Nah. 2:1 He that dasheth in pieces is come up before thy face: keep the munition, watch the way, make thy loins strong, fortify thy power mightily.
I’ve had to read through this several times to try to understand the flow. “He that dasheth in pieces” seems to be referencing God (though He will utilize a human conqueror to accomplish His purpose). “Thy face” seems to be referring back to the wicked one that is cut off in the last verse of chapter one. (It was interesting to note that the CJB positioned the last verse of chapter one as the first verse of chapter two.) The confusing part is the admonition to prepare to defend themselves since any attempt at defense they make will be futile before Almighty God. Could this be a bit of sarcasm?
Nah. 2:2 For the LORD hath turned away the excellency of Jacob, as the excellency of Israel: for the emptiers have emptied them out, and marred their vine branches.
“turned away” = to turn back…bring again…deliver…restore
Though there are many choices in the Hebrew for this phrase, I agree with the other translations that the context implies restoration. So God is basically saying through the prophet that He is going to allow His people to repopulate their land; the Hebrew for emptiers is a reference to depopulating. After making the connection to repopulation, I thought it was interesting that the next reference was to marred “vine branches.” We know that Israel is identified in scripture as God’s vineyard.
Is. 5:7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant….
It seems to me that the prophet is giving emphasis to the truth that God is going to multiply His people once again in the land of Israel.
Nah. 2:3 The shield of his mighty men is made red, the valiant men are in scarlet: the chariots shall be with flaming torches in the day of his preparation, and the fir trees shall be terribly shaken.
Nah. 2:4 The chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall justle one against another in the broad ways: they shall seem like torches, they shall run like the lightnings.
The more I continue to read in this chapter, I can’t help but think that there is much application to be made to end times, the Antichrist and Israel. These verses are painting a vivid picture of the preparation of the armies of this wicked Assyrian. There are similarities to be found in connection with the 2,000,000-man army mentioned in Revelation.
Rev. 9:17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.
Mighty men in red and scarlet correspond to horsemen with breastplates of fire. The Hebrew for chariots in verse 3 is a reference to riders in the cavalry or a vehicle. So, a cavalry that seems like torches would correspond to horses spewing fire, smoke and brimstone. I have heard speculation that chariots raging in the streets with flaming torches apply to armored vehicles equipped with automatic gunfire/explosives/missiles.
Nah. 2:5 He shall recount his worthies: they shall stumble in their walk; they shall make haste to the wall thereof, and the defence shall be prepared.
Nah. 2:6 The gates of the rivers shall be opened, and the palace shall be dissolved.
The Assyrian appoints his officers who do not present a picture of confidence as they hurry to shore up their defense. I think verse 6 is a picture of the armies of God’s hand of judgment rushing in to destroy his throne.
Nah. 2:7 And Huzzab shall be led away captive, she shall be brought up, and her maids shall lead her as with the voice of doves, tabering upon their breasts.
I looked for some help in identifying Huzzab, but it was inconclusive. Some conclude it is a reference to the queen of Nineveh; others conclude that it is a reference to the city. The context is clear, however, that reference is being made to being led away captive after suffering defeat.
Nah. 2:8 But Nineveh is of old like a pool of water: yet they shall flee away. Stand, stand, shall they cry; but none shall look back.
I like the NIV translation for this verse.
Nineveh is like a pool, and its water is draining away. “Stop! Stop!” they cry, but no one turns back.
Nah. 2:9 Take ye the spoil of silver, take the spoil of gold: for there is none end of the store and glory out of all the pleasant furniture.
Nah. 2:10 She is empty, and void, and waste: and the heart melteth, and the knees smite together, and much pain is in all loins, and the faces of them all gather blackness.
These verses picture the wealth that is taken from Nineveh by the conquering armies. She now reaps what she has sown.
Nah. 2:11 Where is the dwelling of the lions, and the feedingplace of the young lions, where the lion, even the old lion, walked, and the lion’s whelp, and none made them afraid?
Nah. 2:12 The lion did tear in pieces enough for his whelps, and strangled for his lionesses, and filled his holes with prey, and his dens with ravin.
The once mighty king of Assyria and his princes and armies are pictured as lions. They once boldly took what they wanted from whomever they wanted without regard for those from whom they plundered. They were afraid of nothing. The message of these verses—This mighty king and his forces will be completely destroyed.
Nah. 2:13 Behold, I am against thee, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will burn her chariots in the smoke, and the sword shall devour thy young lions: and I will cut off thy prey from the earth, and the voice of thy messengers shall no more be heard.
YHWH boldly declares that He is against Nineveh. Their fate is sealed; no one can prevail against the will of Almighty God. He states that He will personally see to it that her king and his armies are destroyed. They will never again be allowed to make prey of the people of other nations. Their messengers will be silenced and no longer allowed to cause fear in the hearts of other nations.