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It Will Be Terrible for Nineveh

·How terrible it will be for [L Woe to] the city ·that has killed so many [L of blood].
    It is full of lies
and ·goods stolen from other countries [plunder].
    It is ·always killing somebody [L never empty of prey].

Hear the sound of whips
    and the ·noise [rumble; shaking] of the wheels.
Hear horses galloping
    and chariots bouncing along!
·Horses [Cavalry; Horsemen] are charging,
    swords are ·shining [flashing],
    spears are gleaming!
Many are ·dead [slain];
    their bodies are piled up—
too many to count.
    People stumble over the dead bodies.
·The city was like a prostitute [For her many acts of prostitution];
    she was ·charming [graceful] and a ·lover of magic [L mistress of sorceries].
She made nations slaves with her prostitution
    and her ·witchcraft [sorcery; charms].

“I am against ·you, Nineveh [L you],” says the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts].
    “I will pull your dress up over your face
and show the nations your nakedness
    and the kingdoms your shame [C the punishment of a prostitute in the ancient Near East].
I will throw filthy garbage on you
    and ·make a fool of you [treat you with contempt].
    I will make ·people stare at you [you a spectacle].
Everyone who sees you will ·run away [or turn away in disgust] and say,
    ‘Nineveh is in ruins. Who will ·cry [grieve; lament] for her?’
Nineveh, where will I find anyone to comfort you?”

You are no better than ·Thebes [L No Amon; C meaning “city of (the god) Amon”; This capital of Upper Egypt, thought to be impregnable, was destroyed by the Assyrians in 663 bc],
    who sits by the Nile River
    with water all around her.
The river was her ·defense [rampart];
    the waters were like a wall around her.
Cush [C ancient Ethiopia or Nubia] and Egypt gave her endless strength;
    Put and Libya supported her [C neighboring countries allied with Egypt].
10 But Thebes was captured
    and went into ·captivity [exile].
Her ·small children [infants] were ·beaten to death [dashed to pieces]
    at every street corner.
Lots were thrown for her ·important men [nobles; C parceled out as slaves],
    and all of her ·leaders [great ones] were put in chains.

11 You [C Nineveh] will be drunk, too.
    You will hide;
    you will ·look for a place safe [seek refuge] from the enemy.
12 All your ·defenses [fortresses] are like fig trees with ripe fruit.
    When the tree is shaken, the figs fall into the mouth of the eater.
13 Look at your soldiers.
    They are all women [C meaning helpless or physically weak]!
The gates of your land
    are wide open for your enemies;
fire has ·burned [consumed; devoured] the bars of your gates.

14 ·Get enough water before the long war begins [Draw water for the siege].
    Make your defenses strong!
Get mud,
    mix clay,
    ·make bricks [strengthen the brickwork]!
15 There the fire will ·burn you up [consume/devour you].
    The sword will ·kill you [cut you down];
    ·like grasshoppers eating crops, the battle will completely destroy you [it will devour you like locusts].
Grow in number like ·hopping [or young] locusts;
    grow in number like ·swarming [or flying] locusts!
16 Your ·traders [merchants] are more than the stars in the sky,
    but like locusts they ·strip the land [or shed their skin] and then fly away.
17 Your guards are like locusts.
    Your officers are like swarms of locusts
    that ·hang [settle; encamp] on the walls on a cold day.
When the sun comes up, they fly away,
    and no one knows where they have gone.
18 King of Assyria, your ·rulers [L shepherds] are asleep;
    your ·important men [nobles; officers] lie down ·to rest [or dead].
Your people have been scattered on the mountains [C like sheep],
    and there is no one to ·bring them back [gather them].
19 Nothing can heal your wound;
    your ·injury [wound] ·will not heal [is fatal].
Everyone who hears ·about you applauds [will clap their hands over you],
    because ·everyone has [L who has not…?] felt your endless cruelty.

Woe to Nineveh

Woe to the city of blood,(A)
    full of lies,(B)
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(C)
all because of the wanton lust of a prostitute,
    alluring, the mistress of sorceries,(D)
who enslaved nations by her prostitution(E)
    and peoples by her witchcraft.

“I am against(F) you,” declares the Lord Almighty.
    “I will lift your skirts(G) over your face.
I will show the nations your nakedness(H)
    and the kingdoms your shame.
I will pelt you with filth,(I)
    I will treat you with contempt(J)
    and make you a spectacle.(K)
All who see you will flee(L) from you and say,
    ‘Nineveh(M) is in ruins(N)—who will mourn for her?’(O)
    Where can I find anyone to comfort(P) you?”

Are you better than(Q) Thebes,(R)
    situated on the Nile,(S)
    with water around her?
The river was her defense,
    the waters her wall.
Cush[a](T) and Egypt were her boundless strength;
    Put(U) and Libya(V) were among her allies.
10 Yet she was taken captive(W)
    and went into exile.
Her infants were dashed(X) to pieces
    at every street corner.
Lots(Y) were cast for her nobles,
    and all her great men were put in chains.(Z)
11 You too will become drunk;(AA)
    you will go into hiding(AB)
    and seek refuge from the enemy.

12 All your fortresses are like fig trees
    with their first ripe fruit;(AC)
when they are shaken,
    the figs(AD) fall into the mouth of the eater.
13 Look at your troops—
    they are all weaklings.(AE)
The gates(AF) of your land
    are wide open to your enemies;
    fire has consumed the bars of your gates.(AG)

14 Draw water for the siege,(AH)
    strengthen your defenses!(AI)
Work the clay,
    tread the mortar,
    repair the brickwork!
15 There the fire(AJ) will consume you;
    the sword(AK) will cut you down—
    they will devour you like a swarm of locusts.
Multiply like grasshoppers,
    multiply like locusts!(AL)
16 You have increased the number of your merchants
    till they are more numerous than the stars in the sky,
but like locusts(AM) they strip the land
    and then fly away.
17 Your guards are like locusts,(AN)
    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;(AO)
    your nobles lie down to rest.(AP)
Your people are scattered(AQ) on the mountains
    with no one to gather them.
19 Nothing can heal you;(AR)
    your wound is fatal.
All who hear the news about you
    clap their hands(AS) at your fall,
for who has not felt
    your endless cruelty?(AT)


  1. Nahum 3:9 That is, the upper Nile region
  2. Nahum 3:18 That is, rulers