Nahum

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Nahum (Hebrew: נַחוּם Naḥūm‎) was a minor prophet whose prophecy is recorded in the Hebrew Bible. His book comes in chronological order between Micah and Habakkuk in the Bible.[1] He wrote about the end of the Assyrian Empire, and its capital city, Nineveh, in a vivid poetic style.[2]

Little is known about Nahum’s personal history. His name means "comforter," and he was from the town of Alqosh, (Nah 1:1) which scholars have attempted to identify with several cities, including the modern `Alqush of Assyria and Capharnaum of northern Galilee.[3] He was a very nationalistic Hebrew however and lived amongst the Elkoshites in peace. His writings could be taken as prophecy or as history. One account suggests that his writings are a prophecy written in about 615 BC, just before the downfall of Assyria, while another account suggests that he wrote this passage as liturgy just after its downfall in 612 BC.[4][5]

Contents

Historical context

Archaeological digs have uncovered the splendor of Nineveh in its zenith under Sennacherib (705-681 BC), Esarhaddon (681-669 BC), and Ashurbanipal (669-633 BC). Massive walls were eight miles in circumference.[6] It had a water aqueduct, palaces and a library with 20,000 clay tablets, including accounts of a creation in Enuma Elish and a flood in the Epic of Gilgamesh.[7][8] The Babylonian chronicle of the fall of Nineveh tells the story of the end of Nineveh. Naboplassar of Babylon joined forces with Cyaxares, king of the Medes, and laid siege for three months.[9] Assyria lasted a few more years after the loss of its fortress, but attempts by Egyptian Pharaoh Neco II to rally the Assyrians failed due to opposition from king Josiah of Judah,[10] and it seemed to be all over by 609 BC.[11]

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