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Nahum 1-3 Common English Bible (CEB)

An oracle about Nineveh: the scroll containing the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.

Power of the creator

The Lord is a jealous and vengeful God;
        the Lord is vengeful and strong in wrath.
    The Lord is vengeful against his foes;
        he rages against his enemies.
The Lord is very patient but great in power;
        the Lord punishes.
    His way is in whirlwind and storm;
        clouds are the dust of his feet.
He can blast the sea and make it dry up;
        he can dry up all the rivers.
    Bashan and Carmel wither;
        the bud of Lebanon withers.
The mountains quake because of him;
        the hills melt away.
The earth heaves before him—
        the world and all who dwell in it.
Who can stand before his indignation?
        Who can confront the heat of his fury?
    His wrath pours out like fire;
        the rocks are shattered because of him.
The Lord is good,
        a haven in a day of distress.
    He acknowledges those who take refuge in him.
With a rushing flood, he will utterly destroy her[a] place
        and pursue his enemies into darkness.

A challenge to God’s enemies

What are you plotting against the Lord?
        He is one who can annihilate!
        Distress will not arise twice.
10 They are tangled up like thorns,
        like drunkards in their cups.
    They are consumed like stubble
        that is entirely dried up.
11 From you[b] goes out
        one who plots evil against the Lord
            a worthless counselor!

Reassurance for God’s people

12 The Lord proclaims:
Though once they were a healthy and numerous force,
        they have been cut off and have disappeared.
I have afflicted you;
        I won’t afflict you further, Zion.[c]
13 Now I will break off his yoke from you
        and tear off your chains.

Assyrian king’s future doom

14 The Lord has commanded concerning you:
        You will have no children to carry on your name.
    I will remove carved idol and cast image from the house of your gods;
        I will make your grave, for you are worthless.
15 [d] Look, on the mountains: the feet of a messenger who announces peace!
        Celebrate your festivals, Judah!
            Fulfill your solemn promises!
    The worthless one will never again invade you;
        he has been completely cut off.

A city under attack

A scatterer has come up against you.
        Guard the ramparts, watch the road,
            protect your groin, save your[e] strength!
The Lord will restore the pride of Jacob,
        indeed, the pride of Israel,
            because ravagers have destroyed
            them and spoiled their branches.
The shields of his warriors are red;
        his soldiers are dressed in crimson.
The ironwork of the chariots flashes like fire
        on the day he has prepared;
            the horses quiver.
The chariots race wildly through the streets;
        they rush back and forth through the squares.
        They look like flaming torches;
                they dart like bolts of lightning.
He musters his officers;
            they stumble as they press forward.
        They hurry to the city wall,
            and the portable shield is set up.
The gates of the rivers are opened;
        the palace melts.
It is decreed:[f] She is sent into exile, carried away,
    while her female servants moan like doves, beating their breasts.
Nineveh has been like a pool of water.
        Such are its waters,[g] and others are fleeing.
            “Stop, stop!”—but no one can turn them back.
Plunder silver! Plunder gold!
        There is no end to the supplies,
            an abundance of precious objects!
10 Destruction and devastation;
        the city is laid waste!
    The heart grows faint and knees buckle;
        there is anguish in every groin;
            all the faces grow pale.

Cruel Nineveh will be destroyed

11 Where is the lions’ den, the meadow of the young lions,
        where lion, lioness, even lion cub go about with no one to terrify them?
12 The lion has torn enough prey
            for his cubs and strangled enough for his lionesses;
        he has filled his lairs with prey,
                his dens with torn flesh.
13 Look! I am against you, proclaims the Lord of heavenly forces.
    I will burn your[h] chariots in smoke;
        the sword will devour your young lions;
I will cut off your prey from the earth,
        the voice of your messengers will never again be heard!

Doom, city of bloodshed—all deceit,
        full of plunder: prey cannot get away.
Cracking whip and rumbling wheel,
        galloping horse and careening chariot!
    Charging cavalry, flashing sword, and glittering spear;
        countless slain, masses of corpses,
            endless dead bodies—they stumble over their dead bodies!
Because of the many whorings of the whore,
        the lovely graces of the mistress of sorceries,
        the one who sells nations by means of her whorings
            and peoples by means of her sorceries:
Look! I am against you, proclaims
    the Lord of heavenly forces.
        I will lift your skirts over your face;
        I will show nations your nakedness
            and kingdoms your dishonor.
I will throw disgusting things at you;
        I will treat you with contempt and make you a spectacle.
Then all who look at you will recoil from you and say,
        “Nineveh has been devastated!
        Who will lament for her?”
        Where could I possibly seek comforters for you?
    Are you better than Thebes,
        situated by the Nile, waters surrounding her,
        whose fortress is sea and whose city wall is waters?
Cush[i] and Egypt constituted her strength, without limit;
        Put and the Libyans were her[j] help.
10 Yet even she was destined for exile;
        she went into captivity.
Indeed, her infants were dashed to pieces at the head of every street.
        They cast lots for her officials;
            all of her powerful citizens were bound in chains.
11 Yes, even you will become drunk;
        you will have to hide!
        Even you will have to seek refuge from the enemy!
12 All your fortifications are fig trees with ripe fruit;
        when the trees are shaken, the fruit falls into the mouth of the eater.
13 Look, your people are women in your midst.
    The gates of your land have been flung wide open to your enemies.
        Fire consumes the bars of your gates.
14 Draw water for yourself to prepare for siege!
        Strengthen your fortifications!
        Tread the clay, trample the mortar, grab the brick mold!
15 Fire will consume you there;
        the sword will cut you down;
            like the locust it will consume you.
Multiply like the locust; multiply like the grasshopper!
16     You boasted more traders than the heavens have stars.
        The locust sheds its skin and flies away.
17 Your guards are like grasshoppers,
            your marshals like swarms of cicadas
            that encamp on stone fences on a chilly day;
        when the sun rises, they take flight;
            no one knows where they have gone.
18 Your shepherds have fallen asleep, king of Assyria!
        Your officials are lying down.
Your people are scattered across the mountains;
        there is no one to gather them.
19 There is no remedy for your injury;
        your wound is grievous.
All who hear the news about you clap their hands over you.
        Who has not suffered from your continual cruelty?

Footnotes:

  1. Nahum 1:8 her; likely Nineveh
  2. Nahum 1:11 you (feminine singular); likely Nineveh
  3. Nahum 1:12 Heb lacks Zion.
  4. Nahum 1:15 2:1 in Heb
  5. Nahum 2:1 Heb lacks your.
  6. Nahum 2:7 Heb uncertain
  7. Nahum 2:8 Heb uncertain
  8. Nahum 2:13 Or her
  9. Nahum 3:9 Traditionally Ethiopia
  10. Nahum 3:9 LXX; MT your
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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