Nahum 1 – “Hymn of Praise; Imprecation”

Whirlwind tornado stormHebrew-English Text

I. Summary

Nahum praises Yahweh’s might and describes how he destroys his enemies.

II. Photo

Yahweh is a forceful deity: “He travels in whirlwind and storm, and clouds are the dust on His feet!” (v. 3)

III. Select Verses

1: A pronouncement on Nineveh: The Book of the Prophecy of Nahum the Elkoshite.

2:  The LORD is a passionate, avenging God; The LORD is vengeful and fierce in wrath. The LORD takes vengeance on His enemies, He rages against His foes.

5: The mountains quake because of Him, And the hills melt. The earth heaves before Him, The world and all that dwell therein.

7-8: The LORD is good to [those who hope in Him], A haven on a day of distress; He is mindful of those who seek refuge in Him.  And with a sweeping flood He makes an end of her place, And chases His enemies into darkness.

IV. Outline

1. Superscription

2-3a. Yahweh is vengeful

3b-5. Yahweh is fearsome in nature

6. Yahweh is unstoppable

7. Yahweh protects his followers

8. Yahweh punishes his enemies

9-11. Opposing Yahweh is futile

12-13. Oracle: the oppressors will be overthrown

14. Yahweh will destroy the enemy

V. Comment

As Kevin J. Cathcart notes, little is known about the prophet Nahum: “The superscription of the book reads: ‘An Oracle concerning Nineveh. The Book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.’ Outside the Bible, Nahum (comfort) is a well-attested NW Semitic name. However, nothing is known about the prophet Nahum, and even the place of his origin, Elkosh, has not been identified. Jerome proposed “Elcesaei,” a village in Galilee; Pseudo-Epiphanius placed it in Judea; and there have been several attempts by modern scholars to locate the site of the ancient town.” (Anchor Bible Dictionary IV:988)

VI. Works Used

(see “Commentaries” page)

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