Monday, October 22, 2018

The No Nonsense of Nahum 2:8-3:5

8 But Nineveh is of old like a pool of water: yet they shall flee away. Stand, stand, shall they cry; but none shall look back.

Those who managed to escape is likened to water of an over flowing puddle, running off a hill and no one looks back because there is nothing to look back to. Nineveh as prophesied will have been utterly destroyed (1:9).

The Stones Tanak says this mean, “Her officers try to stop their fleeing troops, but to no avail.”

9 Take ye the spoil of silver, take the spoil of gold: for there is none end of the store and glory out of all the pleasant furniture.

The Babylonians are encouraged here by the prophet to raze the city and spoil it utterly until there is no booty left. Clean them out, it’s left for the taking and so, to the conquers goes the spoils as they say. The Ninevites valuables are virtually endless!

10 She is empty, and void, and waste: and the heart melteth, and the knees smite together, and much pain is in all loins, and the faces of them all gather blackness.

The Ninevites see that they are picked clean and as vultures with carrion, the city is nothing but a pile of bones. The blood drains from the Ninevite faces, their stomach churns, their knees knock and they faint from fear and despair.

Isa. 13:7-8 Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt: And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.

11 Where is the dwelling of the lions, and the feedingplace of the young lions, where the lion, even the old lion, walked, and the lion's whelp, and none made them afraid? 12 The lion did tear in pieces enough for his whelps, and strangled for his lionesses, and filled his holes with prey, and his dens with ravin. 13 Behold, I am against thee, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will burn her chariots in the smoke, and the sword shall devour thy young lions: and I will cut off thy prey from the earth, and the voice of thy messengers shall no more be heard.

The tables have turned. “The Assyrians had mercilessly plundered other nations as a lion kills its prey. They had had no compassion or mercy for other people. Now they themselves would be plundered and killed (v.10) Jesus Articulates this principle when He said, “All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” (Matt. 26:52; cf. Rev. 13:10).” – Full Life Study Bible

THE JUSTIFICATION… as if God needed any.

Nahum 3:1 Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and robbery; the prey departeth not;

Literally it’s “city of bloods.” Blood is plural, speaking of all the many people Nineveh have killed unjustly.

Ezk. 24:6, 9-10 Wherefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the bloody city, to the pot whose scum is therein, and whose scum is not gone out of it! bring it out piece by piece; let no lot fall upon it… Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the bloody city! I will even make the pile for fire great. Heap on wood, kindle the fire, consume the flesh, and spice it well, and let the bones be burned.
Hab. 2:12 Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and stablisheth a city by iniquity!

2 The noise of a whip, and the noise of the rattling of the wheels, and of the pransing horses, and of the jumping chariots. 3 The horseman lifteth up both the bright sword and the glittering spear: and there is a multitude of slain, and a great number of carcases; and there is none end of their corpses; they stumble upon their corpses:

This poetically describes Assyria’s utter domination of the battle field and all the dead, piles of dead they leave in their wake, so may that their cavalry stumbles over the multitude of Bodies.

It could be said they were the Nazi War Machine of their day. Assyrians did such things as skin their prisoners alive, rip out tongues and gouge out eyes, the ones they spared were led away with hooks in their mouths. They as a nation had already taken the House of Israel away captive.

4 Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the wellfavoured harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts.

Nineveh being a capital city by the river, they were powerful in trade and commerce, a Mardi Gras type of city where there was no end to its immorality; hedonistic, pleasure seeking, witchcraft, and cult prostitution among other wickedness.

Rashi tells us, “The Assyrians would seduce nations into making pacts with them, and them dishonor the treaty and conquer their unsuspecting allies.”

5 Behold, I am against thee, saith the LORD of hosts; and I will discover thy skirts upon thy face, and I will shew the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame.

This verse speaks of taking full advantage of the nations they either seduced or conquered by military force.

The Illustrated Dictionary of Bible Life and Times helps shed a little bit of light on this odd use of the word skirt.

“Because they covered nakedness, skirts are associated with sin and harlotry. In Lamentations, the “uncleanness” of Jerusalem lies “in her skirts” (Lam. 1:9). In Jeremiah, God threatens to “lift up” the skirts of Jerusalem, exposing the city’s corruption (Jer. 13:26).”

Maybe it’s the ancient way of saying that someone was caught with their pants down. In other words, Assyria, especially Nineveh will be uncovered to all the word and exposed for all its blackmail, taking advantage of other nations and milking them for all their worth. What they used to do in intimate secrecy, behind closed doors, will be revealed to the entire world. Like two lovers or more like a man and his mistress being walked in on by another. The skirt over the face describes how Assyria will become very vulnerable. When your head is covered by your skirt, not only is your nakedness exposed, but you are blind to attack and getting your head pummeled.

“Because of Nineveh’s great sin, God Himself would personally expose the depravity of its residents and destroy them. No power on earth can protect a nation that God has determined to oppose. When sin reaches a certain level in a society, God will expose the people to shame by bringing down all their means of security; such a society will collapse.” – The Full Life Study Bible

There comes a time when everything that happens in Vegas won’t stay in Vegas.