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Posts Tagged ‘Nahum’

Exposition of Jonah How do you respond to God’s mercy

I enjoyed teaching through the book of Nahum for the last few weeks/months.

I appreciate all those who prayed, listened, read and showed support and also insights into the passage!

Below are the table of contents to the outline to the lessons!

 

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Nahum ZECOT

Daniel Timmer.  Nahum.  Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, August 4, 2020. 208 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

Are you looking for an exegetical commentary on the book of Nahum in the Minor Prophet?  This is a very good technical commentary on the book of Nahum I would recommend.  By technical I mean it’s a commentary that examine the Hebrew text of Nahum and also employ discourse analysis to point out exegetical insight of the book of Nahum.  The commentary has good grammatical and syntactical observations along with the exploration of a passage’s intertextuality.  I have previously enjoyed other volumes in the Zondervan Old Testament Exegetical Commentary Series and I consider this as another fine example in this series of how commentaries should be like.

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Last installment:  Exposition of Jonah How do you respond to God’s mercy

Nahum 3:15b-19

Multiply yourself like the creeping locust, Multiply yourself like the migratory locust. 16 You have made your traders more numerous than the stars of heaven— The creeping locust sheds its skin and flies away. 17 Your courtiers are like the migratory locust. Your officials are like a swarm of locusts Settling in the stone shelters on a cold day. The sun rises and they flee, And the place where they are is not known. 18 Your shepherds are sleeping, O king of Assyria; Your officers are lying down. Your people are scattered on the mountains And there is no one to gather them. 19 There is no relief for your collapse, Your wound is incurable. All who hear [j]about you Will clap their hands over you, For upon whom has your evil not come continually?

 

Purpose: We will see two prediction that shows God’s Word is true and we submit to His authority.

  • God predicts Assyria’s weakened economy (v.15b-17)
  • God predicts Assyria’s king’s demise (v.18-19)

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Last installment:  Exposition of Jonah How do you respond to God’s mercy

Nahum 312-15a

Establish the need: Have you know guys in the military that like to brag?

All your fortifications are fig trees with ripe fruit— When shaken, they fall into the eater’s mouth. 13 Behold, your people are women in your midst! The gates of your land are opened wide to your enemies; Fire consumes your gate bars. 14 Draw for yourself water for a siege! Strengthen your fortifications! Go into the clay and tread the mortar! Take hold of the brick mold! 15 There fire will consume you, The sword will cut you down; It will consume you as the creeping locust consumes a crop. Multiply yourself like the creeping locust, Multiply yourself like the migratory locust.

 

Purpose: We will see two points that shows God predicting Assyria’s fall so that we believe God’s Word with what it says and submit to His authority.

  1. God predicts Assyria’s vulnerabilities (v.12-13)
  2. God mocks Assyria’s futile strength (v.14-15)

 

Context

  • Nahum 3 has five sections: A woe oracle in verses 1-7, three taunts and a dirge for the Assyrian king (Timmer, 147).
  • Two weeks ago we looked at Nahum 3:1-7 that gives us the reason why God is judging Nineveh and here this section doesn’t focus on Nineveh’s wrong but focus on Nineveh’s downfall (Timmer, 158).
  • Last week we saw Nahum 3:8-11 the taunt: Will Nineveh be far better than Thebes (Timmer, 158)?
  • Today’s passage we look at God’s taunt of Assyria’s military.

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Nahum 3:8-11

Establish the need: Will evil countries and evil leaders get away with their sins?

 

Are you better than No-amon, Which was situated by the canals of the Nile, With water surrounding her, Whose rampart was the sea, Whose wall consisted of the sea? 9 Ethiopia was her might, Egypt too, without limits. Put and Lubim were among her helpers. 10 Yet she became an exile, She went into captivity; Also her small children were smashed to pieces At the head of every street; They cast lots for her honorable men, And all her great men were bound with shackles. 11 You too will become drunk, You will be hidden. You too will search for a refuge from the enemy.

 

Purpose: We need to know three condemnation God bring against Nineveh and its result so that we desire to see God’s deliverance and also destruction of the wicked.

