Day 2

Attack Against Nineveh

Nahum 2:1-13, Nahum 3:1-19, 2 Chronicles 32:9-23

BY Guest Writer

Scripture Reading: Nahum 2:1-13, Nahum 3:1-19, 2 Chronicles 32:9-23

The book of Nahum is the second act of a well-known story—the story of Jonah, a prophet chosen by God to go to the city of Nineveh to call its unrepentant people to God. But despite God’s calling, Jonah did not go to Nineveh; he went to the sea, was swallowed by a fish, and was eventually regurgitated. THEN he went to Nineveh, told the people to repent, and they did.

However, the Ninevites’ repentance didn’t last long. Nineveh was the capital of Assyria, and Assyria was a terrible place. In an effort to describe Assyria, biblical scholars and historians have used words such as “cruel” and “arrogant,” “violent” and “tortuous.” This was a nation founded on bloodshed and established by massacre.

Assyria had conquered Israel, the land of God’s people. The Israelites were exiled, their cities burned, and they were filled with sorrow and lament. All the while, Assyria’s power grew through oppression and violence. It was a superpower standing on a terrible foundation.

Nahum prophesies the destruction of Assyria in this short book, full of vivid images of violence. His sarcastic tone emphasizes his mocking of the Assyrians and is punctuated by the joy of the people who would “clap their hands” at the news of Assyria’s destruction (Nahum 3:19). Their oppressors would be destroyed.

Which is why, as hard as it is to remember, God had sent the Assyrians to overtake Israel initially. We see it in 2 Kings 17:6 and again in Isaiah 8:6–8:

“Because these people rejected
the slowly flowing water of Shiloah…
the Lord will certainly bring against them
the mighty rushing water of the Euphrates River—
the king of Assyria and all his glory.
It will overflow its channels
and spill over all its banks.
It will pour into Judah,
flood over it, and sweep through,
reaching up to the neck;
and its flooded banks
will fill your entire land, Immanuel!”

Israel felt the consequences of their disobedience. And then their oppressors felt the wrath of God. The through line here is that God demands justice. Ecclesiastes 12:14 says, “For God will bring every act to judgment, including every hidden thing, whether good or evil.” The Old Testament sings of His faithfulness and mercy but also His impervious commitment to justice. God’s justice is bound up with His holiness and is part of the fabric of His universe. And His justice is satisfied in Christ alone.

In Isaiah 9, right after God’s declaration to send Assyria to overtake Israel, He makes a promise: a child would be born, a son would be given. A promise of a government and peace that would have no end (v.6).

God knew that the only way to satisfy His desire for justice was to send His Son—Himself—to stand in the place of His people. The God who warned, “Beware, I am against you. This is the declaration of the LORD of Armies” (Nahum 2:13), would turn that anger against Himself. His need for justice would be satisfied once for all time in the death of His Son. That Son would rise again, defeating death, with a promise to return and bring a peace that will have no end.

Come, Lord Jesus!


Melanie Rainer is a bookworm from birth who makes her days writing, editing and reading in Nashville, where she also joyfully serves as the editor of Kids Read Truth. She has an M.A. in Theological Studies from Covenant Seminary, spends as much time as she can in the kitchen, and can’t wait until her two daughters are old enough to read Anne of Green Gables.

Post Comments (48)

48 thoughts on "Attack Against Nineveh"

  1. Leah Rachow says:

    I think an important thing to keep in mind is that no evil thing comes from God. In the case of Judah being conquered by Assyria, God did not “inspire” Assyria to be evil. He only lifted his protective hand because Judah had disobeyed and turned away from Him. In times where life seems crazy and hectic and as if the evil never ends, it is not because God is causing bad things to happen from He is angry. When God isn’t present in a situation and the people in a bad circumstance are not reaching out to Him for guidance, nothing will go right. Leaning on our own understanding and strength will never bring us peace or prosperity. Also remember that God is not angry with us anymore. He is not seeking revenge and asking us to prove ourselves to Him. He sent us Son to die on a cross and take all those things we do that make Him angry with Him.
    I hope this helps!

    1. Haley says:

      Thank you for sharing this!

