Nahum 1 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of Nahum 1)
1:1 The a burden of Nineveh. b The book of the vision of Nahum the c Elkoshite.

The Argument - As those of Nineveh showed themselves prompt and ready to receive the word of God at Jonah's preaching, and so turned to the Lord by repentance, so after a certain time they gave themselves to worldly means to increase their dominion, rather than seeking to continue in that fear of God, and path in which they had begun. They cast off the care of religion, and so returned to their vomit and provoked God's just judgment against them, in afflicting his people. Therefore their city Nineveh was destroyed, and Meroch-baladan, king of Babel (or as some think, Nebuchadnezzar) enjoyed the empire of the Assyrians. But because God has a continual care for his Church, he stirs up his Prophet to comfort the godly, showing that the destruction of their enemies would be for their consolation: and as it seems, he prophesies around the time of Hezekiah, and not in the time of Manasseh his son, as the Jews write.

(a) See Geneva
(b) The vision or revelation, which God commanded Nahum to write concerning the Ninevites.
(c) That is, born in a poor village in the tribe of Simeon.

1:2 God [is] d jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and e [is] furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth [wrath] for his enemies.

(d) Meaning, of his glory.
(e) With his own he is but angry for a time, but his anger is never appeased toward the reprobate, even though he defers it for a time.

1:3 The f 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.

(f) Thus the wicked would make God's mercy an occasion to sin, but the Prophet wishes them to consider his power and justice.

1:6 g Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him.

(g) If all creatures are at God's commandment, and none are able to resist his wrath, will man flatter himself, and think by any means to escape, when he provokes his God to anger?

1:7 The LORD [is] good, h a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.

(h) Lest the faithful should be discouraged by hearing the power of God, he shows them that his mercy appertains to them, and that he has care over them.

1:8 But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the i place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies.

(i) Signifying that God will suddenly destroy Nineveh and the Assyrians in such a way, that they will lie in perpetual darkness, and never recover their strength again.

1:9 What do ye k imagine against the LORD? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.

(k) He shows that the undertakings of the Assyrians against Judah and the Church were against God, and therefore he would so destroy them the first time, that he would not need to return the second time.

1:10 For while [they be] folden together [as] l thorns, and while they are drunken [as] drunkards, they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry.

(l) Though the Assyrians think themselves like thorns that prick on all sides, yet the Lord will set fire on them, and as drunken men are not able to stand against any force, so they will not be able to resist him at all.

1:11 There is [one] m come out of thee, that imagineth evil against the LORD, a wicked counsellor.

(m) Which may be understood either of Sennacherib, or of the whole body of the people of Nineveh.

1:12 Thus saith the LORD; Though [they be] n quiet, and likewise many, yet thus shall they be cut down, when he shall pass through. Though I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more.

(n) Though they think themselves in most safety, and of greatest strength, yet when God will pass by, he will destroy them: nonetheless, he comforts his Church, and promises to stop punishing them by the Assyrians.

1:14 And the LORD hath given a commandment concerning thee, [that] no more of thy name be o sown: out of the house of thy gods will I cut off the graven image and the molten image: I will make thy grave; for thou art vile.

(o) Meaning, Sennacherib, who would have no more children, but be slain in the house of his gods; (2 Kings 19:36-37).

1:15 Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth p peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.

(p) Which peace the Jews would enjoy by the death of Sennacherib.