Asthey of Nineueh shewed them selues prompt and readie to receiue the worde of God at Ionahs preaching, and so turned to the Lord by repentance: so after a certaine time rather giuing them selues to worldly meanes to encrease their dominion, then seeking to continue in the feare of God, & trade wherin they had begun, they cast off the care of religion, and so returned to their vomite, and prouoked Gods iust iudgement against them, in afflicting his people. Therefore their citie Nineueh was destroyed, and Meroch-baladan King of Babel (or as some thinke Nebuchad-nezzar) enioyed the empire of the Assyrians. But because God hath a continuall care of his Church, he stirreth vp his Prophet to comfort the godly, shewing that the destruction of their enemies should be for their consolation. And as it seemeth, he prophecied about the time of Hezekiah, and not in the time of Manasseh his sonne, as the Iewes write.
[Gods mightie power.]
Of the destruction of the Assyrians, and of the deliuerance of Israel.
1 The [Note: [a] Reade Isa.13.1. ] burden of Nineueh. [Note: [b] The vision or reuelation, which God commanded Nahum to write concerning the Nineuites. ] The booke of the vision of Nahum the [Note: [c] That is, borne in a poore village in the tribe of Simeon. ] Elkeshite.
2 God is [Note: [d] Meaning, of his glorie. ] ielous, & the Lord reuengeth: the Lord reuengeth: euen the Lorde [Note: [e] With his he is but angrie for a time, but his anger neuer asswageth towarde the reprobate, though for a time he deferre it. ] of anger, the Lorde will take vengeance on his aduersaries, & he reserueth wrath for his enemies.
3 The [Note: [f] Thus the wicked would make Gods mercie an occasion to sinne, but the Prophet willeth them to consider his force and iustice. ] Lord is slow to anger, but he is great in power, and will not surely cleare the wicked: the Lord hath his way in ye whirlewind, & in the storme, and the cloudes are the dust of his feete.
4 He rebuketh the sea, and dryeth it, and he dryeth vp all the riuers: Bashan is wasted and Carmel, and the floure of Lebanon is wasted.
5 The mountaines tremble for him, and the hilles melt, & the earth is burnt at his sight, yea, the worlde, and all that dwell therein.
6 [Note: [g] If all creatures be at Gods commandement and none is able to resist his wrath, shall man flatter him selfe, and thinke by any meanes to escape when he prouoketh his God to anger? ] Who can stande before his wrath? or who can abide in the fiercenesse of his wrath? his wrath is powred out like fire, and the rockes are broken by him.
7 The Lorde is good [Note: [h] Lest the faithfull shoulde be discouraged by hearing the power of God, he sheweth them that his mercies appertaine vnto them, and that he hath care ouer them. ] and as a strong hold in the day of trouble, and he knoweth them that trust in him.
8 But passing ouer as with a flood, he will vtterly destroy the [Note: [i] Signifying, that God will suddenly destroy Nineueh, and the Assyrians, in such sort as they shall lie in perpetuall darkenesse, and neuer recouer their strength againe. ] place thereof, and darknesse shall pursue his enemies.
9 What doe ye [Note: [k] He sheweth that the enterprises of the Assyrians against Iudah and the Church, were against God, and therefore he would so destroy them at once, that he should not neede to returne the second time. ] imagine against the Lord? he wil make an vtter destruction: affliction shal not rise vp the seconde time.
10 For he shall come as vnto [Note: [l] Though the Assyrians thinke them selues like thornes that pricke on all sides, yet the Lord will set fire on them, and as drunken men are not able to stande against any force, so they shall be nothing able to resist him. ] thornes folden one in another, and as vnto drunkardes in their drunkennesse: they shall be deuoured as stubble fully dryed.
11 There [Note: [m] Which may be vnderstande either of Saneherib, or of the whole body of the people of Nineueh. ] commeth one out of thee that imagineth euill against the Lorde, euen a wicked counsellour.
