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The Book of the Prophet Nahum

(Naum “comfort” from the Hebrew)

 

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Chapter 1

      This is the heavy burden of Ninive, which Nahum of Elchos did write as he saw it. The Lord is a jealous God, and a taker of vengeance: yee a taker of vengeance is the Lord, and wrothful. The Lord taketh vengeance of his enemies, and reserveth displeasure for his adversaries. The Lord suffereth long, he is of great power, and so innocent that he leaveth no man faultless before him. The Lord goeth forth in tempest and stormy weather, the clouds are the dust of his feet. When he reproveth the sea , he drieth it up, and turneth all the floods into dry land. Basan is desolate, Charmel and the pleasure of Libnus wasteth away. The mountains tremble before him, the hills consume. At the sight of him the earth quaketh: yee the whole world, and all that dwell therein. Who may endure before his wrath? Or who is able to abide his grim displeasure? His anger taketh on like fire, and the hard rocks burst asunder before him.
      Full graciousness is the Lord, and a strong hold in the time of trouble, he knoweth them that put their trust in him: when the flood runneth over, and destroyeth the place, and when the darkness followeth still upon his enemies. What do ye imagine against the Lord on this manner? ( Tush, when he hath once made an end, there shall come no more trouble ) For like as the thorns that stick together, and as the dry straw, so shall the drunkards be consumed together, even when they be full. There come out of the such as Imagine mischief, and give ungracious counsel against the Lord.
      Therefore thus saith the Lord: Let them be as well prepared, yee and as many as they can, yet shall they be hewn down, and pass away. And as for thee I will vex thee but not utterly destroy thee, And now will I break his rod from thy back, and burst thy bonds asunder. But the Lord hath given a commandment concerning thee, that there shall come no more seed of thy name. The carved and chastened Images I will root out of the house of thy God. Thy grave shall I prepare for thee, and thou shalt be confounded.

 

 

 

Chapter 2

      Behold, upon the mountains come the feet of him, that bringeth good tidings, and preacheth peace. O Judah, keep thy holy days, perform thy promises: for Belial shall come no more in thee, he is utterly rooted out.
      The scatterer shall come up against thee, and lay siege to the castle. Look thou well to the streets, make thy loins strong, arm thyself with all thy might: for the Lord will restor again the glory of Jacob, like as the glory of Israel. The destroyers have broken them down, and marred the wine branches. The shield of his giants glittereth, his men of war are clothed in purple. His chariots are as fire, when he maketh him forward, his archers are well decked and trimmed. The chariots roll upon the streets, and *welter in the highways. They are to look upon like *cressettes of fire, and go swiftly, as the lighting. When he doth but warn his giants, they all in their array, and hastily climb up the walls: yee the engines of the war are prepared already. The water ports shall be opened, and the kings palace shall fall. The queen herself shall be led away captive, and her gentlemen shall mourn as doves, and grown within their hearts. Ninive is like a pool full of water, but then shall they be ready and willing to flee. Stand, stand, ( they shall cry ) and there shall not one turn back. Away with the silver, away with the gold: for here there is no end of treasure. There shall be a multitude of all manner costly ornaments. Thus must she be spoiled, emptied and clean stripped out: that their hearts may be melted away, their knees tremble, all their lions be weak, and their faces black as a pot.      
      Where there is now the dwelling of the lions, and the pasture of the lions whelps? where the lion and lioness went with the whelps, and no man scared them away? But the lion spoiled enough for his young ones, and devoured for his lioness: he filled his dens with his prey, and his dwelling place with that he had ravished. Behold, I will upon thee, sayeth the Lord of hosts, and will set fire upon thy chariots that they shall smoke with all, and the sword shall devour the young lions. I will make an end of thy spoiling from out of the earth, and the voice of thy messengers shall no more be heard.

 

*welter= confused mass; a jumble: To wallow, roll, or toss about, as in mud or high seas. lie soaked in a liquid. To roll and surge, as the sea. *cressettes= A metal cup, often suspended on a pole, containing burning oil or pitch and used as a torch.

 

 

 

Chapter 3

      Woe to the blood thirsty city, which is all full of lies and robbery, and will not leave off of ravishing. There a man may hear scourging, rushing, the noise of the wheels, the crying of the horses, and the rolling of the chariots. There the horsemen get up with naked swords, and glittering spears: There layeth a multitude of slain, and a great heap of dead *coarses, yee men fall upon their bodies: And that for the great and many fold whoredom, of the fair and beautiful harlot: which is a mistress of witchcraft, yee and selleth the people through her whoredom, and the nations through her witchcraft.
      Behold, I will upon thee ( sayeth the Lord of hosts ) and will pull thy clothes over thy head: that I may shoe thy nakedness among the Heathen, and thy shame among the kingdoms. I will cast dirt upon thee, to make thee be abhorred, and a gazing stock: Yee all they that look upon thee, shall start back, and say: Ninive is destroyed.
      Who will have pity upon thee: where shall I seek one to comfort thee? Art thou better than the great city of Alexandria: that lay in the waters, and had the waters round about it: which was strongly fenced and walled with the sea? Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength, and that exceedingly great above measure. Africa and Libya were her helpers, yet was she driven away, and brought into captivity: her young children were smitten down at the head of every street, the lots were cast for the most ancient men in her, and all her mighty men were bound in chains. Even so shalt thou also be drunken, and hide thyself, and seek some help against thy enemy. All thy strong cities shall be like fig trees with ripe figs: which when a man shaketh, they shall fall into the mouth of the eater.
      Behold, thy people within thee are but women: the ports of thy land shall be open to thine enemies, and the fire shall devour thy barrs. Draw water now against thou be besieged, make up thy strongholds, go into the clay, temper the mortar, make strong brick: yet the fire shall consume thee, the sword shall destroy thee, yee as the locust doth, so shall it eat thee up. It shall fall heavily upon thee as the locusts, yee right heavily shall it fall upon thee, even as the grasshoppers. Thy merchants have been numbered with the stars of heaven: but now shall they spread abroad as the locusts, and flee their way: Thy lords are as the grasshoppers, and thy captains as the multitude of grasshoppers: which when they be cold, remain in the hedges: but when the Sun is up, they flee away, and no man can tell where they are become. Thy shepherds are a sleep ( O king of Assur ) thy worthies are laid down: thy people is scattered abroad upon the mountains, and no man gathereth them together again. Thy wound cannot be healed, thy plague is so sore. All they that hear this of thee, shall clap their hands over thee. For what is he, to whom thou hast not always been doing hurt.


*coarses= corpses ..courses; manner of proceeding or developing;

 

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