Nothing is known about the author whose book is included among the Minor Prophets, except that he was born in Elkosh; but the single theme—the fall of the Assyrian capital Nineveh (612 BCE)—permits an approximate date, with violent passion and horrific images of Nineveh’s injured women. The prophet is exulting about the impending doom of the empire which more than any other neighbour had heaped sufferings on Judah and its northern relation Israel; but one section at the end (3: 18–19) is a taunt-song which seems to be celebrating the news that Nineveh has already just fallen. These verses might therefore have been added by an editor to the earlier part of the book which anticipates the fall. The mention of the fall of Thebes (663 BCE) gives the earliest possible date of composition. The revolt of King Manasseh and his subsequent pardon (2 Chron. 33) suggests a weakening of Assyria and a new climate; the rulers have been false shepherds; it is they who bear responsibility for their people’s tragedy.