Time of Nahum: The fall of the Egyptian city of Thebes (capital of Upper Egypt), which historically occurred in 663BC is mentioned as having already occurred in Nahum 3:8, and yet the fall of Nineveh in 612BC had not yet occurred. So Nahum had to have been some time between these two dates, 663-612BC. Halley thinks Elkosh was Capernaum, which means ‘city of Nahum.’ Some think Elkosh was farther away, on the Tigris, and that Nahum was a displaced Israelite whose family had been part of those northern Israelites taken captive by Assyria (745-721BC). We just don’t know at this point. As such he may actually have prophecied these words in Nahum in the actual city of Nineveh before going to Judah where they were spoken and recorded again. The entire prophecy is against Nineveh, the capital city of the Assyrian Empire. The Assyrians in war were an extremely cruel people, who would torture and mutilate anyone they captured. How the Nazi’s as part of the German military treated the people they conquered gives us a recent modern-day historical picture of how the Assyrians must have been. The Germans are a wonderful, industrious and hard-working people. But they can have a dark side in war. The Assyrians were much the same. God makes note of that good side when he spared them after the preaching of Jonah in Nineveh. Nahum did communicate these words in and to Judah, that we know, for they are preserved in the Tenach, the Hebrew Scriptures. His name, Nahum, means “Comfort” because they prophesy the destruction (ultimate destruction) of Israel’s and Judah’s arch-enemy, Assyria. There is duality, then and now, the historic 612BC destruction of Nineveh and the Assyrian Empire, and the end-time destruction of Assyria (whomever the Assyrians are nationally in today’s world—the general belief amongst some historically minded evangelicals is that Assyria is Germany, and history does seem to prove this out). This can be see in Nahum 1:7 “day of trouble” which is a reference to the future “Day of the LORD.” Also verse 12 says ‘Israel will be afflicted no more, and the wicked will not be allowed to pass through the land.’ Armies and all kinds of ‘wicked’ military forces have been ‘passing through their land’ for well over 2,600 years since Nineveh’s historic fall in 612BC. So the Book of Nahum has duality in it, prior fulfillment and end-time final fulfillment.
Verses 1-8, “The burden against Nineveh. The book of the vision of Naham the Elkoshite. God is jealous, and the LORD avenges; the LORD avenges and is furious. The LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserves wrath for his enemies; the LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked. The LORD has his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. He rebukes the sea and makes it dry, and dries up the rivers, and the flower of Lebanon wilts. The hills melt, and the earth heaves at his presence, yes, the world and all who dwell in it. Who can stand before his indignation? And who can endure the fierceness of his anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him. The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and he knows those who trust in him. But with an overflowing flood he will make an utter end of its place, and darkness will pursue his enemies.” Verse 2 pictures the LORD (i.e. the pre-incarnate Christ, and then Christ) as the avenger of his people, a furious and jealous avenger. End-time prophecies in Isaiah show that Assyria, whomever they are now nationally, will be an integral part, and the leading part of the Beast power of Revelation 13 & 17 in Europe, most definitely rivaling the Third Reich of Nazi Germany. Verses 3-6 show God’s all-consuming power, controlling all the elements of the earth. Verse 8, it appears Nineveh historically was destroyed by invaders (Babylonians and Scythians) making use of Nineveh’s flooded waterways (as the walls of Nineveh were about 100 feet tall). Archaeologists have found evidence which indicates this is how Nineveh was conquered. Note too, the Bible also uses the term “flood” symbolically to represent invading armies (cf. Isaiah 59:19; Psalm 18:16-17; 69:1-2). In the end-time Tribulation (World War III) the 2nd Woe of Revelation 9:12-21 shows a 200-million-man army from the ‘Eastern Alliance of nations’ overwhelming parts of the Beast Empire in a massive counter-attack.
He who plots against God
Verses 9-11, “What do you conspire against the LORD? He will make an utter end of it. Affliction will not rise up a second time. For while tangled like thorns, and while drunken like drunkards, they shall be devoured like stubble fully dried. From you comes forth one who plots evil against the LORD, a wicked counselor.” Nineveh never really historically plotted against the LORD, in Nahum’s day. So this appears to be referring to the Beast power with Assyria in their midst opposing Jesus Christ at his return. The “wicked counselor,” in context with that interpretation could either be the Beast dictator or the false prophet who is working with him. And of course these two are inspired, ‘counseled,’ if you will, directly by Satan the Devil, who is empowering them.
