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Nahum 3The Message (MSG)

Let the Nations Get Their Fill of the Ugly Truth

1-4 Doom to Murder City—
    full of lies, bursting with loot, addicted to violence!
Horns blaring, wheels clattering,
    horses rearing, chariots lurching,
Horsemen galloping,
    brandishing swords and spears,
Dead bodies rotting in the street,
    corpses stacked like cordwood,
Bodies in every gutter and alley,
    clogging every intersection!
And whores! Whores without end!
    Whore City,
Fatally seductive, you’re the Witch of Seduction,
    luring nations to their ruin with your evil spells.

5-7 “I’m your enemy, Whore Nineveh—
    I, God-of-the-Angel-Armies!
I’ll strip you of your seductive silk robes
    and expose you on the world stage.
I’ll let the nations get their fill of the ugly truth
    of who you really are and have been all along.
I’ll pelt you with dog dung
    and place you on a pedestal: ‘Slut on Exhibit.’
Everyone who sees you will gag and say,
    ‘Nineveh’s a pigsty:
What on earth did we ever see in her?
    Who would give her a second look? Ugh!’”

Past the Point of No Return

8-13 Do you think you’re superior to Egyptian Thebes,
    proudly invincible on the River Nile,
Protected by the great River,
    walled in by the River, secure?
Ethiopia stood guard to the south,
    Egypt to the north.
Put and Libya, strong friends,
    were ready to step in and help.
But you know what happened to her:
    The whole city was marched off to a refugee camp,
Her babies smashed to death
    in public view on the streets,
Her prize leaders auctioned off,
    her celebrities put in chain gangs.
Expect the same treatment, Nineveh.
    You’ll soon be staggering like a bunch of drunks,
Wondering what hit you,
    looking for a place to sleep it off.
All your forts are like peach trees,
    the lush peaches ripe, ready for the picking.
One shake of the tree and they fall
    straight into hungry mouths.
Face it: Your warriors are wimps.
    You’re sitting ducks.
Your borders are gaping doors, inviting
    your enemies in. And who’s to stop them?

14-15 Store up water for the siege.
    Shore up your defenses.
Get down to basics: Work the clay
    and make bricks.
Sorry. Too late.
    Enemy fire will burn you up.
Swords will cut you to pieces.
    You’ll be chewed up as if by locusts.

15-17 Yes, as if by locusts—a fitting fate,
    for you yourselves are a locust plague.
You’ve multiplied shops and shopkeepers—
    more buyers and sellers than stars in the sky!
A plague of locusts, cleaning out the neighborhood
    and then flying off.
Your bureaucrats are locusts,
    your brokers and bankers are locusts.
Early on, they’re all at your service,
    full of smiles and promises,
But later when you return with questions or complaints,
    you’ll find they’ve flown off and are nowhere to be found.

18-19 King of Assyria! Your shepherd-leaders,
    in charge of caring for your people,
Are busy doing everything else but.
    They’re not doing their job,
And your people are scattered and lost.
    There’s no one to look after them.
You’re past the point of no return.
    Your wound is fatal.
When the story of your fate gets out,
    the whole world will applaud and cry “Encore!”
Your cruel evil has seeped
    into every nook and cranny of the world.
    Everyone has felt it and suffered.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Nahum 3New 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?

Footnotes:

  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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