Book Overviews · Nahum

Nahum Overview for tomorroe

Jerusalem in the context of the Middle East cities of Nineveh and ...

The theme of this book is the destruction of Nineveh.  I know you recognize the name, Nineveh.  But from where?  Jonah!  Jonah about 150 years ago saw Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, repent before his very eyes.  However, much time has passed and they did not stick to their conviction. These people were not just backsliders; they deliberately rejected God.  So now what?  God needs to judge a sinning world.

Nineveh is the capital of Assyria. (Modern day Iraq)  The Assyrians were a huge and cruel nation.  They were warriors that built their kingdom on their pillage from other countries.  Their morals were horrible.  The Assyrian kings kept detailed record of their conquests and made art of their brutalities to hang on their walls.  They spread complete fear throughout the land in order to keep the nations inline to pay them taxes.

Archaeologist have uncovered some of their documentation: here are the people of Nineveh:

  • Cut off their hands and fingers. Others cut off their noses, ears and fingers.
  • Put out many of their eyes. Skin them alive and put their skin on the walls of the cities they conquered.
  • Cut off their heads and put them on stakes and line the roads to their city.
  • Swing babies by their ankles and crack their heads against a stone wall.
  • Formed pillars of their corpses.
  • Impaled men on stakes against their city gate.
  • Cut off their privates and had carried about as an object lesson for all lands.
  • Cut off their testicles and tore out their privates like seeds
  • They skinned men alive
  • Cut out their tongues
  • Gauged out their eyes for fun
  • Dismembered their bodies
  • and then made mounds of the skulls as decorations in their empire

To name a few!

God sent Nahum to predict the final doom on Nineveh’s empire.  You have to know how this must have sounded.  Picture this most powerful nation in the world, the world leader (interesting).  Assyria for the past 300 years has built an empire so big it was a fortified city.  The walls were 100 feet high, wide enough for 4 chariots to run side by side on.  The city circumference was 80 miles (close your eyes and picture how far 80 miles is from your house).  It had a moat that was 140 feet wide and 60 feet deep.  It had hundreds of towers for its protection.  Talk about feeling safe and complacent.  But what is a city without the Lord in it? Again…I say interesting!

When you read this story think of it personally and nationally today.  Nineveh was overthrown for its sin.  Her great wealth and power could not save her.  A person or a nation that deliberately and finally rejects God has a very fatal ending.

2 Chronicles

2 Chron. 32-33

No you are not nuts….we have read this before.  2 Kings told this story, then Isaiah, now the Chronicler…..I chose to listen this morning to the read since I didn’t have to underline or take notes. (for once)

recap:

After the Kingdom divided we have:

  • 10 tribes-North called Israel
  • 2 tribes-South called Judah
  • The king of Assyria: Sennacherib attacked and deported the Northern tribes. (722 BC)
  • Now it is year 701 BC (Sennacherib attacks Lachish and sets towards Jerusalem)

Israel - Ancient History Encyclopedia

Hezekiah (King of Judah)- You knew that!  Aren’t’ you amazed with all you have learned…You got this…

Says:

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said.

BUT… Sennacharib (king of Assyria…but you knew that too) says:

15 Now do not let Hezekiah deceive you and mislead you like this. Do not believe him, for no god of any nation or kingdom has been able to deliver his people from my hand or the hand of my predecessors. How much less will your god deliver you from my hand!”

So guess who showed up!  The Lord!!

20 King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz cried out in prayer to heaven about this. 21 And the Lord sent an angel, who annihilated all the fighting men and the commanders and officers in the camp of the Assyrian king.

Army Of Sennacherib Drawing by Gustave Dore

BUT even though Hezekiah did everything right…No one in the Bible is without fault except Jesus…NO ONE.  Hezekiah became prideful.

26 Then Hezekiah repented of the pride of his heart, as did the people of Jerusalem; therefore the Lord’s wrath did not come on them during the days of Hezekiah.

(BUT it will happen in 150 years)


Chapter 33-Manasseh

So we read about him yesterday and what a HORRIBLE king he was BUT God is in the business of restoration!   My favorite story in the Bible reminds me everyday: Jesus said in Matthew 9

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice. ’For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Manassah-13 And when he prayed to him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God.

Then we have King Amon….😵  Another bad king…