The bloody city of Nineveh (Nah 3:1-3:3)

“O!

City of bloodshed!

Utterly deceitful!

Full of booty!

There is

No end to their plunder.

There are

The cracks of the whip,

The rumble of the wheel,

The galloping horse,

The bounding chariots,

The horsemen charging,

The flashing swords,

The glittering spears,

The piles of dead people,

The heaps of corpses,

The dead bodies without end.

They stumble over the bodies!”

Nahum continued with his vivid descriptions of the chaos in Nineveh, truly a city of bloodshed.  They had become very deceitful with lots of stolen booty, since they had plundered everywhere.  However, now there were whips cracking, wheels rumbling, horses galloping, chariots bouncing, and charging cavalry with flashing swords and glittering spears.  Of course, there were a lot of dead people all over the place also.  There were piles and heaps of dead corpses without end.  These dead bodies were so numerous that people stumbled over them in the streets.

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The distressed city of Nineveh (Nah 2:6-2:9)

“The river gates

Are opened.

The palace trembles.

It is decreed

That the city

Be exiled.

Its slave women were

Led away,

Moaning

Like doves,

Beating their breasts.

Nineveh is

Like a pool

Whose waters

Run away.

‘Halt!

Halt!’

They cry.

But no one turns back.

Plunder the silver!

Plunder the gold!

There is no end

Of treasure.

There is an abundance

Of every precious thing.

Devastation!

Desolation!

Destruction!

Hearts faint!

Knees tremble!

All loins quake!

All faces grow pale!”

Nahum painted this picture of chaos in Nineveh.  He said that the river gates were opened, so that the palace and the people in it were trembling.  The people of this city were going to go into exile.  The slave women were led away, moaning like doves and beating their breasts.  The whole city of Nineveh had become like an overflowing pool.  People were saying stop, but no one was listening.  No one turned back as they keep on fleeing.  Meanwhile, there was a great plunder of their treasures of gold, silver, and the other abundant precious things.  Everywhere there was devastation, desolation, and destruction in this great city.  Hearts were fainting, while kneels were trembling.  Their faces grew pale as their loins shook.

The soldiers and the chariots (Nah 2:3-2:5)

“The shields

Of his warriors

Are red.

His soldiers

Are clothed

In scarlet.

The metal

On the chariots

Flashes

On the day

When he musters them.

The chargers prance.

The chariots race madly

Through the streets.

They rush back and forth

Through the squares.

Their appearance is

Like torches.

They dart

Like lightning.

He calls his officers.

They stumble

As they come forward.

They hasten

To the wall.

The mantelet is set up.”

Nahum gave a vivid colorful description of the actions in Nineveh.  The shields of the warriors in Nineveh would be red with blood.  The clothes of their soldiers were scarlet from the blood.  The metal from the chariots flashed from the sunlight, as the men followed behind.  The chargers were prancing around, while the chariots raced madly through the streets, going back and forth from the squares.  They were like torches darting in and out, almost like lightning.  When they called their officers, they came out stumbling along.  They ran to the wall where the protective screens or mantelet was set up.  In other words, the soldiers and their officers with their chariots were in a state of chaos.

Desolation (Isa 34:11-34:12)

“But the hawk shall possess it.

The porcupine shall possess it.

The owl shall live in it.

The raven shall live in it.

He shall stretch the line of confusion over it.

The plummet of chaos shall be over its nobles.

They shall name it ‘No Kingdom There.’

Its princes shall be nothing.”

Isaiah continues with his description of the desolation of Edom. A variety of the vulture like animals and birds will live there, the hawk, the porcupine, the owl, and the raven. There will be confusion and chaos among the nobles and people there. The name of the country would become ‘No Kingdom There,’ obviously a mocking name. Their princes, or whatever is left of them, would be like nothing.

Job wants to know why he was ever born (Job 10:18-10:22)

“Why did you bring me forth from the womb?

Would that I had died before any eye had seen me,

It would be as though I had not been.

You could have carried me from the womb to the grave.

Are not the days of my life few?

Let me alone!

May I find a little comfort!

Before I go,

Never to return,

To the land of gloom and deep darkness,

To the land of gloom and chaos,

Where light is like darkness.”

This is pretty much what he said back in chapter 3. He wished that he had never been born. He wished that he had gone directly from the womb to the tomb. As the days of his life are few, why cannot he be alone? Can he find some comfort? He knew that he was going where he would never return, the land of gloom, darkness, and chaos, Sheol.   There light was like darkness.