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This records the vision which burdened a man named Nahum, who came from the town of Elkosh. The vision is a message from God pronouncing what is coming to the city of Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire.

The Eternal One won’t tolerate anything that distracts from Him
    and will avenge and settle the score on behalf of His covenant people.
The Eternal will serve up justice when His anger finally overflows.
    He brings justice to those who oppose Him
And sustains His fury toward those who work against Him.
The Eternal’s anger builds slowly, but His power is great.
    He will not allow the guilty to go free.
His way is in fierce winds and storms;
    the clouds are dust beneath His feet.
He chastises the oceans, and they all dry up;
    He makes the rushing rivers run dry too.
The lush lands of Bashan and Carmel wither,
    and the beautiful flowers of Lebanon shrivel.
In response to Him, mountains quake
    and mudslides flow down melting hillsides.
The planet and all who live on it
    are overwhelmed in His presence.
Who can stand up when His fury finally overflows?
    Who can hold up under the heat of His anger?
His fury flows out like fire,
    strong enough to shatter even the rocks.
The Eternal One is good,
    a safe shelter in times of trouble.
He cares for those who search for protection in Him.
    But with an overwhelming flood,
He will make a complete end to his enemies.
    He will chase His foes into oblivion.

This divine appearance, often called a theophany, is a vivid portrayal not only of the Lord’s characteristics but also of His activity on behalf of Israel. Descriptions of fantastic weather patterns demonstrate both the mysterious elusiveness and the mighty grandeur of God. Similar to the story related in Job 38, God visits the afflicted and impoverished through these images, and that impressive power He displays in His storms benefits the oppressed. Despite unspeakable horrors the Assyrians committed against the Israelites, His people still understand that their God is good.

Futile are the plots you devise against the Eternal One, Nineveh,
    because He will put a stop to them.
Evil will not have a second chance to rise up.
10 They are tangled up in the thorns of their own evil ways,
    inebriated by their own excesses.
They are consumed by their own evil, like dried grass in a fire.[a]
11 It was one of your own, Nineveh, who hatched evil plots against the Eternal
    and encouraged others toward wickedness.[b]

12 Eternal One (to His people): Although their numbers are countless and they have strong allies,
        they will be stopped and their time as your oppressor will pass away.
    Although I have brought trouble down on you, people of Judah,
        I will bring trouble to you no more.
13     Now I will break their yoke of slavery and death from your shoulders
        and tear their chains of religious and political oppression away from you.

Judgment is pronounced against the King of Assyria, his worthless gods, and his worthless life.

14 The Eternal has sent this command about you, king of Nineveh.

Eternal One: You will have no descendants left to carry on your name.
        I will destroy the things you have carved and cast with your own hands,
    Idols you have made to fill the temples of your gods.
        I will personally prepare your grave because you are totally despicable!

15 Look, here comes a runner across the mountains bringing good news, announcing peace!
    Celebrate your festivals, people of Judah, and keep the promises you made.
Those wicked armies[c] of Nineveh will never invade you again.
    He is utterly cut off.


  1. 1:10 Meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
  2. 1:11 Hebrew, Belial
  3. 1:15 Hebrew, Belial

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