Old Testament

The oracle of Nahum warns of judgment that is coming against Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, the evil empire that had destroyed the Northern Kingdom of Israel in about 722 BC. Nahum was written sometime between the fall of Thebes, Egypt, which took place in 663 BC (3:8), and the fall of Nineveh, which took place in 612 BC. We know nothing about the author other than his name and the name of his hometown of Elkosh in Judah.
The original spoken oracle was cryptic and suspenseful because it withheld the name of Nineveh until well into the prophecy (2:8), and many of the pronouns have no antecedents. The translation tries to preserve the suspense that was present in the oracle.
11A threatening oracle against Nineveh.
The book of the vision of Nahum from Elkosh.
The Lord Is Both Judge and Savior
2The Lord is a jealous and avenging God.
The Lord takes vengeance and displays his anger.
The Lord takes vengeance against his adversaries.
He will maintain his rage against his enemies.
3The Lord is slow to anger, yet great in power.
The Lord will certainly not let the guilty go unpunished.
He marches out in the whirlwind and in the storm.
Storm clouds are like dust stirred up by his feet.
4He rebukes the sea and makes it dry up.
He makes all the rivers run dry.
Bashan and Carmel are completely withered.
The buds of Lebanon are completely withered.
5The mountains quake in front of him.
The hills melt away.
The earth in front of him rises up,
the whole world and all who live in it.
6Who can withstand his anger?
Who can resist his fury?
His rage is poured out like fire,
and the rocks are torn down by him.
7The Lord is good.
He is a place of safety in the day of distress.
He knows those who seek safety in him,
8but he will bring this place to a complete end by an overwhelming flood.
He will drive his enemies into darkness.
Judgment on the Enemy
9No matter what you plot against the Lord, he will destroy your plot completely. Disaster will not need to strike them twice, 10because like tangled thorns, like the liquor of drunkards, like fully dried stubble, they will be consumed. 11Someone who plots evil against the Lord has gone out from you, but his wicked plans are worthless.
12This is what the Lord says. Even though they are at full strength and are numerous, nevertheless they are sure to be cut off, and they will disappear. Even though I have humbled you, I will not humble you any longer. 13Now I will break their yoke from your neck, I will tear apart the shackles that are on you.
14The Lord has issued a decree against you: There will be no descendants to carry on your name. I will put an end to the carved idols and molten images in the temple of your gods. I will dig your grave because you are cursed.[]
Peace for God's People
15Look! A herald is coming over the mountain to proclaim this good news:
Peace! Celebrate your sacred festivals, Judah!
Fulfill your sacred vows to praise God!
For never again will wickedness overwhelm you.
It has been completely destroyed.[]


  • 1:14 Or too weak to resist
  • 1:15 English 1:15 is 2:1 in Hebrew. All subsequent verse numbers in chapter 2 are one number lower in English than they are in Hebrew.