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Getting to Know the Bible: Nahum Overview

Peace & Blessings Beloved,

TGBTG for allowing us to see another day. I pray all is well with you and yours, and that your week has been fruitful & blessed thus far.


Today we are going to visit our Getting to Know the Bible Series. In this series, our goal is to come to a comprehensive understanding of each book of the bible. At this point of the series we're going to focus on Nahum. But before we get to Nahum 1, I want to ensure we have a baseline understanding of the book of Nahum. This way we can have a full appreciation for the exquisiteness of the entire book, as well as each individual chapter.


And so, in that spirit, see below for a comprehensive overview of the book of Nahum, as we prepare to behold and discern Nahum, beginning with Nahum 1 in our next installment of this series.



Book Type: The seventh book of the Minor Prophets; the thirty-fourth book of the Old Testament


Author: Nahum


Date of Writing :~ Between 663 and 612 BC.


Audience: The people of Judah.


Theme: Judgment


Original Language: Hebrew


Genre: Prophecy


Purpose of Writing: The people of Nineveh at the time of Nahum had repented but now lived just as bad if not worse than they did before. The Assyrians had become absolutely brutal in their conquests (hanging the bodies of their victims on poles and putting their skin on the walls of their tents, etc.). Now Nahum was telling the people of Judah to not despair because God had pronounced judgment and the Assyrians would soon be getting just what they deserved.

Summary: Nineveh once had responded to the preaching of Jonah and turned from their evil ways to serve the Lord God. But 150 years later, Nineveh returned to idolatry, violence, and arrogance (Nahum 3:1–4). Once again God sends one of His prophets to Nineveh warning of judgment in the form of the destruction of their city and exhorting them to repentance. Unfortunately for them, the Ninevites did not heed’s Nahum’s warning, and the city was brought under the dominion of Babylon.



Overview:

Nahum consists of three chapters, with each chapter emphasizing a specific theme regarding Nineveh.


In chapter 1, Nineveh's destruction is initially declared. God emphasizes His great power, showing Himself far superior to other gods (Nahum 1:2–11). He then outlines His punishment for the people of Nineveh due to their sin (Nahum 1:12–15).


Chapter 2 details the upcoming destruction of Nineveh. The city will come under attack from an army with shields and chariots (Nahum 2:3). The enemies will enter the city gates with their chariots and defeat the city, plundering the silver and gold (Nahum 2:9). The chariots of Nineveh will burn and their people will be destroyed (Nahum 2:13).


Chapter 3 provides detail on various aspects of Nineveh's sin, and its destruction. It is a bloody city, full of violence and prostitution (Nahum 3:1–4). The Lord will bring shame upon them (Nahum 3:5–7). Their people will become exiles, captives, with children and men dying (Nahum 3:10). Fire would destroy them in their places of safety (Nahum 3:15).


Unlike the positive results of Jonah's message, this chapter ends with only the negative aspects associated with God's judgment. Nineveh would certainly be destroyed, a prediction historically fulfilled shortly after this prophecy in 612 BC. The remains of the city would not be rediscovered until the nineteenth century.


Foreshadowing: Paul uses shades of the imagery of Nahum 1:15 in Romans 10:15 regarding the ministry of the Messiah and the apostles. It may also be understood of any minister of the Gospel whose business it is to preach the Gospel of peace. God has made peace with sinners by the blood of Christ and has given to His people the peace that transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7). The preacher’s work is also to bring glad tidings of good things (KJV), such as reconciliation, righteousness, pardon, life, and eternal salvation by a crucified Christ.


Application: God is patient and slow to anger, but He is not mocked. His judgment is consistent, timely, and certain. No one can escape it.


Key Verses (ESV):


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


Nahum 1:14a. “The LORD has given a command concerning you, Nineveh: ‘You will have no descendants to bear your name.'”


Nahum 1:15a, “Look, there on the mountains, the feet of one who brings good news, who proclaims peace!” See also Isaiah 52:7 and Romans 10:15.


Nahum 2:13a, “'Behold I am against you,' says the Lord of hosts.”


Nahum 3:19, “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?”



*Note: The author of the Book of Nahum identifies himself as Nahum (in the Hebrew Consoler or Comforter) the Elkoshite (1:1).


Nahum was written to the Gentiles of Nineveh. This is the same people to whom God sent the prophet Jonah. This message comes approximately a century after Jonah's message, with a much different situation for the people of the city. Their repentance did not last long, as they are now condemned for their sinful ways.


I pray you receive this with the love intended, and apply it to wisdom.

May the joy of the Lord continue to be your strength.


Love you much.


Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Blessed!


-Humble Servant


P.S- If you have not given your life to Jesus Christ, I implore you to take the time to do so right now. Use John 3:16 & Romans 10:9-10 as a foundation for making your confession of faith. And use Ephesians 2:1-10 to provide proper context for your salvation.

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