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The approach of the enemies


of Nineveh described. A. M. cir. 3291. a that dasheth in pieces is ways:

k they shall seem like A. M. cir. 3291. B. C. cir. 713.

B. C. cir. 713. Ol. cir. XVI. 4. come up before thy face : torches, they shall run like the pl. cir. XVI. 4. Numæ Pompilii,

Numæ Pompilii, R. Roman., keep the munition, watch the lightnings.

R. Roman., cir. annum 3. way, make thy loins strong, for- 5 He shall recount his

cir. annum 3.

wortify thy power mightily.

thies : they shall stumble in their walk; they 2 For the Lord hath turned away the shall make haste to the wall thereof, and the cxcellency of Jacob, as the excellency of Is- m defence shall be prepared. rael : for f the emptiers have emptied them 6 The gates of the rivers shall be opened out, and marred their vine branches.

and the palace shall be " dissolved. 3 The shield of his mighty, men is made 7 And •Huzzab shall be p led away captive, 8 red, the yaliant men are hin scarlet : the she shall be brought up, and her maids shall chariots shall be with i flaming torches in the lead her as with the voice of a doves, tabering day of his preparation, and the fir trees shall upon their breasts. be terribly shaken.

8 But Nineveh is of old like a pool of 4 The chariots shall rage in the streets, they water: yet they shall flee away. Stand, stand, shall jostle one against another in the broad shall they cry; but none shall • look back.

a Or, The disperser, or hammer.- Jer. 1. 23. uc Jer. li. ll, k Heb. their show. 1 Or, gallants. m Heb. covering, or 12; chap. iii. 14. d Isa. X. 12; Jer. xxxv. 29.- - Or, the

coverer. Or, molien. Lo Or, that which was established, or pride of Jacob as the pride of Israel. Psa. Ixxx, 12; Hos. x.

a stand made. -P Or, discovered - Isa, xxxviii, 1.- Isa. xii. 2, 3. h Or, dyed scarlet. Lí Or, fiery 14 ; lix. 11.- Or, from the days that she hath been. Or,

cause them to turn.

there was



The account given by Diodorus Siculus, lib. ii., is Verse 1. He that dasheih in pieces] Or scattereth. very surprising. He begins thus : Hv d'avra hoycov The Chaldeans and Medes.

παραδεδομενον εκ προγονων, κ. τ. λ.-« There was a Keep the munition] Guard the fenced places. prophecy received from their forefathers, that Nineveh From this to the end of the fifth verse, the prepara- should not be taken till the river first became an tions made at Nineveh to repel their enemies are de- enemy to the city. It happened in the third year of scribed. The description is exceedingly pictur- the siege, that the Euphrates [query, Tigris) being esque.

swollen with continued rains; overflowed part of the Watch the way] By which the enemy is most city, and threw down twenty stadia of the wall, The likely to approach.

king then imagining that the oracle was accomplished, Make thy loins strong] Take courage.

and that the river was now manifestly become an Fortify thy power] Muster thy troops ; call in all enemy to the city, casting aside all hope of safety, and thy allies.

lest he should fall into the hands of the enemy, built Verse 2. For the Lord hath turned away] Bishop a large funeral pyre in the palace, (EV TOLS Baocaelous) Newcome reads, for the Lord restoreth, by a slight and having collected all his gold and silver and royal alteration in the text. I do not see that we gain vestments, together with his concubines and eunuchs, much by this. The Lord has been opposed to Jacob, placed 'himself with them in a little apartment built and the enemy has prevailed against him.

in the pyre ; burnt them, himself, and the palace Emptied them out] Brought them from their own together. When the death of the king (Sardaland into captivity. This was the emptying! napalus) was announced by certain deserters, the

Verse 3. The shield of his mighty men is made red) enemy entered in by the breach which the waters had These things may refer to the warlike preparations made, and took the city.” made by the Ninevites : they had red shields, and Thus the prophecy of Nahum was literally fulfilled : scarlet or purple clothing ; their chariots were finely " the gates of the river were opened, and the palace decorated, and proceeded with amazing rapidity. dissolved,” i. e., burnt.

