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Nahum

prophecy, date and nineveh

NAHUM. The seventh of the minor prophets according to the usual arrangement. Nothing is known of his life except what may be gathered from the notice in the first verse of his prophecy, where he is called 'the Elkoshite.' Where El kosh was is uncertain. It has been located in Galilee and in Assyria; a third identification is with Belt Jibrin (Eleutheropolis) in the Shephelah. Nahum's prophecy consists of two parts. besides the introductory verse: (1) A psalm (i. 2-i1. 2), which describes the majesty of (hod and llis punishment of His enemies in somewhat general terms; and (2) the prophecy proper (ii. 3-iii. 19), which foretells the doom of Nineveh. The style is full of animation and fancy, and, at the same time, clear and rounded. The text is in part corrupt. The date of the prophecy cannot be fixed exactly. but must have been later than the capture of Thebes in Egypt (the "No" of iii. 8; see No AmoN), by Asslmurbanipal. B.C. 664-663; and it must have been before the fall of Nineveh, about B.C. 606. The recent investigations of Bickel] and (trinket have established with certainty traces of an original acrostic arrangement in the psalm, and this artificiality points to a late date for this part of the book; it fits in with the condi tions existing during the Persian rule in Palestine, when the religious community of Jerusalem was struggling against great odds, and may have been prefixed by an editor to the genuine prophecy of Nalimn as an appropriate introduction. If this

lie the fact. it would be quite in accordance with the free treatment to which older discourses were subjected by post-exilie compilers. Consult the commentaries mentioned in the article MINOR PROPHETS Bickel]. zur selHitiatbeH, Metrik (Vienna, 1S94) ; Gunkel, in Zeitsehrift fine alttestamentliehe Wissensehaft, vol. xiii. (1893) ; Nestle, in Zeitschrift des dentschen Patii stinarereins, vol. i. (1878) ; Davidson, "Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah," in the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges (Cambridge, 1896 ) .