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Literature / Book of Nahum

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One of the books of the Minor Prophets that make up the Old Testament.


Structure of the book:

  • Prelude (Nahum 1:1-10)
  • Nineveh's destruction as part of God's plan (Nahum 1:11-15)
  • Nineveh's destruction to be complete (Nahum chapter 2)
  • Nineveh's destruction the result of sin (Nahum 3:1-18)
  • Postlude (Nahum 3:19)


Tropes associated with this work:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Nahum 2:10 in the International Standard Version:
    Nineveh is devastated, deserted, and desolate.
    Her heart melts, her knees knock.
    Every stomach is upset,
    every face grows pale.
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  • Doomed Hometown: The whole book is aimed squarely at Nineveh, the Assyrian city that Jonah the prophet was sent to by God to get them to repent. Apparently Nineveh has fallen back to their evil ways and has gone From Bad to Worse, and now God is going to bring judgment on them. (In the apocryphal Book of Tobit, this is the city where the titular character lived in, and at the end his son Tobias is told to flee the city before its destruction.)
  • God Is Good: In Nahum 1:7:
    The Lord is good,
    a stronghold in the day of distress;
    and He knows those who take refuge in Him.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Nahum 1:2-8 sets up God as a powerful avenger that will bring disaster upon people He is angry with.
  • It Is Beyond Saving: The last verse of this book declares this to Nineveh:
    There is no healing of your injury,
    your wound is grievous.
    for upon whom has not your wickedness
    continually passed?
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  • Shameful Strip: God to Nineveh in Nahum 3:5:
    I am against you, says the Lord of Hosts;
    I will lift your skirts over your face,
    and I will show the nations your nakedness,
    and the kingdoms your shame.
  • Vice City: Nineveh, according to this book, which God In Nahum 3:1 calls "the bloody city", that it is "full of lies and plunder" and where "the prey never departs".
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