Book type: Prophets (Minor)
Author: Nahum the Elkoshite.
No. of chapters: 3
Key character(s): God, Nahum, Assyrians
Brief description: Nahum – A vision of hope for an oppressed people.
01) The sovereign God’s makes himself known (1:1-11)
02) In the Enemy’s fall, God offers hope for his oppressed people (1:12-15)
03) God will bring judgement upon his wicked enemy (2:1-3:19)
Nahum means “consolation”, “comforter”, “compassionate” &/or “penitent” in Hebrew.
By the time of Nahum the Southern Kingdom of Judah was but a small state in a region dominated by the brutal Assyrians.
The book of Nahum brings encouragement & hope to an oppressed people. The book emphasises 4 themes:
01) The sovereignty of God.
02) The justice of God.
03) The grace of God.
04) Hope or God’s people.
Nahum speaks to all communities which face oppression. Judah had experienced the ruthless tyranny of Assyria for years, so Nahum focussed on tyranny. In the face of such oppression, the prophet reaffirmed the sovereignty, justice & grace of God.
The Book of Nahum calls us:
01) To recognise the presence of evil in the world.
02) To believe that God is opposed to all evil.
03) To examine our attitudes towards oppression & to understand that oppression sows its own destruction.
04) To live in hope.
05) To renew our vision of God’s sovereign power in a world rules by political expediency.
06) To resist the temptation to live only by societal norms rather than by the Word of God.
07) To act on the belief that God is indeed involved in life & history.
Nahum proclaims a significant message to a world often dominated by chaos & confusion. God is powerful. He creates a future for the oppressed for the community of faith. The reality of God’s justice brings hope & sustenance for living.
[Source: NIV Disciple’s Study Bible]
Nineveh once had responded to the preaching of Jonah and turned from their evil ways to serve the Lord God Jehovah. 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 preaching judgment in the destruction of the city and exhorting them to repentance. Sadly, the Ninevites did not heed’s Nahum’s warning and the city was brought under the dominion of Babylon.
Nahum 1:3 (ANIV)
3 The Lord is slow to anger and great in power; the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet.
Nahum 1:7 (ANIV)
The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him, …
Nahum 1:15 (ANIV)
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.)