    2. Pam says:

      Yes! Very helpful.

    3. PamC says:

      Loved this. Thanks

    4. Dorothy says:

      That is well said and I agree fully. You are right when you said “When God isn’t present is a situation and the people in a bad circumstance are not reaching out to Him for guidance, nothing will go right.” Thanks

    5. Chris Gruhlke says:

      It does! Thank you for reaching out!

  2. Erica Chiarelli says:

    Say anything, as the commander continued to taunt and then he got his servants to keep at it. Then God stepped in, sent an angel to destroy the army!!! They had to run home with their tail between their legs and the commander ended up being killed by some of his own sons! You don’t mess with our God! He is our Deliverer, just as He was Israel’s! He will fight for us, we only need believe!

  3. Churchmouse says:

    There are consequences and there is hope. That’s the message I get from reading Nahum today. Israel’s disobedience resulted in oppression by the Assyrians. The cruelty and taunting by the Assyrians resulted in their destruction. There are consequences when the one true God is rejected, when sin is overlooked, minimized or dismissed. Yet with consequences there is still hope. God never abandons His own. While there are consequences, there is also comfort. If I repent, I have the comfort of forgiveness and a fresh start. God provides a reset button. May I search my heart for any hidden subtle foothold of sin and repent of it. May I avoid potential consequences and rest in the comfort of His forgiveness. May my life be reset by His grace and mercy. May I give Him praise! And may I not concern myself with those who are my oppressors. God sees and knows and He will deal with them. How freeing!

    1. Sarah says:

      Thank you for sharing this. It is beautifully and thoughtfully written. It spoke to my heart this morning.

    2. Chris Gruhlke says:

      ♥️ this helps!

    3. Cassie Schneider says:


    4. PamC says:

      And Amen

    5. Jordan Alyse Coffelt says:

      Beautifully said.

  4. Erica Chiarelli says:

    I love how the commander of Assyria kept taunting the king and the people but they continued to trust God and pray. They didn’t

  5. Sue says:

    When I read 2 Chronicles, I can’t help but think of how this reminds me of life today.

    Christianity is so frequently mocked, and it seems that evil, like the attacks in Pittsburgh, dominates the news all too frequently.

    And yet, in the midst of trouble, King Hezekiah prayed and cried out to heaven.

    May we follow his example.

    May we heed the words in 2 Chrinicles 7:14 “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

    And may we hold onto the hope that “the Lord is good, a stronghold in a day of distress; he cares for those who take refuge in him”. (Nahum 1:7)

    1. Churchmouse says:


    2. Heather Nistler (MNmomma) says:


  6. Christina D. says:

    What a powerful statement: “God would turn His anger against himself.” There is truly no one like our Lord.

  7. Jennifer says:

    King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah could have easily given into a spirit of fear and listened to the taunting words of the king of Assyria. That man’s boasting to overtake Jerusaleum was founded in proof of all the previous countries and lands he had brutally conquered. But Hezekiah and Isaiah turned their backs on him and sought the face of God with cries. (verse 20). I just love the next verse. God wasn’t messing around; you can’t taunt and provoke the Lord Almighty. He will avenge and uphold His Holy Name and save His loved ones. Isn’t that how God still moves today. When an enemy comes against us, do we faithfully turn to God in prayer and pleas or stay and listen to the taunts of the enemies of our souls? God is faithful to the very end. He will bring deliverance and fully annihilate our enemies be it fear, doubt, or whatever tries to hold onto us. Let us faithfully turn to the one true God, the Lord Almighty!

    1. Maura says:

      Indeed! Amen.

    2. Terri says:

      It only took two to pray for mercy on their country. Let us all pray for our country and leaders

    3. Dorothy says:

      I was rooting Hezekiah and Isaiah on. They were being bullied and they stood up to the bully and prayed to God for strength and received. More of us need to do this.

  8. Michelle Worthy says:

    I love verse 2, For the Lord will restore the majesty of Jacob. Yes, the majesty of Israel, though ravagers have ravaged them and ruined their vine branches.
    Gives me hope.

    1. Kelly Chataine says:

      Yes, there is hope, always, in our God!

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