God will destroy Nineveh
1 An enemy is going to attack you, people in Nineveh. Watch the fortress. Prepare your army to defend the city. Watch the road. Get ready.
2 Armies have destroyed the countries called Israel and Jacob. They have destroyed their grape plants. But, the LORD will make Israel and Jacob great again.
2:2After King Solomon died, the country called Israel became two countries. The country in the north was then called Israel and the country in the south was called Judah. We think that Jacob here is another name for Judah.
3 The soldiers have red shields and bright red clothes. The soldiers move their spears in their hands very fast. The metal on their chariots is very bright. 4 When the soldiers are ready for war they move fast through the streets. Their chariots move like torches with fire and lightning. 5 The king of Nineveh chooses his best soldiers but they fall on the way. They hurry to their city wall to prepare their defences. 6 But their enemies open the river gates. Then the water goes into the city and it destroys the palace. 7 The enemy tells its soldiers that they must take the idol from Nineveh. Her women cry like doves and they hit their breasts.
2:7The meaning here is not clear. Perhaps enemies have destroyed the city and the women in the town are crying. Or perhaps the enemies have taken the idol away. And the slave girls or the women that serve the idol are crying.
8 Nineveh is like a pool. Its people run like water that is going away. ‘Stop, stop!’ they shout, but nobody comes back.
9 Take the silver. Take the gold. The city has so many valuable things.
2:9All the people in Nineveh run away to different places. Some of them try to stop the water but they fail. This is because the people in this city have no love for each other. They only came to live there because of the many valuable things that their soldiers had taken from other countries.
10 They take the valuable things from the city. They take everything that they can. And they destroy everything else. The people are very sad. Their knees and their bodies shake. Their faces become white because they are afraid. 11 The home of the lions has gone. The place where they fed their young lions has gone. This was the place where the lion and the lioness went. It is here where their young lions were not afraid. 12 The lion killed to give enough food to his young lions and he strangled animals to feed his female lion. He filled his home with the animals that he had killed.
13 The LORD Almighty says, ‘I am against you. I will burn your chariots and the sword will kill your young lions. I will take away all the animals that you attack. Nobody will hear the voices of your messengers.’
2:13The people in Nineveh were strong and cruel like lions. But Nahum tells them that God will be strong and cruel to them. God will attack the people in Nineveh because they have attacked many countries.