New International Reader's Version

Nahum 1

1Here is a prophecy the Lord gave Nahum, who was from the town of Elkosh. The prophecy came in a vision and is written in a book. The prophecy is about Nineveh.

The Lord Is Angry With Nineveh

The Lord is a jealous God who punishes people.
    He pays them back for the evil things they do.
    He directs his anger against them.
The Lord punishes his enemies.
    He holds his anger back
    until the right time to use it.
The Lord is slow to get angry.
    But he is very powerful.
The Lord will not let guilty people go
    without punishing them.
When he marches out, he stirs up winds and storms.
    Clouds are the dust kicked up by his feet.
He controls the seas. He dries them up.
    He makes all the rivers run dry.
Bashan and Mount Carmel dry up.
    The flowers in Lebanon fade.
He causes the mountains to shake.
    The hills melt away.
The earth trembles because he is there.
    The world and all those who live in it also tremble.
Who can stand firm when his anger burns?
    Who can live when he is angry?
His anger blazes out like fire.
    He smashes the rocks to pieces.

The Lord is good.
    When people are in trouble,
    they can go to him for safety.
He takes good care of those
    who trust in him.
But he will destroy Nineveh
    with a powerful flood.
He will chase his enemies
    into the place of darkness.

The Lord will put an end
    to anything they plan against him.
He won’t allow Assyria to win the battle
    over his people a second time.
10 His enemies will be tangled up among thorns.
    Their wine will make them drunk.
    They’ll be burned up like dry straw.
11 Nineveh, a king has marched out from you.
    He makes evil plans against the Lord.
    He thinks about how he can do what is wrong.

12 The Lord says,

“His army has many soldiers.
    Other nations are helping them.
    But they will be destroyed and pass away.
Judah, I punished you.
    But I will not do it anymore.
13 Now I will break Assyria’s yoke off your neck.
    I will tear off the ropes that hold you.”

14 Nineveh, the Lord has given an order concerning you.
    He has said, “You will not have any children
    to carry on your name.
I will destroy the wooden and metal statues
    that are in the temple of your gods.
I will get your grave ready for you.
    You are worthless.”

15 Look at the mountains of Judah!
    I see a messenger running to bring good news!
    He’s telling us that peace has come!
People of Judah, celebrate your feasts.
    Carry out your promises.
The evil Assyrians won’t attack you again.
    They’ll be completely destroyed.

The Message

Nahum 1

God Is Serious Business

1A report on the problem of Nineveh, the way God gave Nahum of Elkosh to see it:

2-6 God is serious business.
    He won’t be trifled with.
He avenges his foes.
    He stands up against his enemies, fierce and raging.
But God doesn’t lose his temper.
    He’s powerful, but it’s a patient power.
Still, no one gets by with anything.
    Sooner or later, everyone pays.
Tornadoes and hurricanes
    are the wake of his passage,
Storm clouds are the dust
    he shakes off his feet.
He yells at the sea: It dries up.
    All the rivers run dry.
The Bashan and Carmel mountains shrivel,
    the Lebanon orchards shrivel.
Mountains quake in their roots,
    hills dissolve into mud flats.
Earth shakes in fear of God.
    The whole world’s in a panic.
Who can face such towering anger?
    Who can stand up to this fierce rage?
His anger spills out like a river of lava,
    his fury shatters boulders.

7-10 God is good,
    a hiding place in tough times.
He recognizes and welcomes
    anyone looking for help,
No matter how desperate the trouble.
    But cozy islands of escape
He wipes right off the map.
    No one gets away from God.
Why waste time conniving against God?
    He’s putting an end to all such scheming.
For troublemakers, no second chances.
    Like a pile of dry brush,
Soaked in oil,
    they’ll go up in flames.

A Think Tank for Lies

11 Nineveh’s an anthill
    of evil plots against God,
A think tank for lies
    that seduce and betray.

12-13 And God has something to say about all this:
    “Even though you’re on top of the world,
With all the applause and all the votes,
    you’ll be mowed down flat.

“I’ve afflicted you, Judah, true,
    but I won’t afflict you again.
From now on I’m taking the yoke from your neck
    and splitting it up for kindling.
I’m cutting you free
    from the ropes of your bondage.”

14 God’s orders on Nineveh:

“You’re the end of the line.
    It’s all over with Nineveh.
I’m gutting your temple.
    Your gods and goddesses go in the trash.
I’m digging your grave. It’s an unmarked grave.
    You’re nothing—no, you’re less than nothing!”

15 Look! Striding across the mountains—
    a messenger bringing the latest good news: peace!
A holiday, Judah! Celebrate!
    Worship and recommit to God!
No more worries about this enemy.
    This one is history. Close the books.