Nahum 1:1-15 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Nineveh Judged
Comments for Study 1

Nahum 1:1-15
Memory Verse: 2


I. Title (1:1)

>1. What is an oracle?

* Nahum 1:1 "An oracle concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite."

* "oracle" -Oracles are communications from God, usually directed toward Gentile nations. (Isaiah 13:1, 15:1; Zechariah 12:1; Malachi 1:1; Jeremiah 23:34-40) The term refers both to divine responses to a question asked of God and to pronouncements made by God without His being asked. In one sense, oracles were prophecies since they often referred to the future; but oracles sometimes dealt with decisions to be made in the present. Usually, in the Bible the communication was from Yahweh, the God of Israel. In times of idol worship, however, Israelites did seek a word or pronouncement from false gods (Hos. 4:12). Many of Israelis neighbors sought oracles from their gods.

* Concordance study shows the following meaning and use of oracle.” Sometimes “oracle” refers to the whole of a prophetic book (Mal. 1:1 NRSV) or a major portion of one (Hab. 1:1 NRSV). In Isaiah, several smaller prophecies of judgment or punishment are called “oracles” (13:1 NRSV; 14:28 NRSV). The NRSV also entitles Zechariah 9 and 12 “An Oracle.” Specific sayings about God's judgment on Joram (2 Kings 9:25 NRSV) and Joash (2 Chron. 24:27 NRSV) are also called oracles. Other examples, although the word oracle is not used, include Elijah's word to Ahab (1 Kings 21:17-19) and Elisha's word to Jehoram (2 Kings 3:13-20). On the basis of these kinds of usages, many Bible students understand oracles to be divine words of punishment or judgment. However, Balaam's oracle (Num. 24:3-9) is a blessing. Also references to Ahithophel’s counsel (2 Sam. 16:23) and to oracles in Jerusalem which were pleasing but false (Lam. 2:14) show us that prophetic pronouncements were not always negative. (Holman Bible Dictionary)

King Sennacherib of Nineveh in Babylon

* See the relief of King Sennacherib of Nineveh in Babylon to the right.

>Who did this oracle concern and what is known about them?

* "Nineveh" -Nineveh was the capital city of Assyria in Nahum's time. It was over five hundred miles (800km) away from the Mediterranean coast. Nineveh was the largest city in the world at the time with over 600,000 people in the greater area. Nineveh was a conglomerate of several cities all located within a large wall. The five main cities were Nineveh, Rehoboth, Ir, Calah, and Resen. (Gen 10:11-12) These five cities were within a 60 mile (100km) circumference. Nimrod was the founder of the Babylonian empire, the conqueror of Assyria, and the builder of Nineveh (Genesis 10:8-11). Around 700 B.C. Sennacherib made Nineveh the capital of Assyria and it remained the capital until Babylon (the Chaldean and the Mede alliance) conquered it in 612 B.C.

* Nineveh was know for many sins including witchcraft, sexual immorality, paganism, cruelty and plundering in war, prostitution, and commercial exploitation. All peoples and nations feared Nineveh and the Assyrians in this time period.

* Assyria was the world power. They had defeated all the nations that surrounded them and often not only killed the survivors but made their death painful. Israel, the northern kingdom was defeated, totally destroyed, it's people deported, and the area was resettled all at the hands of the Assyrians.

* The Lord had sent Jonah to Nineveh around one hundred years before Micah. See introduction for more information.

Assyrians battle against Israel at Lachish

* See the relief to the right. After more than two thousand five hundred years this relief from Nineveh reproduces for us the attack of Sennacherib's army upon the biblical city of Lachish, with overwhelming force and with all the techniques of war. The defenders fight desperately from the towers, protected by shields between the battlements "like the tower of David, built for an armoury, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men" (Song of Solomon 4: 4). They are shooting arrows, slinging stones or throwing them with their bare hands and hurling firebrands down upon the enemy.

They wear pointed helmets like the Assyrians or close-fining caps with chin-straps, Assyrian sappers have built a series of sloping brick ramps on which the siege-engines are pushed up the hillside against the fortress walls. The battering-rams are fitted with a long shaft in front, the purpose of which was to gouge stones out of the masonry.

A soldier was posted in the front of the machine to keep throwing ladles full of water on the flying firebrands, thus preventing the flames from spreading. The archers advance under cover of the battering-rams. Behind them come the spearmen with large round shields. Captives, both men and women, are already leaving the city, passing three impaled victims. (The Bible as History in Pictures, Werner Keller)

II. The Lord's Kindness and Sternness (1:2-8)

>2. What characteristics concerning the Lord are revealed in verse 2?

