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

Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and robbery; the prey departeth not;

The noise of a whip, and the noise of the rattling of the wheels, and of the pransing horses, and of the jumping chariots.

The horseman lifteth up both the bright sword and the glittering spear: and there is a multitude of slain, and a great number of carcases; and there is none end of their corpses; they stumble upon their corpses:

Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the wellfavoured harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts.

Behold, I am against thee, saith the Lord of hosts; and I will discover thy skirts upon thy face, and I will shew the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame.

And I will cast abominable filth upon thee, and make thee vile, and will set thee as a gazingstock.

And it shall come to pass, that all they that look upon thee shall flee from thee, and say, Nineveh is laid waste: who will bemoan her? whence shall I seek comforters for thee?

Art thou better than populous No, that was situate among the rivers, that had the waters round about it, whose rampart was the sea, and her wall was from the sea?

Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength, and it was infinite; Put and Lubim were thy helpers.

10 Yet was she carried away, she went into captivity: her young children also were dashed in pieces at the top of all the streets: and they cast lots for her honourable men, and all her great men were bound in chains.

11 Thou also shalt be drunken: thou shalt be hid, thou also shalt seek strength because of the enemy.

12 All thy strong holds shall be like fig trees with the firstripe figs: if they be shaken, they shall even fall into the mouth of the eater.

13 Behold, thy people in the midst of thee are women: the gates of thy land shall be set wide open unto thine enemies: the fire shall devour thy bars.

14 Draw thee waters for the siege, fortify thy strong holds: go into clay, and tread the morter, make strong the brickkiln.

15 There shall the fire devour thee; the sword shall cut thee off, it shall eat thee up like the cankerworm: make thyself many as the cankerworm, make thyself many as the locusts.

16 Thou hast multiplied thy merchants above the stars of heaven: the cankerworm spoileth, and fleeth away.

17 Thy crowned are as the locusts, and thy captains as the great grasshoppers, which camp in the hedges in the cold day, but when the sun ariseth they flee away, and their place is not known where they are.

18 Thy shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria: thy nobles shall dwell in the dust: thy people is scattered upon the mountains, and no man gathereth them.

19 There is no healing of thy bruise; thy wound is grievous: all that hear the bruit of thee shall clap the hands over thee: for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?