1. As a message to prepare for invasion is given and battle was to come, what was going to happen to “Huzzab”?
Led away captive: “(1) He that dasheth in pieces is come up before thy face: keep the munition, watch the way, make thy loins strong, fortify thy power mightily. (2) For the LORD hath turned away the excellency of Jacob, as the excellency of Israel: for the emptiers have emptied them out, and marred their vine branches. (3) The shield of his mighty men is made red, the valiant men are in scarlet: the chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his preparation, and the fir trees shall be terribly shaken. (4) The chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall justle one against another in the broad ways: they shall seem like torches, they shall run like the lightnings. (5) He shall recount his worthies: they shall stumble in their walk; they shall make haste to the wall thereof, and the defence shall be prepared. (6) The gates of the rivers shall be opened, and the palace shall be dissolved. (7) And Huzzab shall be led away captive, she shall be brought up, and her maids shall lead her as with the voice of doves, tabering upon their breasts” (Nahum 2:1-7).
- The first chapter concluded with: “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 1:15). NOW, we are talking about Nineveh being cut off.
- Assyria, of which the city of Nineveh is part of, was an instrument that God used to punish erring Israel (Isaiah 10:5-6) for their rebellion (II Kings 18:11-12). “He that dasheth in pieces” simply means “he that scatters”.
- Assyria had also come against Judah (II Kings 18:13).
- Remember, this prophesy is about the Lord’s revenge on Nineveh (Nahum 1:1-2). They are being told to prepare for battle.
- Why did God send Assyria against Israel… “For the Lord had turned away the excellency [arrogancy, excellency(-lent), majesty, pomp, pride, proud, swelling; Strong’s # 1347] of Israel” (Proverbs 16:5 and Isaiah 2:12). They, in their pride, did not turn back to God (Hosea 5:5). Judah suffered from that same pride problem too (Jeremiah 13:8-10).
- The tribes of Israel, with exception to Judah and part of Benjamin who would continue even beyond Babylon (Ezra 1:5 and Nehemiah 11:4), had been emptied (II Kings 17:6 and Hosea 8:8-9).
- The armies of Assyria had valiant men with bloody shields, arrayed in scarlet garments, chariots, etc. (Isaiah 36:2). The Assyrian recounted his worthies in arrogance (II Kings 18:17-37). Those coming against them were mighty too. After all, they are going to fall.
- Invasions meant palaces would be destroyed (i.e. II Chronicles 36:19). Damns would be destroyed as resources were depleted. Invaders laid siege to cities (II Chronicles 32:10).
- The word translated “Huzzab” means: “various applications (literally or figuratively): — appointed, deputy, erect, establish, x Huzzah (by mistake for a proper name), lay, officer, pillar, present, rear up, set (over, up), settle, sharpen, establish, (make to) stand(-ing, still, up, upright), best state” (Strong’s # 5324).
- This Huzzab that was to be taken captive with her maids is vague. If, as the definition above suggests, this is a mistranslation; we have to leave it there. The ASV 1901 translates this: “And it is decreed: she is uncovered, she is carried away; and her handmaids moan as with the voice of doves, beating upon their breasts.” Nineveh was going to be destroyed (Zephaniah 2:13).
2. Who was against Nineveh that caused them to flee, be spoiled, made empty, etc.?
The Lord: “(8) But Nineveh is of old like a pool of water: yet they shall flee away. Stand, stand, shall they cry; but none shall look back. (9) Take ye the spoil of silver, take the spoil of gold: for there is none end of the store and glory out of all the pleasant furniture. (10) She is empty, and void, and waste: and the heart melteth, and the knees smite together, and much pain is in all loins, and the faces of them all gather blackness. (11) Where is the dwelling of the lions, and the feedingplace of the young lions, where the lion, even the old lion, walked, and the lion's whelp, and none made them afraid? (12) The lion did tear in pieces enough for his whelps, and strangled for his lionesses, and filled his holes with prey, and his dens with ravin. (13) Behold, I am against thee, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will burn her chariots in the smoke, and the sword shall devour thy young lions: and I will cut off thy prey from the earth, and the voice of thy messengers shall no more be heard” (Nahum 2:8-13).
- Nineveh was old (Genesis 10:11).
- Nineveh was like an old pool of water (Ezekiel 31:3-5). Generally speaking, that would be good. Water is a valuable resource. If you were traveling in days of old it would be helpful to know where pools of water were. Yet, they were going to flee away even though they were implored to stand (Psalms 68:1).
- Spoiled of their pleasant things such as when God sent Nebuchadrezzar against Tyrus (Ezekiel 26:12).
