Nahum 1:4 – Languishing Land (Bashan)

The latter part of Nahum 1:4 reads “Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth.

This verse speaks about three lands that languished, the first of which that is mentioned is Bashan.

Bashan was a fertile and productive land with butter of kine (cows), milk of sheep, fat of lambs (Ezekiel 39:18), and rams of the breed, and goats, with wheat, and grapes (Deuteronomy 32:14). Sharon, the suburbs of Bashan (1 Chronicles 5:16) was known for its roses (Song of Solomon 2:1) and Bashan was known for its high oaks (Isaiah 2:13; Ezekiel 27:6; Zechariah 11:2) and high hills, hills as high as the hill of God (Psalm 68:15).

Bashan was not only a fruitful land, but it was also called the land of the giants (Deuteronomy 3:13; Joshua 12:4) and was ruled by a king named Og, who lived in Astaroth at Edrei (Deuteronomy 1:4). He was a giant and his bedstead was a bedstead of iron, nine cubits (13.66 feet) in length and four cubits (6.073 feet) in breadth (Deuteronomy 3:11). Bashan was a land of the giants, and its sixty cities were fortified cities with walls and brasen bars (1 Kings 4:13).

Bashan’s people were a forceful people known for their strength and referred as strong bulls (Psalm 22:12) and kines that oppressed the poor and crushed the needy (Amos 4:1).

Og went out against the Israelites, with all of his people, at the battle at Edrei (Numbers 21:33; Deuteronomy 3:1). But the Lord God delivered Og and all of his people into the hands of the Israelites and they smote every single one of them, leaving none to remain (Deuteronomy 3:3; Deuteronomy 29:7; Joshua 13:12), for the Lord’s mercy endures forever (Psalm 136:20). They took all the cities, leaving none, sixty cities in total in the region of Argob in the kingdom of Og (Deuteronomy 3:4,10; Joshua 13:30). And Moses gave unto the half tribe of Manasseh the son of Joseph, the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, sixty cities in the coasts and the country round about (Numbers 32:33) and Jair the son of Manasseh took all the country of Argob unto the coasts of Geshuri and Maachathi and called them after his own name, Bashanhavothjair (The hamlets of Bashan, now the hamlets of Jair), unto this day (Deuteronomy 3:14; Deuteronomy 4:47). The children of the half tribe of Manasseh dwelt in the land and they increased from Bashan unto Mount Hermon (1 Chronicles 5:23). One of these cities, named Golan in Bashan with her suburbs, is later assigned as a city of refuge for the slayer (Joshua 21:27; 1 Chronicles 6:71). The children of Israel possessed the land of Bashan (Nehemiah 9:22).

Points to ponder:
Neither the fertile fruitfulness, nor the gigantic fortifications, nor the oppressive forcefulness of the people and land of Bashan could keep it safe from the Lord God, who delivered the giant king and his people to his people. The people of God smote all and left none remaining, so much so that the land languished under the hand of the Lord for God went out to deliver his people. Nothing or no one can come against God and his people, not even a giant king or all his people, and expect to be successful. The question is not if the Lord is on our side,as our refuge, but if we are on the Lord’s side?

Nahum 1:4 (KJV)
He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth.

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