Attack against Nineveh

One who scatters is coming up against you.(A)
Man the fortifications!
Watch the road!
Brace[a] yourself!
Summon all your strength!(B)

For the Lord will restore the majesty of Jacob,(C)
yes,[b] the majesty of Israel,
though ravagers have ravaged them(D)
and ruined their vine branches.(E)

The shields of his[c] warriors are dyed red;
the valiant men are dressed in scarlet.(F)
The fittings of the chariot flash like fire(G)
on the day of its battle preparations,
and the spears are brandished.
The chariots dash madly through the streets;
they rush around in the plazas.
They look like torches;
they dart back and forth like lightning.
He gives orders to his officers;
they stumble as they advance.
They race to its wall;
the protective shield is set in place.
The river gates are opened,
and the palace erodes away.(H)

Beauty[d] is stripped;[e]
she is carried away;
her ladies-in-waiting moan
like the sound of doves(I)
and beat their breasts.(J)
Nineveh has been like a pool of water
from her first days,[f]
but they are fleeing.
“Stop! Stop!” they cry,
but no one turns back.
“Plunder the silver! Plunder the gold!” (K)
There is no end to the treasure,
an abundance of every precious thing.(L)
10 Desolation, decimation, devastation!
Hearts melt,(M)
knees tremble,(N)
insides churn,(O)
every face grows pale!(P)

11 Where is the lions’ lair,(Q)
or the feeding ground of the young lions,
where the lion and lioness prowled,
and the lion’s cub,
with nothing to frighten them away?(R)
12 The lion mauled whatever its cubs needed
and strangled prey for its lionesses.
It filled up its dens with the kill,
and its lairs with mauled prey.(S)
13 Beware, I am against you.(T)
This is the declaration of the Lord of Armies.
I will make your chariots go up in smoke,[g]
and the sword will devour your young lions.(U)
I will cut off your prey from the earth,
and the sound of your messengers
will never be heard again.(V)


  1. 2:1 Lit Strengthen
  2. 2:2 Or like
  3. 2:3 = the army commander attacking Nineveh
  4. 2:7 Text emended; MT reads Huzzab
  5. 2:7 Hb obscure
  6. 2:8 Hb obscure
  7. 2:13 Lit will burn her chariots in smoke

Nineveh to Fall

[a]An attacker(A) advances against you, Nineveh.
    Guard the fortress,
    watch the road,
    brace yourselves,
    marshal all your strength!

The Lord will restore(B) the splendor(C) of Jacob
    like the splendor of Israel,
though destroyers have laid them waste
    and have ruined their vines.

The shields of the soldiers are red;
    the warriors are clad in scarlet.(D)
The metal on the chariots flashes
    on the day they are made ready;
    the spears of juniper are brandished.[b]
The chariots(E) storm through the streets,
    rushing back and forth through the squares.
They look like flaming torches;
    they dart about like lightning.

Nineveh summons her picked troops,
    yet they stumble(F) on their way.
They dash to the city wall;
    the protective shield is put in place.
The river gates(G) are thrown open
    and the palace collapses.
It is decreed[c] that Nineveh
    be exiled and carried away.
Her female slaves moan(H) like doves
    and beat on their breasts.(I)
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!
10 She is pillaged, plundered, stripped!
    Hearts melt,(J) knees give way,
    bodies tremble, every face grows pale.(K)

11 Where now is the lions’ den,(L)
    the place where they fed their young,
where the lion and lioness went,
    and the cubs, with nothing to fear?
12 The lion killed(M) enough for his cubs
    and strangled the prey for his mate,
filling his lairs(N) with the kill
    and his dens with the prey.(O)

13 “I am against(P) you,”
    declares the Lord Almighty.
“I will burn up your chariots in smoke,(Q)
    and the sword(R) will devour your young lions.
    I will leave you no prey on the earth.
The voices of your messengers
    will no longer be heard.”(S)


  1. Nahum 2:1 In Hebrew texts 2:1-13 is numbered 2:2-14.
  2. Nahum 2:3 Hebrew; Septuagint and Syriac ready; / the horsemen rush to and fro.
  3. Nahum 2:7 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.

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