Study of the Prophets: Nahum (Cont.)
Before we get into specifics regarding the book of Nahum, let’s look at some specifics Nahum addresses concerning Nineveh and the anti-messiah. This information will augment that which we will cover chronologically.
Although we do not know exactly where Nahum’s hometown was, some commentators believe he lived in Capernaum, which translates as “village of Nahum.” His name means “a consolation” probably referring to the nature of his prophecy, the “burden of Nineveh.” His message of impending judgment upon Nineveh was a comfort to the Jewish people as Assyria had conquered northern Israel and had taken the 10 tribes into captivity.
The two southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin, which for almost a century had been under the oppression of Nineveh were afraid that the Assyrian army would destroy what was left of their fragmented kingdom. Nahum addressed his message to them. Remember, during this time, the smaller kingdoms were allowed to rule themselves; this was an “intermission” of sorts between major attacks and conquests. Nahum’s prophecy of Nineveh’s destruction came about 150 years after Jonah preached to Nineveh; a relatively short time for Nineveh to return to their idolatrous and wicked ways.
Nineveh derives its name from the “moon goddess,” Ishtar. It was built by Asshur in the days when Nimrod built the Tower of Babel. It can be said that Nineveh was synonymous with Babylon religiously and politically. However, Babylon was built primarily to honor the sun god, Baal. Paradoxically, Nineveh was related to the moon as Babylon was related to the sun, Ishtar being the wife of the sun god.
It is interesting to note that in ancient cuneiform sign language, Nineveh was depicted by a fish within an enclosure, something similar to the Christian fish symbols seen on cars today. From a prophetic viewpoint, Nineveh seems to represented a form of Gentile Christianity. Nineveh is portrayed as an apostate religion in the form of Mystery Babylon. This is borne out in Nahum 3:4:
“Because of the multitude of whoredoms of the well favored harlot, the mistress if witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts.”
We may consider that Israel’s earlier prophets considered the city on the same level with what later prophets described as the harlotry of Babylon. Revelation 17-18 illustrates the wicked future religious system: “Mystery Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.”
We should be aware by now that Mystery Babylon represents the Catholic Church and her daughters, Protestant Christianity, Sunday worshippers, and other antinomians who reject G-d’s commands, festivals, dietary laws, and similar instructions.
Rome ruled Judea by the time John wrote Revelation and he described the future Mystery Babylon the Great as Rome which sets on seven hills. This Rome, the same that executed the Messiah would produce the anti-messiah, hasatan’s vicar upon earth, ruling in his stead; the future seed that will establish a diabolical system of world government and eventually bring down the judgment of YHVH Elohim upon hasatan’s evil empire. We had an introduction to this in our last study that concentrated on the Day of the L-rd.
Nahum describes his prophecies as being received by a vision; therefore, we must allow that they have come to us in visionary language. Nahum also tells us that his prophecies are for us in addition to those of his day because he employs the key word “vengeance” used by other prophets to convey the time of the Battle of Armageddon, the last great future battle between good and evil. This will be no video or virtual reality show.
In the beginning of the book we read:
“Elohim is jealous, and YHVH revengeth: YHVH revengeth, and is furious; YHVH will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.” Those who believe G-d is “all love” are in for a reality check! Interestingly though, it is out of His love for the Israelites (true believers both Jew and Gentile according to Romans 2-3) that He is vindicating their mistreatment, oppression, and persecution throughout the centuries.
Vengeance was also the term used in Isaiah 61 to describe the Second Coming of Yahshua, the day of vengeance of our Elohim. In Chapter 63:4 Isaiah recorded the Messiah as saying: “the day of vengeance is in mine heart.”
In Nahum 1:5 we read of the results of YHVH’s vengeance upon a wicked earth:
“The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea the world, and all that dwell therein.”
This description includes the entire world and not just an isolated city sitting on the banks of the Tigris River. There can be no doubt that Nahum’s prophecies heave relevance for us today.
In Nahum 1:10 we see the symbol of thorns as an apocalyptic symbol of the anti-messiah: “For while they be folden together as thorns, and while they are drunken as drunkards, they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry.”
The anti-messiah is seen throughout the Tanakh symbolized by the thorn. It all began with Adam and the curse of the earth by YHVH when HE said: “the ground will bring forth ‘thorns’” alluding to the great enemy of humankind, hasatan, as well as an unproductive earth. A sad but present reality of this scripture can be seen by watching the “tropical update” on BayNews 9. The reason we are not having any tropical storms or hurricanes as we naturally should this time of year is because of the extremely massive dust clouds blowing off Africa that stifle any tropical wave/storm formation. Although some may think the lack of storms is a blessing, in reality it is a curse. We need the natural cycle of storms during the summer as G-d initially created and intended for us throughout time. These dust clouds are a result of over farming and raping the land. It will get worse. A second illustration may be realized by examining the extreme drought in California. The natural forests and multiple orange groves were and are sacrificed for homes built on the sides of hills that no longer have any vegetation to stop mudslides, floods, and dust storms. Overuse of water with no technology to replace it or conserve it is now costing the state billions of dollars. Similarly, a situation of drought and increased amounts of sink holes will plague Florida is we do not take actions and preserve our aquifer and clean up our waters. The root of all the destruction and curses goes back to the reason for the original fall’ pride, selfishness, and greed.