  1. The advantages of Thebes over Nineveh (v.8-9)
  2. Yet Thebes was destroyed (v.10)
  3. Therefore Nineveh too will fall (v.11)

 

Context

  • Nahum 3 has five sections: A woe oracle in verses 1-7, three taunts and a dirge for the Assyrian king (Timmer, 147).
  • Last week we look at Nahum 3:1-7 that gives us the reason why God is judging Nineveh and here this section doesn’t focus on Nineveh’s wrong but focus on Nineveh’s downfall (Timmer, 158).
  • The main question for the first taunt is: Will Nineveh be far better than Thebes (Timmer, 158)?
  • Nineveh here is address as “you” which in the Hebrew is a feminine singular, consistent with other parts of the book to talk about Nineveh.

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Nahum 3:1-7

Establish the need: The world is filled with stories of dark heavy sins.  Be warned, this passage we will look at involves some dark and heavy sins.  And from this we know that God condemns them and He is one day going to have a day of reckoning for those who commit vile sins.

Woe to the bloody city, completely full of lies and pillage; Her prey does not leave. 2 The sound of the whip, The sound of the roar of the wheel, Galloping horses And bounding chariots! 3 Horsemen charging, Swords flashing, spears gleaming, Many killed, a mass of corpses, And there is no end to the dead bodies— They stumble over the dead bodies! 4 All because of the many sexual acts of the prostitute, The charming one, the mistress of sorceries, Who sells nations by her sexual acts, And families by her sorceries. 5 “Behold, I am against you,” declares the Lord of armies; “And I will lift up your skirts over your face, And show the nations your nakedness, And the kingdoms your shame. 6 I will throw filth on you And declare you worthless, And set you up as a spectacle. 7 And it will come about that all who see you Will shrink from you and say, ‘Nineveh is devastated! Who will have sympathy for her?’ Where shall I seek comforters for you?”

 

Purpose: We need to know three condemnation God bring against Nineveh and its result so that we desire to see God’s deliverance and also destruction of the wicked.

  • Be warned God condemn Nineveh’s violation of the second table of the Ten Commandments (v.1)
  • Be warned God condemn Nineveh’s militarism (v.2-3)
  • Be warned God condemn Nineveh’s human trafficking (v.4)
  • We need to know God punishment of Nineveh and its outcome (v.5-7)

 

Context

  • Nahum 3 has five sections: A woe oracle in verses 1-7, three taunts and a dirge for the Assyrian king (Timmer, 147).
  • For this woe, there’s about equal amount of words dedicated to condemnation as to the description of God’s punishment (Timmer, 147).

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Exposition of Jonah How do you respond to God’s mercy

Nahum 2:11-13

Establish the need: In light of God’s enemies being described as lions, who will you turn to when God’s enemies are active?  Is there a Shepherd that can take on these lions?

11 Where is the den of the lions And the feeding place of the young lions, Where the lion, lioness, and lion’s cub went With nothing to disturb them? 12 The lion tore enough for his cubs, Killed enough prey for his lionesses, And filled his lairs with prey And his dens with torn flesh. 13 “Behold, I am against you,” declares the Lord of armies. “I will burn up her chariots in smoke, and a sword will devour your young lions; I will eliminate your prey from the land, and no longer will the voice of your messengers be heard.”

Purpose: We need to know three focus of God’s prophecy concerning Nineveh’s fall so that we desire to see God’s deliverance and also destruction of the wicked.

  • We need to know the elimination of Assyria is astounding news (v.11)
  • We need to know the oppression of Assyria is fierce (v.12)
  • We need to know the causation of Assyria’s fall is the Lord (v.13)

 

Review: Last week we saw three focus of God’s prophecy concerning Nineveh’s fall so that we desire to see God’s deliverance and also destruction of the wicked.

  • We need to know it is ironic to prepare for God’s attack (v.1)
  • We need to know the description of Nineveh: Before and after Fall (v.3-10)
  • We need to know the blessing for Judah with Nineveh’s Fall (v.2)

 

Context

While other portions of the book so far seems to be more direct prophecies here we see symbolic prophecies using the imagery/motif of lions.

