10 Yet was she carried away, she went into captivity: her young children also were dashed in pieces at the top of all the streets: and they cast lots for her honourable men, and all her great men were bound in chains.
These horrid atrocities, crimes against humanity done to these nations would soon fall upon Assyria.
These verses describe a brutal, heartless practice of taking infants out of their mother’s arms and by the legs, thrash them against stone walls or upon rocks. This is similar to how the Nazis use to toss Jewish babies in the air and shoot them like clay pigeons or attempt to catch them upon their bayonets.
The verses go on to say how the best of the men were gambled off as slaves and carted off in shackles.
11 Thou also shalt be drunken: thou shalt be hid, thou also shalt seek strength because of the enemy.
Radak comments that Nineveh will be drunk by the cup of God’s wrath and will look for allies to help but to no avail.
12 All thy strong holds shall be like fig trees with the firstripe figs: if they be shaken, they shall even fall into the mouth of the eater.
Nineveh will be ransacked and pillaged like an orchard at harvest time. They are ripe for judgment, ripe for looting. They will be consumed like harvesters eating as they go.
Deut. 25:4 Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out [the corn].
1 Cor. 9:9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?
1 Tim. 5:18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer [is] worthy of his reward.
13 Behold, thy people in the midst of thee are women: the gates of thy land shall be set wide open unto thine enemies: the fire shall devour thy bars.
This is the ancient way of Jock style trash talk that maybe a basketball player would say, “You shoot like a girl!” Well, here it is said that Assyria will be so decimated that their mightest warriors will be like frightened women. All the fear and anxiety have made them ignitable like a tender box.
14 Draw thee waters for the siege, fortify thy strong holds: go into clay, and tread the morter, make strong the brickkiln.
Nahum warns that Nineveh’s fortifications will be breached and will need materials to repair those breeches to keep out the enemy.
15 There shall the fire devour thee; the sword shall cut thee off, it shall eat thee up like the cankerworm: make thyself many as the cankerworm, make thyself many as the locusts.
The enemy will be like a plague of locust or cankerworms which are insect larva that eats plants; countless in number will strip Nineveh bare like and insect army leveling crops.
16 Thou hast multiplied thy merchants above the stars of heaven: the cankerworm spoileth, and fleeth away.
Assyrian goods use to be everywhere, but after Babylon is through with them, Assyrian wares will be a rarity.
17 Thy crowned are as the locusts, and thy captains as the great grasshoppers, which camp in the hedges in the cold day, but when the sun ariseth they flee away, and their place is not known where they are.
The Assyrians use to be the swarm of devastating insects and Babylonia will be like a change in the weather that causes them to disappear back into the landscape. They use to be so proud and mighty and now they will hide like fugitives.
18 Thy shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria: thy nobles shall dwell in the dust: thy people is scattered upon the mountains, and no man gathereth them.
Their wise men won’t see this coming and the destruction will be so great and those taken away into exile will be so vast that there will not be enough Assyrians to bury the dead.
19 There is no healing of thy bruise; thy wound is grievous: all that hear the bruit of thee shall clap the hands over thee: for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?
The news of Assyria’s fall will be so shocking it would be like the world hearing of the destruction of the United States. In the 1980’s and 90’s it was just as shocking to have communist Russia cease to be a world super power, much of the world were relieved that they were no longer a threat and this is just the way it will be for Assyria.
Though for once God’s people wasn’t the target of the dooms day message may we still be soberly reminded that God has a limit, a point of no return when He has had, “ENOUGH” and woe be unto the Nation that will be forced to drink the cup of God’s wrath to the dregs. If we sin disobey Torah (I John 3:4) we are not exempt from God’s wrath but will be the first to taste it.
I Peter 4:17 For the time [is come] that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if [it] first [begin] at us, what shall the end [be] of them that obey not the gospel of God?
Secondly, let us learn the mistake of Assyria, let us be merciful and not take advantages of the innocent. Almost nothing makes ADONAI more indignant than the mistreatment of the helpless.
Third, let us treat others how we would want to be treated as the Talmudic principle of the Golden Rule that Yeshua reiterates in the Besorah.
I pray this study was not only enlightening but applicable.
Kris Shoemaker – Yehudah ben Shomeyr