Nahum 3 (The Message)

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Nahum 3

The Message (MSG)

Let the Nations Get Their Fill of the Ugly Truth

1-4 Doom to Murder City—
    full of lies, bursting with loot, addicted to violence!
Horns blaring, wheels clattering,
    horses rearing, chariots lurching,
Horsemen galloping,
    brandishing swords and spears,
Dead bodies rotting in the street,
    corpses stacked like cordwood,
Bodies in every gutter and alley,
    clogging every intersection!
And whores! Whores without end!
    Whore City,
Fatally seductive, you’re the Witch of Seduction,
    luring nations to their ruin with your evil spells.

5-7 “I’m your enemy, Whore Nineveh—
    I, God-of-the-Angel-Armies!
I’ll strip you of your seductive silk robes
    and expose you on the world stage.
I’ll let the nations get their fill of the ugly truth
    of who you really are and have been all along.
I’ll pelt you with dog dung
    and place you on a pedestal: ‘Slut on Exhibit.’
Everyone who sees you will gag and say,
    ‘Nineveh’s a pigsty:
What on earth did we ever see in her?
    Who would give her a second look? Ugh!’”

Past the Point of No Return

8-13 Do you think you’re superior to Egyptian Thebes,
    proudly invincible on the River Nile,
Protected by the great River,
    walled in by the River, secure?
Ethiopia stood guard to the south,
    Egypt to the north.
Put and Libya, strong friends,
    were ready to step in and help.
But you know what happened to her:
    The whole city was marched off to a refugee camp,
Her babies smashed to death
    in public view on the streets,
Her prize leaders auctioned off,
    her celebrities put in chain gangs.
Expect the same treatment, Nineveh.
    You’ll soon be staggering like a bunch of drunks,
Wondering what hit you,
    looking for a place to sleep it off.
All your forts are like peach trees,
    the lush peaches ripe, ready for the picking.
One shake of the tree and they fall
    straight into hungry mouths.
Face it: Your warriors are wimps.
    You’re sitting ducks.
Your borders are gaping doors, inviting
    your enemies in. And who’s to stop them?

14-15 Store up water for the siege.
    Shore up your defenses.
Get down to basics: Work the clay
    and make bricks.
Sorry. Too late.
    Enemy fire will burn you up.
Swords will cut you to pieces.
    You’ll be chewed up as if by locusts.

15-17 Yes, as if by locusts—a fitting fate,
    for you yourselves are a locust plague.
You’ve multiplied shops and shopkeepers—
    more buyers and sellers than stars in the sky!
A plague of locusts, cleaning out the neighborhood
    and then flying off.
Your bureaucrats are locusts,
    your brokers and bankers are locusts.
Early on, they’re all at your service,
    full of smiles and promises,
But later when you return with questions or complaints,
    you’ll find they’ve flown off and are nowhere to be found.

18-19 King of Assyria! Your shepherd-leaders,
    in charge of caring for your people,
Are busy doing everything else but.
    They’re not doing their job,
And your people are scattered and lost.
    There’s no one to look after them.
You’re past the point of no return.
    Your wound is fatal.
When the story of your fate gets out,
    the whole world will applaud and cry “Encore!”
Your cruel evil has seeped
    into every nook and cranny of the world.
    Everyone has felt it and suffered.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Nahum 3 X

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