Scriptures

Nahum 2

Introduction

‘An attacker advances against you, Nineveh. Guard the fortress, watch the road, brace yourselves, marshal all your strength! The LORD will restore the splendour of Jacob like the splendour of Israel, though destroyers have laid them waste and have ruined their vines.’ Nahum 2:1-2

Chapter 2 describes the impending doom of Nineveh, it’s time for them to prepare for the upcoming onslaught. There’s nowhere to hide from God’s judgement, there’s nothing they can do to stop God pouring out His wrath against them.

Nineveh finally fell when Nabopolassar gathered a group of armies together, from the Medes, Babylonians and the Scythians, it was him who went against the city in 612 B.C.

Although it’s not been proven, there are those who believe that a great rain storm happened two months before which actually washed away a huge portion of the city’s wall, Nahum 1:8. If this did happen, then this would give us one possibility of how Nabopolassar managed to take the city.

Notice how Nahum writes as though it’s already happened, in other words, God is as good as His Word. The fall of Nineveh was significant because this meant that the Northern Kingdom of Israel, who were in Assyrian captivity would soon be freed.

‘The shields of the soldiers are red; the warriors are clad in scarlet. The metal on the chariots flashes on the day they are made ready; the spears of juniper are brandished. The chariots storm through the streets, rushing back and forth through the squares. They look like flaming torches; they dart about like lightning.’ Nahum 2:3-4

This is not good news for the Assyrians, they are going to reap what they sowed. All the cruelty and havoc they created among other nations, was going to happen to them. The shields of those who were to slaughter them were red from the blood they had shed in other battles and the people they had killed.

The metal on the chariots were brightly polished in order to reflect the sun which would blind the enemy. These chariots which would have had blades sticking out of their wheels, which meant they would run through the streets of the city causing destruction and slaughter.

‘Nineveh summons her picked troops, yet they stumble on their way. They dash to the city wall; the protective shield is put in place. The river gates are thrown open and the palace collapses. It is decreed that Nineveh be exiled and carried away. Her female slaves moan like doves and beat on their breasts.’ Nahum 2:5-7

Nineveh is going to be taken by surprise which causes them to stumble. The joint armies of Medo-Persians and Babylonians went straight for the walls of the capital city. We can imagine enormous battering rams being set up against the huge walls.

The river gates of the city were diverted so that they could get to the walls and the water pressure would be so great, it could burst a whole in the city wall.

No wonder they ‘beat their breasts’, they are now sowing what they have reaped for years, they now realise that it’s fertile to rely on their strength, the city walls have fallen and with it went their security.

‘Nineveh is like a pool whose water is draining away. ‘Stop! Stop!’ they cry, but no one turns back. Plunder the silver! Plunder the gold! The supply is endless, the wealth from all its treasures! She is pillaged, plundered, stripped! Hearts melt, knees give way, bodies tremble, every face grows pale.’ Nahum 2:8-10

God had just old them exactly how the city will fall, the river gates will fall open and the city will collapse and as a result the victorious army will take the spoils of war.

Even though those in command would cry out orders to their soldiers, to stand and fight, no one would, no one would even look back as they were too busy running away in order to save themselves from being murdered.

When Nineveh was finally destroyed, we know that a few of the Assyrian soldiers fled to Carchemish. It was there in 609 B.C. that the Babylonians made a final attack against the Assyrians and the Egyptians who fought together. After the Babylonians defeated them both, this brought an end to their alliance and the end of the Assyrian empire.

All the items which the Assyrians plundered from other nations, were now being taken away from them, they were truly reaping what they had sown.

‘Where now is the lions’ den, the place where they fed their young, where the lion and lioness went, and the cubs, with nothing to fear? The lion killed enough for his cubs and strangled the prey for his mate, filling his lairs with the kill and his dens with the prey. ‘I am against you,’ declares the LORD Almighty. ‘I will burn up your chariots in smoke, and the sword will devour your young lions. I will leave you no prey on the earth. The voices of your messengers will no longer be heard.’ Nahum 2:11-13

Just as Rome had the sign of the eagle, Assyria had the sign of a lion. They thought their source of power was in their chariots but with them gone now they will have no power.

When the Assyrians went out against other nations, they would bring back the captives to the people who would taunt them, scoff at them and make a laughing stock out of them.

The young lions, who are the children, will be devoured, there will be no prey on earth, which means there will be no food for them. Nineveh has fallen, the Assyrians have fallen, and so, the Assyrians are certainly going to feel the effect, there would be a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness.

This is exactly how they made other nations feel but now it’s time for them to reap what they have sown, Matthew 26:52.

Application

Although Nineveh had received mercy from God in the past, in the days of Jonah, the time for receiving more mercy from God was over for the Assyrians.

They continued to practice evil wherever they went and now it was time for judgment, it was time for them to be on the receiving end of God’s wrath.

As Christians we need to remind ourselves of the mercy we received from God and we must be quick to show that mercy to others, especially to those who hurt us, Luke 6:36-42.

When we sin, we must do what the Nineveh did in the days of Jonah, we must repent, Jonah 3, we must confess our sins to God, otherwise no forgiveness will be granted to us, 1 John 1:9.

Back To Nahum 1

Go To Nahum 3

 

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."

Hebrews 11:6

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