Journey Through The Scriptures

The Prophecies of Nahum and Zephaniah

Lesson 2: Nineveh Will Fall

(Scripture to Read: Nahum 2:1–13)

Nahum’s vision of the fall of Nineveh is as graphic and detailed as if he had witnessed it himself—which he may well have done after his prophecy was delivered. As we would expect of God who is the supremely righteous Judge, His punishment always fits the crime. The Assyrians had terrorized other nations for generations, striking fear in the heart of a city as they approached. Now it was their turn to man the city walls of Nineveh and marshal their defenses as they watched in fear for the invader to come.

The soldiers in “red” and “clad in scarlet” were the Medes and the Babylonians, whom the Lord sent to overthrow Nineveh and crush the Assyrian empire. The city’s royal palace was destroyed under the onslaught of the invaders, and the great plunder taken from Nineveh was simply the plunder they had carried away from other nations—a case of robber being robbed in turn. Nahum’s reference to “the lions’ den” (2:11) is apt, for lions were a favorite symbol of Assyrian kings for their ferocity and prowess in killing their prey. The lions’ den, referring to Nineveh as the home of the Assyrian empire, would be destroyed.

Study Questions

  1. How did the Assyrians’ defeat help to “restore the splendor of Jacob,” meaning at this time the southern kingdom of Judah and its capital, Jerusalem (2:2)?
  2. What do you think is meant by the unusual description of Assyria’s handpicked troops stumbling as they raced to defend Nineveh against its invaders (2:5)?
  3. Read 2 Kings 18:17–37 and then describe the joy that must have been felt in Judah when Nahum prophesied in 2:13 that Assyria’s messengers would be silenced.

Something to Think About

The judgment of Nineveh reminds us of the futility of any earthly power shaking its fist, as it were, in the face of God and His people. Indeed, the power of God to protect and deliver is a message of comfort to Israel today as her enemies vow her destruction. Let us pray for her protection and deliverance at God’s hand and in His perfect time.

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