Nahum 3

1 Woe to the bloody city! It is all full of lies and robbery. The prey doesn’t depart. 2 The noise of the whip, the noise of the rattling of wheels, prancing horses, and bounding chariots, 3 the horseman mounting, and the flashing sword, the glittering spear, and a multitude of slain, and a great heap of corpses, and there is no end of the bodies. They stumble on their bodies, 4 because of the multitude of the prostitution of the alluring prostitute, the mistress of witchcraft, who sells nations through her prostitution, and families through her witchcraft. 5 “Behold, I am against you,” says the LORD of Armies, “and I will lift your skirts over your face. I will show the nations your nakedness, and the kingdoms your shame. 6 I will throw abominable filth on you, and make you vile, and will set you a spectacle. 7 It will happen that all those who look at you will flee from you, and say, ‘Nineveh is laid waste! Who will mourn for her?’ Where will I seek comforters for you?” 8 Are you better than No-Amon, who was situated amongst the rivers, who had the waters around her; whose rampart was the sea, and her wall was of the sea? 9 Cush and Egypt were her boundless strength. Put and Libya were her helpers. 10 Yet was she carried away. She went into captivity. Her young children also were dashed in pieces at the head of all the streets, and they cast lots for her honorable men, and all her great men were bound in chains. 11 You also will be drunken. You will be hidden. You also will seek a stronghold because of the enemy. 12 All your fortresses will be like fig trees with the first-ripe figs: if they are shaken, they fall into the mouth of the eater. 13 Behold, your troops amongst you are women. The gates of your land are set wide open to your enemies. The fire has devoured your bars. 14 Draw water for the siege. Strengthen your fortresses. Go into the clay, and tread the mortar. Make the brick kiln strong. 15 There the fire will devour you. The sword will cut you off. It will devour you like the grasshopper. Multiply like grasshoppers. Multiply like the locust. 16 You have increased your merchants more than the stars of the skies. The grasshopper strips, and flees away. 17 Your guards are like the locusts, and your officials like the swarms of locusts, which settle on the walls on a cold day, but when the sun appears, they flee away, and their place is not known where they are. 18 Your shepherds slumber, king of Assyria. Your nobles lie down. Your people are scattered on the mountains, and there is no one to gather them. 19 There is no healing your wound, for your injury is fatal. All who hear the report of you clap their hands over you; for who hasn’t felt your endless cruelty?

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–7

When proud sinners are brought down, others should learn not to lift themselves up. The fall of this great city should be a lesson to private persons, who increase wealth by fraud and oppression. They are preparing enemies for themselves; and if the Lord sees good to punish them in this world, they will have none to pity them. Every man who seeks his own prosperity, safety, and peace, should not only act in an upright, honourable manner, but with kindness to all.

Verses 8–19

Strong-holds, even the strongest, are no defence against the judgments of God. They shall be unable to do any thing for themselves. The Chaldeans and Medes would devour the land like canker-worms. The Assyrians also would be eaten up by their own numerous hired troops, which seem to be meant by the word rendered “merchants.” Those that have done evil to their neighbours, will find it come home to them. Nineveh, and many other cities, states, and empires, have been ruined, and should be a warning to us. Are we better, except as there are some true Christians amongst us, who are a greater security, and a stronger defence, than all the advantages of situation or strength? When the Lord shows himself against a people, every thing they trust in must fail, or prove a disadvantage; but he continues good to Israel. He is a strong-hold for every believer in time of trouble, that cannot be stormed or taken; and he knoweth those that trust in Him.

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