1 The [a]burden against Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.
God’s Wrath on His Enemies
2 God isjealous, and the Lord avenges; The Lord avenges and is furious. The Lord will take vengeance on His adversaries, And He reserves wrath for His enemies; 3 The Lordisslow to anger and great in power, And will not at all acquit the wicked.
The Lord has His way In the whirlwind and in the storm, And the clouds are the dust of His feet. 4 He rebukes the sea and makes it dry, And dries up all the rivers. Bashan and Carmel wither, And the flower of Lebanon wilts. 5 The mountains quake before Him, The hills melt, And the earth [b]heaves at His presence, Yes, the world and all who dwell in it.
6 Who can stand before His indignation? And who can endure the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, And the rocks are thrown down by Him.
7 The Lordis good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him. 8 But with an overflowing flood He will make an utter end of its place, And darkness will pursue His enemies.
9 What do you [c]conspire against the Lord? He will make an utter end of it. Affliction will not rise up a second time. 10 For while tangled like thorns, And while drunken like drunkards, They shall be devoured like stubble fully dried. 11 From you comes forth one Who plots evil against the Lord, A [d]wicked counselor.
12 Thus says the Lord:
“Though they are[e]safe, and likewise many, Yet in this manner they will be cut down When he passes through. Though I have afflicted you, I will afflict you no more; 13 For now I will break off his yoke from you, And burst your bonds apart.”
14 The Lord has given a command concerning you: [f]“Your name shall be perpetuated no longer. Out of the house of your gods I will cut off the carved image and the molded image. I will dig your grave, For you are vile.”[g]
15 Behold, on the mountains The feet of him who brings good tidings, Who proclaims peace! O Judah, keep your appointed feasts, Perform your vows. For the [h]wicked one shall no more pass through you; He is utterly cut off.
The Destruction of Nineveh
2 He[i] who scatters has come up before your face. Man the fort! Watch the road! Strengthen your flanks! Fortify your power mightily.
2 For the Lord will restore the excellence of Jacob Like the excellence of Israel, For the emptiers have emptied them out And ruined their vine branches.
3 The shields of his mighty men are made red, The valiant men are in scarlet. The chariots come with flaming torches In the day of his preparation, And [j]the spears are brandished. 4 The chariots rage in the streets, They jostle one another in the broad roads; They seem like torches, They run like lightning.
5 He remembers his nobles; They stumble in their walk; They make haste to her walls, And the defense is prepared. 6 The gates of the rivers are opened, And the palace is dissolved. 7 [k]It is decreed: She shall be led away captive, She shall be brought up; And her maidservants shall lead her as with the voice of doves, Beating their breasts.
8 Though Nineveh of old was like a pool of water, Now they flee away. [l]“Halt! Halt!” they cry; But no one turns back. 9 [m]Take spoil of silver! Take spoil of gold! There is no end of treasure, Or wealth of every desirable prize. 10 She is empty, desolate, and waste! The heart melts, and the knees shake; Much pain is in every side, And all their faces [n]are drained of color.
11 Where is the dwelling of the lions, And the feeding place of the young lions, Where the lion walked, the lioness and lion’s cub, And no one made them afraid? 12 The lion tore in pieces enough for his cubs, [o]Killed for his lionesses, Filled his caves with prey, And his dens with [p]flesh.
13 “Behold, I am against you,” says the Lord of hosts, “I will burn [q]your chariots in smoke, and the sword shall devour your young lions; I will cut off your prey from the earth, and the voice of your messengers shall be heard no more.”
The Woe of Nineveh
3 Woe to the bloody city! It is all full of lies and robbery. Its[r]victim never departs. 2 The noise of a whip And the noise of rattling wheels, Of galloping horses, Of [s]clattering chariots! 3 Horsemen charge with bright sword and glittering spear. There is a multitude of slain, A great number of bodies, Countless corpses— They stumble over the corpses— 4 Because of the multitude of [t]harlotries of the [u]seductive harlot, The mistress of sorceries, Who sells nations through her harlotries, And families through her sorceries.
5 “Behold, I amagainst you,” says the Lord of hosts; “I will lift your skirts over your face, I will show the nations your nakedness, And the kingdoms your shame. 6 I will cast abominable filth upon you, Make you vile,[v] And make you a spectacle. 7 It shall come to pass that all who look upon you Will flee from you, and say, ‘Nineveh is laid waste! Who will bemoan her?’ Where shall I seek comforters for you?”
8 Are you better than No[w] Amon That was situated by the [x]River, That had the waters around her, Whose rampart was the sea, Whose wall was the sea? 9 Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength, And it was boundless; Put and Lubim were [y]your helpers. 10 Yet she was carried away, She went into captivity; Her young children also were dashed to pieces At the head of every street; They cast lots for her honorable men, And all her great men were bound in chains. 11 You also will be drunk; You will be hidden; You also will seek refuge from the enemy.