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Exposition of Jonah How do you respond to God’s mercy

 

Nahum 2:1-10

Establish the need: If you were to have a summary nutshell of the book of Nahum this would be the passage; do you know its message?

The one who scatters has come up against you. Keep watch over the fortress, watch the road; Bind up your waist, summon all your strength. 2 For the Lord will restore the splendor of Jacob Like the splendor of Israel, Even though destroyers have laid waste to them And ruined their vines. 3 The shields of his warriors are dyed red, The warriors are dressed in scarlet, The chariots are fitted with flashing steel When he is prepared to march, And the juniper spears are brandished. 4 The chariots drive wildly in the streets, They rush around in the public squares; Their appearance is like torches, They drive back and forth like lightning flashes. 5 He remembers his officers; They stumble in their advance, They hurry to her wall, And the mantelet is set up. 6 The gates of the rivers are opened And the palace sways back and forth. 7 It is set: She is stripped, she is led away, And her slave women are sobbing like the sound of doves, Beating their breasts. 8 Though Nineveh was like a pool of water throughout her days, Yet they are fleeing; “Stop, stop,” But no one turns back. 9 Plunder the silver, Plunder the gold! For there is no end to the treasure— Wealth from every kind of desirable object. 10 She is emptied! Yes, she is desolate and waste! Hearts are melting and knees wobbling! Also trembling is in the entire body, And all their faces have become pale! 11 Where is the den of the lions And the feeding place of the young lions, Where the lion, lioness, and lion’s cub went With nothing to disturb them? 12 The lion tore enough for his cubs, Killed enough prey for his lionesses, And filled his lairs with prey And his dens with torn flesh. 13 “Behold, I am against you,” declares the Lord of armies. “I will burn up her chariots in smoke, and a sword will devour your young lions; I will eliminate your prey from the land, and no longer will the voice of your messengers be heard.”

 

Purpose: We need to know three focus of God’s prophecy concerning Nineveh’s fall so that we desire to see God’s deliverance and also destruction of the wicked.

  1. We need to know it is ironic to prepare for God’s attack (v.1)
  2. We need to know the description of Nineveh: Before and after Fall (v.3-10)
  3. We need to know the blessing for Judah with Nineveh’s Fall (v.2)

 

Context

Remember earlier in Nahum 1:2-8 it reveal God’s future universal judgment so here in Nahum 2:1-13 show us a historical partial manifestation of that judgment of God against an empire that mocks God (Timmer, 118-19).

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Nahum 1:9-15

Establish the need: If you were to have a summary nutshell of the book of Nahum this would be the passage; do you know its message?

Whatever you devise against the Lord, He will make a complete end of it. Distress will not rise up twice. 10 Like tangled thorns, And like those who are drunken with their drink, They are consumed Like stubble completely dried up. 11 From you has gone out One who plotted evil against the Lord, A [a]wicked counselor. 12 This is what the Lord says: “Though they are at full strength and so they are many, So also they will be cut off and pass away. Though I have afflicted you, I will afflict you no longer. 13 So now, I will break his yoke from upon you, And I will tear your shackles to pieces.” 14 The Lord has issued a command concerning you: “Your name will no longer be perpetuated. I will eliminate the carved image and the cast metal image From the house of your gods. I will prepare your grave, For you are contemptible.” 15 Behold, on the mountains, the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace! Celebrate your feasts, Judah, Pay your vows. For never again will the wicked one pass through you; He is eliminated completely.

Structure: The 4 address structure of this passage

  • First address to Assyria (v.9-10)
  • First address to Judah (v.11-13)
  • Second address to Assyria (v.14)
  • Second address to Judah (v.15)

Purpose: For this session we will focus only with the two addresses from God towards Judah that summarize the “good news” found in book of Nahum so that we be move to trust in Jesus for saving grace and avoid His wrath.

  • First address to Judah (v.11-13)
  • Second address to Judah (v.15)

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Last installment: Part 2: God has the power to Judge and Save
Exposition of Jonah How do you respond to God’s mercy

Nahum 1:9-15

Establish the need: If you were to have a summary nutshell of the book of Nahum this would be the passage; do you know its message?

