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The Prophets: Nahum

Nahum, from the Hebrew name pronounced nawk-hoom, meaning comfort (the name in Hebrew is the "naum" part of Capernaum, which was the home city of The Messiah after He left Nazareth), was a second prophet sent primarily to Assyria (see Ancient Empires - Assyria). The first was Jonah, over a century before Nahum, but the timing itself was not the major difference between the purpose of the two prophets. Jonah (see The Prophets: Jonah) was sent to warn the Assyrians to repent, which they did, while Nahum was sent to the Assyrians after they had fallen back into their national arrogance.

Naham saw what Jonah wanted to see - the coming destruction of the Assyrian Empire and their capital city Nineveh. If the Assyrians had been merely arrogant, which is actually just a state of self-inflicted mental retardation to be pitied (arrogant people are no different than those who cause themselves brain damage from alcoholism or dope), the LORD would have just left them to inevitably destroy themselves from within, as He does to all such nations who are only endangering themselves. But when the hubris of the Assyrians became a wanton threat to other nations, particularly to those who were not doing evil in the LORD's sight, the LORD delivered the end unto their empire.

"1:1 The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite." (Nahum 1:1 KJV)

"1:3 The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet." (Nahum 1:3 KJV)

"1:7 The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. 1:8 But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies." (Nahum 1:7-8 KJV)

"Woe to the bloody city! It is all full of lies and robbery"

Assyria was given to conquer The Northern Kingdom of Israel as a matter of the LORD's wrath upon the wickedness of the northern ten tribes. But even in doing so, Assyria had been warned of their own wicked behavior, by the prophet Jonah, from which they repented. Notice how anyone is subject to the LORD's mercy, if they repent, and how anyone is subject to the LORD's wrath, if they become evil. That's why prophets of the LORD, such as Jonah and Nahum, were sent to the "enemies" of Israel and Judah.

Map Of The Assyrian Empire As time went on however, the Assyrians returned to their aggression against other nations. Their fatal mistake was attacking The Southern Kingdom of Judah, without the LORD's permission (because Judah was overall still obedient to the LORD), after the Assyrians had been allowed to conquer the northern kingdom of Israel because of Israel's disobedience to the LORD. The Assyrians were thereby inviting the LORD to crush them - which He did, by having the Babylonians conquer them - after the LORD Himself gave the Assyrians a drubbing when they tried to take Jerusalem:

"37:36 Then the angel of the LORD went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. 37:37 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh" (Isaiah 37:36-37 KJV).

Assyria's time as an empire was over, for no other reason than that they were running wild and refusing to repent.

"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?" (Nahum 3:1-7 KJV)

Fact Finder: Assyria and Babylon were in what is today called Iraq. What key ancestor of all of the Israelites was from the land of Assyria and Babylon? Later, where did the "Samaritans" of Israel, many of whom accepted Jesus Christ at a time when, as a nation, most of His own fellow Jews still rejected Him, come from?
See Settlers and Invaders From Iraq

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