* Nahum 1:2 "The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The LORD takes vengeance on his foes and maintains his wrath against his enemies.

* "LORD" -YHWH is Hebrew, the Old Testament covenant name of Jesus.

* "jealous" -God is holy and thus does not allow rivals. (Exodus 20:5; Joshua 24:19; Zechariah 8:2) The covenant terms were very specific; when a relationship between God and his people was entered, it was to be exclusive of all other parties on both sides. (Exodus 6:7; Hosea 1:9; 2:23) Gentiles could enter the covenant such as Moses' wife, Ruth and others only by accepting the God of Israel and following the laws of the covenant.

* "avenging... vengeance" -The Lord acts justly toward all those who oppose him and his kingdom and against any injustice. (Deuteronomy 32:35; Romans 12:19) The repetition is for emphasis. God's wrath is against sin by anyone; his own people or others. God's wrath against sin is seen when Jesus took our sins upon himself and thus was arrested, judged, beaten, scourged, humiliated, crucified, died, and was buried.

* "filled with wrath" -God's jealousy is structurally paralleled to his wrath,
    [A] God is jealous
    [B] YHWH is an avenger
    [B] YHWH is an avenger
    [A] God is wrathful,
the angry reaction of a holy God to sin, whether of pagans or of Israel. (Romans 1:18)

* "his foes... his enemies" -Anyone in sin, having sin in them, is an enemy of God. The Bible uses illustrations to explain this. One of the best is; God is light and sin is without like (darkness).

* "maintains" -The Hebrew word here is natar. The KJV translates this as reserveth. The verb denotes guarding and keeping suggesting either that God withholds his anger until an appropriate time, or that he is constantly angry at sin (Romans 1:18-19). (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, David W. Baker) The former is expressed elsewhere (Isaiah 48:9; and 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7) and is the subject of the next verse.

* Matthew Henry wrote, "The Lord has anger, but he has it at command and under government. Our anger is often lord over us, as theirs that have no rule over their own spirits, but God is always Lord of his anger and weighs a path to it." (Psalm 78:50)

>How does verse 3 further reveal his character? (Exodus 34:6-7)

* Nahum 1:3 "The LORD is slow to anger and great in power; the LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet.

* "slow to anger" -Ancient Greek mythology's Zeus and Roman mythology's Jupiter were their supreme gods who threw lightning bolts in uncontrolled anger against mortal men. This is actually the attribute of Satan. The Lord God Almighty is slow to anger.

* "great in power" -God is all powerful. He does use his power to oppress others as most human leaders do. Rather he uses his power to heal and restore.

* "will not leave the guilty unpunished" -Though the Lord is slow to anger a day of judgment is coming. All will stand before the judgement seat of Christ. Repent now for after death there is no forgiveness of sin. After death all that is left is waiting for the day of judgement.

* "His way is in the whirlwind and the storm" -Three of the mighty parts of creation that man sees are mentioned. A whirlwind is what Elisha was taken up to heaven in. (2 Kings 2:11) He spoke to Job out of a storm (whirlwind). (Job 38:1) Isaiah 66:15-16 "See, the LORD is coming with fire, and his chariots are like a whirlwind; he will bring down his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For with fire and with his sword the LORD will execute judgment upon all men, and many will be those slain by the LORD."

* "clouds are the dust of his feet" -"Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. "But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven." (Matthew 26:64)

* Psalm 18:7-15, 68:4, 77:16-19, 104:3-4

* The Lord showed he was slow to anger to the Ninevites when Jonah preached to them, they repented, and he relented from his wrath. (Jonah 3:10)

>How do these compare to Jesus? (Luke 9:52-56, 10:13-15; John 2:13-17)

* Luke 9:52-56 "And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?" But Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they went to another village."

* Luke 10:13-15 "Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths."

* John 2:13-17 "When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, "Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!" His disciples remembered that it is written: "Zeal for your house will consume me."

* Exodus 34:6-7 "And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation."

* Jesus is the Lord. He is slow to anger. He is not without anger. He is slow to anger. He is compassionate and gracious. He does hold back his wrath. He does not want anyone to see calamity. Yet he is also holy and sin must be punished.

>3. When in Israel's history had a sea dried up and a river run dry? (4; Exodus 14:21-22; Joshua 3:15-17)

* Nahum 1:4 "He rebukes the sea and dries it up; he makes all the rivers run dry. Bashan and Carmel wither and the blossoms of Lebanon fade."

* Exodus 14:21-22 "Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left."

* Joshua 3:15-17 "Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water's edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground."

* "Bashan... Carmel... Lebanon" -Three places noted for fertility, vineyards and trees, but at the Lord's word the wither.