12 Thus saith the Lorde, Though they be [Note: [n] Though they thinke them selues in most safetie, and of greatest strength, yet when God shall passe by, he will destroy them: notwithstanding he comforteth his Church, and promiseth to make an ende of punishing them by the Assyrians. ] quiet, and also many, yet thus shall they be cut off when he shall passe by: though I haue afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more.
13 For nowe I will breake his yoke from thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder.
14 And the Lorde hath giuen a commandement concerning thee, that no more of thy name be [Note: [o] Meaning Saneherib, who shoulde haue no more children, but be slaine in the house of his gods, 2.King.19.36,37. ] sowen: out of the house of thy gods will I cut off the grauen, and the molten image: I will make it thy graue for thee, for thou art vile.
15 [Note: Isa.52.7. romanes. 10.15. ] Beholde vpon the mountaines the feete of him that declareth, and publisheth [Note: [p] Which peace the Iewes should enioy by the death of Saneherib. ] peace: O Iudah, keepe thy solemne feastes, perfourme thy vowes: for the wicked shall no more passe thorowe thee: he is vtterly cut off.
He describeth the victories of the Caldeans against the Aßyrians.
[A bloody citie.]
1 The [Note: [a] That is, Nebuchad nezzar is in a readinesse to destroy the Assyrians: and the Prophet derideth the enterprises of the Assyrians which prepared to resist him. ] destroyer is come before thy face: keepe the munition: looke to the way: make thy loynes strong: increase thy strength mightily.
2 For the Lorde hath [Note: [b] Seeing God hath punished his owne people Iudah and Israel, he will nowe punish the enemies by whome he scourged them, reade Isa.10.12. ] turned away the glorie of Iaakob, as the glorie of Israel: for the emptiers haue emptied them out, and [Note: [c] Signifying that the Israelites were vtterly destroyed. ] marred their vine branches.
3 The shield of his mightie men is made red: [Note: [d] Both to feare the enemie, and also that they them selues shoulde not so soone espie blood one of another to discourage them. ] the valiant men are in skarlet: the charets shalbe as in the fire and flames in the day of his preparation, and [Note: [e] Meaning, their speares shoulde shake and crashe together. ] the firre trees shall tremble.
4 The charets shall rage in the streetes: they shall runne to and fro in the hie wayes: they shall seeme like lampes: they shall shoote like the lightning.
5 [Note: [f] Then the Assyrians shall seeke by all meanes to gather their power, but all things shall faile them. ] He shall remember his strong men: they shall stumble as they goe: they shall make haste to the walles thereof, and the defence shall bee prepared.
6 The gates of the riuers shalbe opened, and the palace shall melt.
7 And Huzzab the Queene shalbe led away captiue, and her maides shall leade her as with the voyce of doues, smiting vpon their breastes.
8 But Nineueh is [Note: [g] The Assyrians will flatter them selues and say, that Nineueh is so ancient that it can neuer perish, and is as a fishpoole, whose waters they that walke on the bankes can not touch, but they shalbe scattered, & shall not looke backe though men would call them. ] of olde like a poole of water: yet they shall flee away. Stande, stande, shall they crie: but none shall looke backe.
9 [Note: [h] God commandeth the enemies to spoyle Nineueh, and promiseth them infinite riches and treasures. ] Spoyle ye the siluer, spoyle the golde: for there is none ende of the store, and glorie of all the pleasant vessels.
10 [Note: [i] That is, Nineueh, and the men there of shalbe after this sort. ] She is emptie and voyde and waste, and the heart melteth, and the knees smite together, and sorowe is in all loynes, and the faces [Note: [k] Reade Ioel.2.6. ] of the all gather blackenesse.
11 Where is the [Note: [l] Meaning Nineueh, whose inhabitants were cruell like the lyons, and giuen to all oppression, and spared no violence or tyrannie to prouide for their wiues & children. ] dwelling of the lyons, and the pasture of the lyons whelpes? where the lyon, and the lionesse walked, and the lyons whelpe, & none made them afrayde.
12 The lyon did teare in pieces ynough for his whelpes, and woryed for his lyonesse, and filled his holes with praye, and his dennes with, spoyle.
