EXEGESIS OF NAHUM 1:9-15
Welcome to me, Nineveh, and my ruins. I trust that you will appreciate the messages of the prophet Nahum as much as I have appreciated them.
Last time we looked at the first 8 verses of chapter 1 of Nahum. Let just read them again:
Nahum 1:1 The burden against Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.
Nahum 1:2 God is jealous, and the LORD avenges; The LORD avenges and is furious. The LORD will take vengeance on His adversaries, And He reserves wrath for His enemies;
Nahum 1:3 The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, And will not at all acquit the wicked. The LORD has His way In the whirlwind and in the storm, And the clouds are the dust of His feet.
Nahum 1:4 He rebukes the sea and makes it dry, And dries up all the rivers. Bashan and Carmel wither, And the flower of Lebanon wilts.
Nahum 1:5 The mountains quake before Him, The hills melt, And the earth heaves at His presence, Yes, the world and all who dwell in it.
Nahum 1:6 Who can stand before His indignation? And who can endure the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, And the rocks are thrown down by Him.
Nahum 1:7 The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.
Nahum 1:8 But with an overflowing flood He will make an utter end of its place, And darkness will pursue His enemies.
Now we come to the next few extremely important verses. We will also read them and afterwards look at the deeper meaning.
Nahum 1:9 What do you conspire against the LORD? He will make an utter end of it. Affliction will not rise up a second time.
Nahum 1:10 For while tangled like thorns, And while drunken like drunkards, They shall be devoured like stubble fully dried.
Nahum 1:11 From you comes forth one Who plots evil against the LORD, A wicked counselor.
Nahum 1:12 Thus says the LORD: “Though they are safe, and likewise many, Yet in this manner they will be cut down When he passes through. Though I have afflicted you, I will afflict you no more;
Nahum 1:13 For now I will break off his yoke from you, And burst your bonds apart.”
Nahum 1:14 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.”
Nahum 1:15 Behold, on the mountains The feet of him who brings good tidings, Who proclaims peace! O Judah, keep your appointed feasts, Perform your vows. For the wicked one shall no more pass through you; He is utterly cut off.
Let us briefly review the message of verse 8 before moving to verse 9.
Nahum 1:8 But with an overflowing flood He will make an utter end of its place, And darkness will pursue His enemies.
To all nations, modern as well as ancient, comes this same warning of punishment that will descend sooner or later upon those who exalt themselves against God.
Can you imagine the state of mind in which the inhabitants of this planet will be plunged into. It is finished! Listen who Jeremiah describes the cry of the lost ones:
Jeremiah 8:20 “The harvest is past, The summer is ended, And we are not saved!”
And now for the interesting message of verse 9:
Nahum 1:9 What do you conspire against the LORD? He will make an utter end of it. Affliction will not rise up a second time.
Here the prophet warns me and my Assyrian people that our boasting against God is worse than useless .
Isaiah 36:18 Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, “The LORD will deliver us.” Has any one of the gods of the nations delivered its land from the hand of the king of Assyria?
Isaiah 36:19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Indeed, have they delivered Samaria from my hand?
Isaiah 36:20 Who among all the gods of these lands have delivered their countries from my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem from my hand?’ ”
Nahum comforts his people with the thought that what God promises He will fulfill.
The repetition of this phrase (Utter end of verse 8) emphasizes the certainty of Nineveh’s downfall, for the punishment that God will bring upon the Assyrians will be so complete and permanent that never again, never a “second time,” will they be able to oppress God’s people.
Although Nahum here specifically refers to the downfall of Assyria, his words may also be thought of as descriptive of the ultimate fate of all the wicked, of whom Assyria is a type.
When they are finally destroyed from the earth in the last judgment, they will never live again; they will have no afterlife.
Psalms 37:9 For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the LORD, They shall inherit the earth.
Psalms 37:10 For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more; Indeed, you will look carefully for his place, But it shall be no more.
Psalms 37:9 For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the LORD, They shall inherit the earth.
Psalms 37:10 For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more; Indeed, you will look carefully for his place, But it shall be no more.

Malachi 4:1 “For behold, the day is coming, Burning like an oven, And all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up,” Says the LORD of hosts, “That will leave them neither root nor branch.
Then it will be gloriously true that the “affliction” of sin will never again trouble God’s universe.
Isaiah 28:21 For the LORD will rise up as at Mount Perazim, (where David gained a victory over the Philistines) ( 2 Samuel 5:20 ) He will be angry as in the Valley of Gibeon (same as BAAL-PERAZIM) — That He may do His work, His awesome work, And bring to pass His act, His unusual act.
