Beth Elohim Messianic Synagogue
Study of the Prophets: Nahum (Cont.)
This week we begin with Chapter 3, the last chapter of the book of Nahum. The subject of this chapter is the destruction of Nineveh, the great city of No, the exile of her allies, and the total devastation that is about to happen. Sadly, this prophecy applies not only to Nineveh, but to another nation in the future; perhaps the United States? Something to think about and research. Some similarities between the two nations are provided below in this lesson. I offer the disclaimer that I am certainly not anti-American as a native born American citizen of Jewish heritage. However, I am concerned for a nation and world that is anti-G-d. I seek to warn anyone of what will happen to those who continue on the path of antinomianism just as Nahum did during his ministry.
Verse 1-4: “Woe to the City of Blood; it is all deceit, full of robbery; prey departs not [from it]; the sound of the whip and the sound of the rattling wheel; galloping horse and bounding chariot; the horseman raises flashing sword and glittering spear; numerous slain and heaps of corpses; there is no end to the bodies, and they stumble over their bodies. [All this] because of the many harlotries and families through her witchcraft.”
Nahum continues rebuking Nineveh and explains the reason for the destruction that is about to take place. Nineveh is a city full of murder for its inhabitants have shed the blood of many nations. We may extend this to the number of babies aborted in the United States since Roe-vs. Wade 1973. It is estimated at 57,496,011 abortions have taken place since 1973, according to the National Right to Life Committee report on their 2015 fact sheet. This is just one example of innocent blood shed at the hands of the United States assuredly with other statistics and situations unknown to the public in some cases, justified by the United States government in others.
The inhabitants of Nineveh are deceitful to one another and thievery is rampant. All we need do is watch the political advertisements of the day in this country and other countries to draw similar conclusions. The United States does not have a patent on deceit, but it has been the most blessed nation in the past and will certainly be held to a high standard of accountability. To whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48).
Prey does not depart from it in the context of attacking and destroying other nations. We must consider the history of our wars and the rationale for entering them. It takes diligent historical research to identify the truth in such matters rather than public opinion or simply what the media chose to write about our wars and battles. Malbim explains the verse concerning prey differently; that the inhabitants deny the existence of G-d. That, although it is full of corpses, their preying continues. This interpretation is even more poignant, for the United States continues to embrace secular humanism as a paradigm for teaching our children and the government approves legislation that allows for the removal of anything to do with the G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob while allowing for other religions and cults to display and promote foreign gods.
The sound of the whip and the rattling wheel may be applied to the fact that the United States is always engaged in some sort of battle. The current focus is the Middle East with Asia and Russia in the wings. Radak offers a different explanation that Nahum is describing the sound of the approaching enemy.
Verse 3 provides interesting insight into the future through the translation of the Hebrew. The Hebrew word for flame refers to the blade of a sword (Rashi), for it flashes like a flame of fire. Similarly, the word barak (lightning), is used for the iron portion of the spear, for it glistens like lightning (Rashi). Malbim translates the word for “raises” as “heights.” In the mountainous regions where chariots cannot go, there you will find horseman. In the context of the future battles, where tanks and large vehicles cannot go, infantrymen can traverse the mountainous regions.
Nahum continues to describe the cruelty of the Assyrians in the case of Nineveh. We do not yet know the specific nation/army or nations/armies that will come against the United States, but the results will no doubt be similar. The slain will be so many in number that people will stumble over one another. This scenario is not hard to imagine for a country that is ill-prepared mentally or tactically/strategically for a surprise attack; just as was Nineveh.
All of the above was prophesied because of Nineveh’s harlotry. A close examination of American history and the paradigm of the American Dream will reveal a similar progressive compromise of justice and obedience to G-d’s laws. The United States is no longer one nation under G-d for the secular humanist paradigm/religion mandates its adherents are responsible to no authority. Man is the end-all and the concepts of right and wrong no longer apply. America is no longer indivisible, but polarized more than ever before in history. A look at the behavior of America’s legislative bodies is sufficient to understand this truth.
