NOTE: All bible references are from the NKJV unless otherwise stated.
NOTE #2: Given the limited amount of information that we know about Nahum, the best we can do is narrow the time frame in which the Book of Nahum was written to between 663 and 612 B.C. Two events are mentioned that help us to determine these dates. First, Nahum mentions Thebes (No Amon) in Egypt falling to the Assyrians (663 B.C.) in the past tense. This means it had already happened. Second, the lion’s share of Nahum’s prophecies came true in 612 B.C. so they were prior to 612 B.C.
In a possible scenario, Nahum 1:9 is a reminder of the repentance of Nineveh including the king, back in the Book of Jonah some 80 or 90 years earlier.
(v9) What do you conspire against the LORD? He will make an utter end of it. Affliction will not rise up a second time. Assyria’s capital city [Nineveh] is to whom Nahum is addressing. This is the same place Jonah prophesied. There are differences of commentary and Bible scholarly opinions as to what and to whom affliction the second time means in verse 9. Consider that only 80 to 90 years earlier, Jonah brought a strong warning of Nineveh’s pending destruction unless they repent. They did repent to Jonah’s dismay. This warning is not to be Nineveh’s second chance. They had their warning through Jonah. There will not be, according to Nahum, given another warning. Pending is now their utter destruction. This indicates that a warning from God may have a long or short lifetime. However, one must consider God’s warnings have an eternal timeline.
We have no way of documenting this thought, but perhaps the reason Nineveh was so open to repentance at the time of Jonah was they had some “affliction” meaning God’s first warning.
*The utter end of its place (Nineveh) was
also literally fulfilled. “Not only were these people lost from history, even the city was lost until it was discovered by archaeologists, beginning in the 1840’s.” (Boice)
JIV NOTE: Some will wish to argue that Ashur was the capital of Assyria. S/he would be right, until the reign of Assyrian king Sennacherib. He transformed Nineveh and moved the political seat in Ashur to what was already their religious center…Nineveh.
Nahum 1:10 Verse 9-11 should be read in conjunction. They address Nineveh being destroyed and Judah being delivered. Verse 10a may be a prophecy of the Assyrian leadership near their end. The following explains the *“entanglement as in thorns” mentioned in verse 10.
“Many cities have risen and fallen throughout the course of world history, but few have had such a dramatic history as the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh. At its height, Nineveh was arguably the most cultured and sophisticated city in the ancient Near East, but a combination of factors led to its quick demise. *Dynastic quarrels within the Assyrian royal house precipitated the city’s decline, allowing Assyria’s many enemies to ally and eventually siege and sack the once great capital city of Nineveh.” https://dailyhistory.org/How_Did_the_Ancient_City_of_Nineveh_Fall%3F. This tactic was to divide then conquer.
Nahum https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Nahum+1%3A11&version=NKJV 1:11 may be a prophetic vision of the future antichrist. The NKJV states: From you comes forth one Who plots evil against the LORD, A wicked counselor. This is easily read right over without consideration. Many commentaries do not even address its possible implications. Who is the “ONE?” Who is that “wicked counselor”? This verse is specific. It says, “THE ONE. The wicked counselor” It is in the singular. Who fits this role to the proverbial “T”? It must be one of Satan’s trinity: Satan (the Dragon), antichrist (beast #1), and false prophet (beast #2). This is Satan’s imitation of God’s three-in-one person…Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Nahum 1:12 is another challenging verse to understand. It is assumed to be specific to Nineveh, Assyria. One of the concerns with this is the use of the terms “you, they, his.” Does Nahum switch his prophetic focus back and forth between Israel and Nineveh? If Assyria is considered symbolic of the word at-large during end time or the Millennial, the “you”, “they”, and “his” could reference both or each individually. Nahum 1:11-12 are specific to Israel. For God will afflict them no more and their yoke will be removed. In verse 14 it is Israel’s oppressors who are the focus. To dig their grave [v14] means their end. Nineveh lost their legacy to Babylon shortly after the time of Nahum.
JIV NOTE: There is another legacy not mentioned but can be deduced. The legacy of Israel being identified as a target of others in the world. This is easily observed today. When Christ returns no longer will they be the fish in the barrel that others can take potshots at without missing or Israelis (the fish) escaping. Roles will, in a sense, be reversed. Israel will be held in very high esteem. [cf. Micah 4:2]
Nahum 1:13 “…For now I will break off his yoke from you, And burst your bonds apart.” For now can be read as “on that day…” The bonds of Israelis will be gone. The bonds of the world and the bonds of God’s judgements on them will be burst. They will be no longer be in bondage to the world around them. God will have made a new covenant with them. [cf. Jeremiah 31:31-34]
Nahum 1:14 is a reference to Nineveh and prophetically to the world “in that Day” [end time]. The LORD has given a command concerning you: “Your name shall be perpetuated no longer. Out of the house of your gods I will cut off the carved image and the molded image. I will dig your grave, For you are vile.” The carved images and molded images represent all that the world has carved out for their lives, livelihood, institutions, and cultures without God. To dig their graves is symbolic of their destined end in eternity, not heaven but hell’s lake of fire. To symbolically be identified as “in one’s grave” means s/he no longer has control over anything. Each will live out his or her eternal consequence. No longer will there be Free Will. All will then be as determined before the world was created [Ephesians 1:4].
JIV NOTE: This does not mean some are predetermined to be chosen and some chosen to be condemned. It means the end time paths of life and eternity are predetermined.
Nahum 1:15 A point often overlooked in verse 15 is the use of the name Judah instead of Israel. Note the “church” of believers is also not mentioned. This time and passage is about Israelis. The global church of believers has already been removed; raptured. “…the feet of him [who is standing] on the mountains” fits well with the return of Jesus Christ as Messiah [see closing paragraph].
Nahum is stating that since the Northern Kingdom of Israel was dispersed by the Assyrians in 722 B.C., only Judah then remains. They too have a limited amount of time left before the Babylonians invade, conquer, then take the Judean population into captivity. It will also be the end of an independent people-nation or kingdom. When the few who return to Judah after being released from captivity in Babylon 70-years later, all remained subject to the Persians, never again a self-determined people until April, 1948.
“And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south.” [Zechariah 14:4].
Rev. Dr. Jstark