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The Blue Letter Bible

Dr. J. Vernon McGee :: Notes for Nahum

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WRITER: Nahum. “Nahum” means comforter. He is identified (Nahum 1:1) as an Elkoshite. This is all that is known of the writer of this book. Elkosh was a city in Assyria, a few miles north of the ruins of Nineveh. Nahum could well have lived there and have prophesied to Nineveh, as Daniel did to Babylon later on. The most likely explanation, however, is that there was a village by this name in Galilee. Jerome recorded that a guide pointed out to him such a village as the birthplace of Nahum — but this was a millennium after Nahum lived. Dr. John D. Davis gives the meaning for “Capernaum” as the village of Nahum. If “Capernaum” is a Hebrew word, then this is the evident origin.

TIME: There are many dates assigned to this book and this prophet. Dates are given anywhere from 720 to 636 B.C. by conservative scholars. It seems reasonable to locate him about 100 years after Jonah and about 100 years before the destruction of Nineveh — between 660 and 612 B.C. He probably lived during the reign of Hezekiah and saw the destruction of the Northern Kingdom.

THEME: The burden (judgment) of Nineveh (Nahum 1:1).

MESSAGE: Nahum sounds the death-knell of Nineveh and pronounces judgment, by total destruction, on Assyria. God was just in doing this. Jonah, almost a century before, had brought a message from God, and Nineveh had repented. However, the repentance was transitory, and God patiently gave this new generation opportunity to repent (Nahum 1:3). The day of grace ends, and the moment of doom comes (Nahum 3:19). Assyria had served God’s purpose (Isaiah 10:5) and would be destroyed. The destruction of Nineveh, according to the details that are given in this written prophecy, is almost breathtaking.
This is a message of comfort to a people who live in fear of a powerful and godless nation. God will destroy any godless nation.
Some folk think Nahum should be called Ho-hum! However, Nahum is a thrilling book to study. It reveals the other side of the attributes of God. God is love, but God is holy and righteous and good.

Outline for Micah ← Prior Section
Outline for Nahum Next Section →
Notes for Micah ← Prior Book
Notes for Habakkuk Next Book →
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