The Destruction of Nineveh
2 The scatterer has come up against you.
Man the ramparts;
watch the road;
dress for battle;
collect all your strength.
For the LORD is restoring the majesty of Jacob
as the majesty of Israel,
for plunderers have plundered them
and ruined their branches.
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.
The chariots race madly through the streets;
they rush to and fro through the squares;
they gleam like torches;
they dart like lightning.
He remembers his officers;
they stumble as they go,
they hasten to the wall;
the siege tower is set up.
The river gates are opened;
the palace melts away;
its mistress is stripped; she is carried off,
her slave girls lamenting,
moaning like doves
and beating their breasts.
Nineveh is like a pool
whose waters run away.
“Halt! Halt!” they cry,
but none turns back.
Plunder the silver,
plunder the gold!
There is no end of the treasure
or of the wealth of all precious things.
Desolate! Desolation and ruin!
Hearts melt and knees tremble;
anguish is in all loins;
all faces grow pale!
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?
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.
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.
Nahum 2 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Nahum’s prophecy of the destruction of Nineveh begins. This chapter speaks specifically of its fall and what that will look like but also of the remnant of God’s people being preserved.
Let’s consider a moment: Nineveh had been given an opportunity to repent. They did so back under Jonah. They slipped back to their ways. God was bringing His judgment against this ruthless, barbaric city. The reality is God is one who continues to extend His grace and mercy to all people. Through Jesus, it is a relentless reaching like none other. But when we fail to recognize, fail to do as expected, He will allow things in our lives to overrun us and find ourselves from the darkest of dark areas looking up, finally to Him and His grace.
Considering yesterday’s thoughts, my mind goes toward the promises of God to His people. There was and is such hope. But also considering the thoughts, the enemy of our souls works tirelessly to cause us to slip up, stumble or worse.
Although the opening statement of this chapter is toward Nineveh, to me almost as tongue and cheek as their fate is set, it resonates with our own placement when the enemy comes in like a flood.
“The one who scatters has come up against you. Man the fortress, watch the road; Strengthen your back, summon all your strength. 2 For the Lord will restore the splendor of Jacob like the splendor of Israel, even though devastators have devastated them and destroyed their vine branches.”Nahum 2:1-2
Note the instructions: Man the fortress, strengthen your back, summon your strength. To be within the safety and protection of God we must be in his Fortress, the very Rock of which we hide ourselves. When we venture out from the gates of that, we’re on our own. To be within the Fortress of God, we must be in His will, His placement. Yes, as the enemy continues to attack, continues to work at our downfall, it’s imperative we don’t give up, but instead strengthen ourselves. That strength is only from the Holy Spirit. He is the One who can enable us to stand strong, rely on His strength no matter what we face.
Although we’re all at different aspects of our journey and maybe the enemy has been ramping up the attacks here of late – stand strong! Stay within the confines of the Fortress of God who is your protector. Pray to, seek out the Holy Spirit that He will help you stand against the potential flood that has swept in.
Have you been taking every thought captive in this matter? Have you been surrendering yourself continually to His strength? Have you been calling upon Him for insight and wisdom? These are critical aspects we must incorporate each day in order to stand so the tidal wave of the enemy does not loosen our footing, our standing.
Nahum 2 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Micah’s choice of wording is not random. He sarcastically refers to the nation of Nineveh as lions in verses 11 and 12.
“Archeologists have found a carving from a palace showing an Assyrian king on a lion hunt.”John MacArthur
The description fit in many different ways. Both their own view of themselves as well as their behavior depicted a den of lions.
“Extremely appropriate is the imagery of a den of lions for the royalty of Nineveh. The royally commissioned reliefs carved in stone depict repeatedly a number of lions. The kings of Nineveh often presented themselves in their annals in terms reflecting the behavior of the lion. In addition, the Assyrians’ cruel tearing of their enemies suits well the crushing assaults advanced by lions.”New Interational Commentary – Old Testament
Similar to the way the Old Testament writers described the tumultuous sea, the choice of a lion portrayed the strongest and mightiest nation around. One may think, “Who can tame the king of the beasts?” But as many have experienced, being king leads to comfort and complacency. It leads to a false reality where one actually believes they are invincible. This was the attitude of Nineveh. They were full of pride with no remorse for their actions.
What conquers the lion? The fiery flames of the Lord.
“I am your enemy!” says the LORD Almighty. “I will burn up your chariots. Your soldiers will be killed in war, and I will take away everything that you took from others. The demands of your envoys will no longer be heard.”Nahum 2:13 GNB
There are no words in this world more frightening than God saying “I am your enemy!” Even though it would be the Babylonians who conquered Nineveh, it was ordained and allowed by the hand of God. Nineveh, who was known for burning cities to the ground, would have the same punishment inflicted on them.
This is the judgment of God. This is the judgment that Christ absorbed. If we cannot come back to Christ after reading of God’s judgment, we have missed the story of the Scriptures. He took what we deserved and made a path to eternal life. he is worthy of all praise and glory.