King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Nahum 2

Nineveh’s destruction foretold. (1-10) The true cause, their sinning against God, and his appearing against them. (11-13)

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Nineveh’s destruction foretold

1 He that dasheth in pieces is come up before thy face: keep the munition, watch the way, make thy loins strong, fortify thy power mightily.

2 For the LORD hath turned away the excellency of Jacob, as the excellency of Israel: for the emptiers have emptied them out, and marred their vine branches.

3 The shield of his mighty men is made red, the valiant men are in scarlet: the chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his preparation, and the fir trees shall be terribly shaken.

4 The chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall justle one against another in the broad ways: they shall seem like torches, they shall run like the lightnings.

5 He shall recount his worthies: they shall stumble in their walk; they shall make haste to the wall thereof, and the defence shall be prepared.

6 The gates of the rivers shall be opened, and the palace shall be dissolved.

7 And Huzzab shall be led away captive, she shall be brought up, and her maids shall lead her as with the voice of doves, tabering upon their breasts.

8 But Nineveh is of old like a pool of water: yet they shall flee away. Stand, stand, shall they cry; but none shall look back.

9 Take ye the spoil of silver, take the spoil of gold: for there is none end of the store and glory out of all the pleasant furniture.

10 She is empty, and void, and waste: and the heart melteth, and the knees smite together, and much pain is in all loins, and the faces of them all gather blackness.

The true cause, their sinning against God, and his appearing against them

11 Where is the dwelling of the lions, and the feedingplace of the young lions, where the lion, even the old lion, walked, and the lion’s whelp, and none made them afraid?

12 The lion did tear in pieces enough for his whelps, and strangled for his lionesses, and filled his holes with prey, and his dens with ravin.

13 Behold, I am against thee, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will burn her chariots in the smoke, and the sword shall devour thy young lions: and I will cut off thy prey from the earth, and the voice of thy messengers shall no more be heard.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Face, O Juda. Sept. “who blows on thy face, (Gen. ii. 7.) freeing from misery.” Here S. Jerom’s Gr. copy ends the chap. H. — Watch. Behold Nabopolassar is about to attack thy enemies. Some think that Nahum addresses Ninive ironically. C. — Nabuchodonosor wasted all the environs, and then took the city (W.) after his other conquests. C. — But his father is here denoted. H.

Ver. 2. Pride, &c. He hath punished Jacob for his pride; and therefore Ninive must not expect to escape. Or else, rendering the pride of Jacob means rewarding, that is, punishing Ninive for the pride they exercised against Jacob. Ch. — After the Assyrians had seized the ten tribes, they became more insolent, and are therefore punished. W. — The haughty Phul, &c. had invaded the Israelites, and had taken them into captivity. This God will now resent, (C.) though he justly chastised his people by them. H.

Ver. 3. Mighty men. He speaks of the Chaldeans and Medes sent to destroy the Ninivites. Ch. — This is the common opinion. Yet it seems rather that the Ninivites are designated, as they were asleep and stumbled, &c. C. — Stupified. That is, they drive on furiously, like men intoxicated with wine. Ch. — Heb. “the fir-tree shall be shaken,” or poisoned. Ps. cxix. 4. Sept. read better, (C.) “their horsemen shall be in a hurry, or in confusion.” H. — The armour was kept very shining, and the soldiers of Cyrus were clothed in purple, like himself. Xen. iii. — Yet this availed nothing, while the men were asleep or confounded. C.

Ver. 4. Streets. The Ninivites are disordered at the enemy’s approach. S. Jer.

Ver. 5. Muster. Lit. ” remember” (H.) the ancient heroes, Salmanasar, &c. C. — Stumble, by running hastily on. Ch. — Prepared to defend the city. H. — All this represents a city surprised. It attempts to defend itself; but God renders all efforts vain. C.

Ver. 6. Gates; floodgates or channel of the Tigris overflowing. C. i. 8. — Temple. Sept. “palace.”

Ver. 7. Soldier. Heb. hutsab, (H.) “the station” or guard; the queen, or the statue of the idol, with the women (C.) who prostituted themselves in its honour. Sanct. xxxi. — Ninive and its dependances are taken. Grot.

Ver. 8. Waters: multitudes, (Apoc. xvii. 15.) and riches; (C.) or the flood bursting upon them makes them flee. H. — The citizens run away when the enemy had made a breach, as water does when the dam is broken down; and though some more valiant will exhort them to tarry, they will not succeed, nor save the city. W.

Ver. 10. Kettle. In mourning they blacken their face. Tav. Perse.

Ver. 11. Lions. The kings of Assyria had plundered various nations, (H.) and had brought the spoils to Ninive. But all shall be lost. W. — These princes followed no law but their own will. — The lion, Nabopolassar, or his son: though it seems rather to relate to the Assyrian monarchs. C.

Ver. 13. Chariots. Sept. “multitude.” Some wild beasts were thus suffocated in their dens. Theod. — More, like that of the impious Rabsaces. 4 K. xviii. 17. C.