End-Time Destruction of Assyria---The Gospel Preached---‘Oh Judah, Keep Your Appointed Feasts’
Verses 12-15, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Though they are safe, and likewise many, yet in this manner they will be cut down when he passes through. Though I have afflicted you, I will afflict you no more; for now I will break off his yoke from you, and burst your bonds apart.’ The LORD has given a command concerning you [i.e. modern Nineveh, Assyria]: ‘Your name shall be perpetuated no longer, out of the house of his gods I will cut off the carved image and the molded image. I will dig your grave, for you are vile.’ Behold, on the mountains the feet of him who brings good tidings, who proclaims peace! O Judah keep your appointed feasts, perform your vows. For the wicked one shall no more pass through you; he is utterly cut off.” This is a message intended specifically for God’s people (the Church, Body of Christ), as well as to God’s captive people (racially, Israel and Judah). Verse 12, Assyria feels safe right now (after they have conquered the House of Israel (whoever they are nationally) and the House of Judah (the Israelis). But God is saying to his captives ‘You just wait, Assyria will be utterly cut off.’ The fact that verse 13 says “burst your bonds” shows God’s people will be enslaved by this evil empire in the end-times. This verse shows that it is God who will free them. Verse 14 shows Assyria’s idolatrous religion is brought to an end. Back then in the 700s and 600s BC they worshipped Nimrod, the founder of Nineveh and Babylon. Nimrod also founded the Babylonian Mystery Religion, major components of which have been absorbed, syncretized into the Catholic and thus Protestant churches (see http://www.biblebelievers.com/babylon/00index.htm. Often the older books have the best information, as recent inroads made by political correctness have filtered much real truth from the books and encyclopedias written in the 18th and 19th centuries). This “mixture” of Babylonish Christianity will come to an end when Jesus Christ returns. Historically, Nineveh was buried, under tons of silt and rubble, and today is the archaeological site called Tel Kuyunjik. This is a forerunner of the coming destruction of Babylon the Great (cf. Revelation 18). Verse 15a, “Behold, on the mountains the feet of him who brings good tidings,” is a repeat of Isaiah 52:7. This was partially fulfilled by Jesus in his earthly ministry as seen in Mark 1:14. But Jesus also told all of his servants to continue to do so, in Matthew 28:18-20, “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.” And then in Mark 16:15-16, “And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” Jesus also prophecied that we his servants would succeed in preaching this Gospel of salvation to the entire world just before the opening shots of the Tribulation come upon the world, Matthew 24:14-16, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whosoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” Just what is this “gospel” we are commanded by Jesus to be preaching? See http://www.unityinchrist.com/misc/WhatIsTheGospel%20.htm. Should this gospel presentation include a prophetic warning element within it? Most definitely, considering what the world is just about to go into, World War III. Verse 15b of Naham chapter 1 tells the Jews to keep their “appointed feasts” (cf. Leviticus 23:1-44). It is these very Holy Days of God (in Leviticus 23:1, God calls them “my feasts”) which historically and prophetically rehearse God’s entire plan of salvation for mankind. As a matter of fact, Jesus at his return will make observance of his Holy Days and Sabbath mandatory for all of mankind---Zechariah 14:16-19, “And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem [covered in Zechariah 14:1-15] shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will be no rain. If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the LORD strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.” To mention something twice in Scripture is God’s way of putting a huge amount of emphasis on a subject. Here he mentions the Feast of Tabernacles three times, count it. Isaiah 66:22-23, “‘And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before me,’ says the LORD.” Verses 14-21 of Isaiah 66 put this in context with the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ. In these two prophetic passages it shows the Sabbath, which is commanded at the very beginning of Leviticus 23, and the Feast of Tabernacles, commanded at the very end of Leviticus 23, are both commanded to be observed by Jesus by all at his 2nd Coming, and thereafter. This is the Bible’s way of saying that observance of all Leviticus 23 is commanded for mankind. These Holy Days of the LORD are far, far more spiritual and have far more prophetic relevance than do Sunday/Christmas/Easter, which have pagan/Babylonian Mystery Religion origins. You have a choice. Choose wisely, time is short.
Alarm Sounded in Nineveh!
Verses 1-7, “He who scatters has come up before your face. Man the fort! Watch the road! Strengthen your flanks! Fortify your power mightily. For the LORD will restore the excellence of Jacob like the excellence of Israel, for the emptiers have emptied them out and ruined their vine branches. The shields of his mighty men are made red, the valiant men are in scarlet. The chariots come with flaming torches in the day of his preparation, and the spears are brandished. The chariots rage in the streets, they jostle one another in the broad roads; they seem like torches, they run like lightning. He remembers his nobles; they stumble in their walk; they make haste to her walls, and the defense is prepared. The gates of the rivers are opened, and the palace is dissolved. It is decreed: She shall be led away captive, she shall be brought up; and her maidservants shall lead her as with the voice of doves, beating their breasts.” Nahum chapter 2 (and 3) is full of 2nd Coming of Christ imagery. The alarm goes out in the capital of Assyria “Man the fort!”, because the returned Jesus Christ is about to restore Jacob, Israel. The temporary return of the Black Sea Scythian-Israelites around 621BC was not the permanent restoration of those northern 10 tribes, the House of Israel. This is a future occurrence, this prophecy is for the future, end-times. And as Israel is restored, they with the returned Christ destroy those who “emptied them out,” the modern Assyrians (cf. Isaiah 41:11-16; Zechariah 12:6; 14:14). We, the resurrected immortal saints, will be with Jesus Christ as he assists Israel, all 12 tribes, in this “war of liberation.” Some of this may have had a lesser prior historic fulfillment in Nineveh, but this chapter and the next one very graphically describes modern Assyria’s fall at Christ’s 2nd Coming. There’s a bloody battle described here, “shields made red…valiant men in scarlet”, “chariots come with flaming torches,” “the chariots rage in the streets, they jostle one another…they seem like torches, they run like lightning” sounds a lot like some kind of modern very swift and maneuverable tank and a whole slew of them.
