Nahum - Introduction
Nahum stands at the end of an epoch. For 150 years, Assyria has oppressed the Near Eastern world, but now (612 B.C.E.) Nineveh, its capital, has fallen to the Babylonians (chs. 2–3 ). The victory over the Assyrians belongs to the LORD, who moves the earth and all its inhabitants ( 1.5 ). (Nahum does not seem to know that a terrible blow will fall on Judah from the Babylonians in 587 B.C.E.)
As a prophet, Nahum emphasizes two matters: Nineveh has received what it deserves at the LORD's hands, and, as a result, Judah can return to normal life. As a poet, Nahum is exceedingly gifted. Though neither especially profound nor original, he is capable of superb pictorial effects, as in 2.1–10 , and of vivid metaphor, as in 2.11–13 . The remains of an originally effective, though now disordered, acrostic poem (one in which each couplet begins with successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet) is to be found in 1.2–11 .