Nahum - The Prophet of Doom

  • Nahum is seventh of the Minor Prophets.
  • Nothing is known about the author of this brief prophecy except that he was Nahum the Elkoshite.
  • Elkosh was probably a village in Galilee. Some say it was the city that later was named Capernaum.
  • The subject of this prophecy is Nineveh (1:1). A heavyweight of doom, a burden rested on the Assyrian capital. Several other Old Testament passages refer to Assyria’s fall.
  • Nineveh was situated on the east bank of the Tigris River. Sennacherib fortified the city’s defensive wall whose glory, he said, “overthrows the enemy.
  • The author’s references to the destruction of No (3:8-10), which took place in 664 B.C., and his prediction of Nineveh’s doom when it fell to the Babylonians in 612 B.C., seem to place the writing of the book during this fifty-two-year intervening period.
  • Nimrod went to Assyria and built Nineveh (Genesis 10:8-10) around 2300 B.C.
  • Shalmaneser III (859-824 B.C.) made the city of Nineveh a base for military operations.
  • Jonah preached to the Ninevites between 772-754 B.C.
  • Nineveh was the capital of one of the cruelest, vilest, most powerful, and most idolatrous empires in the world. Nahum called Nineveh “the bloody city” (3:1), which was noted for its “inequity” (2:12)!
  • When Nahum prophesied, Judah was under the Assyrian yoke (1:13, 15; 2:1, 3).
  • The purpose of Nahum’s book is to announce the fall of Nineveh and thereby comfort Judah with the assurance that God is still in control.

We could outline Nahum as follows:

  1. The certainty of God’s judgment (chapter 1).
  2. The description of God’s judgment (chapter 2).
  3. The reasons for God’s judgment (chapter 3).