- Emptied a wilderness left for lions as punishment for what was done to God’s people (Zephaniah 2:13-15 [partially mentioned in notes above]).
- The clear message was that God was against Nineveh (Nahum 3:5; cf. Psalms 34:16).
- It would be good if the enemies of God’s people, even today, would take not of how God looks at those who inflict His people (Deuteronomy 32:41-43, Psalms 94:20-23, Zechariah 2:8, Romans 12:17-21, and II Thessalonians 1:3-9).
3. What was Nineveh full of?
“Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and robbery; the prey departeth not” (Nahum 3:1).
- A bloody city implies crimes; abominations (cf. Ezekiel 7:23 and Ezekiel 22:2).
- The lies, robbery, predatorily nature of the city are all things God is clearly against (Proverbs 1:10-32).
4. Could it be said that a multitude would die in the invasion coming to Nineveh?
Yes: “(2) The noise of a whip, and the noise of the rattling of the wheels, and of the pransing horses, and of the jumping chariots. (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” (Nahum 3:2-3).
- We read of chariots raging in the streets (Nahum 2:4).
- Drawn swords (Isaiah 31:8 and Micah 5:5-6).
- We understand that God sent an angel against Assyria at one point (Isaiah 37:36), but there were not chariots at that time. So, this is different.
- A multitude slain (Psalms 9:16; 37:28) to the point wherein there was no end to the dead bodies.
5. What was stated as the reasoning behind the Lord being against them?
“(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. (5) Behold, I am against thee, saith the LORD of hosts; and I will discover thy skirts upon thy face, and I will shew the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame” (Nahum 3:4-5).
- Their whoredoms (Ezekiel 23:7).
- Withcraft (Exodus 22:18).
- Exposing them before other nations like God did to His own people (Ezekiel 16:36-37).
6. Though they might have been considered or considered themselves better than the populous [multitude], what was God going to set them as?
A Gazing-stock as they were looked upon being laid waste: “(6) And I will cast abominable filth upon thee, and make thee vile, and will set thee as a gazingstock. (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? (8) Art thou better than populous No, that was situate among the rivers, that had the waters round about it, whose rampart was the sea, and her wall was from the sea” (Nahum 3:6-8)?
- Psalms 33:16-17, Isaiah 10:33, Isaiah 24:21, Ezekiel 32:12, and Ezekiel 32:27
7. Were their allies, their strong holds, their multiple merchants, or their shepherds going to save them?
No: “(9) Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength, and it was infinite; Put and Lubim were thy helpers. (10) Yet was she carried away, she went into captivity: her young children also were dashed in pieces at the top of all the streets: and they cast lots for her honourable men, and all her great men were bound in chains.
(11) Thou also shalt be drunken: thou shalt be hid, thou also shalt seek strength because of the enemy. (12) All thy strong holds shall be like fig trees with the firstripe figs: if they be shaken, they shall even fall into the mouth of the eater.
(13) Behold, thy people in the midst of thee are women: the gates of thy land shall be set wide open unto thine enemies: the fire shall devour thy bars. (14) Draw thee waters for the siege, fortify thy strong holds: go into clay, and tread the morter, make strong the brickkiln. (15) There shall the fire devour thee; the sword shall cut thee off, it shall eat thee up like the cankerworm: make thyself many as the cankerworm, make thyself many as the locusts. (16) Thou hast multiplied thy merchants above the stars of heaven: the cankerworm spoileth, and flieth away. (17) Thy crowned are as the locusts, and thy captains as the great grasshoppers, which camp in the hedges in the cold day, but when the sun ariseth they flee away, and their place is not known where they are. (18) Thy shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria: thy nobles shall dwell in the dust: thy people is scattered upon the mountains, and no man gathereth them” (Nahum 3:9-18).
- Nothing or no one can deliver anyone out of the hand of God’s judgment (Deuteronomy 28:15-32, Deuteronomy 32:39, Psalms 50:22, Isaiah 43:13, Hosea 5:14).
8. Why would people clap at the incurable wound brought upon Nineveh?
Their wickedness touched many: “There is no healing of thy bruise; thy wound is grievous: all that hear the bruit of thee shall clap the hands over thee: for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually” (Nahum 3:19)?
- Isaiah 37:18; cf. Psalms 52:1-9, Psalms 58:10, and Proverbs 11:10
- That does not mean it is always a good thing to rejoice when one’s enemy falls (Proverbs 24:17).
© 2021 This study was prepared for a Bible class with the Sunrise Acres church of Christ in El Paso, TX by Brian A. Yeager.