Whatever you devise against the Lord, He will make a complete end of it. Distress will not rise up twice. 10 Like tangled thorns, And like those who are drunken with their drink, They are consumed Like stubble completely dried up. 11 From you has gone out One who plotted evil against the Lord, A [a]wicked counselor. 12 This is what the Lord says: “Though they are at full strength and so they are many, So also they will be cut off and pass away. Though I have afflicted you, I will afflict you no longer. 13 So now, I will break his yoke from upon you, And I will tear your shackles to pieces.” 14 The Lord has issued a command concerning you: “Your name will no longer be perpetuated. I will eliminate the carved image and the cast metal image From the house of your gods. I will prepare your grave, For you are contemptible.” 15 Behold, on the mountains, the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace! Celebrate your feasts, Judah, Pay your vows. For never again will the wicked one pass through you; He is eliminated completely.

Structure: The 4 address structure of this passage

  • First address to Assyria (v.9-10)
  • First address to Judah (v.11-13)
  • Second address to Assyria (v.14)
  • Second address to Judah (v.15)

Purpose: For this session we will focus only with the two addresses from God towards Assyria that summarize the “bad news” found in book of Nahum so that we be move to trust in Jesus for saving grace and avoid His wrath.

  • First address to Assyria (v.9-10)
  • Second address to Assyria (v.14)

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Exposition of Jonah How do you respond to God’s mercy

Nahum 1:3b-8

And the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished. 4 In the gale and the storm is His way, And clouds are the dust beneath His feet. 4 He rebukes the sea and dries it up; He dries up all the rivers. Bashan and Carmel wither, The blossoms of Lebanon wither. 5 Mountains quake because of Him, And the hills come apart; Indeed the earth is upheaved by His presence, The world and all the inhabitants in it.  6 Who can stand before His indignation? Who can endure the burning of His anger? His wrath gushes forth like fire, And the rocks are broken up by Him. 7 The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble, And He knows those who take refuge in Him. 8 But with an overflowing flood He will make a complete end of [b]its site, And will pursue His enemies into darkness.

Establish the need: We saw last time God has the attributes that will make Him judge the wicked; but does He have the power to do so?

Purpose: We need to know God will one day come down to earth to give a global Judgment and still God will graciously save those who trust in Him.

  • We need to know God has the power to judge with His power over nature (v.3b-5)
  • We need to know God has the power to judge with His power over humans (v.6-8)

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Consult our introduction to the book: Survey of the Book of Nahum
Exposition of Jonah How do you respond to God’s mercy

Nahum 1:2-3a

A jealous and avenging God is the Lord; The Lord is avenging and [a]wrathful. The Lord takes vengeance on His adversaries, And He reserves wrath for His enemies. 3 The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, And the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.

Establish the need: Why do God judge the nations? We need to understand who God is and His attributes.

Purpose: We need to know God will judge sin because of His attributes, five we will see here in Nahum  so that we will repent and trust in Christ to be saved.

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Gregory D. Cook. Living in the Gap Between Promise and Reality: The Gospel According to Abraham.  Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, January 16, 2015. 208 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Westminster |Amazon

Are you reading the narratives in Genesis about the life of Abraham?  Also are you looking for a good devotional commentary that also have a redemptive historical awareness and also conscious of biblical theology?  This would be a resource in understanding the portion of the book of Genesis.

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Gregory D. Cook. Severe Compassion: The Gospel According to Nahum.  Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, April 29th 2016. 288 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Westminster |Amazon

How many people have read the book of Nahum in the Bible?  For believers we can’t just dismiss it as an irrelevant book from the past since it is God’s Word for us today.  Yet readers will no doubt have questions since we are quite removed from the historical context.  A good help in understanding the book of Nahum would be this Bible commentary.

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Note: I am presently away overseas and this is a pre-scheduled post.

I imagine many Christians can increase their knowledge of the Minor Prophets.  Here’s a survey of the seventh book of the Minor Prophets: Nahum.

Purpose: We will look at the authorship, purpose, structure and other aspects of the book of Nahum so we would be more familiar with this part of the Bible and yearn to study it for ourselves.

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