God has a quarrel with those who have done violence to His people,
and when the measure of their iniquity is filled up, He will fill them with terror,
while the fire of His indignation shall utterly consume all in which they have placed their confidence.
1 He that dasheth in pieces is come up before thy face: keep the munition, watch the way, make thy loins strong, fortify thy power mightily.
2 For the LORD hath turned away the excellency of Jacob, as the excellency of Israel: for the emptiers have emptied them out, and marred their vine branches.
3 The shield of his mighty men is made red, the valiant men are in scarlet: the chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his preparation, and the fir trees shall be terribly shaken.
4 The chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall justle one against another in the broad ways: they shall seem like torches, they shall run like the lightnings.
5 He shall recount his worthies: they shall stumble in their walk; they shall make haste to the wall thereof, and the defence shall be prepared.
6 The gates of the rivers shall be opened, and the palace shall be dissolved.
7 And Huzzab shall be led away captive, she shall be brought up, and her maids shall lead her as with the voice of doves, tabering upon their breasts.
8 But Nineveh is of old like a pool of water: yet they shall flee away. Stand, stand, shall they cry; but none shall look back.
9 Take ye the spoil of silver, take the spoil of gold: for there is none end of the store and glory out of all the pleasant furniture.
10 She is empty, and void, and waste: and the heart melteth, and the knees smite together, and much pain is in all loins, and the faces of them all gather blackness.
11 Where is the dwelling of the lions, and the feedingplace of the young lions, where the lion, even the old lion, walked, and the lion’s whelp, and none made them afraid?
12 The lion did tear in pieces enough for his whelps, and strangled for his lionesses, and filled his holes with prey, and his dens with ravin.
13 Behold, I am against thee, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will burn her chariots in the smoke, and the sword shall devour thy young lions: and I will cut off thy prey from the earth, and the voice of thy messengers shall no more be heard.
Nahum 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Nahum 2 – A Cruel City to be Overthrown
This is a prophetic foreview of the overthrow of Nineveh by the Medo-Babylonians. God had used her for the chastisement of His people; now, in turn, she must be cast away for her sins. The attacking soldiers wore crimson tunics, and the chariot wheels were armed with scythes, that flashed as they revolved. The streets might be filled with chariots mustering for defence, but all must be in vain since the scaling-ladders were already against the walls, and the gates of the rivers would soon be opened. Huzzab was Nineveh’s queen, and represents the condition of the city, going into captivity as a slave, with bare face and legs. Note the comparison of Nineveh to a den of lions filled with bones. Fire and sword completed her ruin. This is the lot of the enemies of God’s people. See Isaiah 54:16-17. But if God is true to His threatenings, how much more is He true to His promises! —Through the Bible Day by Day
Nahum 2:2—The Lord hath turned away the excellency of Jacob.
Too long Nineveh had exerted her malign influence upon the fortunes of the chosen people; that, to use the expressive simile of Nahum 2:11, it had resembled a den of lions, whence ravenous beasts prowl forth to devour the villagers. The Assyrians, pouring forth from their mighty metropolis, had devastated the excellency of Jacob, the cry of the land had gone up to Jehovah; and He here declares his determination to quell the enemy and avenger, and to bring again the excellency of the people whom He loved.
It may be that you, too, have been carried into captivity, or devastated by strongly besetting sins; though you pray and yearn for emancipation, still you are kept low by the depredations of the power of evil. But be of good cheer; God is moving to your help. He is against those who are against you; He will bring again your excellency. He resembles the mother, whose child is smitten with small-pox. Does she love it less? Nay, but comes nearer, that they may fight the disease together.
You shall excel in faith when the hindrance is removed. The faith that once characterized you shall arouse with its former vigor, and make an open pathway down which heavens beat blessings may enter your life. At its summons the unseen will become more real than the seen, and God will be all in all. You shall excel also in hope. This is the realizing faculty, accepting the assurances of faith, following them as the beacon-lights that guide weary sailors; for hope is more than faith, as the artist is more than the preparer of colors. You shall also excel in love. When self-will looses its hold upon the soul, love springs spontaneously from its soil. —Our Daily Homily