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Nahum 3 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Bad News for Nineveh

It will be very bad for that city of murderers.
    Nineveh is a city full of lies.
It is filled with things taken from other countries.
    It is filled with plenty of people that it hunted and killed.
You can hear the sounds of whips
    and the noise of wheels.
You can hear horses galloping
    and chariots bouncing along!
Soldiers on horses are attacking,
    their swords are shining,
    their spears are gleaming!
There are many dead people.
    Dead bodies are piled up—too many bodies to count.
    People are tripping over the dead bodies.
All this happened because of Nineveh.
    Nineveh is like a prostitute who could never get enough.
    She wanted more and more.
She sold herself to many nations,
    and she used her magic to make them her slaves.

The Lord All-Powerful says,
“I am against you, Nineveh.
    I will pull your dress[a] up over your face.
I will let the nations see your naked body.
    The kingdoms will see your shame.
I will throw dirty things on you
    and treat you in a hateful way.
    People will look at you and laugh.
Everyone who sees you will be shocked.
    They will say, ‘Nineveh is destroyed.
    Who will cry for her?’
I know I cannot find anyone to comfort you, Nineveh.”

Nineveh, are you better than Thebes[b] on the Nile River? Thebes also had water all around her to protect herself from enemies. She used that water like a wall too. Ethiopia and Egypt made Thebes strong. Libya and the Sudan supported her, 10 but Thebes was defeated. Her people were taken away as prisoners to a foreign country. Soldiers beat her small children to death at every street corner. They threw lots to see who got to keep the important people as slaves. They put chains on all the important men of Thebes.

11 So, Nineveh, you will also fall like a drunk. You will try to hide. You will look for a safe place away from the enemy. 12 But Nineveh, all your strong places will be like fig trees. When new figs become ripe, people come and shake the tree. The figs fall into their mouths. They eat them, and the figs are gone.

13 Nineveh, your people are all like women—and the enemy soldiers are ready to take them. The gates of your land are open wide for your enemies to come in. Fire has destroyed the wooden bars across the gates.

14 Get water and store it inside your city, because the enemy soldiers will surround your city. Make your defenses strong! Get clay to make more bricks and mix the mortar. Get the molds for making bricks. 15 You can do all these things, but the fire will still destroy you completely. And the sword will kill you. Your land will look like a swarm of grasshoppers came and ate everything.

Nineveh, you grew and grew. You became like a swarm of grasshoppers. You were like a swarm of locusts. 16 You have many traders who go places and buy things. They are as many as the stars in the sky. They are like locusts that come and eat until everything is gone and then leave. 17 And your government officials are also like locusts that settle on a stone wall on a cold day. But when the sun comes up, the rocks become warm, and the locusts all fly away. And no one knows where.

18 King of Assyria, your shepherds fell asleep. These powerful men are sleeping. And now your sheep have wandered away on the mountains. There is no one to bring them back. 19 Nineveh, you have been hurt badly, and nothing can heal your wound. Everyone who hears the news of your destruction claps their hands. They are all happy, because they all felt the pain you caused again and again.


  1. Nahum 3:5 pull your dress This is a wordplay in Hebrew. The Hebrew word also means “to destroy a country and take its people away as prisoners to other nations.”
  2. Nahum 3:8 Thebes A great city in Egypt. It was destroyed in 663 B.C. by the Assyrian army.
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

Nahum 3 New International Version (NIV)

Woe to Nineveh

Woe to the city of blood,
    full of lies,
full of plunder,
    never without victims!
The crack of whips,
    the clatter of wheels,
galloping horses
    and jolting chariots!
Charging cavalry,
    flashing swords
    and glittering spears!
Many casualties,
    piles of dead,
bodies without number,
    people stumbling over the corpses
all because of the wanton lust of a prostitute,
    alluring, the mistress of sorceries,
who enslaved nations by her prostitution
    and peoples by her witchcraft.

“I am against you,” declares the Lord Almighty.
    “I will lift your skirts over your face.
I will show the nations your nakedness
    and the kingdoms your shame.
I will pelt you with filth,
    I will treat you with contempt
    and make you a spectacle.
All who see you will flee from you and say,
    ‘Nineveh is in ruins—who will mourn for her?’
    Where can I find anyone to comfort you?”

Are you better than Thebes,
    situated on the Nile,
    with water around her?
The river was her defense,
    the waters her wall.
Cush[a] and Egypt were her boundless strength;
    Put and Libya were among her allies.
10 Yet she was taken captive
    and went into exile.
Her infants were dashed to pieces
    at every street corner.
Lots were cast for her nobles,
    and all her great men were put in chains.
11 You too will become drunk;
    you will go into hiding
    and seek refuge from the enemy.

12 All your fortresses are like fig trees
    with their first ripe fruit;
when they are shaken,
    the figs fall into the mouth of the eater.
13 Look at your troops—
    they are all weaklings.
The gates of your land
    are wide open to your enemies;
    fire has consumed the bars of your gates.

14 Draw water for the siege,
    strengthen your defenses!
Work the clay,
    tread the mortar,
    repair the brickwork!
15 There the fire will consume you;
    the sword will cut you down—
    they will devour you like a swarm of locusts.
Multiply like grasshoppers,
    multiply like locusts!
16 You have increased the number of your merchants
    till they are more numerous than the stars in the sky,
but like locusts they strip the land
    and then fly away.
17 Your guards are like locusts,
    your officials like swarms of locusts
    that settle in the walls on a cold day—
but when the sun appears they fly away,
    and no one knows where.

18 King of Assyria, your shepherds[b] slumber;
    your nobles lie down to rest.
Your people are scattered on the mountains
    with no one to gather them.
19 Nothing can heal you;
    your wound is fatal.
All who hear the news about you
    clap their hands at your fall,
for who has not felt
    your endless cruelty?


  1. Nahum 3:9 That is, the upper Nile region
  2. Nahum 3:18 That is, rulers
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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