Nahum (Overview)


Who was Nahum?
The Biblical book of Nahum was recorded by the prophet Nahum, whom the book refers to as an Elkoshite (1:1).

Where was Nahum from?
No one is certain as to the whereabouts of Elkosh. One theory suggests that this city, where Nahum was from, during the times of Jesus, came to be known as Capernaum, alongside the sea of Galilee for Capernaum means the village of Nahum.

When was the book of Nahum written?
It is a hypothesis that the book of Nahum was written sometime between 663 B.C. and 612 B.C. for Nahum refers to the fall of No Amon (or Thebes) in ancient Egypt (3:8) which happened in 663 B.C. while at the same time predicted the fall of Nineveh (Capital city of Assyria), which happened in 612 B.C., when the Babylonians overthrew Assyria.

Why was the book of Nahum written?
In 722 B.C., the Assyrians had taken the Northern kingdom of Israel captive and were pursuing to take over the land of Judah during the reign of king Hezekiah (701 B.C.). Once when the Assyrians had attempted to take Judah captive, God intervened miraculously and 185 thousand Assyrians in their camp were defeated by the angel of the Lord (Isaiah 37:36) and the evil king of Assyria, Sennacherib, returned to Nineveh. Now Assyria continued to pursue and oppress Judah. Not only did they afflict Judah, the Assyrians afflicted several other nations  and countries, as the book ends with the question as to “over whom has not the wickedness of the Assyrians passed over continually?” (3:19; Isaiah 37:18).

One one hand, while the book of Nahum may seem like it was written as a warning to the evil Assyrian kingdom, this book is more of a message of comfort of the Lord to the people of Judah. Jonah, the prophet had already brought the message of warning to the people of Nineveh, which they heeded and repented, a little over a century before Nahum. But the people of Assyria had returned to their violent, idolatrous, and evil ways and were oppressors of the people of God, when Nahum sees the vision of their utter destruction, a message that would bring comfort and solace to those who were being oppressed (such as Judah).  Nahum means “comfort (of Yahweh)” or “compassion” and the main theme in this book is that God is compassionate (slow to anger – 1:3) who will not afflict his people anymore for their own sins (1:12) by subjecting them longer under the hands of the oppressors (Assyria), but God will be the comfort of his people, as he takes revenge on those who have oppressed them (1:2).

What can we learn from it?
Chapter 1 portrays a JEALOUS God, while
chapter 2 and 3 portrays a JUDGING and JUST God.

There are a few key verses in this book and two of note are “Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.” (Nahum 1:15) and “For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder.” (Nahum 1:13).

The first (Nahum 1:15) is a messianic prophecy that was fulfilled in Jesus, who brought good news to the earth, for the angels sang at his birth, “Peace on earth and goodwill to all men.” (Luke 2:14) and his feet walked the way to calvary’s mountain, who by his death on the Cross published a peace (Luke 1:17) that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7), completely destroying the wicked one (the devil) and utterly cutting him off i.e., destroying the devil and his works (1 John 3;8). Jesus brings freedom to all those who are spiritually in bondage in sin, by breaking the yoke from them and bursting their bonds in sunder. The Holy Spirit of Jesus is the comfort of God who is now sent unto us, when we believe in Jesus (John 14;16).

Points to ponder:
Do you have peace, that only Jesus can bring? Are you in comfort i.e., do you have the Comforter in you? Trust in the Lord and believe in Jesus Christ so that you may be comforted by his Holy Spirit and have the peace that passeth all understanding.

Nahum 1:13, 15 (KJV)
13 For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder.

15 Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.

Blessed “Be” attitudes :: Be a Peacemaker


Matthew 5:3-12 lists eight Beatitudes that were spoken of by Jesus. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

To be blessed, one must have the attitude of being a peacemaker.

What does it mean to be a peacemaker and why shall the peacemakers be called the children of God? Before Jesus’ birth, the prophecy by Isaiah entitled Jesus to be The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). At His birth, the heavenly angelic choir sang, ‘peace’ on earth (Luke 2:14). It is possible to have peace on earth, because The Prince of Peace came to earth, to do the will of God the Father, which was to reconcile mankind back to God by redeeming mankind from death and sin. He accomplished this on the Cross, from where he affirmed that God’s work of redeeming mankind to and for Himself was finished. In other words, Jesus’ mission was a mission of restoring peace; a peace that passeth all understanding (Philippians 4:7) and all who put their trust in Jesus with their minds fixed on Him will be kept in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3). Those who have believed in Jesus are covenanted to have a life of peace (Malachi 2:5) as God’s royal priests (1 Peter 2:9). God commands that the life of a priest must be one of peace and uprightness, turning many from sins (iniquities) with the message of God’s Love (Malachi 2:6-7); a love so great that He gave us His only begotten Son, to pay the wages of our sins (which is death), by His very own life (John 3:16). The God given responsibility of a priest is to be a messenger of the Lord (Malachi 2:7); a messenger with the message of peace. In other words, to be a priest is to be a peacemaker, turning many from sin and reconciling mankind to God for we have been given the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18). And all who are peacemakers, are in essence, emulating the very mission of Jesus Christ, just as a child imitates the character of a parent and in this sense are rightfully called the children of God. God is a God of peace who works to make all perfect (blameless without sin) through the covenant of the blood of His dear Son, Jesus Christ (Hebrew 13:20-21), and all who are peacemakers imitate God the Father and are thereby blessed as His children.

Matthew 5:9 (KJV)
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

2 Corinthians 5:16-21 (KJV)
16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

God will good will


Luke 2:14 states that when Jesus was born, an angelic choir sang “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
1 John 2:2 states that Jesus Christ is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

The Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines the word “propitiation” as “to gain or regain the favor or good will; appeasing God with an atoning sacrifice.” So in other words, we can say that while the angelic choir sang about the Salvation (good will) of all mankind, they were singing about the atoning Sacrifice of the maker of all mankind. In other words, the angels were singing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, and propitiation for ours sins and for that of the whole world (all men/women).”

The will of God is that all are called to repentance (2 Peter 3:9) and are saved (2 Peter 3:15). In other words, the will of God is the good will of all men. God’s will is good will toward all men so that man may in turn do God’s will.

Luke 2:14 (KJV)
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

1 John 2:2 (KJV)
2 And he [Jesus] is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.