The Prophecies of Nahum

The Prophet Nahum was an Elkoshite who lived between 680 and 600 BC although no one knows exactly the time the Book of Nahum was written. Many say that his book is history written just immediately after the fall of Assyria in 612 BC and therefore many say his book is a history of Nineveh's downfall. Nineveh was the capital of ancient Assyria. Let us examine the book.

We remember that Assyria under King Shalmaneser was responsible for the downfall of the House of Israel (2King 17:1-6) around 722 BC and not long after, the House of Judah also fell at the hands of the Babylonians under king Nebuchadnezzar in 587 BC. But before Judah's fall, there was an attempt by the Assyrians under King Sennacherib to ransacked Jerusalem after destroying Judah's 46 towns and villages but was unsuccessful due to God's intervention  (2 Kings 19:35-37). It was the Babylonians that led to the downfall of the Assyrians which was then allied with Egypt defeating them both at Carchemish in 605 BC. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon continued on to completely destroy Jerusalem and brought the Jews in captivity to Babylon. He also continued on to subjugate Egypt further south. But then God had a promise to Judah whom Nebuchadnezzar destroyed:

Nah 1:12, 15
12 This is what the LORD says:
"Although they have allies and are numerous, they will be cut off and pass away. Although I have afflicted you, [O Judah,] I will afflict you no more.
15 Look, there on the mountains, the feet of one who brings good news, who proclaims peace! Celebrate your festivals, O Judah, and fulfill your vows. No more will the wicked invade you; they will be completely destroyed.

God promised a great future for Judah. The above passages apparently refers to the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ who will bring good news of salvation (Luke 4:18-19) and was already fulfilled almost 2000 years ago. But the other half of verse 15 is not yet fulfilled--"No more will the wicked invade you; they will be completely destroyed. Judah today is now we call Israel but it does not represent the whole of Israel but only the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and some Levites. Read Israel, The Divided House for explanation on this. We can see that Israel today is not yet safe from invasion and in fact there are many prophecies that the Israel we know today will fall from her many enemies.

Now the question is, if the book is a prophecy on the downfall of Nineveh, then why directly relate Nineveh for the downfall of Judah? The Babylonians should pay for the downfall of Judah not the Assyrians although the Assyrians destroyed several towns of Judah, they failed to defeat the Jews holed up inside the walls of Jerusalem.

The answer is by simply understanding that the whole book of Nahum is not a history but a prophecy. Check  Nahum 1:5-6:

5 The mountains quake before him and the hills melt away. The earth trembles at his presence, the world and all who live in it. 6 Who can withstand his indignation? Who can endure his fierce anger? His wrath is poured out like fire; the rocks are shattered before him.

This verses pertain to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ when He will destroy the earth with fire and exact His vengeance against His enemies. Read also Mic 1:3-4 and 2 Pet 3:10-12.

Vengeance is mine

In the first chapter of Nahum starts with the declaration that God is a jealous and avenging God. He will avenge the suffering of His people.

Nah 1:2-3
2 The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The LORD takes vengeance on his foes and maintains his wrath against his enemies. 3 The LORD is slow to anger and great in power; the LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet.

In verse 8, God is directing His anger against Nineveh. That vengeance keeps repeated through the rest of the book.

Nah 1:8
8 but with an overwhelming flood he will make an end of [Nineveh]; he will pursue his foes into darkness.

God's message is not only about His fierce anger but also His goodness assuring that He cares for His people.

Nah 1:7
7 The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.

Nineveh, the root of the coming wrath

Why is Nahum's prophecy very particular on Nineveh, an ancient capital city of Assyria? The Book of Nahum is special because it is the only book of prophecies which reveals the place where the Antichrist will come from.

This is the present site of Nineveh in Iraq with ancient ruins lie in the background. Source: Wikipedia

Nah 1:11
11 From you, [O Nineveh,] has one come forth who plots evil against the LORD and counsels wickedness.

This very short verse explains why God's anger was centered on this city. At the same time, giving hope to the people of Israel that God's mercy will be forthcoming. Israel will be rescued from the one who counsels wickedness. This place is the origin of the Antichrist but God promised Nineveh will be defeated, that the Antichrist will meet his downfall. Yet, it is God's purpose to use Assyria to punish His own people. We will borrow this verse in Isaiah:

Isa 10:5-6
"Woe to the Assyrian, the rod of my anger, in whose hand is the club of my wrath! I send him against a godless nation [Israel], I dispatch him against a people who anger me.

Israel is punished because of their sins. I have discussed many transgressions of Israel as well as of all the nations in my past topics which I don't need to write them here again. After the punishment against Israel is completed, then God's anger will subside and will turn His wrath against the king of Assyria, the man from Nineveh, the Antichrist. It is important to continue Isaiah's prophecy to understand completely the prophecy of Nahum.

