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The Old Testament | The Books of the Minor Prophets


Things to know

Where does the book begin?

The book begins some time before the army of Babylon defeated Assyria.

Places to go

The Lord* was jealous
Nahum 1:1-4

Feet on the mountain were coming
Nahum 1:14-15

The writer told about the lion's cave
Nahum 2:11-13

God gave a curse to Ninevah
Nahum 3:1-7

Your people were scattered
Nahum 3:18-19

Where does the book end?

The book ends after the city of Nineveh fell.

People to know


The Story of Nahum

Nahum was a prophet*. He lived in Judah. But he spoke about the city of Ninevah. Ninevah was a city in Assyria. It was filled with wicked people. A few years before, their army fought against Israel*. Now the army was coming to Judah.

The people of Judah were afraid. But Nahum told them not to worry. [1] God would help them. He would send another army. That army would stop Ninevah. [2] God would rescue his people.

Nahum wrote his book like someone who writes a song. There are many parts to the song. But here are a few of the things Nahum wanted the people to sing about. God was in control. God would defeat Assyria. He would deliver his people. God would stop their enemy. Assyria would become as nothing. They would never be a great nation again.

Nahum wrote by using word pictures. But the message was clear. God’s power is great. No enemy can defeat him. He will keep the promise he made to Abraham.

‘Whoever curses you, I will curse*.’ [3]

Sometimes, the enemies of Judah were strong. They seemed to be winning. But God was doing his work. He was at work, even when his people could not see him. His power was greater than the power of the nations.

God spoke through all true prophets. But not all of them spoke as directly as Nahum did. God himself spoke directly to Ninevah through Nahum.

‘Nineveh, I am against you,
announces the Lord* who rules over all.
I will burn up your wagons with fire.
Your young lions will be killed by swords.
I will leave you nothing on earth to catch.
The voices of those who bring your messages
will no longer be heard.’

Nahum told the story of Nineveh again. He wanted to make sure that Judah heard what he said. If God could judge* Nineveh, he could judge* anyone. No nation could escape the hand of God. If God could punish this wicked people, he could do the same to any nation.

Nahum was more than a story about the fall of Nineveh. Nahum was telling Judah about their God. God ruled the nations. He was patient. [5] He was powerful. He would destroy those who would not listen to his words. But, for Judah, he was a safe place. They could come to him in times of trouble.

There are many sections in the book. But Nahum talked about three ideas. One, God was patient. But he was also jealous.[6] He would protect his people from their enemies. Two, it was a very bad thing to make God angry. Because God was angry with Nineveh, he would send an army against them. He would put an end to all of the evil* things they were doing. That army would defeat them. All who saw them fall would be glad when he brought Nineveh down. Three, God was just and had great power. He controlled all he had made. He controlled the mountains and the clouds, the storms and the seas. And ‘he will not let guilty people go without punishing them.’ [7]


[1] Nahum 1:15

[2] Nahum 2:3-4

[3] Genesis 12:3

[4] Nahum 2:13

[5] Nahum 1:3

[6] Nahum 1:2

[7] Nahum 1:3

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