King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Nahum 3

The sins and judgments of Nineveh. (1-7) Its utter destruction. (8-19)

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The sins and judgments of Nineveh

1 Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and robbery; the prey departeth not;

2 The noise of a whip, and the noise of the rattling of the wheels, and of the pransing horses, and of the jumping chariots.

3 The horseman lifteth up both the bright sword and the glittering spear: and there is a multitude of slain, and a great number of carcases; and there is none end of their corpses; they stumble upon their corpses:

4 Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the wellfavoured harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts.

5 Behold, I am against thee, saith the LORD of hosts; and I will discover thy skirts upon thy face, and I will shew the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame.

6 And I will cast abominable filth upon thee, and make thee vile, and will set thee as a gazingstock.

7 And it shall come to pass, that all they that look upon thee shall flee from thee, and say, Nineveh is laid waste: who will bemoan her? whence shall I seek comforters for thee?

Its utter destruction

8 Art thou better than populous No, that was situate among the rivers, that had the waters round about it, whose rampart was the sea, and her wall was from the sea?

9 Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength, and it was infinite; Put and Lubim were thy helpers.

10 Yet was she carried away, she went into captivity: her young children also were dashed in pieces at the top of all the streets: and they cast lots for her honourable men, and all her great men were bound in chains.

11 Thou also shalt be drunken: thou shalt be hid, thou also shalt seek strength because of the enemy.

12 All thy strong holds shall be like fig trees with the firstripe figs: if they be shaken, they shall even fall into the mouth of the eater.

13 Behold, thy people in the midst of thee are women: the gates of thy land shall be set wide open unto thine enemies: the fire shall devour thy bars.

14 Draw thee waters for the siege, fortify thy strong holds: go into clay, and tread the morter, make strong the brickkiln.

15 There shall the fire devour thee; the sword shall cut thee off, it shall eat thee up like the cankerworm: make thyself many as the cankerworm, make thyself many as the locusts.

16 Thou hast multiplied thy merchants above the stars of heaven: the cankerworm spoileth, and fleeth away.

17 Thy crowned are as the locusts, and thy captains as the great grasshoppers, which camp in the hedges in the cold day, but when the sun ariseth they flee away, and their place is not known where they are.

18 Thy shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria: thy nobles shall dwell in the dust: thy people is scattered upon the mountains, and no man gathereth them.

19 There is no healing of thy bruise; thy wound is grievous: all that hear the bruit of thee shall clap the hands over thee: for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Blood. Nemrod established his power by shedding blood. Gen. x. Ninus, who built Ninive, and his successors were also bloody. After 1200 years the empire decayed under Sardanapalus, as historians agree. Yet it continued longer, according to the Scriptures and Ribera, till the Chaldees destroyed it, when it had subsisted about 1440 years. It was even possessed of great power after the return of the Jews from Babylon, as Eus. S. Aug. V. Bede, &c. write. W. — Depart. Sept. “be touched.” H. — He continues the metaphor of the lion seizing its prey. Here the last chapter should end.

Ver. 2. The noise. He has described the forces of Ninive, now he specifies those of Cyaxares and Nabopolassar.

Ver. 4. Harlot. Ninive is cruel and impure, engaging others in idolatry and witchcraft. C. — Sold, forcing them to adopt her manners. Rom. vii. 14.

Ver. 7. Bemoan. Lit. “shake his head:” the latter words are not in Heb. H. — Some supply, move his lips: but head will answer as well. This is a sign of derision or of pity. Job xlii. 11. Mat. xxvii. 39. C.

Ver. 8. Populous Alexandria. No-Amon. A populous city of Egypt, destroyed by the Chaldeans, and afterwards rebuilt by Alexander, and called Alexandria. Others suppose No-Amon to be the same as Diospolis. Ch. — This seems preferable, as it was amidst waters and near the Mediterranean. Profane historians take little notice of it, as it was greatly reduced. Bochart fixes upon Memphis, others upon the temple of Ammon. But these were too remote from the sea. C. — The former was however near the Nile, (H.) which is sometimes called a sea. C. — S. Jerom thinks that Alexandria stood on the ruins of No. W. — Yet of this we have no proof. It is thought that Nahum alludes to the devastation caused by Nabuchodonosor. As Juda however was still in his kingdom, it seems rather that Assaraddon, (Is. xx.) or his predecessor, Sennacherib, (C.) laid waste this city. 4 K. xviii. 21. Usher, A. 3292.

Ver. 9. Ethiopia; Chus, in Arabia, not far from Diospolis.

Ver. 10. Captivity. It was afterwards re-established and taken by Nabuchodonosor. C. — Fetters, or stocks. H.

Ver. 11. Drunk, and be chastised by God. Ezec. xxiii. 32. — From, to escape.

Ver. 14. Water. This was a necessary precaution. 2 Par. xxxii. 3. — Brick, to repair the breaches.

Ver. 15. Locust. Yet all will be in vain. Thy numbers will be cut off as easily as locusts.

Ver. 16. Away. Thus did the merchants, at the approach of the enemy.

Ver. 17. Guards. Heb. “crowned” princes. — Little. Heb. “satraps are like great locusts, which,” &c. S. Jerom has read (C.) toppic instead of taphseraic, (H.) which Sept. neglect. Thapsar denotes an officer. Jer. li. 27. C. — Of locusts. The young locusts. Ch.

Ver. 18. Slumbered. They have not guarded the flock. C.

Ver. 19. Hidden. Heb. and Sept. “irremediable.” H. — No one pities thy wound. Chal. C.