Thursday, October 18, 2018

The No Nonsense of Nahum 1:7-15

7 The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.

This tells us that it rains on the just and unjust a like (Matt. 5:45). But whereas the wicked will be exposed to the elements and full force of God’s wrath, the righteous will be provided shelter in such times and reap the benefits from rain and not the destructive potential of rains, such as floods. Like prior to the exodus, the plagues were rampant in Egypt, yet in Goshen where Israel was; they were untouched by these blights. Same in the tribulation of the unleashing of God’s wrath, we will be kept safe. However, just as Pharaoh’s whip licked the backs of Hebrews; during the tribulation we are not promised exemption from satan’s wrath (Rev. 13:7).
The Stones Tanak comments, “Even when wrathful to His enemies, God shows kindness to those who trust Him.”

8 But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies.

With all this talk of flood, could it be that Nineveh was destroyed by water as Jonah was saved from water to make an addition to the comparison we made in our introduction?

The Stones Tanak says that this verse is talking about Nineveh itself and the Amplified Bible comments, “Countless authorities confirm the literal accuracy of this reference. Diodorus of Sicily refers to a legend that Nineveh could never be taken until the river became its enemy. Arbaces the Scythian had besieged the city in vain for two years, but in the third year, the river Khoser during a flood season washed away a considerable section of the great wall and through this opening the besiegers gained entrance, Nahzib refers to a devastating flood and 3:13, is probably to the destruction of Nineveh by fire…”

Could the “darkness” mentioned in this verse refer to the black all consuming smoke that comes from a city being burned?

“Imagine” here meaning to do so by planning, plotting, devising a plan.

“The Assyrians were plotting ways to destroy Jerusalem and Judah but God would not allow their plans to be carried out.” – The Full Life Study Bible.

9 What do ye imagine against the LORD? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.

Usually after the destruction of a city, there are ruins and things such as foundations left intact that one can start over with. Usually there are salvageable things, but according to Nahum, there will be no more second chances and destruction will be complete and utter the first time.

Many times after a people have been taken advantage of, a lesser army comes and takes what the first army left behind, the point made here is that they will be nothing left the first time around. Affliction will be so utter that they wouldn’t want a next time around anyway!

10 For while they be folden together as thorns, and while they are drunken as drunkards, they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry.

Nineveh had always been a thorn in Israel’s side. Nineveh had become a deep rooted, thick tangled patch of thorns who being drunk with fortitude and power was almost beyond the capacity to feel oppression by the hand of another human agent, tight knit in their strength and power. However, the source of their drunkenness will run dry and the alcohol of power will dehydrate them in order to make them ready to be consumed like dry kindling brush when ignited by God’s flames of judgment.
Rashi says, “Fully developed and firmly rooted; i.e. , their downfall will come suddenly and swiftly.”

11 There is one come out of thee, that imagineth evil against the LORD, a wicked counsellor

Without naming names, Nahum points the finger at Sennacherib who reigned over Assyria from 705-681 BCE.

12 Thus saith the LORD; Though they be quiet, and likewise many, yet thus shall they be cut down, when he shall pass through. Though I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more.

This is an oddly worded verse in the King James, so allow me to clarify with the Amplified Bible: “Thus says the Lord; Though they be in full strength and likewise many, even so shall [the Assyrians] be cut down when [their evil counselor] (Sennacherib) shall pass away. Though I have afflicted [Jerusalem], I will not cause you to be afflicted [for your past sins] anymore. [II Kings 19:35- 37; John 5”14].” – (Parenthesis mine)

“The Hebrew word Shalame is translated “quiet” in this verse. There are some who suggest by context of the verse that this word can also mean “full” or “complete.” – Key Word Study Bible.

13 For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder.

Here Judah is being consoled in that God is telling them that their Assyrian oppressors bonds upon them will be broken off.

14 And the LORD hath given a commandment concerning thee, that no more of thy name be sown: out of the house of thy gods will I cut off the graven image and the molten image: I will make thy grave; for thou art vile.

Then Nineveh is once again addressed and God tells Sennacherib that he will have no ruling descendants come from him and he will die in his own temple (II Kings 19:37).

15 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.

I like what the Full Life Study Bible has to say about this verse; “The passage parallels Is. 52:7… The good news for Judah was that the Assyrians would be completely destroyed so they could no longer attack their cities…”

The Full Life Study Bible goes on to make this spiritual application, “Likewise, N.T. preachers bears the good news of deliverance from sins bondage and Satan’s power through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 10:15). At an appointed time in the future, sickness, sorrow, the ungodly world, and Satan himself will be completely destroyed (Rev. 19-21).”

God allowed His people at one time to be oppressed by Assyria, as if to say, “You think my Torah is a hard burden, a yoke!? Wait till you feel the splintery heavy yoke of Assyria. For throwing off my Yoke which is light (Matt. 11:13) I will allow Assyria to place their unforgiving yoke on you and then you will realize how good you had it!” Deut. 27-18 promises such things would occur when Israel thrown off Torah.

Torah is likened to a yoke and we today look at a yoke in a bad light, however, all a yoke is, is a guide to keep one on track and on task, to be able to work steadily on a job until its completion.

When Yeshua said His Yoke was easy and His burden light, He was saying that His way of understanding and walking out the precepts of Torah was not cumbersome and difficult as the Pharisees and Sadducees were.

Matt. 5:16-20 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

The solemn feast that is spoken of here could be referring to either Passover, the time of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt or Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonements and simultaneously for the wicked, judgment, which has always been the most “solemn” of all the Biblical Feasts. The word for “solemn feats” in Hebrew is “chag” and it is almost exclusively used in reference to the three pilgrimage festivals of Passover, Shavu’ot (Feast of Weeks) and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles).

Deut. 16:16 Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty: