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    Nahum

    Septuagint text: Our version of this book reads differently to other Bibles. Why? We use the much older Greek Septuagint manuscripts – and most will closely resemble the versions used by many 1st-century Christians, including the Apostles. These older manuscripts escaped the censorship applied to the Hebrew manuscripts. Our translation is created by volunteers, and we are always correcting and refining the text. Learn what [brackets] and other insertions mean.

    About this book A prophecy by the prophet Nahum, written sometime during the mid-7th Century BCE. It’s a proclamation against the Assyrians (the world empire of that time), who had destroyed the northern 10-tribe Kingdom of Israel in the previous century.Nahum refers to himself as an Elkoshite, which may be a reference to the City of Alqosh in Assyria, where the Bible tells us that the 10 tribes of IsraEl had been relocated by the Assyrians in the 8th Century BCE. Interestingly, Kurds live in that area today, and DNA evidence shows that Kurds are closely related to modern Jews.Most of this book is poetrySomething that only a Bible translator would notice is when words are in the form of Hebrew poetry. There’s a definite cadence that can be seen in the original language. Therefore, because this is the chosen style of God, we’ve tried to recreate it as it was originally intended: in poetic verse.Why use poetry?Poetry must conform to a certain rhythm and style. These act as memory aids, helping you to recall the words, making it easier for messages to be spread via the most common communication method of the time: song.Who was talking?When translating the words of the Prophets, you can’t help but notice the constant changing personal pronouns (I, you, he, they, etc.) used in the text. It makes it very confusing to figure out exactly who’s talking.However, we now realize one reason for the confusion that’s usually overlooked: God didn’t speak to the Prophets personally. Rather, He sent His messages through a mediator, either referred to as a messenger (an angel), or sometimes as ‘The Word’ (which some interpret to mean Jesus).So there are actually three voices speaking:1. That of the Prophet, who sometimes quotes himself,2. That of the angelic messenger who’s bringing the message from God,3. The words of God Himself (which we put in italics).How can we tell the difference? From the context, the pronouns, and the tenses:1. When the Prophet speaks, he’s either clearly reporting what he said or did, or is simply saying what was happening.2. When the angelic messenger speaks, he talks about God in the third person.3 When God is speaking, all references to God are naturally spoken in the first person.Did we get it all right? Probably not, but it has been an honest attempt at doing so. If you think you’ve spotted a place where our choice is incorrect, please let us know and we’ll reconsider it.

    1

    1The concern over Nineveh.This is the scroll of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite:2‘Because He’s very zealous,Jehovah won’t fail to punish.In His rage, Jehovah will punishAll those who are standing against Him…He will destroy all those who oppose Him.3‘Jehovah is patient and mighty,And the [guilty], [He] won’t acquit.For His ways are rumbling and final.4‘There are clouds of dust under His feet,And He can squeeze the seas and cause them to dry.He also desolates rivers,Which is how He weakened BaShan and CarMel,And it’s why Lebanon’s blossoms have failed.5‘Before Him, the mountains have shaken,And [before Him], the hills have all trembled.They rise at His presence throughout the whole earth,As do all [the peoples] who dwell there.6‘Before His rage, who can stand…Yes, who can withstand His anger?For, sovereign rulers melt at His rage,And even the rocks split apart.7‘Yet He’s kind to those who [put faith] in HimIn their day of affliction…And He knows all those who respect Him.8‘Like a downpour, He wipes away and consumesAll those who’ve been roused [to oppose Him],And He chases His enemies into the dark.9‘So against Jehovah, what plans can you make,For He can wipe you away.But He won’t punish you twice,Or punish you for the same [errors].10‘His enemy’s [cities], He will lay bareTo their very foundations.Like twisted yews, they’ll be burned…As though they’re very dry stubble.11‘Yet, against Jehovah, you’ve made plans…Against Him, you’ve made wicked plans.12So Jehovah (who rules all the waters) says this:‘I’ll send them awayAnd they’ll not be heard from again. 13For I’ll lift their whips from [your backs], And I’ll remove all their shackles.’14‘It was concerning [the Assyrians], that Jehovah said this:‘Your name won’t be mentioned again;For, I’ll destroy all your idols(Those which you molded and carved),Then a time will be set for your funeral,Which will arrive very soon!15‘Look! Upon the mountains, he’s coming…The feet of the one announcing good newsAnd the one with reports about peace!‘So in Judah, declare a holiday [feast],And you must get ready to pay all your vows,So that never again will they enter [your gates],Nor again, should they see your corruption.’