Isa 10:12-14
12 When the Lord has finished all his work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, he will say, "I will punish the king of Assyria for the willful pride of his heart and the haughty look in his eyes. 13 For he [Assyrian] says:
"'By the strength of my hand I have done this, and by my wisdom, because I have understanding. I removed the boundaries of nations, I plundered their treasures; like a mighty one I subdued their kings. 14 As one reaches into a nest, so my hand reached for the wealth of the nations; as men gather abandoned eggs, so I gathered all the countries; not one flapped a wing, or opened its mouth to chirp.'"

Here, Isaiah continues to explain God's reason of using the Assyrian (would-be Antichrist) to punish Israel. However, it turn out that this ruler went on to conquer all the countries as well. He becomes conceited attributing this feat to his own power which. In the next verse, Isa 10:15, God is saying, that the authority and power came from God.

Now it is clearer why Nineveh plays a big role in the last days. Read The Antichrist and the Number "666" to understand more why the ruler from Nineveh (king of Assyria) shall become the "666". Once he becomes the Antichrist, he will change his role from Assyrian to the symbolic Babylonian king who will invade Judah, now Israel. Read also The Powerful Delusion, A Great Lie about the fatal wound and the rise of the Antichrist.

Once you read the two topics mentioned above, it becomes clear why God had promised to Judah "Celebrate your festivals, O Judah, and fulfill your vows. No more will the wicked [Antichrist and his followers] invade you; they will be completely destroyed." God was punishing Nineveh because the ruler who will come from that city will soon become the Antichrist, the symbolic Babylonian king who will destroy Judah and Jerusalem.

The army of God

Chapter 2 of Nahum describes the attacker of Nineveh.

Nah 2:2
An attacker [God's army] advances against you, [Nineveh]. Guard the fortress, watch the road, brace yourselves, marshal all your strength!

More description on God's army...

Nah 2:3-4
3 The shields of his soldiers are red; the warriors are clad in scarlet. The metal on the chariots flashes on the day they are made ready; the spears of pine are brandished. 4 The chariots storm through the streets, rushing back and forth through the squares. They look like flaming torches; they dart about like lightning.

Read more of the army of God in the topics Greenland: The Camp of God's Army - Part 1 and Part 2. Also read The Minor Prophets and the Last Days - Joel for this army described as locusts.

Through His army, God will restore the splendor of Jacob. Note that this is for the whole tribe of Jacob, not only for the House of Judah nor for the House of Israel only.

Nah 2:2
2 The LORD will restore the splendor of Jacob like the splendor of Israel, though destroyers have laid them waste and have ruined their vines.

The fatal wound

The rest of Chapter 2 details the punishment of Nineveh, the strength of the Antichrist. Chapter 3 details the sins of Nineveh. I would like to put emphasis on the last two verses of the Book of Nahum.

Nah 3:18-19
18 O king of Assyria, your shepherds slumber; your nobles lie down to rest. Your people are scattered on the mountains with no one to gather them. 19 Nothing can heal your wound; your injury is fatal. Everyone who hears the news about you claps his hands at your fall, for who has not felt your endless cruelty?

The wound, the fatal wound is the most significant injury mentioned in the Bible. This fatal wound is again mentioned in the Book of Revelation prophesying about one of the heads of the beast having a fatal wound and was healed.

Rev 13:3
3 One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound , but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast.

Also in Rev 13:12-13

There are many verses referring to the fatal wound of one of the heads of the 7-headed beast. Obviously, the wounded head is the Antichrist. Rev 13:3, 12 prophesied of the fatal wound that healed. Verses Rev 17: 8, 11 refer to the same wounded head but clearly mentioned that the head died but resurrected. The process has to happened to complete the number "666" and to repeat Israel's history-- the Confirmation of the Covenant because King Sennacherib of Assyria also died after he attempted to attack Jerusalem.

He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. 13 And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men.

The wound being healed is describing death then being resurrected and is also described this way:

Rev 17:8
8 The beast, which you saw, once was , now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss [Death] and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was , now is not, and yet will come.

Well, that is exactly how the House of Israel fell then followed by the fall of the House of Judah. The Assyrians conquered the House of Israel. But when they tried to attack Jerusalem, King Sennacherib's army was annihilated by God's angel and the king died days later. In the last days, this symbolic Assyrian king will do the same to confirm the covenant, he will die short of conquering Israel but will rise again to become the symbolic Babylonian king. Then, later as the cruel Pharaoh (Isa 19:4) to complete his mission not only of defeating Israel but also the USA, the modern Egypt, and then conquering the entire world. All the world will feel his endless cruelty in the end.

What God is saying above is that, the fatal wound is actually beyond cure. Although the symbolic Assyrian king from Nineveh will resurrect mimicking the resurrection of Jesus Christ (as he will declare himself as the real "Messiah"), he will eventually go to his destruction (Rev 17:8,11).

Now you see that the Book of Nahum although short is very interesting and meaningful. It is a book of prophecy not a history. However, we need to read other prophecies to understand it better. We need also to be well aware of the history of Israel and understand that history is just repeating itself for the last seven years before the Second Coming.

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