The fir trees shall be terribly shaken.] This may Verse 7. And Huzzab shall be led away captive] refer to the darts, arrows, and javelins, flung with Perhaps Huzzab means the queen of Nineveh, who destructive power.

had escaped the burning mentioned above by DiodoVerse 4. The chariots shall rage] Those of the rus. As there is no account of the queen being burnt, besiegers and the besieged, meeting in the streets, pro- but only of the king, the concubines, and the ducing universal confusion and carnage.

eunuchs, we may, therefore, naturally conclude that Verse 5. He shall recount his worthies] Muster up the queen escaped ; and is represented here as brought his most renowned warriors and heroes.

up and delivered to the conqueror ; her maids at the Shall make haste to the wall] Where they see the same time bewailing her lot. Some think Huzzab enemies making their most powerful attacks, in order signifies Nineveh itself. to get possession of the city.

Verse 8. But Nineveh is of old like a pool of water] Verse 6. The gales of the rivers shall be opened] Il s'n mimey, from days. Bp. Newcome translates the have already referred to this, see the note on chap. line thus : “And the waters of Nineveh are a pool i. 8; but it will be necessary to be more particular. I of waters." There may be reference here to the fact

A. M. cir. 3291.

B. . .

R. Roman.,

The capture and


ruin of Nineveh. 9 Take ye the spoil of silver, | lion's whelp, and none made 4. M. cit. 3291, B. C. cir. 713. Ol. cir. XVI. 4. take the spoil of gold : t for them afraid ?

Ol. cir. XVI. 4. Numæ Pompilii,

Numæ Pompilii, there is none end of the store 12. The lion did tear in pieces R. Roman., cir. annum 3.

and glory out of all the pleasant enough for his whelps, and cir. annum 3. furniture.

strangled for his lionesses, and filled his holes 10 She is empty, and void, and waste : and with prey, and his dens with ravin. the heart melteth, and wthe knees smite to- 13 « Behold, I am against thee, saith the gether, and much pain is in all loins, and LORD of hosts, and I will burn her chariots y the faces of them all gather blackness. in the smoke, and the sword shall devour thy

11 Where is the dwelling of 2 the lions, and young lions : and I will cut off thy prey from the feeding place of the young lions, where the earth, and the voice of thy messengers the lion, even the old lion, walked, and the shall no more be heard.

"Or, and their infinite store, &c.- u Heb. vessels of desire. z Job iv. 10, 11; Ezek. xix, 2–7.— Ezek. xxix. 3; ixtil * Isa. xiii. 7,8.- Dan. v. 6. Jer. xxx. 9. y Joel in 6. 3; xxxix. 1 ; chap. iii. 5.-b2 Kings xvii. 17, 19; xix. 9,23.

given in the preceding note, the overflowing of the Verše 11. Where is the dwelling of the lions) Nineriver by which the city was primarily destroyed. veh, the habitation of bold, strong, and ferocious men.

Stand, stand] Consternation shall be at its utmost The feeding place of the young lions] Whither her height, the people shall flee in all directions; and victorious and rapacious generals frequently returned though quarter is offered, and they are assured of safety to consume the produce of their success.

Here they if they remain, yet not one looketh back.

walked at large, and none made them afraid. WhereVerse 9. Take ye the spoil] Though the king burnt soever they turned their arms they were victors; and his treasures, vestments, &c., he could not totally de- all nations were afraid of them. stroy the silver and the gold. Nor did he burn the Verse 12. The lion did tear] This verse gives us a riches of the city ; these fell a prey to the conquerors; striking picture of the manner in which the Assyrian and there was no end of the store of glorious garments, conquests and depredations were carried on.

How and the most costly vessels and furniture.

many people were spoiled to enrich his whelps-his Verse 10. She is empty, and void, and waste] The sons, princes, and nobles ! How many women were original is strongly emphatic: the words are of the stripped and slain, whose spoils went to decorate his same sound ; and increase in their length as they point lionesses—his queen concubines and mistresses. And out great, greater, and greatest desolation.

they had even more than they could consume; their
holes and dens-treasure-houses, palaces, and ward-

robes-were filled with ravin, the riches which they
Bukah, umebukah, umebullakah.

got by the, plunder of towns, families, and individuals. She is void, empty, and desvlale.