    2

    1‘Now He’s finished [His work] and He’s consumed…This One who came and breathed in your face…This One who [brought] you affliction!‘So, watch the roads and [wrap up] your loins…Be very manly and strong!2For Jehovah has taken awayThe haughtiness of Jacob’s [tribes],As well as IsraEl’s insolent ways.‘And now, He’s ready to shake offThose who’ve been shaking you,And He’ll bring their branches to ruin.3For under Him, there are men who have weapons,And laugh at fire, because of their might.‘Their chariots have now been prepared,And their horsemen will make many wail.4Their chariots will wreak havoc along all the roads,And thereafter, they’ll meet in [Assyria’s] squares.‘The sight of them is like burning lamps,And lightning [is found in their wake].5‘So all of [Assyria’s] mighty menShould stop and think about this…For in the daytime, they’ll flee.And as they leave, they’ll be feeble,Then between their walls, they’ll runFrom the troops in the lead that arrive.6‘Then their city gates will be opened wide,And all their great homes will be ruined…7Yes, all their supports will lie bare.‘Then their [women] will appear with their servants,And as meek as doves, they’ll be led awayTo the flutter of their own beating hearts.8‘For, Nineveh is a pool amidst waters,And her men won’t resist, they’ll just fleeWhen no one is paying attention.9‘So their silver and gold will be looted…There are no limits to all that they’ll take.And those looters will then be weighed downWith [the city’s] most desirable things.10‘There’ll be thrusting, shaking, and tumult…Hearts will be breaking and knees will be weak…Loins will all become loose,And their faces will look like burned pots!11‘So, where is this great lion’s den…Yes, where is the pasture [where she hides] her cubs…Where has the [great] lion gone?She’s gone away to be with her cubsWho ran when there was nothing to fear.12‘She is the same lion that once snatched awayAll that her cubs had required.And for her, the cubs strangled their prey,Until their den became filled with game…Their home was filled with the things she’d seized.13[And God says:]‘But look!I’m the One who’s coming against you,’‘...says Jehovah, the Almighty,‘And all of your army, I’ll burn into smoke.‘I’ll devour your lions with the broadsword,And I’ll take all the game from your land,So that none of the things you’ve accomplishedWill ever be mentioned again.’

    3

    1‘O you city of bloodAnd of all that’s false and unrighteous:‘You’ll no longer be in charge of your game.2For the sounds of whips, [you’ll hear],Along with the rumble of [chariot] wheels…The hot pursuits upon horses,And the dust that they’ll raise with their wheels…3The attacks of men riding steeds…The shine of their swords and the flashing of shields.‘Great multitudes will be slaughtered;For a downfall is coming to you.Unnumbered nations will come there,And from [looting and rape], they’ll tire.4‘You’re a whore who once satisfied men,And in the making of potions, you took the lead.Then you sold your whoring to the nations,And your potions, you sold to their tribes.5‘So look… I’m the One who’s against you,’‘...says Jehovah the Almighty!‘I’ll uncover your backside,And show all the nations your shame…Other kingdoms will see your dishonor!6‘Because of all your uncleanness,I’ll bring what’s disgusting upon you…I’ll use you as an example.7‘Then, all who see you will leave you and say:‘O Nineveh, you great wretched one;Who’ll now mourn over you? And where can they search to send comfort?’8‘So, tune up the strings of your lyres,And prepare your potions for Amun([Your god] who inhabits the rivers);For your walls are surrounded by water,From which you’ve ruled all the way to the sea.9‘Although Ethiopia and Egypt have served as your strength,They’ll [be no help] when you’re taken away…There’ll just be Libya and the SudanThat will come to your aid.10‘Your [people] will be captured and taken to exile,And your infant’s [heads] will be dashed on the walls.For your honorable things, they’ll cast lots,As your great men are tethered and bound.11‘So, you’ll be provoked and get drunk,As from your enemies, you seek shelter.12But what will happen to those in your forts,Is the same as what will happen to you.‘For, you’ll then be the fruit…And when they start shaking the [tree],You’ll fall into the mouthsOf those who’ve come to consume you.13‘{Look!} Your enemies will view you as women,So they’ll burn the bars off your gatesAnd open all doors throughout your land!14‘Then you’ll have to draw water from your riversTo rescue all of your burning forts!So, you should tread mortar and mix it with straw…Then make it stronger with bricks!15For fire and the sword will destroy you…They’ll consume you like locusts,And by grasshoppers, you’ll be oppressed.16‘Although you once grew your trade higherThan all the stars in the skies;Grasshoppers are coming to spread [over you]…17Small locusts will leap and consume,And cover your fences like frost.Then, as the sun rises, they’ll just hop away…And woe, because you won’t know where they’ve gone!18‘And you, O Assyria’s king;All of your shepherds have fallen asleepAnd all of your mighty are resting.Your people [have fled] to the mountains,And no one is searching for them.19Thus there’ll be no one to heal your destruction,And your wounds will soon be inflamed.‘Yet, those hearing this message about youAre all now clapping their hands…For to them, you’ve done evil things.’


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