2. Son of Terah; grandson of Nahor (No. 1 above); and brother of Abraham. (Gen. 11:26; Josh. 24:2) Nahor married Milcah, Lot’s sister and the daughter of Nahor’s other brother Haran, hence Nahor’s niece. By her he had eight sons and by his concubine Reumah he had four more sons, totaling twelve, some of whom became tribal heads. (Gen. 11:27, 29; 22:20-24) Through his son Bethuel, Nahor became grandfather to Laban and Rebekah, and great-grandfather of Leah, Rachel, Jacob (Israel) and Esau. (Gen. 24:15, 24, 47; 29:5, 16; 1 Chron. 1:34) Through his sons Uz and Buz, Nahor may have also been a forefather of Job and Elihu.—Job 1:1; 32:2
The Genesis account of Terah and Abraham leaving Ur of the Chaldeans does not include Nahor’s name in the list of travelers. (Gen. 11:31) It does seem, however, that he may have come later, for Abraham’s servant, seeking a wife for Isaac, traveled to Haran, where Terah took up dwelling and where he died, and where Nahor’s grandson Laban lived when Jacob went to him. (Gen. 11:31, 32; 12:4; 27:43) Abraham’s servant came “to the city of Nahor,” either to Haran itself or a place close by, perhaps the Nahur frequently mentioned in various Mari tablets of the second millennium B.C.E. (Gen. 24:10; 29:4) And when Jacob parted company from Laban, Laban called on “the god of Abraham and the god of Nahor” to judge between them.—Gen. 31:53; see HARAN No. 4.
Wilderness chieftain of the tribe of Judah. Nahshon was the son of Amminadab and among the fifth-listed generation after Judah. (1 Chron. 2:3-10) His sister was Aaron’s wife. (Ex. 6:23) Nahshon formed a link in the line of descent that led to David and Jesus, becoming father to Salmon, who married Rahab, and grandfather of Boaz, who, in turn, married Ruth.—1 Chron. 2:11-15; Ruth 4:20; Matt. 1:4-6, 16; Luke 3:32.
As chieftain of Judah, the leading tribe of Israel, Nahshon assisted Moses with the first wilderness registration of fighting men. He presented Judah’s contributions to the tabernacle service when the altar was inaugurated, and headed Judah’s army of 74,600 that led Israel’s line of march.—Num. 1:2-7; 2:3, 4; 7:2, 11, 12-17; 10:14.
(Naʹhum) [consolation or comforter].
1. An Israelite prophet of the seventh century B.C.E. and the writer of the book bearing his name. Nahum may have been in Judah at the time he recorded his prophecy. (Nah. 1:15) His being an Elkoshite evidently means that he was a resident of Elkosh, possibly a city or village of Judah.—Nah. 1:1; see ELKOSHITE.
2. A postexilic ancestor of Jesus Christ in the line of his earthly mother Mary.—Luke 3:25.
NAHUM, BOOK OF
This Bible book, written by Nahum the Elkoshite, constitutes a prophetic “pronouncement against Nineveh,” the capital of the Assyrian Empire. (Nah. 1:1) The historical fulfillment of that prophetic pronouncement testifies to the authenticity of the book. Sometime after the Egyptian city of No-amon (Thebes) suffered humiliating defeat in the seventh century B.C.E. (Nah. 3:8-10), the book of Nahum was committed to writing, being completed before Nineveh’s foretold destruction in 632 B.C.E.—See ASSYRIA; NINEVEH.
HARMONY WITH OTHER BIBLE BOOKS
The book of Nahum agrees fully with the rest of the Scriptures in describing Jehovah as “a God exacting exclusive devotion,” “slow to anger and great in power,” but by no means withholding punishment. (Nah. 1:2, 3; compare Exodus 20:5; 34:6, 7; Job 9:4; Psalm 62:11.) “Jehovah is good, a stronghold in the day of distress. And he is cognizant of those seeking refuge in him.” (Nah. 1:7; compare Psalm 25:8; 46:1; Isaiah 25:4; Matthew 19:17.) These qualities are clearly manifest in his delivering the Israelites from Assyrian oppression and executing vengeance against bloodguilty Nineveh after a considerable period of forbearance.
Noteworthy, too, are the similarities between Nahum chapter 1 and Psalm 97. The words of Isaiah (10:24-27; 30:27-33) regarding Jehovah’s judgment against Assyria parallel, to an extent, Nahum chapters 2 and 3.—Also compare Isaiah 52:7; Nahum 1:15; Romans 10:15.
Although assured that the conspiracy of Syrian King Rezin and Israelite King Pekah would fail in the attempt to depose him as king (Isa. 7:3-7), faithless Ahaz of Judah unwisely appealed to Assyrian King Tiglath-pileser (Tilgath-pilneser) for aid. Eventually this move “caused him distress, and did not strengthen him,” for Judah came under the heavy yoke of Assyria. (2 Chron. 28:20, 21) Later, Ahaz’ son and successor to the throne, Hezekiah, rebelled against Assyrian dominance. (2 Ki. 18:7) Thereafter the Assyrian monarch Sennacherib invaded Judah and seized one fortified city after another, this resulting in extensive desolation of the land. (Compare Isaiah 7:20, 23-25; 8:6-8; 36:1, 2.) The next Judean king, Manasseh, was captured by Assyrian army chiefs and taken to Babylon (then under Assyrian control).—2 Chron. 33:11.
Since Judah had thus suffered long under the heavy hand of Assyria, Nahum’s prophecy regarding Nineveh’s imminent destruction was good news. As if Assyria had already experienced its downfall, Nahum wrote: “Look! Upon the mountains the feet of one bringing good news, one publishing peace. O Judah, celebrate your festivals. Pay your vows; because no more will any good-for-nothing person pass again through you. In his entirety he will certainly be cut off.” (Nah. 1:15) No longer would there be any interference from the Assyrians; nothing would hinder the Judeans from attending or celebrating the festivals. The deliverance from the Assyrian oppressor would be complete. (Compare Nahum 1:9.) Also, all other peoples hearing about Nineveh’s destruction would “clap their hands” or rejoice over her calamity, for the city’s badness had brought much suffering to them.—Nah. 3:19.
The military aggressiveness of the Assyrians made Nineveh a “city of bloodshed.” (Nah. 3:1) Cruel and inhuman was the treatment meted out to captives of her wars. Some were burned or skinned alive. Others were blinded or had their noses, ears or fingers cut off. Frequently captives were led by cords attached to hooks that pierced the nose or lips. Truly Nineveh deserved to be destroyed for her bloodguiltiness.
OUTLINE OF CONTENTS
I Jehovah takes vengeance against his enemies but delivers his people (1:1–2:2)
A. Affects sea, rivers, mountains, hills and productive land in such a way that no one can stand in the face of his denunciation (1:1-6)
B. Exterminates enemies but, as “a stronghold in the day of distress,” delivers his people, thereby enabling them to celebrate their festivals without interference (1:7–2:2)
II. Nineveh is to be despoiled (2:3–3:19)
A. Majestic ones of Assyrian king to stumble, unable to save city from calamity at hands of invader (2:3-8)
B. City to be plundered of virtually limitless riches; this lair of lions to be laid waste (2:9-13)
C. Reasons for Jehovah’s judgment against Nineveh and result of that judgment (3:1-7)