This is a very fine allegory, and admirably well sup

ported. The faces of them all gather blackness.] This marks Verse 13. Behold, I am against thee] Assyria, and the diseased state into which the people had been Nineveh its capital. I will deal with you as you have brought by reason of famine, &c.; for, as Mr. Ward dealt with others. justly remarks,“ sickness makes a great change in the The voice of thy messengers) Announcing thy countenance of the Hindoos; so that a person who was splendid victories, and the vast spoils taken-shall no rather fair when in health, becomes nearly black by more be heard—thou and thy riches, and ill-got spoils, sickness." This was a general case with the Asiatics. I shall perish together.

בוקה ומבוקה ומבלקה


The prophet denounces a wo against Nineveh for her perfidy and violence. He musters up before our eyes

the number of her chariots and cavalry; points to her burnished arms, and to the great and unrelenting slaughter
which she spreads around her, 1-3. Because Nineveh is a city wholly given up to the grossest supersti-
tion, and is an instructress of other nations in her abominable rites, therefore she shall come to a most igno-
minious and unpitied end, 3–7. Her final ruin shall be similar to that of No, a famous city of Egypt,
8-11. The prophet then beautifully describes the great ease with which the strong holds of Ninerek
should be taken, 12, and her judicial pusillanimity during the siege, 13; declares that all her prepara-
tion, her numbers, opulence, and chieftains, would be of no avail in the day of the Lord's vengeance,
14-17; and that her tributaries would desert her, 18. The whole concludes with stating the incurable-
ness of her malady, and the dreadful destruction consequently awaiting her; and with introducing the
nations which she had oppressed as exulting at her. fall, 19.

( 47* )


Ol. cir. XVI. 4.
Numæ Pompilii,

R. Roman., cir. annum 3.

cir. annum 3.

The miserable ruin

of Nineveh. 11. M. cir: 329.. WO to the - bloody bcity!! 6 And I will cast abominable 4.M.cir. 3291. it is all full of lies and filth upon thee, and i make thee Oi. cir. XVI.

Numæ Pompilii. robbery; the prey departeth not; vile, and will set thee as ka gaz

R. Roman., 2 The noise of a whip, and the ing-stock. noise of the rattling of the wheels, and of the 7 And it shall come to pass, that all they prancing horses, and of the jumping chariots. that look upon thee I shall flee from thee, and

3 The horseman lifteth up both “ the bright say, Nineveh is laid waste : m who will besword and the glittering spear: and there is moan her ? whence shall I seek comforters for a multitude of slain, and a great number of thee? carcasses ; and there is none end of their 8 " Art thou better than populous P 9 No, corpses ; they stumble upon their corpses : that was situate among the rivers, that had the

4 Because of the multitude of the whore-waters round about it, whose rampart was the doms of the well-favoured harlot, e the mistress sea, and her wall was from the sea ? of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her 9 Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength, and whoredoms, and families through her witch-, it was infinite ; Put and Lubim were thy crafts.

helpers. 5 Behold, I am against thee, saith the LORD 10 Yet was she carried away, she went into of hosts ; and & I will discover thy skirts upon captivity : her young children also were dashthy face, \ and I will show the nations thy na- ed in pieces ' at the top of all the streets : and kedness, and the kingdoms thy shame. they u cast lots for her honourable men, and all

a Heb. city of bloods.-- b Ezek. xxii. 2, 3; xxiv, 6, 9; Hab. i Mal. ii. 9.-k Heb. x. 33.- Rev. xviii. 10. -in Jer. xv. ii. 12. — Jer. xlvii. 3. -d Heb. the flame of the sword, and the 5. n Amos vi. 2. - Or, nourishing.- -p Heb. No Amon. lightning of the spear. e Isa. xlvii. 9, 12; Rev. xviii. 2, 3. 9 Jer. xlvi. 25, 26; Ezek. xxx. 14–16.-Heb. in thy help. " Chap. il. 13. 5 Isa. xlvii. 2,3; Jer. xiii. 22, 26; Ezek. xvi. s Psa. cxxxvii. 9; Isa. xii. 16; Hos. xiii. 16.- _ Lam. ii. 19. 37; Mic. i. 11. h Hab. ii. 16.

u Joel ii. 3 ; Obad. 11.


