Nahum 1

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1 The word about Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.

2 The Lord is a God who takes care of his honour and gives punishment for wrong; The Lord gives punishment and is angry; The Lord sends punishment on those who are against him, being angry with his haters.

3 The Lord is slow to get angry and great in power, and will not let the sinner go without punishment: the way of The Lord is in the wind and the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.

4 He says sharp words to the sea and makes it dry, drying up all the rivers: Bashan is feeble, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon is without strength.

5 The mountains are shaking because of him, and the hills flowing away; the earth is falling to bits before him, the world and all who are in it.

6 Who may keep his place before his wrath? and who may undergo the heat of his passion? his wrath is let loose like fire and the rocks are broken open by him.

7 The Lord is good, a strong place in the day of trouble; and he has knowledge of those who take him for their safe cover.

8 But like water overflowing he will take them away; he will put an end to those who come up against him, driving his haters into the dark.

9 What are you designing against the Lord? he will put an end to it: his haters will not come up again a second time.

10 For though they are like twisted thorns, and are overcome as with drink, they will come to destruction like stems of grass fully dry.

11 One has gone out from you who is designing evil against the Lord, whose purposes are of no value.

12 This is what the Lord has said: The days of my cause against you are ended; they are cut off and past. Though I have sent trouble on you, you will no longer be troubled.

13 And now I will let his yoke be broken off you, and your chains be parted.

14 The Lord has given an order about you, that no more of your name are to be planted: from the house of your gods I will have the pictured and metal images cut off; I will make your last resting-place a place of shame; for you are completely evil.

15 See on the mountains the feet of him who comes with good news, giving word of peace! Keep your feasts, O Judah, give effect to your oaths: for the good-for-nothing man will never again go through you; he is completely cut off.

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Exploring the Meaning of Nahum 1      

By Joe David and Rev. Ian Arnold

What's the Book of Nahum about?

We can never really satisfactorily find our way into a book of the Bible, especially a book of the Old Testament, unless we take on board that it's a mirror to us of the inner challenges and experiences we face. Its message, for us, is not about the world outside of us, but about the world inside of us. Beneath the surface, these Bible books focus on this inner world of our thoughts and feelings, burdens and challenges, successes and failures, achievements and disappointments, as we make our journey towards being a more spiritual person.

Most people readily see this "inner meaning" when it comes to the story of Moses leading the ancient people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt to, eventually, the Promised Land. It's movement forward, and movement backward, a longing for what we dream was the past, and more. It speaks to us all.

All of ancient Israel’s enemies symbolize things that attack, plunder, weaken, marginalise and imprison what is from the Lord in our lives. We try to stand up for what's right and decent in a given situation, but in no time, a voice is whispering to us ‘Why bother?’, ‘Who cares?’

Some of those enemies of ancient Israel were fearsome, like the Assyrians and the Babylonians. They were ruthless, rich, powerful and had massive armies.

So think for a moment: what might be amongst the most intimidating ‘enemies’ of our spiritual well-being? What are those things likely to do the most damage?

Babylon has long been recognized as a symbol of power and self-aggrandizement. But what about the Assyrians, who are the antagonists here in the Book of Nahum?

The Assyrians were menacing the ancient Israelites for more than a century, first sweeping away the northern kingdom of Israel in 721 BC, and then hanging around in the area for decades afterwards, a considerable threat to the remaining, southern, kingdom of Judea. How feared and despised they were is so evident in this prophecy of Nahum.

So, in us, what might the Assyrians symbolize? Outside the fortified and walled city of Jerusalem, on one famous occasion they showed themselves to be adept talkers and persuaders. (See the story, in 2 Kings 18).

Hold to this for a moment – “talkers and persuaders”. The thing is that there are those forces and influences that become active within us, trying to talk and persuade us that, for example, sin is fine if it remains undiscovered, or that the Ten Commandments don’t have a place in this day and age, or that 'my lapses are nothing by comparison with what goes on in the world generally'.

If we can see this for what it is, it is pretty fearsome stuff, capable of inflicting great damage to us spiritually.

So, read the Book of Nahum - just 3 chapters of prophecy - with this in mind. It is not people, or tribes, that the Lord pits Himself against - but those very things which hold the potential to devastate us spiritually.

In Chapter 1, “Nineveh” represents a state of life in which we're bringing bad things on ourselves because we aren't basing our lives on spiritual truths from the Lord's Word.

In Nahum 1:2-6, it's saying that Jehovah appears as an enemy to people who are wanting to stay in evil ways. In the spiritual world, all pretences of innocence or any good thing are stripped away, and our true selfish motives are seen.

In Nahum 1:7, there's a hopeful note; people who turn to the Lord and walk with Him are helped.

But, next there's a warning... in Nahum 1:8-11, that people who stick with their false ideas and evils will perish. It's worth noting that, in New Christian thought, there's the concept that God doesn't condemn us; we end up living in a society that fits our own values. If we're essentially selfish, we'll find a spiritual home in a society of essentially selfish people, and... it's probably pretty grim. It's a form of "perishing".

In Nahum 1:12-14, it's talking about people who are in evil because they don't know any better -- it's evil from ignorance. They can be helped if they listen and repent, and allow their false ideas to be removed (as was described in Jonah 3. That's what is meant by this: “…for I will break his, (Belial’s) brace from off thee and pull apart thy bonds.”

Finally, in Nahum 1:15, there's the beginning of a new theme, which leads into Nahum 2.

From Swedenborg's Works

Kärn passager:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 222


Andra referenser av Swedenborg till detta kapitel:

Arcana Coelestia 2162, 2606, 6435, 7093, 9406, 9553, 10325

Apocalypse Revealed 331, 336, 343, 350, 409, 478, 551

The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem Regarding the Sacred Scripture 51


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 36, 69, 400, 405, 411, 414, 419, ...

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 34, 58

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 9, 58, 76

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Why Is God So Angry in the Bible? - Swedenborg & Life Live

The Bible gives us mixed messages about God: all-loving, yet angry. We offer a new perspective on this seeming contradiction.


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