Title (Nah 1:1-1:1)

“An oracle

Concerning Nineveh.

The book of the vision

of Nahum of Elkosh.”

The title of this work indicates that this is an oracle about Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrians, who had destroyed northern Israel, Samaria, in 723 BCE.  Nineveh, on the outskirts of modern day Mosul, Iraq, on the Tigris River, was itself destroyed around 612 BCE.  Nineveh was the same city that Jonah was sent to preach against.  He, however, was successful in that the leaders and inhabitants of Nineveh repented.  Thus, Yahweh did not destroy it then.  This oracle was once again the word of Yahweh.  This book also talked about a vision that Nahum had.  There is no mention of his father, but there is a mention of the place that he is from, Elkosh, a village in Galilee or southwest Judah.

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Jonah goes to Nineveh (Jon 3:3-3:3)

“Thus,

Jonah set out for Nineveh.

He went to Nineveh,

According to

The word of Yahweh.

Now Nineveh was

An exceedingly large city.

It would take three days

To walk across it.”

This time the response of Jonah was quite different.  Instead of running away, Jonah went to Nineveh as the word of Yahweh had instructed him.  Next, we have a short description of this Nineveh, the capital city of the Assyrians, a very large city that would take 3 days to walk across it.  Actually, it was only about 3 miles wide and 1½ miles wide.  It was one of the largest cities in the ancient world until the civil war of 612 BCE, probably with a population of around 120,000 people.  Geographically, Nineveh was on the outskirts of modern day Mosul, Iraq, on the east bank of the Tigris River.

The famine for God’s word (Am 8:11-8:12)

“Says Yahweh God!

‘The time is surely coming

When I will send a famine

On the land.

This will be

Not a famine of bread,

Not a thirst for water,

But of hearing

The words of Yahweh.

They shall wander

From sea to sea,

From north to east.

They shall run

Back and forth

To seek

The word of Yahweh,

But they shall not find it.’”

Yahweh God said that the time was coming when he was going to send a famine on the land of Israel.  However, this was going to be a different kind of famine, not a lack of bread and water, but a lack of the words of Yahweh.  They could wander from sea to sea, from the north to the east, running back and forth.  However, they would not be able to find the word of Yahweh, although they are hungering for it.

The prophecy against Amaziah (Am 7:16-7:17)

“Therefore,

Hear the word of Yahweh!

You say.

‘Do not prophesy

Against Israel!

Do not preach

Against the house of Isaac!

Therefore,

Thus says Yahweh.

‘Your wife shall become

A prostitute in the city.

Your sons,

Your daughters,

Shall fall by the sword.

Your land

Shall be parceled out

By line.

You yourself shall die

In an unclean land.

Israel shall surely

Go into exile

Away from its land.’”

Amos wanted Amaziah to hear the word of Yahweh that he had heard. While Amaziah had said not to prophesize in Israel or against the house of Israel, Yahweh, via Amos, responded by telling him that his wife would become a prostitute in the city. Both his sons and daughters would die by the sword. His land would be parceled out by the line. Finally, Amaziah would die in a foreign unclean land, because Israel was going to be sent into exile into a land far from there. This was a very strong rebuke of Amaziah.

The indictment of Israel (Hos 4:1-4:1)

Hear the word of Yahweh!

O people of Israel!

Yahweh

Has an indictment

Against the inhabitants

Of the land.

There is no faithfulness.

There is no loyalty.

There is no knowledge

Of God

In the land.”

Hosea announced the word of Yahweh to the people of Israel. Yahweh was going to bring an indictment against all the people living in Israel. They were unfaithful and not loyal. They had no knowledge about God or their land. They were in big trouble.

The title of Hosea (Hos 1:1-1:1)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to Hosea,

The son of Beeri.

This was in the days

Of King Uzziah,

Of King Jotham,

Of King Ahaz,

Of King Hezekiah,

Kings of Judah.

This was in the days

Of King Jeroboam.

The son of Joash,

The king of Israel.”

Hosea was a prophet during the last days of the kingdom of Israel in the 8th century BCE. He also was the earliest Israelite written prophet that we know of. This work of Hosea is considered the first of the 12 minor prophets. In a classic prophetic phrase, the word of Yahweh came to Hosea, the son of Beeri, who may have been a prophet himself. At that time, the kings of Judah were King Uzziah (781-740 BCE), King Jotham (740-736 BCE), King Ahaz (736-716 BCE), and King Hezekiah (716-687 BCE), spanning nearly 100 years. Meanwhile, the king of Israel mentioned here was only King Jeroboam II (783-743 BCE), the son of King Joash (798-783 BCE). That would eliminate all the Judean kings after King Uzziah. The last 4 kings of Israel were King Menahem, (743-738 BCE), King Pekahiah (738-737 BCE), King Pekah (737-732 BCE), and King Hoshea (732-724 BCE), but they were not mentioned here.