Nahum 3:8-12 – Easy pickings

In the third chapter of Nahum, God singles out a single city, the city of No-Amon as an example to warn the Assyrians that a similar fate like that of No-Amon is soon coming to the wicked people of Nineveh as well. No-Amon is known as Thebes or the populous No (Jeremiah 46:25; Nahum 3:8).

Author Dr. Feinberg, in his book, Jonah, Micah, and Nahum describes that No-Amon was the capital city of the Pharaohs from their 18th to their 20th dynasties and its architecture was so good that the even the Greeks and the Romans admired this city. No-Amon was located on both banks of the river Nile and on its eastern bank (Arabian side) was the well known temples at Karnak and Luxor and on its western bank (Libyan side) was Qoornah and Medeenet Haboo. No-Amon was favorably situated among the canals of the river Nile and sought refuge in the protection as a rampart and a wall of defense provided by the waters (sea) of Nile (Nahum 3:8).  Sir William Smith in his book, The Dictionary of the Bible, writes of Thebes (No-Amon), that poet Homer said it was a city of a 100 gates and from each 200 men with horses and chariots went forth. It was called Diospolis by the Greeks for the Egyptian counterpart of Jupiter was worshiped there. Amon, the chief god of the Egyptians, characterized on relic as a figure with a human body and a ram’s head, was worshipped here. Prophet Jeremiah and Ezekiel prophesied the judgment of God against this godless and idolatrous city (Jeremiah 46:25; Ezekiel 30:14-16) and true to God’s word, No-Amon was destroyed completely by the Assyrians in 663 B.C. Their young children were dashed in pieces on the top of the streets (in public display), and the honorable men dishonored by being chained and treated as property to be auctioned (cast lots) (Nahum 3:10). Now, the Assyrians trusted in the fortifications of surrounding waters of the river Nile, as did their predecessors (No-Amon), and God’s message of judgment is falling down on them for their godlessness. Nineveh would drink the cup of God’s fury (Jeremiah 25:14-17; Nahum 1: 2) and be drunken (Nahum 3:11) and will try to hide (Revelation 6:16-17) because of the strength of God against them as their enemy (Nahum 3:5).

God then goes on to describe that the strength of the people of Nineveh would not be sufficient to stand against the Medes and the Babylonians that God was sending to punish the Assyrians. The people of Nineveh in all their strength would be easy pickings – easy pickings like fig that falls into the picker’s mouth by just been shaken (not even plucked) (Nahum 3:12). Why, because the men of Nineveh would be as woman and their fortified gates shall be set wide open. No matter how much the people of Nineveh attempted to draw waters to put off the fire set on the bars/gates (Nahum 3:14), by the invading Medo-Babylonian army, it would all be futile. The attempt to build walls of protection with clay, mortar and bricks (Nahum 3:14) would be futile as well, because the hand of the Lord will be against them.

Points to ponder:
Trust in the the Lord God and not in your own fortifications for they are easy pickings for the Lord. Because of our sinful and idolatrous lifestyle we deserve to drink the cup of God’s fury as did the capital city of No-Amon in Egypt and the capital bloody city of Nineveh in Assyria, but thanks be to God, who sent forth his Son, Jesus Christ, who willingly drank the cup of God’s wrath on sin for us (Mark 14:36), once and for all (Hebrews 10:10), so that we may be fortified in the Lord and not be easy pickings for the adversary, the devil. Are you easy pickings?

Nahum 3:8-12 (KJV)
Art thou better than populous No, that was situate among the rivers, that had the waters round about it, whose rampart was the sea, and her wall was from the sea?
Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength, and it was infinite; Put and Lubim were thy helpers.
10 Yet was she carried away, she went into captivity: her young children also were dashed in pieces at the top of all the streets: and they cast lots for her honourable men, and all her great men were bound in chains.
11 Thou also shalt be drunken: thou shalt be hid, thou also shalt seek strength because of the enemy.
12 All thy strong holds shall be like fig trees with the firstripe figs: if they be shaken, they shall even fall into the mouth of the eater.
13 Behold, thy people in the midst of thee are women: the gates of thy land shall be set wide open unto thine enemies: the fire shall devour thy bars.

14 Draw thee waters for the siege, fortify thy strong holds: go into clay, and tread the morter, make strong the brickkiln

Mark 14:36 (KJV)
36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.