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The Doom of the Wicked City is Certain

Woe to the city that has shed much blood![a]
    She is a deceiver,[b]
She is filled with plunder,
    She has hoarded her spoils of war.[c]
The crack of the whip!
    The rumbling of the chariot wheel!
The galloping of the horse!
    The racing of the chariot!
Chariots charge!
    Swords flash!
        Spears glitter!
Many corpses are piled high![d]
    There is no end to the slain!
        They stumble over their dead!

Harlot Nineveh Will Get What She Deserves

“Because of the many idolatries of the prostitute,
    the beautiful charm of a mistress of witchcraft,
she who enslaves nations by her harlotries,
    and peoples by her sorceries,
“Look! I am against you!” declares[e]Yahweh.
    “I will strip up your skirts over your face;
        I will let nations look at your nakedness and your shame.
“I will throw filth upon you,
    I will treat you with contempt,
        I will make you a spectacle.
“And it will be that everyone who sees you will flee from you,
    And they[f] will say, ‘Nineveh is destroyed!’
Who will mourn for her?
    From whence shall I seek comforters for you?”

Nineveh Will Suffer the Same Fate She Inflicted on Thebes

Are you better than Thebes?[g]
    She who sits at the Nile, surrounded by her waters,
her rampart was the sea and water was her wall.
Cush was her strength, Egypt without end;
    Put and Libya were among your allies.[h]
10 Yet she went into captivity as an exile;
    her children were dashed to pieces at the head of the streets;
they cast lots for all of her nobles;
    all of her dignitaries were bound with chains.
11 You also will behave like a drunkard;
    You also will hide yourself;
        You also will seek refuge from the enemy.

Nineveh’s Defenses Will Fail

12 All of your fortifications are like fig trees with ripe firstfruits—
    if they are shaken, they will fall into the mouth of the eater.
13 Look! Your troops are like women in your midst.
    The gates of your land are wide open to your enemies;
        fire will consume the bars of your gates.
14 Draw water for a siege!
    Strengthen your fortifications!
Go to the mud pit!
    Trample the clay!
        Grasp the brick mold!
15 There fire will consume you;
    the sword will cut you off.
        It will consume you like the locust.

Nineveh’s Defenders Will Flee

Multiply yourself like the locust!
    Multiply yourself like the grasshopper!
16 You have increased your merchants more than the stars of heaven;
    like the locust they will shed their skin and fly away.
17 Your officials are like locusts;
    your commanders are like a swarm of locusts.
They encamp on the walls on a cold day;
    when the sun rises, they fly away—
        no one knows where they have gone.

Nineveh Will Come to an End

18 Your shepherds are sleeping, O king of Assyria!
    Your nobles slumber.
Your people are scattered on the mountains;
    no one can gather them.
19 There is no healing for your wound;
    your injury is fatal.
All who hear the report of you will clap their hands for joy concerning you,
    For who has not suffered at the hands of your endless cruelty?[i]


  1. Nahum 3:1 Literally “bloods”
  2. Nahum 3:1 Literally “All of her is deception”
  3. Nahum 3:1 Literally “Prey does not depart”
  4. Nahum 3:3 Literally “Many dead, piles of corpses”
  5. Nahum 3:5 Literally “a declaration of”
  6. Nahum 3:7 Hebrew “he”
  7. Nahum 3:8 Hebrew “No-Amon”
  8. Nahum 3:9 Literally “your helpers”
  9. Nahum 3:19 Literally “For over whom has your endless cruelty not passed?”