveh.

Nahum 3:1-7 . Woe to that city of blood, full of lies and rapine, where the prey never ceased, nor was any end to the booty! Now nothing is heard in her but the crack of the whip and the rumbling of wheels, the gallop of steeds and the dashing of chariots, with cavalry at the charge, while the sabres flash and the spears glitter, and underneath men stumble over corpses unnumbered. And all this is the fitting punishment of that mistress of harlotry, who fascinated the nations by her charms, and drew them into her chamber of death. Yahweh is against her, and will expose her like an harlot, and make her a gazing-stock to the nations, unwept for, unpitied, and dishonoured.

Nahum 3:2 f. A series of vivid exclamations: “ Hark! the sound of the whip,” etc.

Nahum 3:4 . selleth: rather “ deceiveth,” “ beguileth.”

Nahum 3:5 f. The regular punishment of the harlot ( cf. Jeremiah 13:22 ff., Ezekiel 16:33 ff., etc.).

Verses 8-10

Nahum 3:8-10 . Nineveh boasted of her strength, but she was no better placed than No-Amon, with the Nile around her for rampart, the whole strength of Egypt and Ethiopia her defence, and Put and the Libyans as allies, who yet passed into captivity, amid all the horrors of siege and storm.

Nahum 3:8 . No-Amon: Homer’ s “ hundred-gated Thebes,” the capital of Upper Egypt, captured by Ashurbanipal in 663 B.C. ( cf. Intro.). The original magnificence of the city is borne witness to by the splendid ruins of Karnac and Luxor.— Removing a slight redundancy, read “ That sat (in stately pride and confidence) on the Nile-streams, her rampart the sea ( i.e. the broad Nile) and the waters her wall.”

Nahum 3:9 . Put and Lubim: Hamite nations near Ethiopia ( Genesis 10:6; Genesis 10:13), that served as Egyptian mercenaries ( Jeremiah 46:9).

Nahum 3:10 . Description of the usual fate of a captured city ( cf. Lamentations 4).

Verses 11-19

Nahum 3:11-19 . Even so Nineveh shall be made drunk with the cup of God’ s wrath, and faint and staggering shall seek refuge from the enemy. Her outer fortresses shall fall like first-ripe figs ( Isaiah 28:4 *) into the mouth of the destroyer, the gateways that barred the approach to the capital shall fly open at the touch of fire, her defenders shall prove weak as women, and despite all efforts to repair the breaches the whole city shall sink beneath the flames. Her people may be numerous as the locust-swarms that encamp on the garden walls in the day of cold; but they shall vanish as completely as these same swarms when the sun shines out. And while the people are scattered over the mountains, the king and nobles shall sleep their last sleep, amid manifestations of triumphant joy from all who hear the tale of doom.

Nahum 3:11 . be hid: rather “ faint away” (with change of one letter).

Nahum 3:13 . the gates of thy land: the mountain-passes where (like the Greeks at Thermopylæ ) they might have made a heroic stand against the invading foe.

Nahum 3:14 . go into: rather (reading bosi for bo’ i) tread, trample the clay (for bricks).— lay hold of the briekmould ( mg.) : viz. to shape the bricks for their places in the wall.

Nahum 3:16 f. The text is both corrupt and filled out with glosses identifying the locust-swarms with the merchant-princes, nobles (?), and scribes (or marshals) of Nineveh; but the general sense is somewhat as above. On the camping and flight of locusts cf. Thomson, The Land and the Book, pp. 418f.

Nahum 3:18 . Read, “ Ah! how do thy shepherds (leaders) slumber, thy nobles sleep (the sleep of death)!” The omitted phrase, “ the king of Assyria,” is an explanatory gloss to “ thy shepherds.”

Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Nahum 3". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.