Nahum 3, Habakkuk 1-2
Nahum Chapter 3
Nineveh was an "exceeding great city" even by modern-day standards. Located mostly along the eastern bank of The Tigris River, it extended for about 30 miles, with an average width of about 10 miles. It was positioned on a major road that linked the Mediterranean nations, to the west, with the Indian Ocean nations, to the east. The Assyrian Empire, at its peak of power, conquered The Northern Kingdom of Israel by 721 BC (see The Galilee Captivity) but by 630 BC, Assyrian power was in decline. It was seriously challenged by the Medes (see Media), then the Babylonians (see Chaldea), who together divided up the Assyrian territories - and destroyed the city of Nineveh. After centuries of being a major world capital, Nineveh was reduced to what it is today - a vanished city, exactly as prophesied: "2:10 She is empty, and void, and waste" (Nahum 2:10 KJV). Why did The Lord erase the city? "3:1 Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and robbery" (Nahum 3:1 KJV).
"3:1 Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and robbery; the prey departeth not;
3:2 The noise of a whip, and the noise of the rattling of the wheels, and of the prancing Horses, and of the jumping chariots. 3:3 The horseman lifteth up both the bright sword and the glittering spear: and there is a multitude of slain, and a great number of carcases; and there is none end of their corpses; they stumble upon their corpses: 3:4 Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the wellfavoured harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts.
3:5 Behold, I am against thee, saith the LORD of hosts; and I will discover thy skirts upon thy face, and I will show the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame. 3:6 And I will cast abominable filth upon thee, and make thee vile, and will set thee as a gazingstock.
3:7 And it shall come to pass, that all they that look upon thee shall flee from thee, and say, Nineveh is laid waste: who will bemoan her? whence shall I seek comforters for thee?
3:8 Art thou better than populous No, that was situate among the rivers, that had the waters round about it, whose rampart was the sea, and her wall was from the sea? 3:9 Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength, and it was infinite; Put and Lubim were thy helpers. 3:10 Yet was she carried away, she went into captivity: her young children also were dashed in pieces at the top of all the streets: and they cast lots for her honourable men, and all her great men were bound in chains [see Fetters]. 3:11 Thou also shalt be drunken: thou shalt be hid, thou also shalt seek strength because of the enemy.
3:12 All thy strong holds shall be like fig trees with the firstripe Figs: if they be shaken, they shall even fall into the mouth of the eater. 3:13 Behold, thy people in the midst of thee are women: the gates of thy land shall be set wide open unto thine enemies: the fire shall devour thy bars. 3:14 Draw thee waters for the siege, fortify thy strong holds: go into clay, and tread the mortar, make strong the brickkiln. 3:15 There shall the fire devour thee; the sword shall cut thee off, it shall eat thee up like the cankerworm: make thyself many as the cankerworm, make thyself many as the locusts. 3:16 Thou hast multiplied thy merchants above the stars of heaven: the cankerworm spoileth, and fleeth away. 3:17 Thy crowned are as the locusts, and thy captains as the great grasshoppers, which camp in the hedges in the cold day, but when the sun ariseth they flee away, and their place is not known where they are.
3:18 Thy shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria: thy nobles shall dwell in the dust: thy people is scattered upon the mountains, and no man gathereth them. 3:19 There is no healing of thy bruise; thy wound is grievous: all that hear the bruit of thee shall clap the hands over thee: for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?" (Nahum 3:1-19 KJV)
Habakkuk Chapter 1
Habakkuk, from the Hebrew pronounced kawk-awk-kook (notice how often that actual names in Hebrew differ so much from English renderings of them), was another of the so-called "minor" prophets (a term based upon the relative shortness of their writings) of Israel. Little is known about Habakkuk personally; he may have been a Levite. He was active at the same time as Jeremiah and Zephaniah, before the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem by the Babylonians.
"1:1 The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see" (Habakkuk 1:1) in the King James is translated as "The oracle of God which Habakkuk the prophet saw" in the RSV - a much more accurate and all-encompassing translation of the intent of the original Hebrew word. See Oracles.
"1:1 The burden which Habakkuk the prophet [see Prophets] did see. 1:2 O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! 1:3 Why dost thou show me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention. 1:4 Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.
1:5 Behold ye among the heathen [see Heath Of The Wilderness], and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you. 1:6 For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans [see Chaldea], that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not theirs. 1:7 They are terrible and dreadful: their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves. 1:8 Their Horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle [see Eagles] that hasteth to eat. 1:9 They shall come all for violence: their faces shall sup up as the east wind, and they shall gather the captivity as the sand. 1:10 And they shall scoff at the kings, and the princes shall be a scorn unto them: they shall deride every strong hold; for they shall heap dust, and take it.
1:11 Then shall his mind change, and he shall pass over, and offend, imputing this his power unto his god.
1:12 Art thou not from everlasting, O LORD my God, mine Holy One? [see Christ The Creator; also The Ancient of Days] we shall not die. O LORD, thou hast ordained them for judgment [see When Will You Be Judged?]; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction. 1:13 Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he? 1:14 And makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them? 1:15 They take up all of them with the angle, they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag: therefore they rejoice and are glad. 1:16 Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag; because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous. 1:17 Shall they therefore empty their net, and not spare continually to slay the nations?" (Habakkuk 1:1-17 KJV)
Habakkuk Chapter 2
The "just shall live by his faith" (Habakkuk 2:4 KJV) is a plain testimony to how "Christian" the so-called "Old" Testament is, since, along with everything else, Christ was the Creator (see Christ The Creator) and Christ was The Lord who delivered the Israelites out of Egypt at the time of the Exodus (see Why Did Christ Put Moses To Death?). Many regard the earlier era as a time of "works not faith," but the truth is that the two are manifestaions of the same thing. See The Manifestation Of Faith.
"2:1 I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.
2:2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision [see the Fact Finder question below], and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. 2:3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
2:4 Behold, his soul [see Where Is Your Soul?] which is lifted up is not upright in him [see The Lord's Plumb Line]: but the just shall live by his faith. 2:5 Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man [see The Two Kinds Of Pride], neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people:
2:6 Shall not all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! how long? and to him that ladeth himself with thick clay! 2:7 Shall they not rise up suddenly that shall bite thee, and awake that shall vex thee, and thou shalt be for booties unto them? 2:8 Because thou hast spoiled many nations, all the remnant of the people shall spoil thee; because of men's blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.
2:9 Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness [see Thou shalt not covet] to his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of evil! 2:10 Thou hast consulted shame to thy house by cutting off many people, and hast sinned against thy soul. 2:11 For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it.
2:12 Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and stablisheth a city by iniquity!
2:13 Behold, is it not of the LORD of hosts that the people shall labour in the very fire [see Firebrands], and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity? 2:14 For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
2:15 Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness! 2:16 Thou art filled with shame for glory: drink thou also, and let thy foreskin be uncovered: the cup of the LORD'S right hand shall be turned unto thee, and shameful spewing shall be on thy glory. 2:17 For the violence of Lebanon shall cover thee, and the spoil of beasts, which made them afraid, because of men's blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein.
2:18 What profiteth the graven image [see Thou shalt not make any graven image] that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? 2:19 Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it. 2:20 But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him." (Habakkuk 2:1-20 KJV)
Fact Finder: Did The Lord deliver "visions and dreams" frequently in the "Old" Testament era?
See Visions and Dreams