Books of Bible
The Written Prophecy of Nahum
By H. A. (Buster) Dobbs
A. The man.
1. Like most of the prophets, we know very little about Nahum.
a. He calls himself an "Elkoshite" (1:1).
b. This may mean he was from the city of Elkosh, about
which city we know little or nothing..
c. The word translated "Elkoshite" means "God who
ensnares," and may refer to the nature of the prophecy of
d. The name "Nahum" means "comforter."
e. The inscription could mean "the comforter who presents
an ensnaring God"
f. The important thing in revelation is not the messenger but
2. Nahum's style of writing indicates a learned man of deep
devotion to Jehovah.
a. The literary style and vocabulary of Bible writers is
preserved, while the very words used to communicate the
message were given messengers. God chose both the
thought revealed and the words in which to convey that
b. The writing of Nahum is poetic. It is imposing and well
organized. It has force and is graphic and compelling.
B. The background.
1. Assyria, of which Nineveh was the capital city, was
established soon after the flood, at about the time of the
tower of Babel.
2. It was a mighty empire for about 1700 years and vied with
Egypt for world domination. Assyria prevailed:
a. Egypt had submitted.
b. Phonecia and Syria were captured.
c. Judea paid tribute.
d. Assyria was at the height of its success.
e. It was at this time that Nahum prophesied the destruction
3. The Assyrians were noted for their inhuman cruelty and were
cordially hated by the nations they subdued.
4. Nabopolassar became king of Babylon and began to put
together an alliance to resist and destroy Assyria.
5. Nineveh fell in 608 B.C.
6. "Asher is there and all her company: his graves are about
him: all of them slain, fallen by the sword: Whose graves are
set in the sides of the pit, and her company is round about her
grave: all of them slain, fallen by the sword, which
caused terror in the land of the living" (Ezek. 32:22-23).
II. The Book.
A. The book easily divides into three parts.
B. A vivid description of Jehovah (1:1-15).
1. Jehovah is jealous (1:2).
a. Jehovah is full of wrath (1:2)
b. Jehovah will retaliate. (1:2).
2. A picture of the destructive might of Jehovah (1:3-8).
3. Jehovah cannot be successfully resisted nor his purposes
a. Assyria was at its peak of power.
b. God would nevertheless bring her low.
4. Judah about to be delivered from Assyrian tyranny (1:15).
C. The fall of Ninevah (2:1-13).
1. A picturesque description of the fall of Ninevah (2:1-6).
2. Her defenses are worthless (2:6-8).
a. The gates of the river shall be opened (2:6).
b. Nineveh withstood the siege of Babylon, Medes, Persians,
Egyptians, Armenians and other nations for two years.
c. A heavy flood of the river Tigris carried away a large
section of the walls of Nineveh. Through the gap the
enemy forced their way in and captured the city.
3. The city is plundered (2:9-13).
D. The reason for the terrible destruction (3:1-19).
1. The crimes which brought the ruin (3:1-7).
a. A colorful picture of the invading army (3:1-3).
b. Nineveh was destroyed because of moral corruption
2. Assyria to be destroyed as No-Amon was ruined (3:9-13).
a. Assyria had crushed without mercy No-Amon of Egypt.
b. Assyria was to be ground to dust in the same way.
c. No mercy would be shown.
3. The walls of Nineveh, her great army, and all her generals
would not be able to save the wicked city (3:14-19). When
Jehovah comes in judgment all defences fall.