Nahum 2
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings that announceth peace! Keep thy feasts O Yehudah perform thy vows; for the wicked one shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.

א  הִנֵּה עַל הֶהָרִים רַגְלֵי מְבַשֵּׂר מַשְׁמִיעַ שָׁלוֹם חָגִּי יְהוּדָה חַגַּיִךְ שַׁלְּמִי נְדָרָיִךְ כִּי לֹא יוֹסִיף עוֹד לעבור (לַעֲבָר ) בָּךְ בְּלִיַּעַל כֻּלֹּה נִכְרָת.

2  A maul is come up before thy face; guard the defences watch the way make thy loins strong fortify thy power mightily!

ב  עָלָה מֵפִיץ עַל פָּנַיִךְ נָצוֹר מְצוּרָה צַפֵּה דֶרֶךְ חַזֵּק מָתְנַיִם אַמֵּץ כֹּחַ מְאֹד.

3  For Hashem restoreth the pride of Jacob as the pride of Israel; for the emptiers have emptied them out and marred their vine-branches.

ג  כִּי שָׁב יְהוָה אֶת גְּאוֹן יַעֲקֹב כִּגְאוֹן יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּי בְקָקוּם בֹּקְקִים וּזְמֹרֵיהֶם שִׁחֵתוּ.

4  The shield of his mighty men is made red the valiant men are in scarlet; the chariots are fire of steel in the day of his preparation and the cypress spears are made to quiver.

ד  מָגֵן גִּבֹּרֵיהוּ מְאָדָּם אַנְשֵׁי חַיִל מְתֻלָּעִים בְּאֵשׁ פְּלָדֹת הָרֶכֶב בְּיוֹם הֲכִינוֹ וְהַבְּרֹשִׁים הָרְעָלוּ.

5  The chariots rush madly in the streets they jostle one against another in the broad places; the appearance of them is like torches they run to and fro like the lightnings.

ה  בַּחוּצוֹת יִתְהוֹלְלוּ הָרֶכֶב יִשְׁתַּקְשְׁקוּן בָּרְחֹבוֹת מַרְאֵיהֶן כַּלַּפִּידִים כַּבְּרָקִים יְרוֹצֵצוּ.

6  He bethinketh himself of his worthies; they stumble in their march; they make haste to the wall thereof and the mantelet is prepared.

ו  יִזְכֹּר אַדִּירָיו יִכָּשְׁלוּ בהלכותם (בַּהֲלִיכָתָם) יְמַהֲרוּ חוֹמָתָהּ וְהֻכַן הַסֹּכֵךְ.

7  The gates of the rivers are opened and the palace is dissolved.

sha-a-RAY ha-n’-ha-ROT nif-TA-khu v’-ha-hay-KHAL na-MOG

ז  שַׁעֲרֵי הַנְּהָרוֹת נִפְתָּחוּ וְהַהֵיכָל נָמוֹג.

2:7  The gates of the rivers are opened

In this chapter, Nahum envisions what no one else could dream of: the defeat of evil and the downfall of Assyria after five centuries of Assyrian rule in the Middle East. During their reign, the Assyrians exiled the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, and ruled over Judah as well. Their downfall is therefore greatly anticipated by the Children of Israel. Nahum carefully records every detail of the capital’s collapse, from the colors of the onrushing soldiers (verse 4), to the chariots rushing through the streets (verse 5). In this verse, Nahum describes the opening of the river gates and the collapse of the palace. Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, was located on the east bank of the Tigris River, and the river Huser ran through it. A series of moats and channels protected the city, but the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus writes that when the invaders opened the river gates, the rushing waters washed away several of the ramparts defending the city. Once the invading armies entered the outer wall of the city, they fought to capture the palace which they eventually burned.

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8  And the queen is uncovered she is carried away and her handmaids moan as with the voice of doves tabering upon their breasts.

ח  וְהֻצַּב גֻּלְּתָה הֹעֲלָתָה וְאַמְהֹתֶיהָ מְנַהֲגוֹת כְּקוֹל יוֹנִים מְתֹפְפֹת עַל לִבְבֵהֶן.

9  But Ninveh hath been from of old like a pool of water; yet they flee away; ‘Stand stand’; but none looketh back.

ט  וְנִינְוֵה כִבְרֵכַת מַיִם מִימֵי הִיא וְהֵמָּה נָסִים עִמְדוּ עֲמֹדוּ וְאֵין מַפְנֶה.

10  Take ye the spoil of silver take the spoil of gold; for there is no end of the store rich with all precious vessels.

י  בֹּזּוּ כֶסֶף בֹּזּוּ זָהָב וְאֵין קֵצֶה לַתְּכוּנָה כָּבֹד מִכֹּל כְּלִי חֶמְדָּה.

11  She is empty and void and waste; and the heart melteth and the knees smite together and convulsion is in all loins and the faces of them all have gathered blackness.

יא  בּוּקָה וּמְבוּקָה וּמְבֻלָּקָה וְלֵב נָמֵס וּפִק בִּרְכַּיִם וְחַלְחָלָה בְּכָל מָתְנַיִם וּפְנֵי כֻלָּם קִבְּצוּ פָארוּר.

12  Where is the den of the lions which was the feeding-place of the young lions where the lion and the lioness walked and the lion’s whelp and none made them afraid?

יב  אַיֵּה מְעוֹן אֲרָיוֹת וּמִרְעֶה הוּא לַכְּפִרִים אֲשֶׁר הָלַךְ אַרְיֵה לָבִיא שָׁם גּוּר אַרְיֵה וְאֵין מַחֲרִיד.

13  The lion did tear in pieces enough for his whelps and strangled for his lionesses and filled his caves with prey and his dens with ravin.

יג  אַרְיֵה טֹרֵף בְּדֵי גֹרוֹתָיו וּמְחַנֵּק לְלִבְאֹתָיו וַיְמַלֵּא טֶרֶף חֹרָיו וּמְעֹנֹתָיו טְרֵפָה.

14  Behold I am against thee saith Hashem of hosts and I will burn her chariots in the smoke and the sword shall devour thy young lions; and I will cut off thy prey from the earth and the voice of thy messengers shall no more be heard.

יד  הִנְנִי אֵלַיִךְ נְאֻם יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת וְהִבְעַרְתִּי בֶעָשָׁן רִכְבָּהּ וּכְפִירַיִךְ תֹּאכַל חָרֶב וְהִכְרַתִּי מֵאֶרֶץ טַרְפֵּךְ וְלֹא יִשָּׁמַע עוֹד קוֹל מַלְאָכֵכֵה.

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Comment ( 1 )

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  • All of the “spoils” of modern day Assyria (Iraq), have been carried off and the cities have been laid to waste. What does this mean to us in this day?
    Baruch Hashem.

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Nahum 2