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I. God Convenes The Court of Justice (1:1–15)

The terms “oracle” and “vision” designate a revelation from God in the form of a divine lawsuit against Nineveh.

The Judge's holiness and righteousness had had enough of Nineveh's brutality; he had made a decision to prosecute the city. The vigor of the Lord's action is emphasized by a cluster of words: jealous, vengeance, wrath, anger, power, indignation, and fierce anger. The Lord's majestic presence is highlighted by severe natural events.

Nahum is careful to point out that God does not base his act of judgment on whim or vindictiveness but on the fact that sin is evil and vicious, fully deserving punishment.

Nineveh is accused of having a ruler who plans to attack the Lord and his people. In the trial of the criminal, the Lord first comforts Judah, whom he had already brought to justice and had punished, and he promises that their oppression will end. Then the Lord declares that Nineveh will be left without descendants and that her man-made deities will be destroyed.

When God convenes his court, he matches judgment of the sinner with redemption for his faithful followers. The wounds of the afflicted will be healed, and sorrow will be turned into joy, provided they fulfill their vows made before the Lord.