Nahum 3
Contemporary English Version

Punishment for Nineveh

The Lord said:

1Doom to the crime capital!

Nineveh, city of murder

and treachery,

2here is your fate—

cracking whips,

churning wheels;

galloping horses,

roaring chariots;

3cavalry attacking,

swords and spears flashing;

soldiers stumbling

over piles of dead bodies.

4You were nothing more

than a prostitute

using your magical charms

and witchcraft

to attract and trap nations.

5But I, the Lord All-Powerful,

am now your enemy.

I will pull up your skirt

and let nations and kingdoms

stare at your nakedness.

6I will cover you with garbage,

treat you like trash,

and rub you in the dirt.

7Everyone who sees you

will turn away and shout,

“Nineveh is done for!

Is anyone willing to mourn

or to give her comfort?”

Nineveh's Fate Is Sealed

8Nineveh, do you feel safer

than the city of Thebes?+

The Nile River

was its wall of defense.+

9Thebes trusted the mighty power

of Ethiopia+ and Egypt;

the nations of Put+ and Libya

were her allies.

10But she was captured and taken

to a foreign country.

Her children were murdered

at every street corner.

The members of her royal family

were auctioned off,

and her high officials

were bound in chains.

11Nineveh, now it's your turn!

You will get drunk and try to hide

from your enemy.

12Your fortresses are fig trees

with ripe figs.

Merely shake the trees,

and fruit will fall

into every open mouth.

13Your army is weak.

Fire has destroyed the crossbars

on your city gates;

now they stand wide open

to your enemy.

14Your city is under attack.

Haul in extra water!

Strengthen your defenses!

Start making bricks!

Stir the mortar!

15You will still go up in flames

and be cut down by swords

that will wipe you out like a field

attacked by grasshoppers.

So, go ahead and increase

like a swarm of locusts!+

16More merchants are in your city

than there are stars

in the sky—

but they are like locusts

that eat everything,

then fly away.

17Your guards and your officials

are swarms of locusts.

On a chilly day

they settle on a fence,

but when the sun comes out,

they take off

to who-knows-where.

18King of Assyria,

your officials and leaders

are sound asleep,

while your people are scattered

in the mountains.

Yes, your people are sheep

without a shepherd.

19You're fatally wounded.

There's no hope for you.

But everyone claps

when they hear this news,

because your constant cruelty

has caused them pain.


3.8 Thebes: In 663 b.c., the Assyrian King Ashurbanipal captured this Egyptian city, which seems to have been built with protection similar to that of Nineveh.
3.8 was its … defense: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
3.9 Ethiopia: The Hebrew text has “Cush,” which was a region south of Egypt that included parts of the present countries of Ethiopia and Sudan.
3.9 Put: A region in Africa, possibly part of the present country of Libya.
3.15 locusts: A type of grasshopper that comes in swarms and causes great damage to plant life.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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