Nahum 1-3New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
1 Here is a prophecy the Lord gave Nahum, who was from the town of Elkosh. The prophecy came in a vision and is written in a book. The prophecy is about Nineveh.
The Lord Is Angry With Nineveh
2 The Lord is a jealous God who punishes people. He pays them back for the evil things they do. He directs his anger against them. The Lord punishes his enemies. He holds his anger back until the right time to use it. 3 The Lord is slow to get angry. But he is very powerful. The Lord will not let guilty people go without punishing them. When he marches out, he stirs up winds and storms. Clouds are the dust kicked up by his feet. 4 He controls the seas. He dries them up. He makes all the rivers run dry. Bashan and Mount Carmel dry up. The flowers in Lebanon fade. 5 He causes the mountains to shake. The hills melt away. The earth trembles because he is there. The world and all those who live in it also tremble. 6 Who can stand firm when his anger burns? Who can live when he is angry? His anger blazes out like fire. He smashes the rocks to pieces.
7 The Lord is good. When people are in trouble, they can go to him for safety. He takes good care of those who trust in him. 8 But he will destroy Nineveh with a powerful flood. He will chase his enemies into the place of darkness.
9 The Lord will put an end to anything they plan against him. He won’t allow Assyria to win the battle over his people a second time. 10 His enemies will be tangled up among thorns. Their wine will make them drunk. They’ll be burned up like dry straw. 11 Nineveh, a king has marched out from you. He makes evil plans against the Lord. He thinks about how he can do what is wrong.
12 The Lord says,
“His army has many soldiers. Other nations are helping them. But they will be destroyed and pass away. Judah, I punished you. But I will not do it anymore. 13 Now I will break Assyria’s yoke off your neck. I will tear off the ropes that hold you.”
14 Nineveh, the Lord has given an order concerning you. He has said, “You will not have any children to carry on your name. I will destroy the wooden and metal statues that are in the temple of your gods. I will get your grave ready for you. You are worthless.”
15 Look at the mountains of Judah! I see a messenger running to bring good news! He’s telling us that peace has come! People of Judah, celebrate your feasts. Carry out your promises. The evil Assyrians won’t attack you again. They’ll be completely destroyed.
The Lord Will Destroy Nineveh
2 Nineveh, armies are coming to attack you. Guard the forts! Watch the roads! Get ready! Gather all your strength!
2 Assyria once took everything of value from God’s people. Its army destroyed all their vines. But the Lord will bring back the glory of Jacob’s people. He’ll make Israel glorious again.
3 The shields of the soldiers are red. The warriors are dressed in bright red uniforms. The metal on their chariots flashes when they are prepared for war. Their spears made out of juniper are ready to use. 4 The chariots race through the main streets. They rush back and forth through them. They look like flaming torches. They dart around like lightning.
5 Nineveh sends for their special troops. But they trip and fall on their way. They run toward the city wall. They keep their shield in front of them. 6 The attackers open the gates that hold back the waters of the river. And the palace falls down. 7 The attackers order that Nineveh’s people be taken away as prisoners. The female slaves sound like doves as they mourn. They beat their chests. 8 Nineveh is like a pool whose water is draining away. “Stop running away!” someone cries out. But no one turns back. 9 “Steal the silver!” the attackers shout. “Grab the gold!” The supply is endless. There is plenty of wealth among all the city’s treasures. 10 Nineveh is destroyed, robbed and stripped! Hearts melt away in fear. Knees give way. Bodies tremble with fear. Everyone’s face turns pale.
11 Assyria is like a lion. Where is the lions’ den now? Where did they feed their cubs? Where did all the lions go? In their den they had nothing to fear. 12 The lion killed enough for his cubs to eat. He choked what he caught for his mate. He filled his home with what he had killed. He brought to his dens what he had caught.
13 “Nineveh, I am against you,” announces the Lord who rules over all. “I will burn up your chariots with fire. Your young lions will be killed by swords. I will leave you nothing on earth to catch. The voices of your messengers will no longer be heard.”
The Lord Will Judge Nineveh
3 How terrible it will be for Nineveh! It is a city of murderers! It is full of liars! It is filled with stolen goods! The killing never stops! 2 Whips crack! Wheels clack! Horses charge! Chariots rumble! 3 Horsemen attack! Swords flash! Spears gleam! Many people die. Dead bodies pile up. They can’t even be counted. People trip over them. 4 All of that was caused by the evil desires of the prostitute Nineveh. That woman who practiced evil magic was very beautiful. She used her sinful charms to make slaves out of the nations. She worshiped evil powers in order to trap others.
5 “Nineveh, I am against you,” announces the Lord who rules over all. “I will pull your skirts up over your face. I will show the nations your naked body. Kingdoms will make fun of your shame. 6 I will throw garbage at you. I will look down on you. I will make an example out of you. 7 All those who see you will run away from you. They will say, ‘Nineveh is destroyed. Who will mourn over it?’ Where can I find someone to comfort your people?”
8 Nineveh, are you better than Thebes on the Nile River? There was water all around that city. The river helped to keep it safe. The waters were like a wall around it. 9 Cush and Egypt gave it all the strength it needed. Put and Libya also helped it. 10 But Thebes was captured anyway. Its people were taken away as prisoners. Its babies were smashed to pieces at every street corner. The Assyrian soldiers cast lots for all its nobles. They put them in chains and made slaves out of them. 11 People of Nineveh, you too will get drunk. You will try to hide from your enemies. You will look for a place of safety.
12 All your forts are like fig trees that have their first ripe fruit on them. When the trees are shaken, the figs fall into the mouths of those who eat them. 13 Look at your troops. All of them are weak. The gates of your forts are wide open to your enemies. Fire has destroyed the bars that lock your gates.
14 Prepare for the attack by storing up water! Make your walls as strong as you can! Make some bricks out of clay! Mix the mud to hold them together! Use them to repair the walls! 15 In spite of all your hard work, fire will burn you up inside your city. Your enemies will cut you down with their swords. They will destroy you just as a swarm of locusts eats up crops. Multiply like grasshoppers! Increase your numbers like locusts! 16 You have more traders than the number of stars in the sky. But like locusts they strip the land. Then they fly away. 17 Your guards are like grasshoppers. Your officials are like swarms of locusts. They settle in the walls on a cold day. But when the sun appears, they fly away. And no one knows where they go.
18 King of Assyria, your leaders are asleep. Your nobles lie down to rest. Your people are scattered on the mountains. No one is left to gather them together. 19 Nothing can heal your wounds. You will die of them. All those who hear the news about you clap their hands. That’s because you have fallen from power. Is there anyone who has not suffered because of how badly you treated them?
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