Verse 6. I will cast abominable filth upon thee] I Verse 1. Wo to the bloody cily!) Nineveh : the will set thee as a gazing-stock. This was a punishthreatenings against which are continued in a strain ment precisely like our pillory. They put such women of invective, astonishing for its richness, variety, and in the pillory as a gazing-stock; and then, children and energy. One may hear and see the whip crack, the others threw mud, dirt, and filth of all kinds at them. horses prancing, the wheels rumbling, the chariots Verse 7. Who will bemoan her ?] In such cases, bounding after the galloping steeds; the reflection from who pities the delinquent ? She has been the occasion the drawn and highly polished swords; and the hurled of ruin to multitudes, and now she is deservedly exspears, like flashes of lightning, dazzling the eyes ; the posed and punished. And so it should be thought slain lying in heaps, and horses and chariots stumbling concerning Nineveh. over them!

O what a picture, and a true representa- Verse 8. Art thou better than populous No] Notion of a battle, when one side is broken, and all the Ammon, or Diospolis, in the Delta, on one branch of cavalry of the conqueror fall in upon them, hewing them the Nile. This is supposed to be the city mentioned down with their swords, and trampling them to pieces by Nahum ; and which had been lately destroyed, under the hoofs of their horses ! 0! infernal war! probably by the Chaldeans. Yet sometimes thou art the scourge of the Lord. The waters round about it] Being situated in the

Verse 4. Because of the multitude of the whore- Delta, it had the fork of two branches of the Nile to doms} Above, the Ninevites were represented under defend it by land ; and its barrier or wall was the sea, the emblem of a lion tearing all to pieces ; here they the Mediterranean, into which these branches emptied are represented under the emblem of a beautiful harlot themselves : so that this city, and the place it stood or public prostitute, enticing all men to her, inducing on, were wholly surrounded by the waters. the nations to become idolatrous; and, by thus per- Verse 9. Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength] verting them, rendering them also objects of the Divine The land of Cush, not far from Diospolis ; for it was wrath.

in Arabia, on the Red Sea. Mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through Put and Lubim] A part of Africa and Libya, which her whoredoms] Using every means to excite to idola- were all within reach of fo. ing alliances with Notry ; and being, by menace or wiles, successful in all. Ammon or Diospolis.

Verse 5. I will discover thy skirts upon thy face] Verse 10. They cast lots for her honourable men] It was an ancient, though not a laudable custom, to This refers still to the city called populous No. And strip prostitutes naked, or throw their clothes over their the custom of casting lots among the commanders, heads, and expose them to public view, and public ex- for the prisoners which they had taken, is here referecration. This verse alludes to such a custom. red to.


Ol. cir. XVI. 4.

cir. annum 3.

en :

The siege of Nineveh, and


the preparations for it. A. M. cir. 3291. her great men were bound in the cankerworm, make thyself A. M. cor. 3313

: Ol. cir. XVI. 4. chains.

many as the locusts. Numa Pompilii,

Numæ Pompilii, R. Roman., 11 Thou also shalt be drunk- 16 Thou hast multiplied thy R. Roman.,

cir. annum 3. thou shalt be hid, thou merchants above the stars of heaalso shalt seek strength because of the ven: the cankerworm spoileth, and fleeth away. enemy.

