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Nahum 1:4

4. He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth.

4. Increpat mare et arefaciet illud (hoc est, simulac mare increpuerit, arefaciet;) et omnia flumina exiccat, infirmatur (vel aboletur) Basan et Carmelus, et germen Libani aboletur (vel, infirmatur, est idem verbum.)


Nahum continues his discourse, — that God, in giving proof of his displeasure, would disturb the sea or make it dry. There may be here an allusion to the history, described by Moses; for the Prophets, in promising God’s assistance to his people, often remind them how God in a miraculous manner brought up their fathers from Egypt. As then the passage through the Red Sea was in high repute among the Jews, it may be that the Prophet alluded to that event, (Exodus 14:22.) But another view seems to me more probable. We indeed know how impetuous an element is that of the sea; and hence in Jeremiah 5, God, intending to set forth his own power, says, that it is in his power to calm the raging of the sea, than which nothing is more impetuous or more violent. In the same manner also is the majesty of God described in Job 28. The meaning of this place, I think, is the same, — that God by his chiding makes the sea dry, 211211     Literally, “chiding the sea, he even made it dry.” The ו here, though conversive, must be rendered, “even,” for the first verb is a participle. By taking the words in their poetical order, the whole verse may be thus rendered, —
   Chiding the sea, he even made it dry;
And all the rivers he dried up:
Wither did Bashan and Carmel,
And the bud of Lebanon withered.

   The verbs in this, and in the following verse, are in the past tense; reference is made to the past works of God, and in some instances to those performed in the wilderness. — Ed.
and that he can dry up the rivers That the prophet connects rivers with the sea, confirms what I have just said, — that the passage through the Red Sea is not here referred to; but that the object is to show in general how great is God’s power in governing the whole world.

To the same purpose is what he adds, Bashan shall be weakened, and Carmel, and the branch of Lebanon shall be weakened, or destroyed. By these words he intimates, that there is nothing so magnificent in the world, which God changes not, when he gives proofs of his displeasure; as it is said in Psalm 104,

‘Send forth thy Spirit, and they shall be renewed;’

and again, ‘Take away thy Spirit,’ or remove it, ‘and all things will return to the dust;’ yea, into nothing. So also Nahum says in this place, “As soon as God shows his wrath, the rivers will dry up, the sea itself will become dry, and then the flowers will fade and the grass will wither;” that is, though the earth be wonderfully ornamented and replenished, yet all things will be reduced to solitude and desolation whenever God is angry. And he afterwards adds —

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