Nineveh’s Downfall

Woe to the city of blood,(A)
totally deceitful,
full of plunder,
never without prey.(B)
The crack of the whip
and rumble of the wheel,
galloping horse
and jolting chariot!(C)
Charging horseman,
flashing sword,
shining spear;
heaps of slain,
mounds of corpses,
dead bodies without end(D)
they stumble over their dead.
Because of the continual prostitution of the prostitute,
the attractive mistress of sorcery,
who betrays nations by her prostitution
and clans by her witchcraft,(E)
I am against you.(F)
This is the declaration of the Lord of Hosts.
I will lift your skirts over your face
and display your nakedness to nations,
your shame to kingdoms.(G)
I will throw filth on you
and treat you with contempt;
I will make a spectacle of you.
Then all who see you will recoil from you, saying,
“Nineveh is devastated;
who will show sympathy to her?”
Where can I find anyone to comfort you?
Are you better than Thebes(a)(H)
that sat along the Nile
with water surrounding her,
whose rampart was the sea,
the river(b)(c) her wall?
Cush and Egypt were her endless source of strength;
Put and Libya were among her(d) allies.
Yet she became an exile;
she went into captivity.
Her children were also dashed to pieces(I)
at the head of every street.
They cast lots for her dignitaries,(J)
and all her nobles were bound in chains.
You(e) also will become drunk;
you will hide yourself.(f)
You also will seek refuge from the enemy.
All your fortresses are fig trees
with figs that ripened first;
when shaken, they fall—
right into the mouth of the eater!
Look, your troops are like women among you;
the gates of your land
are wide open to your enemies.
Fire will devour the bars of your gates.
Draw water for the siege;
strengthen your fortresses.
Step into the clay and tread the mortar;
take hold of the brick-mold!
The fire will devour you there;
the sword will cut you down.
It will devour you like the young locust.(K)
Multiply yourselves like the young locust,
multiply like the swarming locust!
You have made your merchants(L)
more numerous than the stars of the sky.
The young locust strips(g) the land
and flies away.
Your court officials are like the swarming locust,
and your scribes like clouds of locusts,
which settle on the walls on a cold day;
when the sun rises, they take off,
and no one knows where they are.
King of Assyria, your shepherds slumber;
your officers sleep.
Your people are scattered across the mountains
with no one to gather them together.(M)
There is no remedy for your injury;
your wound is severe.(N)
All who hear the news about you
will clap their hands because of you,
for who has not experienced
your constant cruelty?


a. Nahum 3:8: Or No-amon
b. Nahum 3:8: LXX, Syr, Vg read water
c. Nahum 3:8: Lit sea from sea
d. Nahum 3:9: Lit your
e. Nahum 3:11: Nineveh
f. Nahum 3:11: Or will be overcome
g. Nahum 3:16: Or sheds [its skin]

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