Officers Try To Halt Fleeing Soldiers
Verses 8-10, “Though Nineveh of old was like a pool of water, now they flee away. ‘Halt! Halt!’ they cry; but no one turns back. ‘Take spoil of silver! Take spoil of gold!’ There is no end of treasure, or wealth of every desirable prize. She is empty, desolate, and waste! The heart melts, and the knees shake; much pain is in every side, and all their faces are drained of color.” During this battle it appears officers attempt to stop their fleeing soldiers who have turned tail to run away. They cry out “Halt! Halt!”. The city is loaded with the spoils of their previous conquests, which is left for Israel. Zechariah 14:14, “Judah also will fight at Jerusalem, and the wealth of all the surrounding nations shall be gathered together; gold, silver, and apparel in great abundance.” Also Zechariah 14:13, “It shall come to pass in that day that a great panic from the LORD will be among them. Everyone will seize the hand of his neighbor, and raise his hand against his neighbor’s hand…”
Assyria’s Young Lions slain, chariots destroyed
Verses 11-12, “Where is the dwelling of the lions, and the feeding place of the young lions, where the lion walked, the lioness and lion’s cub, and no one made them afraid? The lion tore in pieces enough for his cubs, killed for his lionesses, filled his caves with prey, and his dens with flesh.” Ancient Assyrian emperors compared themselves to lions. But this is for the future, as verse 13 shows, “Behold, I am against you,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘I will burn your chariots in smoke, and the sword shall devour your young lions; I will cut off your prey from the earth, and the voice of your messengers shall be heard no more.” God promises to destroy their “chariots” of war with fire and Assyria’s young lions with the sword.
Nineveh, modern Nineveh a Bloody City---full of military equipment, and dead bodies
Verses 1-3, “Woe to the bloody city! It is full of lies and robbery. Its victim never departs, the noise of the whip and the noise of rattling wheels, of galloping horses, of clattering chariots! Horsemen charge with bright sword and glittering spear. There is a multitude of slain, a great number of bodies, countless corpses---they stumble over the corpses…” This is a woe oracle pronounced against Nineveh, a bloody city representing an empire constantly at war, noted for her deceitful foreign policy and plundering of her neighbors. Remember the duality of these prophecies, they applied to historic Nineveh, capital city of the ancient Assyrian Empire, and they will yet apply to the modern-day Assyrians who will be an active and leading component (as Isaiah shows) of the coming end-time European Beast power. This trait of having a deceitful foreign policy is well documented for Napoleon Bonaparte’s government in a three volume biography of Wellington, written during the lifetime of the Duke of Wellington (titled, aptly “Wellington”). Agents of Napoleon’s government would politically destabilize the governments of neighboring nations before Napoleon struck them militarily. The Nazi government of the Third Reich practiced the same identical deceitful foreign policy. Both of those governments were resurrections of the Holy Roman Empire. The end-time Beast power will do the same. Evidently this was a distinguishing trait of ancient Nineveh. Verses 2-3 sound like they were written about Nazi Germany and inside the lands they conquered. But this also describes the end-time beast power. It also looks back to the way the ancient Assyrians were, undoubtedly.
