Nahum Graphics

Nahum Time

  Manasseh becomes king of JudahAshurbanipal becomes king of Assyria The fall of Thebes; Nahum becomes a prophet  Josiah becomes king of Judah; Zephaniah becomes a prophet  Jeremiah becomes a prophet Nineveh fallsAssyria completely conquered Babylonians win battle of Carchemish Judah falls to  Babylon 
  697 B.C.669 663 640 627  612 609 605586 

Vital statistics

 Purpose: To pronounce God's judgment on Assyria and to comfort Judah with this truth  
 Author:  Nahum
 Original audience: The people of Nineveh and of Judah (the southern kingdom)
 Date written:  Sometime during Nahum's prophetic ministry (probably between 663 and 612 B.C.) 
 Setting: This particular prophecy took place after the fall of Thebes in 663 B.C. (see 3:8-10)
 Key verses: "The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him. But he will sweep away his enemies in an overwhelming flood. He will pursue his foes into the darkness of night. Why are you scheming against the Lord? He will destroy you with one blow; he won't need to strike twice!" (1:7-9). 
 Key place:  Nineveh

Personality Profile: Nahum

1:1 Name means: “Compassionate.”
Home: Elkosh, possibly a city in southern Judah, though other locations have been suggested.
Occupation: Prophet of the Lord.
Best known today for: Prophesying the downfall of Nineveh, capital of the Assyrian empire. His oracle (Nah. 1:1) was given sometime after the fall of the Egyptian city of Thebes (c. 663 a.d.; “No Amon,” 3:8), and was fulfilled when a coalition of Babylonians, Scythians, and Medes overran Nineveh (c. 612 a.d.) and reduced it to rubble.
Word in life study Bible . 1997, c1996 (electronic ed.) (Nah 1.3). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Some Wars and Battles in the Bible

The battle of the nine kings in the time of Abraham (Gen. 14)
Four kings fought against five, capturing Sodom and Gomorrah and taking Abraham’s nephew Lot prisoner. Abraham led a successful counteroffensive to rescue Lot and restore peace to the region.
The conquest of Canaan by the Israelites (the Book of Joshua)
Led by the general Joshua, the Israelites largely displaced the inhabitants of Canaan after the Exodus. The first battle, fought at Jericho, is one of the most well known events in the Bible.
Gideon’s defeat of the Midianites (Judg. 6–7)
With a force of only 300 men, Gideon gained victory over the Midianites by launching a surprise attack that created panic in their ranks.
David’s defeat of Goliath (1 Sam. 17)
When the Philistine champion Goliath threatened Israel, David volunteered to fight him while the rest of the Israelites trembled in fear. Using his shepherd’s sling, David surprised everyone by felling the giant with a single stone.
Ahab’s campaigns against the Syrians (1 Kin. 20, 22)
King Ahab led the army of Israel to victory over Ben-Hadad’s invading troops by attacking while the Syrian generals were engaged in a drinking party. The Syrians regrouped their forces but lost again. Then a third battle resulted in Ahab’s death.
Samaria’s miraculous deliverance from the Syrians (2 Kin. 6:24–7:20)
A Syrian siege of Samaria created starvation conditions in the city, but the prophet Elisha predicted deliverance. The next day, four starving lepers discovered that the Syrian army, frightened by miraculous noise, had vacated its encampment, leaving behind enough spoils to resupply the city.
The fall of Samaria (2 Kin. 17:1–6)
The Assyrian king Shalmaneser captured Samaria following a three-year siege, carrying out the Lord’s judgment on the wicked, idolatrous northern kingdom. The people were resettled in Assyria.
The battle of Carchemish (Jer. 46:2)
In one of the turning points of history, Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon used the element of surprise to capture Carchemish, a strategic city held by the Egyptians, connecting Mesopotamia with Asia Minor.
The fall of Jerusalem (2 Kin. 25; 2 Chr. 36)
On the third of three campaigns, Nebuchadnezzar captured and destroyed Jerusalem and deported most of its survivors to Babylon.
The fall of Babylon (Dan. 5)
The Persians captured the city in the time of Belshazzar.
Armageddon (Rev. 16:12–16)
The apostle John envisioned a final international battle which was to take place at a site called Armageddon, possibly the Valley of Megiddo in Palestine.
Word in life study Bible . 1997, c1996 (electronic ed.) (Nah 2.3). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Fulfillments of Nahum’s Prophecies

