Nahum 1:9 - John Trapp Complete Commentary

Bible Comments

What do ye imagine against the LORD? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.

Ver. 9. What do ye imagine against the Lord?] Because against his people. So Psalms 62:3, "How long will ye imagine mischief against a man? ye shall be slain all of you: as a bowing wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence." The blind and bloody Ninevites looked no farther than the Jews, whom they invaded: they considered not that God was engaged in the quarrel of his people. This made the virgin, daughter of Zion, confident of God s help, shake her head in scorn and pity at them, saying, "Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? and against whom hast thou exalted thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? even against the Holy One of Israel," Isaiah 37:22,23. She knew well (though her enemies knew not), that as an unskilful archer in shooting at a beast hitteth a man sometimes; so the Church's adversaries, in troubling of her trouble Almighty God, who will not fail to be even with them: for he that toucheth God's people toucheth the apple of his eye, Zechariah 2:8. "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?" Acts 9:4. It was a simple question of Satan to our Saviour, "What have I to do with thee?" while he vexed a servant of his. Hath he his name from knowledge, and yet could he so mistake him whom he confessed to be the Son of the living God? It is an idle misprision to sever the sense of an injury done to any of the members from the head. Drusius reads the text thus, Quid cogitatis de Domino? what think ye of the Lord? what conceit or opinion have ye of him? Do ye imagine that he cannot perform what he threateneth by his prophets? or that he cannot, when he pleaseth, deliver his people out of your hand?

He will make an utter end] Not a consumption only, but a consummation. This he is ever doing, as the Hebrew hath it: he is busy about it, and will not fail to finish it; for he useth not to do his work to the halves. Surely a short work will the Lord make in your land, now that he taketh you to do, certo, cito penitus.

Affliction shall not rise up the second time] God will despatch you at one blow. See a like expression 1 Samuel 26:8. Nineveh had many brushes before, by Phraortes, King of Medes, and his son Cyaxares, and afterwards by the Scythians, whereof see Jeremiah 49:34, and by Astyages, &c. Now Nebuchadnezzar was appointed by God to make an utter end of it, &c. The wicked shall totally and finally be consumed at once. Not so the saints: these he corrects with a rod, those with a grounded staff, Isaiah 30:32. These in mercy and in measure, in the bunches only, "he stayeth his rough wind in the day of the east wind," Isaiah 27:8, he stayeth such afflictions as would shake his plants too much, or quite blow them down. But to the wicked he hath no such tender respect: he smites them at the root, and, after many blows, he resolves to have them down. For instance, compare God's different dealing with Noah and the old world, with Lot and the Sodomites, Israel and the Canaanites, Moses and Pharaoh, David and Saul, &c. "Fret not therefore thyself because of evil doers," Psalms 37:1. "When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever," Psalms 92:7. Pharaoh had fair way made for him till he came to the midst of the sea; not one wave may rise up against him to wet so much as the hoof of his horse. It was a fair sunshine day when Lot went out of Sodom; but ere night there fell out a dismal change. It was in the spring a that the flood came, then when everything was prime and pride: besides that, the world never more flourished in wealth, peace, arts, and all magnificence; yet sudden destruction came upon them, they were all at once buried in one universal grave of waters.

a The growing season in Palestine starts in mid-fall and is similar to our spring in the northern hemisphere.

Nahum 1:9

9 What do ye imagine against the LORD? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.