17 Thy crowned are as the locusts, and 12 All thy strong holds shall be like w fig thy captains as the great grasshoppers, which trees with the first-ripe figs : if they be shaken, camp in the hedges in the cold day, but when they shall even fall into the mouth of the eater. the sun ariseth, they flee away, and their place

13 Behold, * thy people in the midst of thee is not known where they are. are women : the gates of thy land shall be 18 Thy shepherds slumber, O • king of set wide open unto thine enemies : the fire Assyria : thy 'nobles shall dwell in the dust : shall devour thy y bars.

thy people is 6 scattered upon the mountains, 14 Draw thee waters for the siege, ? fortify and no man gathereth them. thy strong holds : go into clay, and tread the 19 There is no h healing of thy bruise ; ' thy mortar, make strong the brick-kiln.

wound is grievous : * all that hear the bruit 15 There shall the fire devour thee; the of thee shall clap the hands over thee : for sword shall cut thee off, it shall eat thee up upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed like a the cankerworm : make thyself many as continually ?

* Jer. xxv. 17, 27; chap. i. 10.- * Rev. vi. 13. — Jer. 1. • Exod. xv. 16; Psa. lxxvii. 6. Le Jer. I. 18; Ezek. xxx. 3, 37 ; li. 30. -y Psa. cxlvii. 13; Jer. li. 30.--.2 Chap. ii. 1. &c.- Or, valiant ones.--51 Kings xxii. 17.—Heb. wrinkling. a Joel i. 4.- Or, spreadeth himself. - Rev. ix. 7.

Mic. i. 9.-- Lam. ii. 15; Zeph. ii. 15; see Isa. xiv. 8, &e.

Great men were bound in chains] These were to point out the successive armies and all-destroying reserved to grace the triumph of the victor.

influences of the enemies of Nineveh. The account Verse 12. Thy strong holds] The effects of the of these destroyers from Dr. Shaw, inserted Joel i., consternation into which the Ninevites were cast by will fully illustrate the verses where allusion is made to the assault on their city are here pointed out by a very locusts. expressive metaphor; the first-ripe figs, when at full Verse 16. Thou hast multiplied thy merchants) Like maturity, fell from the tree with the least shake; and Tyre, this city was a famous resort for merchants; but so, at the first shake or consternation, all the fortresses the multitudes which were there previously to the of Nineveh were abandoned ; and the king, in despair, siege, like the locusts, took the alarm, and fled burnt himself and household in his own palace,

away. Verse 13. Thy people are women] They lost all Verse 17. Thy crowned are as the locusts] Thou courage, and made no resistance.

O verè Phrygiæ, hast numerous princes and numerous commanders. neque enim Phryges : “ Verily, ye are Phrygian wo- Which camp in the hedges in the cold day) The men, not Phrygian men.” So said Numanus to the locusts are said to lie in shelter about the hedges of Trojans. Virg., Æn. ix.

fertile spots when the weather is cold, or during the Verse 14. Draw thee waters for the siege] The night; but as soon as the sun shines out and is hot, Tigris ran near to Nineveh, and here they are exhorted they come out to their forage, or take to their wings. to lay in plenty of fresh water, lest the siege should Verse 18. Thy shepherds slumber] That is, the last long, and lest the enemy should cut off this supply. rulers and tributary princes, who, as Herodotus informs

Go into clay, and tread the mortar] This refers to us, deserted Nineveh in the day of her distress, and the manner of forming bricks anciently in those coun- came not forward to her succour. tries; they digged up the clay, kneaded it properly by Diodorus Siculus says, lib. ii., when the enemy shut treading, mixed it with straw or coarse grass, moulded up the king in the city, many nations revolted, each the bricks, and dried them in the sun. I have now going over to the besiegers, for the sake of their liberty; some of the identical bricks, that were brought from that the king despatched messengers to all his subjects, this country, lying before me, and they show all these requiring power from them to succour him ; and that appearances. They are compact and very hard, but he thought himself able to endure the siege, and rewholly soluble in water. There were however others mained in expectation of armies which were to be without straw, that seem to have been burnt in a kiln raised throughout his empire, relying on the oracle that

I have ale some fragments or bats of the city would not be taken till the river became ils these from Babylon.

