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The Book of the Prophet Nahum

(Naum “comfort” from the Hebrew)


The 1st Chapter
     This is the heavy burden of Ninive, which Nahum of Elchos did write as he saw it. The Lord is a jealous God, and a taker of vengeance: yes a taker of vengeance is the Lord, and wrothful. The Lord takes vengeance of his enemies, and reserves displeasure for his adversaries. The Lord suffers long, he is of great power, and so innocent that he leaves no man faultless before him. The Lord goes forth in tempest and stormy weather, the clouds are the dust of his feet. When he reproves the sea , he drys it up, and turns all the floods into dry land. Basan is desolate, Charmel and the pleasure of Libnus wastes away. The mountains tremble before him, the hills consume. At the sight of him the earth quaketh: yes the whole world, and all that dwell therein. Who may endure before his wrath? Or who is able to abide his grim displeasure? His anger takes on like fire, and the hard rocks burst asunder before him.
     Full graciousness is the Lord, and a strong hold in the time of trouble, he knows them that put their trust in him: when the flood runs over, and destroys the place, and when the darkness follows still upon his enemies. What do you imagine against the Lord on this manner? (Tush, when he has once made an end, there shall come no more trouble) For like as the thorns that stick together, and as the dry straw, so shall the drunkards be consumed together, even when they be full. There come out of the such as Imagine mischief, and give ungracious counsel against the Lord.
     Therefore thus says the Lord: Let them be as well prepared, yes and as many as they can, yet shall they be hewn down, and pass away. And as for you I will vex you but not utterly destroy you, And now will I break his rod from your back, and burst your bonds asunder. But the Lord has given a commandment concerning you, that there shall come no more seed of your name. The carved and chastened Images I will root out of the house of your God. your grave shall I prepare for you, and you shall be confounded.

The 2nd Chapter
     Behold, upon the mountains come the feet of him, that brings good tidings, and preaches peace. O Judah, keep your holy days, perform your promises: for Belial shall come no more in you, he is utterly rooted out.
     The scatterer shall come up against you, and lay siege to the castle. Look you well to the streets, make your loins strong, arm yourself with all your might: for the Lord will restor again the glory of Jacob, like as the glory of Israel. The destroyers have broken them down, and marred the wine branches. The shield of his giants glitters, his men of war are clothed in purple. His chariots are as fire, when he makes him forward, his archers are well decked and trimmed. The chariots roll upon the streets, and *welter in the highways. They are to look upon like *cressettes of fire, and go swiftly, as the lighting. When he does but warn his giants, they all in their array, and hastily climb up the walls: yes the engines of the war are prepared already. The water ports shall be opened, and the kings palace shall fall. The queen herself shall be led away captive, and her gentlemen shall mourn as doves, and grown within their hearts. Ninive is like a pool full of water, but then shall they be ready&willing to flee. Stand, stand, (they shall cry) and there shall not one turn back. Away with the silver, away with the gold: for here there is no end of treasure. There shall be a multitude of all manner costly ornaments. Thus must she be spoiled, emptied and clean stripped out: that their hearts may be melted away, their knees tremble, all their lions be weak, and their faces black as a pot.*welter= confused mass; a jumble: To wallow, roll, or toss about, as in mud or high seas. lie soaked in a liquid. To roll and surge, as the sea. *cressettes= A metal cup, often suspended on a pole, containing burning oil or pitch and used as a torch.
     Where there is now the dwelling of the lions, and the pasture of the lions whelps? where the lion and lioness went with the whelps, and no man scared them away? But the lion spoiled enough for his young ones, and devoured for his lioness: he filled his dens with his prey, and his dwelling place with that he had ravished. Behold, I will upon you, says the Lord of hosts, and will set fire upon your chariots that they shall smoke with all, and the sword shall devour the young lions. I will make an end of your spoiling from out of the earth, and the voice of your messengers shall no more be heard.

The 3rd Chapter
     Woe to the blood thirsty city, which is all full of lies and robbery, and will not leave off of ravishing. There a man may hear scourging, rushing, the noise of the wheels, the crying of the horses, and the rolling of the chariots. There the horsemen get up with naked swords, and glittering spears: There lays a multitude of slain, and a great heap of dead *coarses, yes men fall upon their bodies: And that for the great and many fold whoredom, of the fair and beautiful harlot: which is a mistress of witchcraft, yes and sells the people through her whoredom, and the nations through her witchcraft. *coarses= corpses ..courses; manner of proceeding or developing;
     Behold, I will upon you (says the Lord of hosts) and will pull your clothes over your head: that I may shoe your nakedness among the Heathen, and your shame among the kingdoms. I will cast dirt upon you, to make you be abhorred, and a gasing stock: Yes all they that look upon you, shall start back, and say: Ninive is destroyed.
     Who will have pity upon you: where shall I seek one to comfort you? are you better than the great city of Alexandria: that lay in the waters, and had the waters round about it: which was strongly fenced and walled with the sea? Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength, and that exceedingly great above measure. Africa and Libya were her helpers, yet was she driven away, and brought into captivity: her young children were smitten down at the head of every street, the lots were cast for the most ancient men in her, and all her mighty men were bound in chains. Even so shall you also be drunken, and hide yourself, and seek some help against your enemy. All your strong cities shall be like fig trees with ripe figs: which when a man shakes, they shall fall into the mouth of the eater.
     Behold, your people within you are but women: the ports of your land shall be open to your enemies, and the fire shall devour your barrs. Draw water now against you be besieged, make up your strongholds, go into the clay, temper the mortar, make strong brick: yet the fire shall consume you, the sword shall destroy you, yes as the locust doth, so shall it eat you up. It shall fall heavily upon you as the locusts, yes right heavily shall it fall upon you, even as the grasshoppers. your merchants have been numbered with the stars of heaven: but now shall they spread abroad as the locusts, and flee their way: your lords are as the grasshoppers, and your captains as the multitude of grasshoppers: which when they be cold, remain in the hedges: but when the Sun is up, they flee away, and no man can tell where they are become. your shepherds are a sleep (O king of Assur) your worthies are laid down: your people is scattered abroad upon the mountains, and no man gathers them together again. your wound cannot be healed, your plague is so sore. All they that hear this of you, shall clap their hands over you. For what is he, to whom you have not always been doing hurt.

The end of the prophesy of Nahum


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