12 All your strongholds arefig trees with ripened figs: If they are shaken, They fall into the mouth of the eater. 13 Surely, your people in your midst are women! The gates of your land are wide open for your enemies; Fire shall devour the bars of your gates.
14 Draw your water for the siege! Fortify your strongholds! Go into the clay and tread the mortar! Make strong the brick kiln! 15 There the fire will devour you, The sword will cut you off; It will eat you up like a locust.
Make yourself many—like the locust! Make yourself many—like the swarming locusts! 16 You have multiplied your merchants more than the stars of heaven. The locust plunders and flies away. 17 Your commanders are like swarming locusts, And your generals like great grasshoppers, Which camp in the hedges on a cold day; When the sun rises they flee away, And the place where they are is not known.
18 Your shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria; Your nobles rest in the dust. Your people are scattered on the mountains, And no one gathers them. 19 Your injury has no healing, Your wound is severe. All who hear news of you Will clap their hands over you, For upon whom has not your wickedness passed continually?
2 O Lord, how long shall I cry, And You will not hear? Even cry out to You, “Violence!” And You will not save. 3 Why do You show me iniquity, And cause me to see [aa]trouble? For plundering and violence are before me; There is strife, and contention arises. 4 Therefore the law is powerless, And justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; Therefore perverse judgment proceeds.
The Lord’s Reply
5 “Look among the nations and watch— Be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days Which you would not believe, though it were told you. 6 For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans, A bitter and hasty nation Which marches through the breadth of the earth, To possess dwelling places that are not theirs. 7 They are terrible and dreadful; Their judgment and their dignity proceed from themselves. 8 Their horses also are swifter than leopards, And more fierce than evening wolves. Their [ab]chargers [ac]charge ahead; Their cavalry comes from afar; They fly as the eagle that hastens to eat.
9 “They all come for violence; Their faces are set like the east wind. They gather captives like sand. 10 They scoff at kings, And princes are scorned by them. They deride every stronghold, For they heap up earthen mounds and seize it. 11 Then his[ad]mind changes, and he transgresses; He commits offense, Ascribing this power to his god.”
The Prophet’s Second Question
12 Are You not from everlasting, O Lord my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O Lord, You have appointed them for judgment; O Rock, You have marked them for correction. 13 You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, And cannot look on wickedness. Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, And hold Your tongue when the wicked devours A person more righteous than he? 14 Why do You make men like fish of the sea, Like creeping things that have no ruler over them?
15 They take up all of them with a hook, They catch them in their net, And gather them in their dragnet. Therefore they rejoice and are glad. 16 Therefore they sacrifice to their net, And burn incense to their dragnet; Because by them their share is[ae]sumptuous And their food plentiful. 17 Shall they therefore empty their net, And continue to slay nations without pity?
The Just Shall Live by Faith
2 I will stand my watch And set myself on the rampart, And watch to see what He will say to me, And what I will answer when I am corrected.
The Just Live by Faith
2 Then the Lord answered me and said:
“Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. 3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.
4 “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith.
Woe to the Wicked
5 “Indeed, because he transgresses by wine, He is a proud man, And he does not stay at home. Because he enlarges his desire as [af]hell, And he is like death, and cannot be satisfied, He gathers to himself all nations And heaps up for himself all peoples.
6 “Will not all these take up a proverb against him, And a taunting riddle against him, and say, ‘Woe to him who increases What is not his—how long? And to him who loads himself with [ag]many pledges’? 7 Will not [ah]your creditors rise up suddenly? Will they not awaken who oppress you? And you will become their booty. 8 Because you have plundered many nations, All the remnant of the people shall plunder you, Because of men’s [ai]blood And the violence of the land and the city, And of all who dwell in it.
9 “Woe to him who covets evil gain for his house, That he may set his nest on high, That he may be delivered from the [aj]power of disaster! 10 You give shameful counsel to your house, Cutting off many peoples, And sin against your soul. 11 For the stone will cry out from the wall, And the beam from the timbers will answer it.
12 “Woe to him who builds a town with bloodshed, Who establishes a city by iniquity! 13 Behold, is it not of the Lord of hosts That the peoples labor [ak]to feed the fire, And nations weary themselves in vain? 14 For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, As the waters cover the sea.
15 “Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor, [al]Pressing him to your bottle, Even to make him drunk, That you may look on [am]his nakedness! 16 You are filled with shame instead of glory. You also—drink! And [an]be exposed as uncircumcised! The cup of the Lord’s right hand will be turned against you, And utter shame will be on your glory. 17 For the violence done to Lebanon will cover you, And the plunder of beasts which made them afraid, Because of men’s blood And the violence of the land and the city, And of all who dwell in it.
18 “What profit is the image, that its maker should carve it, The molded image, a teacher of lies, That the maker of its mold should trust in it, To make mute idols? 19 Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Awake!’ To silent stone, ‘Arise! It shall teach!’ Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, Yet in it there is no breath at all.
20 “But the Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him.”
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