Survey of the Bible - Nahum

Text: Nahum 1:2-8


I.         If there is a book in the Old Testament known least about, I would pick Nahum

            A.        Perhaps because Nahum isn’t quoted in the New Testament.

            B.        The book of Nahum was written 100 years after Jonah and deals with the same city of Nineveh.

                        1.         When God delivered the warning through Jonah, the people of Nineveh repented from the king to the lowest slave. But things have changed in the last 100 years.

            C.        Nahum means “comfort” and is a shortened form of the name Nehemiah (“Comfort of Yahweh”).

                        1.         Nahum’s only mention in the Bible is here in his book.

                        2.         Nahum is from Elkosh, a village we are not certain where it exists. The most likely is a town in southern Judah which was later called Elcesei, located between Jerusalem and Gaza. But it has also been claimed to be in northern Galilee and in modern Turkey, north of Nineveh where there is a town called Alqush that claims to have the tomb of Nahum.

II.        Background

            A.        Nahum mentions that Thebes (No-Amon) recently fell - Nahum 3:8-10

                        1.         That took place in 664 BC

                        2.         It predicts the fall of Nineveh, so it was written before 612 BC

                        3.         Thebes was rebuilt in 654 BC. Since Nahum doesn’t mention it, then it is guessed to have been written earlier.

                        4.         Also because Nahum doesn’t mention a king in Judah, some guess that the king was evil, probably Manasseh who reigned 686-642 BC.

                        5.         Therefore most scholars put the book at about 660 BC.

            B.        Nineveh’s revival took place about 760 BC

                        1.         It was short lived because Assyria attacked Israel in 722 BC

                        2.         They came close to capturing Jerusalem in 701 BC during the reign of Hezekiah.

            C.        Nineveh was among the mightiest cities on the earth

                        1.         Greater Nineveh, including the suburbs was 30 miles long and 10 miles wide

                                    a.         Nineveh proper, the inner city, was 3 miles long and 1.5 miles wide.

                        2.         Its walls were 100 feet tall and wide enough to drive three chariots abreast.

                                    a.         There were actually 5 wall systems

                                    b.         The innermost wall was 8 miles around.

                        3.         There were towers along the wall which were 100 feet taller than the walls themselves.

                        4.         Then there were three moats around the city – 150 feet wide and 60 feet deep

                        5.         The palace area covered 100 acres and was 90 feet high.

                                    a.         Sennacherib’s palace, alone, would cover three large city blocks.

                        6.         It was estimated that it could withstand a 20 year siege.

            D.        Predictions in Nahum

                        1.         Babylon came and laid siege to the city for two years

                        2.         Nahum 1:8; 2:6 - Nineveh’s end would come with a flood

                                    a.         The Tigris river, where Nineveh was located flooded in 612 BC

                                    b.         The flood destroy a portion of Nineveh’s wall

                                    c.         The Babylonians, led by Nebuchadnezzar, invaded the city through that breach, plundered it and burnt it.

                        3.         Nahum 2:9 - The looting

                        4.         Nahum 3:13-15 - City to be burnt, the gates destroyed

                        5.         Nahum 3:12 - The surrounding fortresses would easily fall

                        6.         Nahum 3:17 - The leaders would flee

                        7.         Nahum 1:14; 2:11 - City would not be rebuilt

                        8.         Nahum 3:11 - Nineveh would be hidden

                                    a.         After its destruction, the city was not rebuilt. It wasn’t until AD 1842 that it was found once again.

                        9.         Nahum’s prophecy is verified by what actually happened through archeology.

III.       Outline

            A.        What God is about to do - Nahum 1

                        1.         God is slow to anger, but it doesn’t mean He is weak - Nahum 1:1-8

                        2.         God will destroy Nineveh and there isn’t a thing they can do to stop it Nahum 1:9-15

            B.        How God will do it - Nahum 2

            C.        Why God will do it - Nahum 3

                        1.         Assyria is being destroyed for her wars and corrupting influence - Nahum 3:1-7

                        2.         Assyria is not too big to fail – no one is - Nahum 3:8-18

                        3.         The fall of Assyria will be a relief - Nahum 3:19

IV.      Lessons to be learned

            A.        God is patient, but it doesn’t mean He is unable to act - II Peter 3:1-12

            B.        No country is too big to fail, this world is not too great to destroy.

            C.        Don’t allow yourself to become complacent.

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