Nahum 3

Reason for Judgment: Sins of Nineveh

3:1 Woe to the city guilty of bloodshed!1

She is full of lies;2

she is filled with plunder;3

she has hoarded her spoil!4

Portrayal of the Destruction of Nineveh

3:2 The chariot drivers will crack their whips;5

the chariot wheels will shake the ground;6

the chariot horses7 will gallop;8

the war chariots9 will bolt forward!10

3:3 The charioteers11 will charge ahead;12

their swords13 will flash14

and their spears15 will glimmer!16

There will be many people slain;17

there will be piles of the dead,

and countless casualties18

so many that people19 will stumble over the corpses.

Taunt against the Harlot City

3:4 “Because20 you have acted like a wanton prostitute21

a seductive mistress who practices sorcery,22

who23 enslaves24 nations by her harlotry,25

and entices peoples by her sorcery26

3:5 I am against you,” declares the Lord who commands armies.27

“I will strip off your clothes!28

I will show your nakedness to the nations

and your shame to the kingdoms;

3:6 I will pelt you with filth;29

I will treat you with contempt;

I will make you a public spectacle.

3:7 Everyone who sees you will turn away from you in disgust;

they will say, ‘Nineveh has been devastated!

Who will lament for her?’

There will be no one to comfort you!”30

Nineveh Will Suffer the Same Fate as Thebes

3:8 You are no more secure31 than Thebes32

she was located on the banks of the Nile;

the waters surrounded her,

her33rampart34 was the sea,

the water35 was her wall.

3:9 Cush36 and Egypt had limitless strength;37

Put and the Libyans38 were among39 her40 allies.41

3:10 Yet she went into captivity as an exile;42

even her infants were smashed to pieces43 at the head of every street.

They cast lots44 for her nobility;45

all her dignitaries were bound with chains.

3:11 You too will act like drunkards;46

you will go into hiding;47

you too will seek refuge from the enemy.

The Assyrian Defenses Will Fail

3:12 All your fortifications will be like fig trees48 with first-ripe fruit:49

If they are shaken,50 their figs51 will fall52 into the mouth of the eater!53

3:13 Your warriors will be like women in your midst;

the gates of your land will be wide open54 to your enemies;

fire will consume55 the bars of your gates.56

3:14 Draw yourselves water for a siege!57

Strengthen your fortifications!

Trample the mud58 and tread the clay!

Make mud bricks to strengthen your walls!59

3:15 There the fire will consume60 you;

the sword will cut you down;

it will devour61 you like the young locust would.

The Assyrian Defenders Will Flee

Multiply yourself62 like the young locust;

multiply yourself like the flying locust!

3:16 Increase63 your merchants more than the stars of heaven!

They are like64 the young locust which sheds65 its skin and flies away.

3:17 Your courtiers66 are like locusts,

your officials67 are like a swarm of locusts!

They encamp in the walls on a cold day,

yet when the sun rises, they68 fly away;69

and no one knows where they70 are.71

Concluding Dirge

3:18 Your shepherds72 are sleeping, O king of Assyria!

Your officers73 are slumbering!74

Your people are scattered like sheep75 on the mountains

and there is no one to regather them!

3:19 Your destruction is like an incurable wound;76

your demise is like a fatal injury!77

All who hear what has happened to you78 will clap their hands for joy,79

for no one ever escaped your endless cruelty!80