* The Lord Jesus is in control of all of nature. He walked on water. He caused fish nets to be full. He healed the sick. He made the blind see and the lame walk. He rose people from the dead.

>When in Israel's history had mountains quaked? (5; Exodus 19:18-19; Judges 5:5)

* Nahum 1:5 "The mountains quake before him and the hills melt away. The earth trembles at his presence, the world and all who live in it."

* Exodus 19:18-19 "Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the LORD descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently, and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder. Then Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him."

* Judges 5:5 "The mountains quaked before the LORD, the One of Sinai, before the LORD, the God of Israel."

* "mountains... hills... earth" -Its of stability and long term presence.

* "the hills melt away" -Like a volcano, like Sodom, and like the end of this world. (2 Peter 3:10-12)

>When anyone comes face to face with the Lord what happens to them?

* "The earth trembles at his presence, the world and all who live in it."

* Isaiah 6:3-5 "And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty."

* The Lord can instill the fear of him into the hardest of hearts. The fear of the Lord is good. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. It's end is a personal saving loving relationship with him.

* Awe, fear, astonishment, grandeur, and humility are some of the mix of emotions associated with those in the presence of the Lord.

>4. Why does God pour out his wrath? (6)

* Nahum 1:6 "Who can withstand his indignation? Who can endure his fierce anger? His wrath is poured out like fire; the rocks are shattered before him."

* "indignation" -Indignation is strong displeasure at something considered unjust, offensive, insulting, or base; righteous anger. Consider Jesus clearing out the money changers and sellers in the temple.

* God's anger is stressed by using four different Hebrew synonyms; indignation, fierce anger (a combination of two Hebrew words each separately are used of anger), and wrath.

* God pours out his wrath on sin.

>Can anyone resist it?

* "Who can" -Rhetorical questions where the answer is obvious to the one asking and the one hearing. The answer to all the questions is, "No one except those he enables by grace and mercy." No sin can stand in his presence. With sin removed someone can. The Lord took a burning coal and cleansed the lips of Isaiah so that he could stand in him presence. The burning coal was grace foreshadowing the blood of Jesus, the cleansing work of the word and Spirit.

* When God ask a question one best answer truthfully. When God ask two questions he is forcing us to answer.

* Romans 2:3-5 "So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance? But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed."

>5. How does the Lord interact with those who trust him?

* Nahum 1:7 "The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him,"

* "The Lord is good" -Jesus said, "No one is good, except God alone." (Luke 18:19)

* "a refuge in times of trouble" -He can be trusted to protect the persecuted and oppressed.

* "He cares" -The Lord Jesus' caring is seen all throughout his ministry.

* "who trust in him" -What does it mean to trust in him? God tests us to see if our love and trust of him is genuine or not. If we truly love him we will trust his deliverance and help with enemies surround us. In the book "Pilgrams Progress" the main character, Christian is walking down a road. Ahead of him are two fierce dogs barking and growling at him. He is told to walk ahead. He does so by faith. Only when he gets past the dogs does he see that large chains hold the fierce dogs back. He was never in harms way. Christian learned that he can truely trust the Lord. Do you trust him is similar situations?

* The characteristics of wrath and compassion are not contradictory. The are complimentary. Both stem from his holiness. Jesus' crucifixion displays both.

* Matthew Henry wrote, "The same almighty power that is exerted for the terror and destruction of the wicked is engaged, and shall be employed, for the protection and satisfaction of his own people; he is able both to save and to destroy. In the day of public trouble, when God's judgments are in the earth, laying all waste, he will be a place of defence to those that by faith put themselves under his protection, those that trust in him in the way of their duty, that live a life of dependence upon him, and devotedness to him; he knows them, he owns them for his, he takes cognizance of their case, knows what is best for them, and what course to take most effectually for their relief. They are perhaps obscure and little regarded in the world, but the Lord knows them."

>And those who do not? (8)

* Nahum 1:8 "but with an overwhelming flood he will make an end of [Nineveh]; he will pursue his foes into darkness."

* Nineveh came to an end in 612 B.C. when Babylon attacked it.

* "he will pursue his foes into darkness" -This was fulfilled for Nineveh as described above and below. The final fulfillment will be at the final judgment. The last enemy to be cast into darkness (hell) will be death. (1 Corinthians 15:26)

* Matthew Henry wrote, "Let each take his portion from it; let sinners read it and tremble; let saints read it and triumph. The wrath of God is here revealed from heaven against him enemies, his favour and mercy are here assured to his faithful loyal subjects, and his almighty power in both, making his wrath very terrible and his favour very desirable."

