Daily Devotional: Thursday 21st May

by William Moody

Nahum 2:1–8

The Destruction of Nineveh

2:1   The scatterer has come up against you.
    Man the ramparts;
    watch the road;
  dress for battle;1
    collect all your strength.
  For the LORD is restoring the majesty of Jacob
    as the majesty of Israel,
  for plunderers have plundered them
    and ruined their branches.
  The shield of his mighty men is red;
    his soldiers are clothed in scarlet.
  The chariots come with flashing metal
    on the day he musters them;
    the cypress spears are brandished.
  The chariots race madly through the streets;
    they rush to and fro through the squares;
  they gleam like torches;
    they dart like lightning.
  He remembers his officers;
    they stumble as they go,
  they hasten to the wall;
    the siege tower2 is set up.
  The river gates are opened;
    the palace melts away;
  its mistress3 is stripped;4 she is carried off,
    her slave girls lamenting,
  moaning like doves
    and beating their breasts.
  Nineveh is like a pool
    whose waters run away.5
  “Halt! Halt!” they cry,
    but none turns back.

Footnotes

[1] 2:1 Hebrew gird your loins
[2] 2:5 Or the mantelet
[3] 2:7 The meaning of the Hebrew word rendered its mistress is uncertain
[4] 2:7 Or exiled
[5] 2:8 Compare Septuagint; the meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain

(ESV)

As Nahum speaks of Nineveh being destroyed he begins with a call to be ready (v1). The ungodly generally have a casualness about what awaits them. These words have a strong military tone. The need to be watchful is a reoccurring theme in the Bible to both God’s enemies and to God’s people. The situation we know can change very quickly. Not all believe this.

In all that happens God has the good of His people at the centre of His plans (v2). World events are controlled by God with concern for His people at the centre. This can raise many questions but it is biblical truth and a source of great comfort to God’s oppressed people.

Nahum moves on to speak of the futility of defence (v3-8) by Nineveh. The picture is frightening (v3). Chariots were a powerful weapon of war and here they have breached the outer wall and are travelling around Nineveh’s suburbs (v4). Nineveh’s troops respond but there is weakness here (v5). The river gates (v6) speak of the Tigris’ tributaries being allowed to flood and city. There is now mourning and great sadness among the people (v7). Like water draining out the soldiers are fleeing (v8).

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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