King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Nahum 1

The justice and power of the Lord. (1-8) The overthrow of the Assyrians. (9-15)

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The justice and power of the Lord

1 The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.

2 God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.

3 The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.

4 He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth.

5 The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein.

6 Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him.

7 The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.

8 But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies.

The overthrow of the Assyrians

9 What do ye imagine against the LORD? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.

10 For while they be folden together as thorns, and while they are drunken as drunkards, they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry.

11 There is one come out of thee, that imagineth evil against the LORD, a wicked counsellor.

12 Thus saith the LORD; Though they be quiet, and likewise many, yet thus shall they be cut down, when he shall pass through. Though I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more.

13 For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder.

14 And the LORD hath given a commandment concerning thee, that no more of thy name be sown: out of the house of thy gods will I cut off the graven image and the molten image: I will make thy grave; for thou art vile.

15 Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Burden, or threat. W. — Sept. “assumption,” (H.) when the prophet saw in spirit the impending ruin. Theod. — Allegorically, Nahum is “the comforter” of the just, shewing that God will avenge their cause against Ninive, “the beautiful,” and destroy the world, (kosmos, which also means “beautiful,”) after which the saints shall reign in eternal glory. W. — We have describe Ninive. Jonas i. C. — It was overturned first A. 3257, and again A. 3378. Usher. — Elcesite. Some think that Elcesai was the father of Nahum; but most suppose that it was a village Galilee. C.

Ver. 2. The Lord. The six following verses (H.) tend to excite attention. C.

Ver. 3. Cleanse. Literally, cleansing, he will not make innocent.” H. — The same expression is rendered, No man of himself is innocent before thee. Ex. xxxiv. 7. C. — Sept. “the innocent he will not deem innocent.” H. — No man is perfect in God’s sight, (C.) though they may appear to be such to others. H. — None can escape punishment, if he be treated with rigour. De Dieu translates, “he will not utterly evacuate,” or destroy, which seems very correct. Jer. xxx. 11. Num. xiv. 18. — Dust. He walks upon them as we do on dry land.

Ver. 4. Desert, as at the Red Sea. Ps. cv. 9. — Languisheth. The most fruitful places produce nothing, when God is angry.

Ver. 5. Made. Sept. “shaken.” — Quaked. Heb. and Sept. “risen.” C.

Ver. 6. Like fire. Sept. “melts kingdoms.”

Ver. 7. Hope. Sept. “fear.” He approves of his faithful servants. H.

Ver. 8. Thereof; viz. of Ninive. Ch. — This is connected with v. 1. H. — Ninive was taken by the waters of the Tigris overflowing, at the first siege. Diod. ii. Athen. xii. — The like might happen at the second, though profane authors be silent. C. — Many think that the flood means great armies. Is. viii. 7. Forer. Vat. — Sept. “He will utterly destroy: those who rise up and his enemies, darkness,” &c. H. — Chal. The. and Aq. adopt the same sense, but Sym. &c. agree with us. C.

Ver. 9. Affliction. Sept. add, “for the same thing, or together.” H. — :Many hence infer, that those who have been slain by God, like the Sodomites, &c. will not be condemned to hell. Orig. i. Ezec. S. Jer. S. Th. 3. p. q. 59. a. 5. — But this principle cannot be always correct. C. — Their temporal suffering might usher in eternal ones. S. Greg. Mor. xviii. 12. — Ninive shall perish; so that a second blow will not be requisite. 1 K. xxvi. 8. Drus. C.

Ver. 10. Dry. The Assyrians, feasting in the hopes that they would speedily become masters of Jerusalem, were cut off in one night. W. — God’s enemies cannot escape; as when a thorn bush has taken fire, all must perish. Ps. lvii. 10. Is. ix. 18. C.

Ver. 11. Forth. Some understand this of Sennacherib. But as his attempt against the people seems to have been prior to the prophecy of Nahum, we may better understand it of Holofernes. Ch. — One. Sept. “a most wicked thought against the Lord, devising opposition.” H. — We may render, “hath come,” &c. alluding to Sennacherib and Rabsaces. Is. xxxvi. 18. and xxxvii. 23. C.

Ver. 12. Perfect. That is, however strong or numerous their forces may be, they shall be cut off, and their prince or leader shall pass away and disappear. Ch. — If there were many just at Ninive, or among the Jews, (C.) a moderate chastisement would suffice. H. — The latter have been afflicted; now their enemies shall suffer. Sept. have read otherwise: (C.) “the Lord, reigning over the great waters; thus shall they be divided, and thou shalt be heard of no more.” H.

Ver. 13. Asunder. Ezechias was tributary to Assyria. 4 K. xviii. 14. After the fall of Ninive, its yoke was removed. C.

Ver. 14. Commandment. That is, a decree concerning thee, O king of Ninive, thy seed shall fail, &c. Ch. — His son Asarhaddon succeeded; but soon the line was extinct. W. — No alarm shall be spread by thee. — Grave. Sennacherib was slain in the temple: (Is. xxxvii. 38. C.) or the idols were deemed unclean by the victors. Eurip. Troad. H.

Ver. 15. Peace. Sentinels were established on the hills. — Festivals. S. Jerom quotes the B. of Paral. as saying (C.) that the Jews could not observe the Passover in the first month. But they did it in the second, after they knew that Sennacherib was slain. 2 Par. xxxii. H. — This passage does not, however, appear at present in Scripture, and it could not speak of the second month (C.) following Nisan, (H.) as the king was slain forty-five days (Tob. i. 22. Gr. 55.) after his return to Ninive; and some time must have elapsed before he could get thither, and the news arrive in Judea. C. — Belial; the wicked one, viz. the Assyrian. Ch.