епету. . See the note on chap. ii. 6. Verse 15. Make thyself many as the cankerworm] Verse 19. There is no healing of thy bruise] Thou On the locusts, and their operations in their various shalt never be rebuilt. slates, see the notes on Joel ii. The multitudes, suc- All that hear the bruit of thee) The report or account. cessive swarms, and devastation occasioned by locusts, Shall clap the hands) Shall exult in thy downfall. is one of the most expressive similes that could be used For upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed]

as ours are.

Concluding notes


on this prophet. Thou hast been a universal oppressor, and therefore all “ Dr. Prideaux, following Thevenot, observes that nations rejoice at thy fall and utter desolation. Mosul is situated on the west side of the Tigris, where

Bp. Newton makes some good remarks on the fall was anciently only a suburb of the old Nineveh ; for and total ruin of Nineveh.

the city itself stood on the east side of the river, where “What probability was there that the capital city of are to be seen some of its ruins of great extent even a great kingdom, a city which was sixty miles in com- to this day. Even the ruins of old Nineveh, as we pass, a city which contained so many thousand inhabit- may say, have been long ago ruined and destroyed ; ants, a city which had walls a hundred feet high, and such an utter end hath been made of it, and such is so thick that three chariots could go abreast upon them, the truth of the Divine predictions ! and which had one thousand five hundred towers, of 'These extraordinary circumstances may strike the two hundred feet in height; what probability was there reader more strongly by supposing only a parallel inthat such a city should ever be totally destroyed? And stance. Let us then suppose that a person should yet so totally was it destroyed that the place is hardly come in the name of a prophet, preaching repentance known where it was situated. What we may suppose to the people of this kingdom, or otherwise denouncing helped to complete its ruin and devastation, was Ne- the destruction of the capital city within a few years. buchadnezzar's enlarging and beautifying Babylon, soon • With an overflowing flood will God make an utter after Nineveh was taken. From that time no mention end of the place thereof; he will make an utter end : is made of Nineveh by any of the sacred writers; and its place may be sought, but it shall never be found.' the most ancient of the heathen authors, who have oc- I presume we should look upon such a prophet as a casion to say any thing about it, speak of it as a city madman, and show no farther attention to his message that was once great and flourishing, but now destroyed than to deride and despise it. And yet such an event and desolate. Great as it was formerly, so little of it would not be more strange and incredible than the deis remaining, that authors are not agreed even about struction and devastation of Nineveh ; for Nineveh its situation. From the general suffrage of ancient was much the larger, stronger, and older city of the historians and geographers, it appears to have been two. And the Assyrian empire had subsisted and situated upon the Tigris, though others represent it as flourished more ages than any form of government in placed upon the Euphrates. Bochart has shown that this country ; so there is no objecting the instability of Herodotus, Diodorus Siculus, and Ammianus Marcel- Eastern-monarchies in this case. Let us then, since linus, all three speak differently of it'; sometimes as this event would not be more improbable and extraorif situated on the Euphrates, sometimes as if on the dinary than the other, suppose again, that things should Tigris ; to reconcile whom he supposes that there were succeed according to the prediction ; that the floods two Ninevehs; and Sir John Marsham, that there were should arise, and the enemies should come ; the city three ; the Syrian upon the Euphrates, the Assyrian should be overthrown and broken down, be taken and on the Tigris, and a third built afterwards upon the pillaged, and destroyed so totally that even the learned Tigris by the Persians, who succeeded the Parthians could not agree about the place where it was situated. in the empire of the East, in the third century, and were | What would be said or thought in such a case ? Whosubdued by the Saracens in the seventh century after ever of posterity should read and compare the proChrist. But whether this latter was built in the same phecy and event together, must they not, by such an place as the old Nineveh, is a question that cannot be illustrious instance, be thoroughly convinced of the decided.

providence of God, and of the truth of his prophet; “ There is a city at this time called Mosul, situate and be ready to acknowledge, Verily, this is the upon the western side of the Tigris; and on the oppo- word which the Lord hath spoken; verily, there is a site eastern shore are ruins of great extent, which are God who judgeth the earth ?? ”-See Bp. Newton, said to be those of Nineveh.

vol. i., dissert. 9.


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