Theme: The theme is easy to find and easy to follow. This book deals with the judgment on the city of Nineveh. This is the second book in the Bible that has Nineveh as a major theme, of course Jonah is the first. Date: Nahum is another book of the Old Testament that can be read as a history book. The things spoken of have been fulfilled, as this book deals specifically with the overthrow of Nineveh. We know that it must have been written before 612 B.C., which is when Babylon took Nineveh. We also know from Nahum’s reference (3:8-10) that the book must have been written after the destruction of No-Amon in Egypt. This took place around 660 B.C. Therefore, our logical conclusion, is this book was written some time between 660 and 612 B.C. We also note that there are scholars who refuse to give credence to literally fulfilled prophecy. Therefore, they will assign a date to this book that occurs after the fall of Nineveh. We, of course, as literal Biblicists, are not afraid to say this book was written before the events took place and is simply another example of the uniqueness of Biblical prophecy.
Author: The prophet Nahum. His name means, “comforter” (1:1) “consolation”, and he is said to have been an Elkoshite. Elkosh is thought to have been a city of Galilee possibly Capernaum. It is interesting to note that Nahum is not mentioned in the other historical books.
Recipients: Written to Nineveh, the capital city of Assyria. (1:1, 9; 3:5, etc.) There is also a word of encouragement for Judah (The Southern Kingdom-Two Tribes) (1:15). This would of course be a word of comfort to these within the nation of Israel who were questioning God’s actions in allowing this city that had played such a key role in the captivity of the Northern Kingdom – 10 Tribes, to still exist.
Purpose: Around 120 years before Nahum, Nineveh had repented under the preaching of Jonah, and God had graciously spared the city. But, it is apparent that they had not passed on their knowledge of the True God to the next generations. Their children/grandchildren had quickly reverted to their cruel and heathen practices. They destroyed the Northern Kingdom, Israel in 722 and nearly captured Jerusalem in 701. Their depravity is clearly described in (3:1/4). The city had again gone deep into sin, (3:1) and now the Lord, through a second prophet (Nahum) pronounces His final condemnation--utter destruction. (1:8-9) Nahum’s purpose is to announce this judgment and to show the reason for it. This book could be subtitled “Jonah II, or Nineveh II!”
Outline: The development of the outline is simply the stating of judgment, a description of judgment, along with the cause for the judgment. Almost every verse describes this event (1:15-3:19).
I. Judgment Foretold (ch. 1) * We see here the indignation of a holy God against sin such as that in Nineveh II. Judgment Described (ch. 2) * Here we see a prophecy of the coming judgment of Nineveh III. Judgment Explained (ch. 3) * Here we see the reason for this judgment. This city had become a place of bloodshed, (v. 1-3) idolatry, (vv. 4-7) and pride (vv. 8-19).
Though some people struggle with the seeming harshness of God, we need to be reminded that God will not always strive with man. He presents salvation, and the door of the “ark” is open, but the day is coming when the door will shut and the judgment of God will once again fall upon this earth. Today is the day of salvation . . God resisteth the proud, but gives grace to those who humbly come before Him, trusting the work of His son for their salvation!
Closing: We would remind or inform you that Pastor Rich preached expositionally through Nahum from Jan. 13 to Mar. 3, 2013. You can find these messages on the website podcast, or by contacting Cindy in the office, who also can provide you with the notes.