Nahum 3:1 – Woe to the bloody city!


While the first chapter of Nahum showcases God as a jealous God and the second chapter showcases God as a judging God, the third chapter of Nahum establishes the fact, that God is not only jealous and judging, but that he is a Just God and his justice shall always prevail.

Nahum chapter 3 highlights the justice of God on the enemies of his people (Judah), particularly Nineveh (Assyrians) in this case. The verdict on Nineveh is that it was a bloody city, full of lies and robbery, always victimizing (preying on) other nations and afflicting the people of God (Nahum 3:1; Nahum 3:19). It begins with the words, “Woe to the bloody city!”, the city here referring to Nineveh, the capital city of Assyria. Nineveh was known for its bloodshed. The Assyrians did not spare any nation that they conquered (2 Kings 19:11) and the extent of their vile cruel wickedness stretched to all the nations they invaded (Nahum 3:19). Rightfully so, the Assyrian kings and princesses were referred to as lions (Nahum 2:11-12), for lions do not spare the cubs of the pride that they take over. The Assyrians were guilty of bloodshed and murder, directly contradicting the “Thou shalt not kill” commandment of God (Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17; Matthew 5:21; Romans 13:9).

Points to ponder:
The Bible states that in the blood is life (Genesis 9:4) and woe to anyone who sheds blood. By shedding blood, the Assyrians were snatching the life that was in the people, who are fashioned in God’s image.  According to God’s word, this warranted equitable justice – blood for blood, for it is written “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” (Genesis 9:6). The blood of the Assyrians will soon be spilled by the Medo-Babylonian army of men, that God was raising to conquer Nineveh.

God is a just God, but he is also a loving God. In God’s just nature, he avenges with a “blood for blood” motif, but in his loving nature, he is willing to forgive even the vilest of murderers (like Barabbas (Mark 15:7), king David (2 Samuel 11:14-17), the Apostle Paul when he was Saul (Acts 9:1)). Jesus demonstrated the love of God, by crying out, “Father, forgive them (those who shed his blood by crucifying him to the Cross) for they did not know, how the Justice and Love of God should meet on the Cross, for the remission of sins and redemption of mankind.” Yes, it is  woe to all who shed blood, according to the law, but the law is purged by blood (Hebrews 9:22) for if we repent, God is faithful and just to forgive us of all our sins (1 John 1:9).

Nahum 3:1-7 (KJV)
Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and robbery; the prey departeth not;

Hebrews 9:22 (KJV)
22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. 

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