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Nahum 3:2-3

2. The noise of a whip, and the noise of the rattling of the wheels, and of the pransing horses, and of the jumping chariots.

2. Sonitus flagelli, et sonitus commotionis rotae, et equus concutiens, et quadriga exultans;

3. The horseman lifteth up both the bright sword and the glittering spear: and there is a multitude of slain, and a great number of carcases; and there is none end of their corpses; they stumble upon their corpses:

3. Eques ascendere faciens, et flamma gladii, et fulgur lanceae, et multitudo occisi (est mutatio numeri, occisorum,) et pondus cadaverum (hoc est etiam multitudo,) et nullus finis cadaveribus ejus; impingent in cadavera ejus:


The Prophet represents here as in a lively picture, what was nigh the Assyrians; for he sets forth the Chaldeans their enemies, with all their preparations and in their quick movements. 239239     It appears from Marckius that Theodoret and Cyril regarded this verse, with Calvin, as a description of the Chaldean army after having invaded Nineveh, but that Jerome and Cocceius viewed it as a delineation of the state of Nineveh in the Prophet’s time; and with the last Newcome agrees, while Henderson coincides with the former. The version given by them is all nearly the same. It seems certainly more consistent with the order of the poem to regard the verse as describing the state of Nineveh at the time, for the sacking of Nineveh had been before very minutely delineated. Having done this, the Prophet may be supposed to give here a reason for the dreadful catastrophe which he had mentioned. Entertaining this view, and differing from others as to the meaning of some of the clauses, I offer the following version of the three verses, —
   1. Oh! The city of blood! All of deceit;
Of plunder it is full, none can search out the spoil:

   2. The sound of the whip, and the sound of the rattling wheel!
And the horse prancing, and the chariot bounding!
The horseman mounting,
And the flaming of the sword and the glittering of the spear!
And a multitude dancing, and a mass inactive!
And no end to her people!
Who are fallen, with their nations,

   3. Through the many fornications of the harlot,
That exults in beauty,
and possesses enchantments;
Who sells nations by her fornications,
And tribes by her enchantments.

   ימיש, “search out,” I derive from מש, which is to feel for the purpose of exploring, and then, to explore or search out; see Genesis 31:34. The second verse contains a simple enumeration of what the city exhibited. רב חלל, “a multitude dancing” or piping, the ו being dropped in חלל, as it is in חללים, pipers, 1 Kings 1:40. Then as a contrast comes the dead, heavy, inactive mass, כבד פגד. “To her people” or nations, לגויה, τοις εθνεσιν αυτης. — Sept. In the word בנויתם, I take that ת is a mistake for ה. If taken for carcasses, it wants a ו before ת; see Psalm 110:6. The third verse must be connected with the second, as it has otherwise no grammatical construction. — Ed.
The sound of the whip, he says; the whips, made a noise in exciting the horses: the sound of the rattling of the wheel; that is, great shall be the haste and celerity, when the horses shall be forced on by the whip; the horse also shaking the earth, and the chariot bounding; the horseman making it to ascend; and then, the flame of the sword and the lightning of the spear He then says, that there would be such a slaughter, that the whole place would be full of dead bodies.

We now then understand what the Prophet means: for as Nineveh might have then appeared impregnable the Prophet confirms at large what he had said of its approaching ruin, and thus sets before the eyes of the Israelites what was then incredible.

As to the words, some interpreters connect what we have rendered, the horseman makes to ascend, with what follows, that is, he makes to ascend the flame of the sword and the lightning of the spear But as a copulative comes between, it seems rather to be an imperfect sentence, meaning, that the horseman makes to ascend or mount, that is, his horses, by urging them on. With regard to the word להב, leb, it means I have no doubt, a flame. By this word, I know, is also understood metaphorically the brightness of swords, which appears like a flame: but the Prophet immediately adds lightning As then he says that spears lighten, I doubt not but that for the same reason he meant to say that swords flame. All these things were intended for the purpose of fully convincing the Israelites that Nineveh, however much it was supplied with wealth and power, was yet approaching its ruin, for its enemies would prevail against it: and therefore he adds, that all the roads would be full of dead bodies, that the enemies could not enter without treading on them everywhere. It follows —

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