1. In the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite, who was burdened?
Nineveh: “The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite” (Nahum 1:1).
- Multiple times throughout the prophets we read of burdens upon peoples (Isaiah 13:1, Isaiah 15:1, Isaiah 17:1, Isaiah 19:1, Isaiah 21:1, Isaiah 21:11, Isaiah 22:1, Isaiah 23:1, Isaiah 30:6, Zechariah 9:1, Zechariah 12:1, and Malachi 1:1).
- Prophets had visions (Numbers 12:6, II Chronicles 9:29, II Chronicles 32:32, and Hosea 12:10).
- Nineveh was an Assyrian city (Zephaniah 2:13). We know of it well because Jonah was sent to preach there (Jonah 1:1-2 and Jonah 3:1-2). Jesus used them as a standard of judgment against the scribes and Pharisees that didn’t adhere to His teachings (Matthew 12:38-42).
2. When you begin reading the words recorded at the beginning of this vision, what is made clear about God’s dealing with His enemies; those who were wicked?
He was not a pushover: “(2) God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies. (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 1:2-3).
- God is jealous (Exodus 20:1-5, Exodus 34:14, Deuteronomy 4:24, Deuteronomy 6:15, Deuteronomy 32:21, I Kings 14:22, and Isaiah 42:13).
- The LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies (Deuteronomy 32:41-43, Psalms 94:1, Jeremiah 46:10, Hebrews 10:30-31, and Jude 1:5-7).
- Yet, He is slow to anger (Nehemiah 9:17, Psalms 103:8, and Psalms 145:8).
- He is great in power (Exodus 32:11, Deuteronomy 3:24, Psalms 66:3, Psalms 147:5, Psalms 150:2, and Jeremiah 10:6).
- He will NOT at all acquit the wicked (Exodus 34:7, Numbers 14:18, and Romans 2:1-11).
- The LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet (Psalms 104:1-35).
3. What points were being made when Nahum talked of God rebuking the sea, the mountains quaking, etc.?
That no one could stand before His indignation: “(4) He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth. (5) The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. (6) 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” (Nahum 1:4-6).
- Consider God’s ability to rebuke the sea as a testimony of His great might (Genesis 8:1, Exodus 14:13-31, Joshua 4:23, Psalms 74:13, Psalms 106:7-10, Isaiah 51:10-15, and Mark 4:35-41).
- He caused lands to languish [be weak] (Isaiah 33:5-9).
- The imagery of the earth quaking and hills melting, etc. at His presence (Psalms 97:4-5 and Habakkuk 3:1-16).
- The point of all that imagery was to show that none could stand before the indignation of the Lord (Psalms 78:43-49, Psalms 90:11, Isaiah 34:1-2, Jeremiah 10:10, and Hebrews 10:27).
- None could quench the fiery fury of the Lord (Jeremiah 4:4).
4. Would the goodness of God protect Nineveh from His wrath?
No: “(7) The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. (8) But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies. (9) What do ye imagine against the LORD? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time. (10) For while they be folden together as thorns, and while they are drunken as drunkards, they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry. (11) There is one come out of thee, that imagineth evil against the LORD, a wicked counsellor” (Nahum 1:7-11).
- It is right to understand the balance of God (Joshua 23:15-16 and Romans 11:22).
- The Lord is good (Psalms 34:1-8, Psalms 110:5, and Lamentations 3:25).
- God knoweth them that trust in him (Jeremiah 17:7-8 and II Timothy 2:19).
- Bringing a flood can be literal (Genesis 6-8) and figurative representing an army (Isaiah 8:7-8).
- Darkness for His enemies (Isaiah 8:22).
- How dumb to devise evil against the Lord (Psalms 21:8-13, Proverbs 21:30, and Acts 5:27-39).
- An utter end (Jeremiah 12:14-17).
- They thought they were safe (i.e. I Thessalonians 5:1-3), but were going to be devoured as stubble (Isaiah 5:24 and Malachi 4:1).
- There was a wicked counsellor that thought of evil against the Lord in Nineveh. They had thought their princes were kings. As addressed, that was foolish (Isaiah 14:27; 45:9).
5. Though Nineveh was many, was Judah going to continue to be afflicted by them?
No: “(12) Thus saith the LORD; Though they be 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. (13) For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder. (14) And the LORD hath given a commandment concerning thee, that no more of thy name be 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. (15) Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off” (Nahum 1:12-15).
- God used Assyria against His people, but because of the arrogance of Assyria the tables were going to be turned (Isaiah 10:5-24 and Isaiah 31:8).
- God was going to cease the punishment on His people (Isaiah 51:22; 62:4). That had long ago been HIs promise (Leviticus 26:40-46).
- The yoke taken off (Isaiah 10:26-27).
- This nation that had cast off the gods of the lands they invaded where now going to see the difference in the God of Heaven (Isaiah 37:18-38).
- They needed to rejoice in their faithful prophets. We read:”Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace!” See: Isaiah 40:9-10, Isaiah 52:7, and Romans 10:14-17
- So, Judah, keep on. Keep your feasts, vows, etc. Their salvation from Assyria was a time of joy (cf. Esther 9:22).
© 2021 This study was prepared for a Bible class with the Sunrise Acres church of Christ in El Paso, TX by Brian A. Yeager.