Woe to Nineveh

Woe to the city of blood,(A)
    full of lies,(B)
full of plunder,
    never without victims!
The crack of whips,
    the clatter of wheels,
galloping horses
    and jolting chariots!
Charging cavalry,
    flashing swords
    and glittering spears!
Many casualties,
    piles of dead,
bodies without number,
    people stumbling over the corpses(C)
all because of the wanton lust of a prostitute,
    alluring, the mistress of sorceries,(D)
who enslaved nations by her prostitution(E)
    and peoples by her witchcraft.

“I am against(F) you,” declares the Lord Almighty.
    “I will lift your skirts(G) over your face.
I will show the nations your nakedness(H)
    and the kingdoms your shame.
I will pelt you with filth,(I)
    I will treat you with contempt(J)
    and make you a spectacle.(K)
All who see you will flee(L) from you and say,
    ‘Nineveh(M) is in ruins(N)—who will mourn for her?’(O)
    Where can I find anyone to comfort(P) you?”

Are you better than(Q) Thebes,(R)
    situated on the Nile,(S)
    with water around her?
The river was her defense,
    the waters her wall.
Cush[a](T) and Egypt were her boundless strength;
    Put(U) and Libya(V) were among her allies.
10 Yet she was taken captive(W)
    and went into exile.
Her infants were dashed(X) to pieces
    at every street corner.
Lots(Y) were cast for her nobles,
    and all her great men were put in chains.(Z)
11 You too will become drunk;(AA)
    you will go into hiding(AB)
    and seek refuge from the enemy.

12 All your fortresses are like fig trees
    with their first ripe fruit;(AC)
when they are shaken,
    the figs(AD) fall into the mouth of the eater.
13 Look at your troops—
    they are all weaklings.(AE)
The gates(AF) of your land
    are wide open to your enemies;
    fire has consumed the bars of your gates.(AG)

14 Draw water for the siege,(AH)
    strengthen your defenses!(AI)
Work the clay,
    tread the mortar,
    repair the brickwork!
15 There the fire(AJ) will consume you;
    the sword(AK) will cut you down—
    they will devour you like a swarm of locusts.
Multiply like grasshoppers,
    multiply like locusts!(AL)
16 You have increased the number of your merchants
    till they are more numerous than the stars in the sky,
but like locusts(AM) they strip the land
    and then fly away.
17 Your guards are like locusts,(AN)
    your officials like swarms of locusts
    that settle in the walls on a cold day—
but when the sun appears they fly away,
    and no one knows where.

18 King of Assyria, your shepherds[b] slumber;(AO)
    your nobles lie down to rest.(AP)
Your people are scattered(AQ) on the mountains
    with no one to gather them.
19 Nothing can heal you;(AR)
    your wound is fatal.
All who hear the news about you
    clap their hands(AS) at your fall,
for who has not felt
    your endless cruelty?(AT)

Footnotes

  1. Nahum 3:9 That is, the upper Nile region
  2. Nahum 3:18 That is, rulers
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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