Rich in grace, practitioner of witchcraft… Those nations that were not influenced by Nineveh’s enticing actions were captured through witchcraft. Those nations who are not impressed with the American way of conducting business or do not agree with the concept of “talking” to the enemy rather than fighting the enemy in their own backyard, are often threatened with sanctions or the withholding of financial support. In 1957, President Eisenhower addressed the US public: “Should a nation which attacks and occupies foreign territory in the face of United Nations disapproval be allowed to impose conditions on its own withdrawal? If we agreed that armed attack can properly achieve the purposes of the assailant, then I fear we will have turned back the clock of international order. If the United Nations once admits that international disputes can be settled by using force, then we will have destroyed the very foundation of the organization and our best hope of establishing world order. Does this sound familiar? (my comment) The United Nations must not fall. I believe that in the interests of peace the United Nations has no choice but to exert pressure upon Israel to comply with the withdrawal resolutions.”  Eisenhower was referring to the 1956 Suez crisis, when France, Britain and Israel invaded and occupied the Suez Canal, parts of the Sinai and Gaza. Gamal Abdel-Nasser, the charismatic and Pan-Arab leader of Egypt, had nationalized the Suez Canal on the 26th of July 1956. This especially antagonized Britain and France, and France was already wary with Nasser over his support of Algerian fighters. As scholar Avi Shlaim writes, on the 24th of October 1956 in Sevres, France, Britain and Israel met for secret talks to plan to attack Egypt. The goals included capturing the Sinai and Suez Canal, as well as toppling Nasser’s government. And on 29 October, Operation Kadesh began with the invasion of the Sinai by Israel. The US’s role and sanctions The United States submitted a draft resolution to the Security Council on 30 October, calling upon Israel “immediately to withdraw its armed forces behind the established armistice lines”. However, France and Britain vetoed the resolution. The matter was then transferred to the General Assembly. The next day, the General Assembly adopted, on the proposal of the United States, resolution 997 (ES-I), calling for “an immediate ceasefire, the withdrawal of all forces behind the armistice lines and the reopening of the Canal.” However, it seemed that the invading powers did not want to budge. Israel refused to withdraw from Gaza and from the Sinai, and Britain from the Suez. President Eisenhower threatened sanctions against Israel, but was thwarted by the pro-Israel lobby in Congress. Eisenhower demanded throughout January and February of 1957 that Israel withdraw from the Gaza strip. Finally, it was the threat of sanctions that forced Israel in March 1957 to withdraw. Eisenhower threatened that the US would cut off all private assistance to Israel, which amounted to $40 million in tax-deductible donations and $60 million annually in the purchase of bonds. He would also terminate shipments of agricultural products and all military assistance, including deals already in the pipeline. He canceled export licenses for the shipment of munitions or other military goods. The threat of sanctions in the form of a resolution to the UN requiring the termination of all aid to Israel by UN members if it failed to withdraw was also decisive. Similarly, to force the British to pull out, the US administration withheld financial aid and applied an embargo on American oil.
This action illustrates the general policy of America to “talk, threaten, then selectively exert force” with the approval of the United Nations in order to meets its agendas. Note that America’s greatest ally (Israel) is not exempt. Also note that for many nations today, failure to meet American guidelines for issues such as nuclear weapon inspections are largely ignored without any force on the part of the United States. Such actions may be compared to the witchcraft used by Nineveh during Nahum’s ministry.
Verse 5-7: “Behold, I am against you- the word of HaShem, Master of Legions- and I will pull up your skirts over your face; and I will show the nations your nakedness and the kingdoms your shame. I will cast repulsive things upon you and make you disgusting; I will make you like dung. And it will be that all who see you will move away from you and say, “Nineveh has been ravaged; who will bemoan her?” From where can seek comforters for you?”
These verses have an uncanny similarity to Revelation Chapter 18, several parallel verses I will provide for this study. I invite you to read the entire Chapter in Revelation and to prayerfully make your own conclusions.
First we must understand that there is a Commercial Babylon and a Religious Babylon spoken of in Revelation. We do not need to argue that the United States fits the description of the “Great City.” The United States is known universally as a great commercial center, military power, and sits between two great waters doing commerce with the entire world. Unfortunately, it is now a buyer nation verses a seller nation. IN this age of nuclear weapons, it can easily be destroyed as this “city” described in Revelation 18 will be destroyed. Its sudden destruction is one dominant feature of Revelation chapter 18. It is prophecy paralleling Nineveh in Nahum’s time. This prophecy is something that will happen. Note that the structure of Revelation Chapter 18 echoes the structure of Nahum’s prophecy against Nineveh: The proclamation of its destruction, the reasons for it, and the manner of it. It is beyond the scope of this study to explain the differences in Commercial and Spiritual Babylon. However, I will offer a class on Revelation in the future at which time we will explore these two Babylons in detail. For now, I invite you to prayerfully explore Revelation Chapters 17-18 for your benefit in understanding Nahum’s prophecy to Nineveh, the reasons for her destruction; the behavior of the United States and the global community in our time and what is to come.
Next week we will conclude our study of Nahum beginning with Chapter 3:8 to the end of the book.
Shalu Shalom Yerushalyim,
Rabbi Tamah Davis