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The Attack of the Enemy

The enemy who will scatter you is advancing against you! Guard the rampart! Watch the road! Prepare for battle! Muster all your great strength! For the Lord is about to restore the majesty of Jacob, as well as the majesty of Israel, even though their enemies have plundered them completely and have destroyed their vines.

The shields of the mighty warriors are dyed red.
    The soldiers are dressed in scarlet garments.
    The steel fittings[a] of the chariots shine like fire on the day of battle.
    The soldiers shake their spears.[b]
The chariots race wildly through the streets.
    They rush back and forth in the city squares.
    They look like lightning.
    They dart about like flashes of lightning.
The commander[c] gives orders to his elite troops.
    They fall over each other as they advance.
    They rush to the city wall.
    They set up the protective canopy over the battering ram.
The gates that hold back the river are opened,
    and the palace is washed away.

She is stripped and is led away.
    Her slave girls moan like doves
    while they beat their breasts.[d]

Nineveh[e] was like a pool of water from her beginning,[f]
    but now her people are running away.
    She cries out, “Stop! Stop!” but no one turns back.

Plunder the silver! Plunder the gold!
    There is no end to the treasure.
    There are riches of every kind of precious thing.

10 Destruction, devastation, and desolation!
    Their hearts faint, their knees tremble,
    every stomach churns, and each face turns pale!

11 What has become of the lions’ lair and the feeding place for young lions, where the lion, lioness, and lion’s cub prowled with nothing to fear? 12 The lion tore apart as much prey as his cubs needed and strangled prey to provide food for his lionesses. He filled his lairs with prey and his dens with torn flesh.

13 Beware! I am against you, declares the Lord of Armies. I will burn up your chariots in smoke. The sword will devour your young lions. You will no longer ravage the land. The voices of your messengers will no longer be heard.

Footnotes

  1. Nahum 2:3 Or perhaps the scythes
  2. Nahum 2:3 The Hebrew text and the meaning of this sentence are uncertain.
  3. Nahum 2:5 The noun commander is added for clarity.
  4. Nahum 2:7 A gesture of mourning
  5. Nahum 2:8 The name of the city is now introduced for the first time in the oracle itself.
  6. Nahum 2:8 The meaning of the last phrase is uncertain.

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