To our merciful God the act of punishment is a strange act. “As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live.” Ezekiel 33:11. The Lord is “merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, … forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” Yet He will “by no means clear the guilty.” Exodus 34:6, 7. While He does not delight in vengeance, He will execute judgment upon the transgressors of His law. He is forced to do this, to preserve the inhabitants of the earth from utter depravity and ruin. In order to save some He must cut off those who have become hardened in sin. “The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked.” Nahum 1:3. By terrible things in righteousness He will vindicate the authority of His downtrodden law. And the very fact of His reluctance to execute justice testifies to the enormity of the sins that call forth His judgments and to the severity of the retribution awaiting the transgressor.
Before his presence, “all faces turned pale”. Upon the rejecters of God’s mercy falls the terror of eternal despair. “The heart melts, and the knees smite together,” “and the faces of them all gather blackness.” [Jeremiah 30:6; Nahum 2:10.]
Nahum 1:10 For while tangled like thorns, And while drunken like drunkards, They shall be devoured like stubble fully dried.
Though the Assyrian army should form a front as impenetrable as a thorn hedge, God could easily overcome them (see Isa. 27:4).
Isaiah 27:4 Fury is not in Me. Who would set briers and thorns Against Me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together.
Drunken. The experience of Assyria would parallel that of Babylon in some respects (see Dan. 5:1). In any case, there can be no doubt that the Assyrians were fond of feasting and drinking (see Diodorus ii. 26).
Nahum 1:11 From you comes forth one Who plots evil against the LORD, A wicked counselor.
A wicked counsellor. Literally, “a counselor of Belial.” A reference to the king.
Nahum 1:12 Thus says the LORD: “Though they are safe, and likewise many, Yet in this manner they will be cut down When he passes through. Though I have afflicted you, I will afflict you no more;
Pass through. See Isa. 27:4.
Nahum 1:13 For now I will break off his yoke from you, And burst your bonds apart.”
His yoke? This refers to Judah’s being tributary to Assyria.
2 Kings 18:13 And in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them.
Verse 14 Then Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, “I have done wrong; turn away from me; whatever you impose on me I will pay.” And the king of Assyria assessed Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold.
Verse 15 So Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the LORD and in the treasuries of the king’s house.
Verse 16 At that time Hezekiah stripped the gold from the doors of the temple of the LORD, and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria.
Although Judah escaped the fate of Israel in the days of Hezekiah, she retained what little liberty she had only by Assyria’s sufferance, and her “bonds” of subjection to Assyria were broken “apart” only when that empire was destroyed.
Nahum 1:14 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.”
Here the prophet addresses Assyria and predicts its destruction.
All the prophets were impressed with a characteristic of God that shaped their prophecies. Isaiah saw God’s holiness. Jeremiah saw God’s judgment. Ezekiel saw God’s glory. Micah saw God’s leadership. And Nahum saw God’s wrath. What can we learn from it?
The next verse carries a beautiful melodious tone:
Nahum 1:15 Behold, on the mountains The feet of him who brings good tidings, Who proclaims peace! O Judah, keep your appointed feasts, Perform your vows. For the wicked one shall no more pass through you; He is utterly cut off.
An exclamation of joy over the defeat of the enemy of God’s people.
Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
The prophet heard the voice of God calling His church to her appointed work, that the way might be prepared for the ushering in of His everlasting kingdom.
Can you imagine our weary pilgrims feet walking on the new mountains that God is going to create’? It is a land without conflict, tears, defeat, misunderstanding and eternal peace.
Nahum 1:15 is the first verse of ch. 2 in both the Hebrew and the Syriac.
Nahum 1:15 Behold, on the mountains The feet of him who brings good tidings, Who proclaims peace! O Judah, keep your appointed feasts, Perform your vows. For the wicked one shall no more pass through you; He is utterly cut off.
With the reestablishment of peace it would once more be possible for the people of Judah to celebrate the great religious festivals (see on Ex. 23:14–17; Lev. 23:2; Deut. 16:16).
The prophet Nahum pleads with his people to enter wholeheartedly into the spirit of these solemn occasions in order that God might bless and prosper the nation.
Perform your vows.
In gratitude for their deliverance the Israelites are to redeem the vows they had made in times of trouble and danger.
NEXT TIME
The destruction of the mighty Nineveh by the Babylonians and the Medes.
Why should we expose ourselves to story of the tragic destruction of the mighty Assyrians Empire who ruled the for 300 years?
What is the current and end time message of Nahum?
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
2 Timothy 3:17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.