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Nahum 3Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Ruin Imminent and Inevitable

Woe to the bloody city,
all full of lies and booty—
    no end to the plunder!
The crack of whip, and rumble of wheel,
    galloping horse and bounding chariot!
Horsemen charging,
    flashing sword and glittering spear,
hosts of slain,
    heaps of corpses,
dead bodies without end—
    they stumble over the bodies!
And all for the countless harlotries of the harlot,
    graceful and of deadly charms,
who betrays nations with her harlotries,
    and peoples with her charms.

Behold, I am against you,
    says the Lord of hosts,
    and will lift up your skirts over your face;
and I will let nations look on your nakedness
    and kingdoms on your shame.
I will throw filth at you
    and treat you with contempt,
    and make you a gazingstock.
And all who look on you will shrink from you and say,
Wasted is Nin′eveh; who will bemoan her?
    whence shall I seek comforters for her?[a]

Are you better than Thebes[b]
    that sat by the Nile,
with water around her,
    her rampart a sea,
    and water her wall?
Ethiopia was her strength,
    Egypt too, and that without limit;
    Put and the Libyans were her[c] helpers.

10 Yet she was carried away,
    she went into captivity;
her little ones were dashed in pieces
    at the head of every street;
for her honored men lots were cast,
    and all her great men were bound in chains.
11 You also will be drunken,
    you will be dazed;
you will seek
    a refuge from the enemy.
12 All your fortresses are like fig trees
    with first-ripe figs—
if shaken they fall
    into the mouth of the eater.
13 Behold, your troops
    are women in your midst.
The gates of your land
    are wide open to your foes;
    fire has devoured your bars.

14 Draw water for the siege,
    strengthen your forts;
go into the clay,
    tread the mortar,
    take hold of the brick mold!
15 There will the fire devour you,
    the sword will cut you off.
    It will devour you like the locust.

Multiply yourselves like the locust,
    multiply like the grasshopper!
16 You increased your merchants
    more than the stars of the heavens.
    The locust spreads its wings and flies away.
17 Your princes are like grasshoppers,
    your scribes[d] like clouds of locusts
settling on the fences
    in a day of cold—
when the sun rises, they fly away;
    no one knows where they are.

18 Your shepherds are asleep,
    O king of Assyria;
    your nobles slumber.
Your people are scattered on the mountains
    with none to gather them.
19 There is no assuaging your hurt,
    your wound is grievous.
All who hear the news of you
    clap their hands over you.
For upon whom has not come
    your unceasing evil?


  1. Nahum 3:7 Gk: Heb you
  2. Nahum 3:8 Heb No-amon
  3. Nahum 3:9 Gk: Heb your
  4. Nahum 3:17 Or marshals
Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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