Nahum 2 (Listen)
2:1 The scatterer has come up against you.
Man the ramparts;
watch the road;
dress for battle;
collect all your strength.
2 For the LORD is restoring the majesty of Jacob
as the majesty of Israel,
for plunderers have plundered them
and ruined their branches.
3 The shield of his mighty men is red;
his soldiers are clothed in scarlet.
The chariots come with flashing metal
on the day he musters them;
the cypress spears are brandished.
4 The chariots race madly through the streets;
they rush to and fro through the squares;
they gleam like torches;
they dart like lightning.
5 He remembers his officers;
they stumble as they go,
they hasten to the wall;
the siege tower is set up.
6 The river gates are opened;
the palace melts away;
7 its mistress is stripped; she is carried off,
her slave girls lamenting,
moaning like doves
and beating their breasts.
8 Nineveh is like a pool
whose waters run away.
“Halt! Halt!” they cry,
but none turns back.
9 Plunder the silver,
plunder the gold!
There is no end of the treasure
or of the wealth of all precious things.
10 Desolate! Desolation and ruin!
Hearts melt and knees tremble;
anguish is in all loins;
all faces grow pale!
11 Where is the lions’ den,
the feeding place of the young lions,
where the lion and lioness went,
where his cubs were, with none to disturb?
12 The lion tore enough for his cubs
and strangled prey for his lionesses;
he filled his caves with prey
and his dens with torn flesh.
13 Behold, I am against you, declares the LORD of hosts, and 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 no longer be heard.
Where is the lions’ den, the feeding place of the young lions, where the lion and lioness went, where his cubs were, with none to disturb? (Nahum 2:11)
Assyria, whose capital was the city of Nineveh, had long been a nation threatening and harassing God’s people. While Nineveh repented at the message of Jonah many years earlier, Nahum is now given a message about their destruction, which is good news so that they will not afflict God’s people (see 1:12-15). The description of the destruction of Nineveh in chapter 2 draws upon the fact that Assyrian kings were often depicted as lions in battle; this fierce lion now cowers at the hand of God. Let us remember God’s power is greater than the forces that attack us – death and disease, opposition and ridicule – and look to Him to bring judgment at Christ’s return and comfort His people.