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Nahum 2

The Destruction of the Wicked City

2A shatterer* has come up against you.
   Guard the ramparts;
   watch the road;
gird your loins;
   collect all your strength.


2 (For the Lord is restoring the majesty of Jacob,
   as well as the majesty of Israel,
though ravagers have ravaged them
   and ruined their branches.)


3 The shields of his warriors are red;
   his soldiers are clothed in crimson.
The metal on the chariots flashes
   on the day when he musters them;
   the chargers* prance.
4 The chariots race madly through the streets,
   they rush to and fro through the squares;
their appearance is like torches,
   they dart like lightning.
5 He calls his officers;
   they stumble as they come forward;
they hasten to the wall,
   and the mantelet* is set up.
6 The river gates are opened,
   the palace trembles.
7 It is decreed* that the city* be exiled,
   its slave women led away,
moaning like doves
   and beating their breasts.
8 Nineveh is like a pool
   whose waters* run away.
‘Halt! Halt!’—
   but no one turns back.
9 ‘Plunder the silver,
   plunder the gold!
There is no end of treasure!
   An abundance of every precious thing!’


10 Devastation, desolation, and destruction!
   Hearts faint and knees tremble,
all loins quake,
   all faces grow pale!
11 What became of the lions’ den,
   the cave* of the young lions,
where the lion goes,
   and the lion’s cubs, with no one to disturb them?
12 The lion has torn enough for his whelps
   and strangled prey for his lionesses;
he has filled his caves with prey
   and his dens with torn flesh.

13 See, I am against you, says the Lord of hosts, and I will burn your* chariots in smoke, and the sword shall devour your young lions; I will cut off your prey from the earth, and the voice of your messengers shall be heard no more.

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Nahum 3

Ruin Imminent and Inevitable

3Ah! City of bloodshed,
   utterly deceitful, full of booty—
   no end to the plunder!
2 The crack of whip and rumble of wheel,
   galloping horse and bounding chariot!
3 Horsemen charging,
   flashing sword and glittering spear,
piles of dead,
   heaps of corpses,
dead bodies without end—
   they stumble over the bodies!
4 Because of the countless debaucheries of the prostitute,
   gracefully alluring, mistress of sorcery,
who enslaves* nations through her debaucheries,
   and peoples through her sorcery,
5 I am against you,
   says the Lord of hosts,
   and will lift up your skirts over your face;
and I will let nations look on your nakedness
   and kingdoms on your shame.
6 I will throw filth at you
   and treat you with contempt,
   and make you a spectacle.
7 Then all who see you will shrink from you and say,
‘Nineveh is devastated; who will bemoan her?’
   Where shall I seek comforters for you?


8 Are you better than Thebes*
   that sat by the Nile,
with water around her,
   her rampart a sea,
   water her wall?
9 Ethiopia* was her strength,
   Egypt too, and that without limit;
   Put and the Libyans were her* helpers.


10 Yet she became an exile,
   she went into captivity;
even her infants were dashed in pieces
   at the head of every street;
lots were cast for her nobles,
   all her dignitaries were bound in fetters.
11 You also will be drunken,
   you will go into hiding;*
you will seek
   a refuge from the enemy.
12 All your fortresses are like fig trees
   with first-ripe figs—
if shaken they fall
   into the mouth of the eater.
13 Look at your troops:
   they are women in your midst.
The gates of your land
   are wide open to your foes;
   fire has devoured the bars of your gates.


14 Draw water for the siege,
   strengthen your forts;
trample the clay,
   tread the mortar,
   take hold of the brick-mould!
15 There the fire will devour you,
   the sword will cut you off.
   It will devour you like the locust.


Multiply yourselves like the locust,
   multiply like the grasshopper!
16 You increased your merchants
   more than the stars of the heavens.
   The locust sheds its skin and flies away.
17 Your guards are like grasshoppers,
   your scribes like swarms* of locusts
settling on the fences
   on a cold day—
when the sun rises, they fly away;
   no one knows where they have gone.


18 Your shepherds are asleep,
   O king of Assyria;
   your nobles slumber.
Your people are scattered on the mountains
   with no one to gather them.
19 There is no assuaging your hurt,
   your wound is mortal.
All who hear the news about you
   clap their hands over you.
For who has ever escaped
   your endless cruelty?

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18 April 2019

From the oremus Bible Browser https://bible.oremus.org v2.3.1 18 April 2019.