In Judges 9, the parable of the thorn was given by Jotham, the son of Gideon. He said that the forest went forth to find a king to reign over them. They considered the olive tree, the fig, and the vine, but each declined. They finally settled upon the bramble bush that, according to Jotham, is a picture of his wicked brother Abimelech, who in turn is a type of the anti-messiah. Throughout the Old Testament, there are references to thorns when describing the anti-messiah. Mica 7:4 makes a reference to thorns. The crown of thorns upon Yahshua’s head was a further fulfillment of Jotham’s prophecy for when the bramble bush was asked to be king over the trees of the forest, he accepted, saying that all the trees must come under his shadow indicating that he must be exalted at the head of the nations. But the adverse side of this prophecy is that one day in the not too distant future, another, the anti-messiah will attempt to establish a world government bent on making slaves of all the inhabitants of the earth. He will be the ultimate fulfillment of the prophecy, before the rightful Ruler Yahshua HaMashiach takes the throne.
Nahum also describes the anti-messiah as the wicked counselor: “There is one come out of thee, that imagineth evil against YHVH, a wicked counselor.”
Thanks to G-d, in 1:14 Nahum describes this “wicked counselor” as being destined to being destroyed: “And YHVH hath given a commandment concerning thee, that o more of thy name be sown: out of the house of thy gods will I cut off the graven image and the molten image: I will make thy grave; for thou art vile.”
So, when will this happen? G-d in His kindness and love tells us in the next verse, telling us that it will come when Yahshua returns to earth: “Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep they solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; is utterly cut off.”
In chapter 2, we see the symbol of a flood to describe the downfall of Nineveh under the onslaught of the Babylonian forces:
The gates of the rivers shall be opened, and the palace shall be dissolved.”
In extra biblical writings, we have extant an account of these prophecies fulfillment. Diordorus Siculus wrote, referring to Nahum’s prophecy where we learn of the King of Nineveh being aware of Nahum’s prophecy and thereby committed suicide rather than facing the Babylonian army:
“There was an old prophecy that Nineveh should not be taken until the river became an enemy to the city. And in the third year of the siege, the river being swollen with continual rains, overflowed every part of the city, and broke down the wall for 20 furlongs: then the king thinking that the oracle was fulfilled, and the river became an enemy to the city, built a large funeral pyre in the place and collecting together all his wealth and his concubines and eunuchs, burnt himself and the palace with them all; and the enemy entered at the breach that the waters had made and took the city.”
It is interesting that a flood accompanied the fall of Nineveh, for the flood became a metaphor for war. Our sages commented upon this in Psalms 93:3 where we read of the destruction of the anti-messiah and his system referred to in this way:
The floods have lifted up, O YHVH, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves.”
The sages said that the three words translated as floods in this passage, first refers to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. The second refers to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70C.E. But the third points to the future battle of Gog and Magog, referred to and elaborated on in these series of messages as the coming war with Russia and her allies as they swoop down upon Israel.
Daniel also used the metaphor of the flood in Daniel 9:26: “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.”
Yahshua also made a reference to the future flood in Luke 17:26:
“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.”
Nahum was right on the target. He not only predicted the destruction of Nineveh that has been fulfilled, but we can be assured that this prediction of the future judgement of the false religious system Mystery Babylon will most likely occur in this age.
We reap what we sow. Just as Nineveh had destroyed other cities, she was destroyed. Mystery Babylon and her evil system is destroying souls through false teaching that tickles the ears of her audience. The Catholic Church and her wicked offspring will also, reap what they are sowing. How can this be said with assurance? Nahum confirmed this in Chapter 3:7-10: “And it shall come to pass, that all they that look upon thee shall flee from thee, and say, ‘Nineveh is laid waste: who will bemoan her? Whence shall I seek comforters for thee?’ Art thou better than populous, No, that was situate among the rivers, that had the waters round about it, whose rampart was the sea, and her wall was from the sea? Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength, and it was infinite; Put and Lubim were thy helpers. Yet, she was carried away, she went into captivity: her young children also were dashed into pieces at the top of all the streets: and they cast lots for her honourable men, and all her great men were bound in chains.”
Further verification of this system, Rome, Edom is found in Revelation 18:3-4:
3All the nations have drunk the wine of the passion of her immorality. The kings of the earth were immoral with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown wealthy through the extravagance of her luxury.” 4Then I hears another voice from heaven say: “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins or contract any of her plagues. 5For her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.…
G-d gives each of us plenty of time to respond to those of whom He calls. He provides warning to those who choose to reject His Torah/instructions/Yahshua from the beginning chapters of the Bible to the very end. The warnings for those who rebel against G-d and the promises for those who love and obey G-d’s commands are clear and cannot be missed. G-d used Nahum, among others in the Torah to forewarn and foretell the future of Israel and G-d’s chosen people (true believers according to Yahshua’s definition) so that none of us may stand before G-d and say “I wasn’t told,” “I didn’t know,” or “I did not have access to the information.” In the previous ages as in this present age, G-d makes His requirements known to all who will ask, seek, and knock (Matt. 7:7).
Shalu Shalom Yerushalayim,
Rabbi Tamah Davis