13 Beholde, I come vnto thee, sayeth the Lord of hostes, and I will burne her charets in the [Note: [m] That is, assoone as my wrath beginneth to kindle. ] smoke, and the sworde shall deuoure thy yong lyons, and I will cut off thy spoyle from the earth, and the voyce of thy [Note: [n] Signifying the heraldes, which were accustomed to proclaime warre. Some reade of thy gumme teeth wherewith Nineueh was wont to bruise the bones of ye poore. ] messengers shall no more be heard.
1 Of the fall of Nineueh. 8 No power can escape the hande of God.
1 O bloodie citie, it is all full of lyes, and robberie: [Note: [a] It neuer ceaseth to spoyle and robbe. ] the pray departeth not:
2 The noyse of a whippe, [Note: [b] He sheweth howe the Caldeans shall haste, and how courageous their horses shall be in beating the grounde when they come against the Assyrians. ] and the noyse of the mouing of the wheeles, and the beating of the horses, and the leaping of the charets.
3 The horseman lifteth vp both the bright sword, and the glittering speare, and a multitude is slaine, and the dead bodyes are many: there is none ende of their corpses: they stumble vpon their corpses,
4 Because of the multitude of the fornications of the [Note: [c] He compareth Nineueh to an harlot, which by her beautie and subtiltie entiseth yong men, and bringeth them to destruction. ] harlot that is beautifull, and is a mistresse of witchcraft, & selleth the people thorow
[A prophecie against Nineueh.]
her whoredome, and the nations thorowe her witchcrafts.
5 Beholde, I come vpon thee, saith the Lorde of hostes, and will discouer thy skirtes vpon thy face, and will shewe the nations thy filthines, & the kingdomes thy shame.
6 And I will cast filth vpon thee, and make thee vile, and will set thee as a gasing stocke.
7 And it shall come to passe, that al they that looke vpon thee, shall flee from thee, and say, Nineueh is destroyed, who will haue pitie vpon her? where shall I seeke comforters for thee?
8 Art thou better then [Note: [d] Meaning, Alexandria, which was in league with so many nations, and yet was now destroyed. ] No, which was ful of people? that lay in the riuers, and had the waters round about it? whose ditche was the sea, and her wall was from the sea?
9 Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength, and there was none ende: Put and Lubim were [Note: Or, thine. ] her helpers.
10 Yet was she caried awaye, and went into captiuitie: her young children also were dashed in pieces at the head of all the streetes: and they cast lottes for her noble men, and al her myghtie men were bound in chaines.
11 Also thou shalt bee drunken: thou shalt hide thy selfe, and shalt seeke helpe because of the enemie.
12 All thy strong cities shall be like figtrees
[A prophecie against Niniueh.]
with the first ripe figs: for if they be shaken, they fall into the mouth of the eater.
13 Beholde, thy people within thee are women: the gates of thy land shalbe opened vnto thine enemies, and ye fire shall deuoure thy barres.
14 Drawe thee waters for the siege: fortifie thy strong holdes: go into the clay, and temper the morter: make strong bricke.
15 There shall ye fire deuoure thee: the sword shall cut thee off: it shall eate thee vp like the [Note: [e] Signifying that Gods iudgements should suddenly destroy the Assyrians, as these vermine are with raine or change of weather. ] locustes, though thou bee multiplied like the locustes, and multiplyed like the grashopper.
16 Thou hast multiplied thy marchantes aboue the starres of heauen: the locust spoileth and flyeth away.
17 Thy princes are as the grashoppers, and thy captaines as the great grashoppers which remaine in the hedges in the colde day: but when the sunne ariseth, they flee away and their place is not knowen where they are.
18 Thy [Note: [f] Thy princes and counsellers. ] shepheardes doe sleepe, O King of Asshur: thy strong men lie downe: thy people is scattered vpon the mountaines, and no man gathereth them.
19 There is no healing of thy wounde: thy plague is grieuous: all that heare the brute of thee, shall clap the handes ouer thee: for vpon [Note: [g] Meaning, that there was no people, to whome the Assyrians had not done hurt. ] whome hath not thy malice passed continually?