Assyrians Nineveh Ruins

* See the picture to the right. On the east bank of the Tigris massive mounds of ruins are now the sole indication of what was once the great capital city of the Assyrians. Here stood the splendid palaces of Sennacherib and Esarhaddon and the imposing library of Ashurbanipal, surrounded by spacious parklands and game preserves, with stables for the royal livery, with warehouses and government buildings. This mighty city of Nineveh met the fate that Zephaniah and Nahum had predicted when it was destroyed by the Chaldeans and the Medes in 612 B.C. (The Bible as History in Pictures, Werner Keller)

H3b>III. Nineveh's Overthrow and Judah's Joy (1:9-15)

>6. What was Nineveh doing? (9-11)

* Nahum 1:9-11 "Whatever they plot against the LORD he will bring to an end; trouble will not come a second time. They will be entangled among thorns and drunk from their wine; they will be consumed like dry stubble. From you, [O Nineveh,] has one come forth who plots evil against the LORD and counsels wickedness."

* "plot against the Lord" -A group of religious and civil leaders have always plotted against the Lord Jesus. This is true in Nahum's time, Jesus' first coming and now just before his second coming. When Jesus first come around two thousand years ago he was arrested, tried, convicted, and executed with civil and religious leaders collaborating.

* "he will bring to an end" -When Jesus comes again to establish his kingdom here on earth the kingdoms of this world, civil and religious will be put to an end. Jesus will reign over all the earth; both civil and religious.

* "trouble will not come a second time" -When Assyria and its capital, Nineveh fell at the hands of the Babylonians they was never made a nation and a city again. Nineveh still lies in ruin.

* "They will be entangled among thorns" -Not only will they not be able to break free but the thorns will puncture their bodies causing pain and discomfort.

* "drunk from their wine" -When a person is drunk they lose control of their mind and body, becoming more and more susceptible to evil influence and suggestions. The wine here does not have to be the drink from grapes. It could also be false teachings from false prophets, what their itching ears want to hear.

* "they will be consumed like dry stubble" -Jesus taught, "As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear." (Matthew 13:40-43) John the Baptist said, "I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire." (Matthew 3:11-12)

* "From you, [O Nineveh,] has one come forth who plots evil against the LORD and counsels wickedness" -Young's Literal Translation has, "a worthless counsellor". Nahum was refering to his time an possibly a future time. His time could mean the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal (669-627 B.C.), the last great Assyrian emperor, whose western expeditions succeeded in subduing Egypt and to whom King Manasseh had to submit as a vassal. (2 Chronicles 33:11-13) This may also refer to either an or the Antichrist and/or the Antichrist's prophet (Revelation 16:13, 19:20, 20:10) to come from the area that was former Assyria, modern day Iraq/Iran.

>What will be the result?

* 2 Chronicles 33:10-13 "The LORD spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. So the LORD brought against them the army commanders of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon. In his distress he sought the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. And when he prayed to him, the LORD was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD is God."

* 2 Kings 21:10-15 "The LORD said through his servants the prophets: "Manasseh king of Judah has committed these detestable sins. He has done more evil than the Amorites who preceded him and has led Judah into sin with his idols. Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I am going to bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. I will stretch out over Jerusalem the measuring line used against Samaria and the plumb line used against the house of Ahab. I will wipe out Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. I will forsake the remnant of my inheritance and hand them over to their enemies. They will be looted and plundered by all their foes, because they have done evil in my eyes and have provoked me to anger from the day their forefathers came out of Egypt until this day."

* 2 Kings 23:26 "Nevertheless, the LORD did not turn away from the heat of his fierce anger, which burned against Judah because of all that Manasseh had done to provoke him to anger."

* Nineveh, Assyria's capital defeated Israel and took them into captivity in 722/721 B.C., just before or during Nahum's ministry. Assyria also attacked Judah taking all of their land and besieged Jerusalem, but could not take it. Judah's evil king, Manasseh was taken captive to one of the territories of Assyria, Babylon. When Manasseh repented in Babylon he was later allowed to return to Jerusalem.

>7. What did the Lord promise Judah concerning Assyria? (12-13)

* Nahum 1:12-13 "This is what the LORD says: "Although they have allies and are numerous, they will be cut off and pass away. Although I have afflicted you, [O Judah,] I will afflict you no more. Now I will break their yoke from your neck and tear your shackles away."

* Isaiah 10:5-7 "Woe to the Assyrian, the rod of my anger, in whose hand is the club of my wrath! I send him against a godless nation, I dispatch him against a people who anger me, to seize loot and snatch plunder, and to trample them down like mud in the streets. But this is not what he intends, this is not what he has in mind; his purpose is to destroy, to put an end to many nations."

