In Nahum 3:8-12 Nahum compares Nineveh to other great cities of renown. Thebes, Cush, and Egypt.
Stout and strong cities that no one thought could ever be conquered. Yet, Nineveh at the height of its power destroyed Thebes, leaving Cush and Egypt scared of the super power growing next door. Ironic that Nahum points out that Nineveh conquered the unconquerable city of Thebes while they think they are unconquerable themselves. Thebes went into exile afterwards, barely had children left, all the great men cast down and taken off into slavery. So too Nineveh in 3:11-12 will be like a fig tree loosing all its figs by being lightly shaken by God. No wonder Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:12, “Let anyone who thinks he stand take heed lest he fall.”
In 3:13-17 Nahum gives his most pronounced taunt to Nineveh. He actually does what people still do today. Nahum in 3:13 calls the infamous, strong, and robust troops of Nineveh “women.”
This makes me think of the “Back to the Future” movies where Biff, the bad guy, used one tactic to get a rise out of Marty McFly. Do you remember what Biff would call him? “What are you, a chicken?” Marty would always fall for it and get drawn back in to fight with Biff. He couldn’t stand being called a chicken. How much more a national super power being likened to nothing but women. Even more so, in 3:15-17 Nahum calls the generals of Nineveh’s armies grasshoppers who’ll hop away and flee when the heat of battle bears down on them. You can be sure this caused a response in Nineveh. A violent city would not respond kindly to such a message. We don’t know if this message led to Nahum’s death. We don’t hear from him again in the Bible. Praise God Nahum feared God more than man, and preached the message anyway.
In 3:18-19 we have what theologians call the “funeral song” of Nineveh. (read 3:18-19) Nahum is done pronouncing “woe” upon the great fortress. All the people of God must do at this point is wait for God to act. Wait for God to rescue. Wait for God to show up and end the oppression of the enemy and do as He said He would do in 2:2 “restore the majesty and beauty of Jacob.”
to be continued….