Mistress of Sorceries
Verses 4-7, “…because of the multitude of harlotries of the seductive harlot, the mistress of sorceries, who sells nations through her harlotries, and families through her sorceries. Behold, I am against you,’ says the LORD of hosts; I will lift your skirts over your face, I will show the nations your nakedness, and the kingdoms your shame. I will cast abominable filth upon you, make you vile, and make you a spectacle. It shall come to pass that all who look upon you will flee from you, and say, ‘Nineveh is laid waste! Who will bemoan her?’ Where shall I seek comforters for you?’” ‘Mistress of sorceries’ describes the Babylonian Mystery Religion, both in Nineveh then, and is a key trait of the Romish system which will be a part of Babylon the Great during the Tribulation. Isaiah 47 describes this as well as Revelation 17-18. It appears, in the prophetic-symbolic sense, the city of Nineveh is a prophetic type for the spiritual capital of the coming Beast power centered in Europe, and that would be Rome. ‘The mistress of sorceries, who sells nations through her harlotries’ has also happened literally in the past, during the Middle Ages when Roman Catholic bishops gave peoples over to despots to guarantee loyalty to the ‘Church.’ Also there will be a literal fulfillment of this when the end-time whore of Revelation takes part in the selling of captured or conquered peoples just before the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ (cf. Revelation 18:9-13). Because of this (verses 5-7) God will put this prophetic ‘Nineveh’ to shame and then destroy her (cf. Nahum 3:5-7; Revelation 17:16).
Nineveh won’t fare any better than these fallen cities
These verses applied historically, as their message will in the coming future. Verses 8-10, “Are you better than No Amon [ancient Thebes] that was situated by the River [the River Nile], that had the waters around her, whose rampart was the sea, whose wall was the sea? Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength, and it was boundless; Put and Lubin were your helpers. Yet she was carried away, she went into captivity; her young children also were dashed to pieces at the head of every street; they cast lots for her honorable men, and all her great men were bound in chains.” “No-Amon” refers to Thebes, the capital city of Upper Egypt, which was located on the shores of the Nile. It was both a powerful military center for Upper Egypt as well as a key religious center with multiple temples for sun-god and idol worship of all flavors. She had military alliances with her neighbors, yet Thebes fell to Assyria in 663BC, her children slaughtered and her mighty men enslaved (verses 9-10). God is announcing though Nahum here in these verses that Nineveh won’t do any better than Thebes before his coming onslaught, like shaking a fig tree with ripe figs, Nineveh will fall to the ground. The soldiers of Nineveh will act as drunken and like women in the approaching battle (verses 11-13). Verses 11-16, “You also will be drunk; you will be hidden; you also will seek refuge from the enemy. Also your strongholds are fig trees with ripened figs: if they are shaken, they fall into the mouth of the eater. Surely, your people in your midst are women! The gates of your land are wide open for your enemies; fire shall devour the bars of your gates. Draw your water for the siege! Fortify your strongholds! Go into the clay and tread the mortar! Make strong the brick kiln! There the fire will devour you, the sword will cut you off; it will eat you up like a locust. Make yourself many---like the locust! Make yourself many---like the swarming locusts! You have multiplied your merchants more than the stars of heaven. The locust plunders and flies away.”
Military Commanders Flee When Most Needed
Verses 17-19, “Your commanders are like swarming locusts, and your generals like great grasshoppers, which camp in the hedges on a cold day; when the sun arises they flee away. and the place where they are is not known. Your shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria; your nobles rest in the dust. Your peoples are scattered on the mountains, and no one gathers them. Your injury has no healing, your wound is severe. All who hear news of you will clap their hands over you, for upon whom has not your wickedness passed continually?” The Assyrian military commanders in the coming battle will flee when most needed (verse 17). And ultimately those who stay and fight (both then in 612BC and at Christ’s return) will sleep in the dust of the grave, Hades, and will be forgotten (verse 18). Whoever is left of Assyria will rejoice because of the lifting of this evil empire’s harsh and oppressive rulership (both 612BC and yet future). This is a quote from historian Will Durant’s account of ancient Nineveh’s fall: “Ashurbanipal died in 626BC. Fourteen years later an army of Babylonians under Nabopolassar united with an army of Medes under Cyaxares and a horde of Scythians from the Caucasus, and with amazing ease and swiftness captured the citadels of the north. Nineveh was laid waste as ruthlessly and completely as her kings had once ravaged Susa and Babylon; the city was put to the torch, the population was slaughtered or enslaved, and the palace so recently built by Ashurbanipal was sacked and destroyed. At one blow Assyria disappeared from history. Nothing remained of her except certain tactics and weapons of war, certain voluted capitals of semi-Ionic columns, and certain methods of provincial administrations that passed down to Persia, Macedon and Rome. The Near East remembered her for a while as a merciless unifier of a dozen lesser states; and the Jews recalled Nineveh vengefully as ‘the bloody city, full of lies and robbery.’ In a little while all but the mightiest of the Great Kings were forgotten, and all their royal palaces were in ruins under the drifting sands. Two hundred years after its capture, Xenophon’s Ten Thousand marched over the mounds that had been Nineveh, and never suspected that these were the site of the ancient metropolis that had ruled half the world. Not a stone remained visible of all the temples with which Assyria’s pious warriors had sought to beautify their greatest capital. Even Assur, the everlasting god, was dead” (pp. 283-284). This should serve as a severe warning to the modern Assyrians who will unite themselves and lead a future coming unified Europe in world conquest.