Good News Translation
God Will Destroy the Assyrians
24 (A)The Lord Almighty has sworn an oath: “What I have planned will happen. What I have determined to do will be done. 25 I will destroy the Assyrians in my land of Israel and trample them on my mountains. I will free my people from the Assyrian yoke and from the burdens they have had to bear. 26 This is my plan for the world, and my arm is stretched out to punish the nations.” 27 The Lord Almighty is determined to do this; he has stretched out his arm to punish, and no one can stop him.Read full chapter
Good News Translation
1 (A)This is a message about Nineveh, the account of a vision seen by Nahum, who was from Elkosh.
The Lord's Anger against Nineveh
2 The Lord God tolerates no rivals;
he punishes those who oppose him.
In his anger he pays them back.
3 The Lord does not easily become angry,
but he is powerful
and never lets the guilty go unpunished.
Where the Lord walks, storms arise;
the clouds are the dust raised by his feet!
4 He commands the sea, and it dries up!
He makes the rivers go dry.
The fields of Bashan wither,
Mount Carmel turns brown,
and the flowers of Lebanon fade.
5 Mountains quake in the presence of the Lord;
hills melt before him.
The earth shakes when the Lord appears;
the world and all its people tremble.
6 When he is angry, who can survive?
Who can survive his terrible fury?
He pours out his flaming anger;
rocks crumble to dust before him.
7 The Lord is good;
he protects his people in times of trouble;
he takes care of those who turn to him.
8 Like a great rushing flood he completely destroys his enemies;[a]
he sends to their death those who oppose him.
9 What are you plotting against the Lord?
He will destroy you.
No one opposes him more than once.
10 Like tangled thorns and dry straw
you drunkards will be burned up!
11 From you, Nineveh, there came someone full of wicked schemes, who plotted against the Lord. 12 This is what the Lord says to his people Israel: “Even though the Assyrians are strong and numerous, they will be destroyed and disappear. My people, I made you suffer, but I will not do it again. 13 I will now end Assyria's power over you and break the chains that bind you.”
14 This is what the Lord has decreed about the Assyrians: “They will have no descendants to carry on their name. I will destroy the idols that are in the temples of their gods. I am preparing a grave for the Assyrians—they don't deserve to live!”
15 (B)Look, a messenger is coming over the mountains with good news! He is on his way to announce the victory! People of Judah, celebrate your festivals and give God what you solemnly promised him. The wicked will never invade your land again. They have been totally destroyed!
The Fall of Nineveh
2 Nineveh, you are under attack!
The power that will shatter you has come.
Prepare the defenses!
Guard the road!
Prepare for battle!
2 The Lord is about to restore the glory of Israel, as it was before her enemies plundered her.
3 The enemy soldiers carry red shields
and wear uniforms of red.
They are preparing to attack!
Their chariots flash like fire!
Their horses[b] prance!
4 Chariots dash wildly through the streets,
rushing back and forth in the city squares.
They flash like torches
and dart about like lightning.
5 The officers are summoned;
they stumble as they press forward.
The attackers rush to the wall
and set up the shield for the battering ram.
6 The gates by the river burst open;
the palace is filled with terror.
7 The queen is taken captive;
her servants moan like doves
and beat their breasts in sorrow.
8 Like water from a broken dam
the people rush from Nineveh![c]
“Stop! Stop!” the cry rings out—
but no one turns back.
9 Plunder the silver!
Plunder the gold!
The city is full of treasure!
10 Nineveh is destroyed, deserted, desolate!
Hearts melt with fear;
knees tremble, strength is gone;
faces grow pale.
11 Where now is the city
that was like a den of lions,
the place where young lions were fed,
where the lion and the lioness would go
and their cubs would be safe?
12 The lion killed his prey
and tore it to pieces for his mate and her cubs;
he filled his den with torn flesh.
13 “I am your enemy!” says the Lord Almighty. “I will burn up your chariots. Your soldiers will be killed in war, and I will take away everything that you took from others. The demands of your envoys will no longer be heard.”
3 Doomed is the lying, murderous city,
full of wealth to be looted and plundered!
2 Listen! The crack of the whip,
the rattle of wheels,
the gallop of horses,
the jolting of chariots!
3 Cavalry troops charge,
swords flash, spears gleam!
Corpses are piled high,
dead bodies without number—
men stumble over them!
4 Nineveh the whore is being punished.
Attractive and full of deadly charms,
she enchanted nations and enslaved[d] them.
5 The Lord Almighty says,
“I will punish you, Nineveh!
I will strip you naked
and let the nations see you,
see you in all your shame.
6 I will treat you with contempt
and cover you with filth.
People will stare at you in horror.
7 All who see you will shrink back.
They will say, ‘Nineveh lies in ruins!
Who has any sympathy for her?
Who will want to comfort her?’”
8 Nineveh, are you any better than Thebes, the capital of Egypt? She too had a river to protect her like a wall—the Nile was her defense. 9 She ruled Ethiopia[e] and Egypt, there was no limit to her power; Libya was her ally. 10 Yet the people of Thebes were carried off into exile. At every street corner their children were beaten to death. Their leading men were carried off in chains and divided among their captors.
11 Nineveh, you too will fall into a drunken stupor! You too will try to escape from your enemies. 12 All your fortresses will be like fig trees with ripe figs: shake the trees, and the fruit falls right into your mouth! 13 Your soldiers are helpless, and your country stands defenseless before your enemies. Fire will destroy the bars across your gates. 14 Draw water to prepare for a siege, and strengthen your fortresses! Trample the clay to make bricks, and get the brick molds ready! 15 No matter what you do, you will still be burned to death or killed in battle. You will be wiped out like crops eaten up by locusts.
You multiplied like locusts! 16 You produced more merchants than there are stars in the sky! But now they are gone, like locusts that spread their wings and fly away. 17 Your officials are like a swarm of locusts that stay in the walls on a cold day. But when the sun comes out, they fly away, and no one knows where they have gone!
18 Emperor of Assyria, your governors are dead, and your noblemen are asleep forever! Your people are scattered on the mountains, and there is no one to bring them home again. 19 There is no remedy for your injuries, and your wounds cannot be healed. All those who hear the news of your destruction clap their hands for joy. Did anyone escape your endless cruelty?
- Nahum 1:8 Some ancient translations his enemies; Hebrew its place.
- Nahum 2:3 Some ancient translations horses; Hebrew cypresses.
- Nahum 2:8 Probable text Like water … Nineveh; Hebrew unclear.
- Nahum 3:4 enslaved; or seduced.
- Nahum 3:9 Hebrew Cush: Cush is the ancient name of the extensive territory south of the First Cataract of the Nile River. This region was called Ethiopia in Graeco-Roman times, and included within its borders most of modern Sudan and some of present-day Ethiopia (Abyssinia).
Good News Translation
13 (A)The Lord will use his power to destroy Assyria. He will make the city of Nineveh a deserted ruin, a waterless desert. 14 It will be a place where flocks, herds, and animals of every kind will lie down. Owls will live among its ruins and hoot from the windows. Crows[a] will caw on the doorsteps. The cedar wood of her buildings will be stripped away. 15 That is what will happen to the city that is so proud of its own power and thinks it is safe. Its people think that their city is the greatest in the world. What a desolate place it will become, a place where wild animals will rest! Everyone who passes by will shrink back in horror.Read full chapter
- Zephaniah 2:14 Some ancient translations Crows; Hebrew Desolation.