Minor Prophets - Nahum
An Overview of Nahum
(1) Nahum’s name means “comforter.”
(a) He is sometimes known as “the prophet of Ninevah’s doom.”
(b) He is called the Elkoshite, which means that he is from Elkosh (Nah. 1.1).
1) Some say that this is the NT City Capernaum, which means “the city of Nahum.”
2) Still, no one is absolutely sure about the location of the city.
(2) About 150 years earlier, Jonah had gone to Nineveh.
(a) At that time, Nineveh repented.
(b) Later, the people resorted to their evil ways.
(c) When Nahum made this prophecy, Assyria was at the zenith of its power.
1) Assyria had just soundly defeated Egypt at the Battle of Thebes/No-Amon (663 BC).
2) How would Nahum know that Assyria would fall except for inspiration (612 BC)?
3) The date of the book is hard to pen down, but some say it was written around 615 BC.
I. Nahum’s Prediction of Nineveh’s fall (Nah. 1.1-7, 9-15; 2.12; 3.1, 4-10):
A. The Purpose:
1. To Protect Judah
2. To Punish Nineveh
Punished b/c of:
a. Defiance of God (1.9-12)
b. Idolatry (1.14)
c. Terrible bloodshed (2.12; 3.1)
d. Involvement in the occult (3.4-10)
B. The Power:
When sinful men exhaust God’s patience, then they face His wrath, which is like:
1. A Raging Storm (1.3-5)
2. A Consuming Fire (1.6)
II. Nahum’s Description of Nineveh’s fall (Nah. 1.8; 2.1-11, 13; 3.2-3, 11-19):
A. The Sources of Nineveh’s destruction:
1. Waters will overflow the city (1.8) [This happened with the Tigris River]
2. Babylonian warriors will invade the city (2.3-4)
B. The Severity of Nineveh’s destruction:
1. As foretold by God:
a. The city will stagger like a terrified drunkard (3.11)
b. All its fortress will fall (3.12)
c. Its soldiers will be helpless (3.13a.)
d. Nineveh will be sacked and burned (3.13b. – 15)
2. As fulfilled by God:
a. The overview of the battle (2.1-2): Will struggle to defend themselves but to no avail
b. The outcome of the battle (2.6-11, 13; 3.2-3, 16-19): Completely obliterated
III. Lessons for Today:
A. God’s patience is long, but not unlimited.
1. His is long-suffering and does not desire for anyone to perish (cf. 2 Pet. 3.9).
2. He is slow to anger (Nah. 1.3).
3. Nevertheless, His patience is limited.
B. God holds sinners responsible for their sins.
C. God is the ultimate ruler of the world (cf. Rom. 13.1).
D. One who has turned to God may again turn away from God.
1. Paul tells us that he himself could become disqualified or be a castaway
(cf. 1 Cor. 9.27).
2. Peter warns us of the how much worse it will be for those who had at one time lived for God but had since turned away (cf. 2 Pet. 2.20-22).
E. God will punish all evildoers on His timetable and in His way.
(1) Let us not turn away from God.
(2) If we have, then let us not exhaust God’s patience.