Nahum’s Prophecies
Historical Fulfillments
1.     The Assyrian fortresses surrounding the city would be easily captured (3 12).
1.     According to the Babylonian Chronicle the fortified towns in Nineveh’s environs began to fall in 614 B.C. including Tabris, present-day Sharif-Khan, a few miles northwest of Nineveh.
2.     The besieged Ninevites would prepare bricks and mortar for emergency defense walls (3:14).
2.     A.T. Olmstead reported:“To the south of the gate, the moat is still filled with fragments of stone and of mud bricks from the walls, heaped up when they were breached” (History of Assyria. Chicago:University of Chicago Press, 1951, p. 637).
3.     The city gates would be destroyed (3:13).
3.     Olmstead noted:“The main attack was directed from the northwest and the brunt fell upon the Hatamti gate at this corner.... Within the gate are traces of the counterwall raised by the inhabitants in their last extremity” (History of Assyria, p. 637).
4.     In the final hours of the attack the Ninevites would be drunk (1:10; 3:11).
4. Diodorus Siculus (ca. 20 B.C.) wrote, “The Assyrian king . . . distributed to his soldiers meats and liberal supplies of wine and provisions.... While the whole army was thus carousing, the friends of Arbakes learned from some deserters of the slackness and drunkenness which prevailed in the enemy’s camp and made an unexpected attack by night” (Bibliotheca Historica 2. 26. 4).
5.     Nineveh would be destroyed by a flood (1:8; 2:6, 8).
5.     Diodorus wrote that in the third year of the siege heavy rains caused a nearby river to flood part of the city and break part of the walls (Bibliotheca Historica 2. 26. 9; 2. 27.13). Xenophon referred to terrifying thunder (presumably with a storm) associated with the city’s capture (Anabasis, 3. 4.12). Also the Khosr River, entering the city from the northwest at the Ninlil Gate and running through the city in a southwesterly direction, may have flooded because of heavy rains, or the enemy may have destroyed its sluice gate.
6.     Nineveh would be destroyed by fire (1:10; 2:13; 3:15).
6.     Archeological excavations at Nineveh have revealed charred wood, charcoal, and ashes. “There was no question about the clear traces of the burning of the temple (as also in the palace of Sennacherib), for a layer of ash about two inches thick lay clearly defined in places on the southeast side about the level of the Sargon pavement” (R. Campbell Thompson and R.W. Hutchinson, A Century of Exploration at Nineveh. London:Luzac 1929, pp. 45, 77).
7.     The city’s capture would be attended by a great massacre of people (3:3).
7.     “In two battles fought on the plain before the city the rebels defeated the Assyrians.... So great was the multitude of the slain that the flowing stream, mingled with their blood, changed its color for a considerable distance” (Diodorus, Bibliotheca Historica 2. 26. 6–7).
8.     Plundering and pillaging would accompany the overthrow of the city (2:9–10),
8.     According to the Babylonian Chronicle, “Great quantities of spoil from the city, beyond counting, they carried off. The city [they fumed] into a mound and ruin heap” (Luckenbill, Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia, 2:420).
9.     When Nineveh would be captured its people would try to escape (2:8).
9.     “Sardanapalus [another name for King Sin-shar-ishkun] sent away his three sons and two daughters with much treasure into Paphlagonia, to the governor of Kattos, the most loyal of his subjects” (Diodorus, Bibliotheca Historica 2. 26. 8).
10.     The Ninevite officers would weaken ant flee (3:17).
10.     The Babylonian Chronicle states that “[The army] of Assyria deserted [lit., ran away before] the king" (Luckenbill, Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia, 2:420).
11.     Nineveh’s images and idols would be destroyed (1:14).
11.     R. Campbell Thompson and R.W. Hutchinson reported that the statue of the goddess Ishtar lay headless in the debris of Nineveh’s ruins (“The British Museum Excavations on the Temple of Ishtar at Nineveh, 1930–1,” Annals of Archaeology and Anthropology 19, pp. 55–6).
12.     Nineveh’s destruction would be final (1:9.14).
12.     Many cities of the ancient Near East were rebuilt after being destroyed (e.g., Samaria Jerusalem Babylon) hut not Nineveh.
Richards, L., & Richards, L. O. (1987). The teacher's commentary. Includes index. (469). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

The Rulers and Prophets of Nahum's Time



Kings of Assyria


669  Ashurbanipal  633





           Fall of Nineveh    

Kings of Babylon


Nabopolassar626    605


605                                            562


Kings of Judah(Southern Kingdom)

697           Manasseh           642

 640    Josiah     609

Jehoiakim609   597

Zedekiah    597  586


Amon      642 640

   Jehoahaz 3 months 
        Jehoiachin 3 months 

Book of the law discovered in 622 B.C.


Judah taken captive to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar


Nahum and His Contemporary Prophets   (Southern Kingdom)


650       NAHUM         620


593       Ezekiel        559


605             Daniel           536


627                   Jeremiah                  574


636 Zephaniah 623


621  Habakkuk   609





Served as a prophet to Judah from 663-612 B.C.


 Manasseh, one of Judah's most wicked kings, ruled the land. He openly defied God and persecuted God's people. Assyria, the world power at that time, made Judah one of its vassal states. The people of Judah wanted to be like the Assyrians, who seemed to have all the power and possessions they wanted.


 The mighty empire of Assyria that oppressed God's people would soon tumble. 


 Those who do evil and oppress others will one day meet a bitter end. 


 Zephaniah (640-612 B.C.)

The Blueprint


  1) NINEVEH'S JUDGE (1:1-15)

  2) NINEVEH'S JUDGMENT (2:1-3:19)

  Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire, is the subject of Nahum's prophecy. The news of its coming destruction was a relief for Judah, who was subject to Assyrian domination. No longer would Judah be forced to pay tribute as insurance against invasions. Judah was comforted to know that God was still in control. Nineveh is an example to all rulers and nations on the world today. God is sovereign over even those who are seemingly invincible. We can be confident that God's power justice will one day conquer all evil.

Nahum Overview

Herman Puchi,
Oct 25, 2011, 12:58 AM