Who understands God’s holiness?
Who comprehends his wrath?
his feelings, faced with wickedness?
– its ‘wage’ he must pour forth
on sin and opposition,
dishonour to his name.
He’s jealous for full righteousness,
and all that is so precious;
His justice is perfection,
and cannot bear a stain.
Assyrian cruel aggressiveness,
when seeing those in helplessness,
will now be stopped, God will soon bring an end.
The time had been for turning,
when wrath had been held back; –
wrath powerful as the melting
volcanic rock, or whirlwind, ’quake,
or duststorm, flood or mountain-slide:
that power that can the mountains shake,
– so trust, in him abide.
No plot against the Lord
will ultimately win –
entangled, drunk, consumed –
their downfall God will bring
despite their strength and allies –
God ends their cruel oppression,
and breaks poor Judah’s shackles,
and limits this affliction.
The messenger is coming
– good news – your vows fulfil
and worship with thanksgiving
for rescue from such ill.
chapters 2 & 3
Destruction, by destroyer:
they thought, ‘Impossible!’
No kingdom is for ever,
its power invincible,
except the kingdom of the Lord,
that only will remain;
and Jacob’s fame will be restored:
no Ninevah then seen.
Ruin, to those who with ravaging raid,
pillaged and plundered, their folly displayed.
with clamour, confusion, and clattering noise,
brought terror and trembling, from lust that destroys,
so that casualties, corpses piled up, people stumble.
Superpower dazzled – caused nations to tremble,
but see, in God’s time, it will wither, burn, crumble.
Wiped off the map and brushed off the earth
– gone all their wealth, and their name has no worth.
As Ninevah cruelly scourged once No–Amon (Thebes)
so Nahum now tells them their own end will come soon .
Relief, with rejoicing, their passing’s not mourned.
their cruelty’s crushed, as promised and warned.
Assyria – the tyrant’s end (Nahum and Isaiah 10:5-20)
He proudly plunders, plucking out
the eggs from undefended nests,
with haughty pride and boasting shout
– believes his strength brought these conquests.
He thinks he’s powerful and all-wise:
One greater far his strength supplies.
The mighty One who raised this rod,
afflicting those who scorned his Word,
will show who is the sovereign God,
– the plunderers have now incurred
his wrath for lies and cruelty:
they’ll lose their proud prosperity.
The wielded weapon wastes away, –
its strength struck, sapped; its splendour slain.
The Holy One will have his Day –
the weeds consumed, the farms aflame:
and no-one mourns this passing, all
rejoice to see the tyrant fall.