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Nahum 3 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Ruin Imminent and Inevitable

Ah! City of bloodshed,

    utterly deceitful, full of 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,
piles of dead,
    heaps of corpses,
dead bodies without end—
    they stumble over the bodies!
Because of the countless debaucheries of the prostitute,
    gracefully alluring, mistress of sorcery,
who enslaves[a] nations through her debaucheries,
    and peoples through her sorcery,
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 spectacle.
Then all who see you will shrink from you and say,
“Nineveh is devastated; who will bemoan her?”
    Where shall I seek comforters for you?

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

10 Yet she became an exile,
    she went into captivity;
even her infants were dashed in pieces
    at the head of every street;
lots were cast for her nobles,
    all her dignitaries were bound in fetters.
11 You also will be drunken,
    you will go into hiding;[e]
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 Look at your troops:
    they are women in your midst.
The gates of your land
    are wide open to your foes;
    fire has devoured the bars of your gates.

14 Draw water for the siege,
    strengthen your forts;
trample the clay,
    tread the mortar,
    take hold of the brick mold!
15 There the fire will 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 sheds its skin and flies away.
17 Your guards are like grasshoppers,
    your scribes like swarms[f] of locusts
settling on the fences
    on a cold day—
when the sun rises, they fly away;
    no one knows where they have gone.

18 Your shepherds are asleep,
    O king of Assyria;
    your nobles slumber.
Your people are scattered on the mountains
    with no one to gather them.
19 There is no assuaging your hurt,
    your wound is mortal.
All who hear the news about you
    clap their hands over you.
For who has ever escaped
    your endless cruelty?


  1. Nahum 3:4 Heb sells
  2. Nahum 3:8 Heb No-amon
  3. Nahum 3:9 Or Nubia; Heb Cush
  4. Nahum 3:9 Gk: Heb your
  5. Nahum 3:11 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  6. Nahum 3:17 Meaning of Heb uncertain
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 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.

Nahum 3 Common English Bible (CEB)

Doom, city of bloodshed—all deceit,
        full of plunder: prey cannot get away.
Cracking whip and rumbling wheel,
        galloping horse and careening chariot!
    Charging cavalry, flashing sword, and glittering spear;
        countless slain, masses of corpses,
            endless dead bodies—they stumble over their dead bodies!
Because of the many whorings of the whore,
        the lovely graces of the mistress of sorceries,
        the one who sells nations by means of her whorings
            and peoples by means of her sorceries:
Look! I am against you, proclaims
    the Lord of heavenly forces.
        I will lift your skirts over your face;
        I will show nations your nakedness
            and kingdoms your dishonor.
I will throw disgusting things at you;
        I will treat you with contempt and make you a spectacle.
Then all who look at you will recoil from you and say,
        “Nineveh has been devastated!
        Who will lament for her?”
        Where could I possibly seek comforters for you?
    Are you better than Thebes,
        situated by the Nile, waters surrounding her,
        whose fortress is sea and whose city wall is waters?
Cush[a] and Egypt constituted her strength, without limit;
        Put and the Libyans were her[b] help.
10 Yet even she was destined for exile;
        she went into captivity.
Indeed, her infants were dashed to pieces at the head of every street.
        They cast lots for her officials;
            all of her powerful citizens were bound in chains.
11 Yes, even you will become drunk;
        you will have to hide!
        Even you will have to seek refuge from the enemy!
12 All your fortifications are fig trees with ripe fruit;
        when the trees are shaken, the fruit falls into the mouth of the eater.
13 Look, your people are women in your midst.
    The gates of your land have been flung wide open to your enemies.
        Fire consumes the bars of your gates.
14 Draw water for yourself to prepare for siege!
        Strengthen your fortifications!
        Tread the clay, trample the mortar, grab the brick mold!
15 Fire will consume you there;
        the sword will cut you down;
            like the locust it will consume you.
Multiply like the locust; multiply like the grasshopper!
16     You boasted more traders than the heavens have stars.
        The locust sheds its skin and flies away.
17 Your guards are like grasshoppers,
            your marshals like swarms of cicadas
            that encamp on stone fences on a chilly day;
        when the sun rises, they take flight;
            no one knows where they have gone.
18 Your shepherds have fallen asleep, king of Assyria!
        Your officials are lying down.
Your people are scattered across the mountains;
        there is no one to gather them.
19 There is no remedy for your injury;
        your wound is grievous.
All who hear the news about you clap their hands over you.
        Who has not suffered from your continual cruelty?


  1. Nahum 3:9 Traditionally Ethiopia
  2. Nahum 3:9 LXX; MT your
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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