Outline of Nahum
1. Superscription (Nahum 1:1)
The book is ascribed to Nahum of Elkosh, a prophet otherwise unknown in the Bible.
2. Appearance of God’s Wrath (Nahum 1:2-8)
Nahum opens with a partial An acrostic is a play on words or a word game in which the first letter of each line in a document spells out another message. One biblical example of an acrostic is Psalm 119 in which the consecutive subsections of the psalm feature the… More poem depicting the wrath of God, which, as the book unfolds, is directed specifically against Assyria and its capital Nineveh. The prophet makes it clear that God’s wrath is for the purpose of justice on earth.
3. Destruction of God’s Opponents and Restoration for God’s People (Nahum 1:9-15)
God’s control of history is on full display. Though Assyria was once the instrument of the divine affliction of Judah was the name of Jacob’s fourth son and one of the 12 tribes. More (1:12-13), this is no longer their role. Assyria’s own defiance of God will be punished, and Judah will be released from affliction and have its communal life restored.
4. The Destruction of Assyria and Its Capital Nineveh (Nahum 2:1-3:19)
This section offers a graphic and extended depiction of the military destruction of Nineveh, capital of Assyria. The ferocity and violence of Assyria’s conduct toward others will come home to roost. The book ends with the prophet taunting the king of Assyria and posing an ironic question. He envisions addressing the king of Assyria face-to-face amidst the ruins of the capital city: Everyone will celebrate your defeat, for who has ever escaped your endless cruelty? (3:19)? Finally, there is an ominous note playing quietly in the background of this closing chapter—who is this more powerful empire that will overthrow Assyria? What will happen under this (here unnamed) empire’s rule once Assyria has been overturned?