* "they" -Nineveh.

* "have allies and are numerous" -The city of Nineveh was a conglomerate of cites. (See introduction) They had either defeated or made treaties with other city states until Assyria was the main power in the middle east, perhaps the greatest power in the world at that time.

* "they will be cut off and pass away" -Nineveh was completely destroyed by the Babylonians in 612 B.C., thirty to forty years after Nahum's ministry ended. Nineveh's ruins are still can be see across the river from the modern-day major city of Mosul, in the Ninawa Governorate of Iraq.

* "Although I have afflicted you, [O Judah,] I will afflict you no more." -The Assyrians did attack Judah and conquered all of its territory except Jerusalem. Then the Lord delivered them from the Assyrians. They did not bother Judah again. However, future generations sin's and unfaithfulness cause the Lord to send the Babylonians who harassed and eventually completely defeated them. The Lord did not send the Babylonians until after the prophets (Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Zephaniah, and Habakkuk) warned them that if they didn't repent, then they would be exiled from the land for seventy years. Every generation has to make a decision; will they serve the Lord or something and/or someone else.

>Does the Lord work this way in our time?

* 2 Peter 2:4-9 "For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)-- if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment."

* Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."

>8. Did the Lord keep his promise made in verse 14? (Eze. 32:22-23)

* Nahum 1:14 "The LORD has given a command concerning you, [Nineveh]: "You will have no descendants to bear your name. I will destroy the carved images and cast idols that are in the temple of your gods. I will prepare your grave, for you are vile."

* Ezekiel 32:22-23 "Assyria is there with her whole army; she is surrounded by the graves of all her slain, all who have fallen by the sword. Their graves are in the depths of the pit and her army lies around her grave. All who had spread terror in the land of the living are slain, fallen by the sword."

* "no descendants to bear your name" -No one has called themselves a Ninevite for thousands of years.

* "I will destroy the carved images and cast idols that are in the temple of your gods" -From about 2300 B.C. Nineveh had a temple to the goddess Ishtar.

* "vile" -morally debased, depraved, or despicable

* Ezekiel 32:22-23 "Assyria is there with her whole army; she is surrounded by the graves of all her slain, all who have fallen by the sword. Their graves are in the depths of the pit and her army lies around her grave. All who had spread terror in the land of the living are slain, fallen by the sword."

Ishtar holding her symbol

* See a picture of a terracotta relief from early 2nd millennium B.C. to the right. The relief is of Ishtar holding her symbol was found in Eshnunna, an ancient Sumerian city and is now housed in the Louve in France.

>9. What were on the mountains? (15)

* Nahum 1:15 "Look, there on the mountains, the feet of one who brings good news, who proclaims peace! Celebrate your festivals, O Judah, and fulfill your vows. No more will the wicked invade you; they will be completely destroyed."

* "the feet of those who bring good news" -Good news is deliverance from enemies of God and his people. In Nahum's time the good news was deliverance from Assyria.

* "who proclaims peace" -The stopping of hostilities between God and his enemies. In Nahum's time peace came when Assyria left Judah unable to destroy Jerusalem.

* "Celebrate your festivals, O Judah, and fulfill your vows" -Live according to the covenant with the Lord their God and established at Mount Sinai with him.

* "No more will the wicked invade you" -Assyria never invaded Judah again.

* "they will be completely destroyed" -As noted above.

>How was this fulfilled? (Romans 10:14-17)

* Isaiah 52:7 "How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!"

* Romans 10:14-17 "How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our message?" Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ."

* "Good news" -In Isaiah's time the good news was deliverance from Babylon. In Paul's time, ours and all time the good news is deliverance from sin, death, and the kingdoms of this world through our Lord Jesus Christ.

* "who proclaims peace" -A person needs to stop hostilities with God. Blaspheme of the Spirit is resisting the Lord's work in the heart. Submitting to the Spirit is ceasing to fight his work.

* "Celebrate your festivals, O Judah, and fulfill your vows" -The Lord Jesus gave us direction in life under the New Covenant.

* "No more will the wicked invade you" -When Jesus comes again the kingdom's of the world will cease and God's people will not be persecuted any more.

* "they will be completely destroyed" -Jesus defeated sin and death through his death and resurrection. We are free from sin and even though we die we will rise from the dead as he did.

>What happens when the good news is proclaimed?

* The good news is powerful and effective. The apostles "never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah)". (Acts 5:42) Peter told Cornelius and his house, "You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all." (Acts 10:36) Paul proclaimed to both Jews, Christians and Gentiles, "We tell you the good news: What God promised our fathers he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus." (Acts 13:32-33) What happened? Many were saved, even me.