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Nahum 3:11

11. Thou also shalt be drunken: thou shalt be hid, thou also shalt seek strength because of the enemy.

11. Etiam tu inebriaberis, tu eris abscondita; etiam tu quaeres robur (vel, suppetias) ab hoste (vel, propter hostem.)


Nahum, after having adduced the example of Alexandria, now shows that nothing would be able to resist God, so that he should not deal with Nineveh in the same manner; and he declares that this would be the case, Thou also, he says, shalt be inebriated. Well known is this metaphor, which often occurs in Scripture: for the Prophets are wont frequently to call punishment a cup, which God administers. But when God executes a heavy punishment, he is said to inebriate the wicked with his cup. The Prophet says now, that the chastisement of Nineveh would make her like a drunken man, who, being overcome with wine, lies down, as it were, stupefied. Hence by this metaphor he intended to set forth a most severe punishment: Thou then shalt be also inebriated The particle גם, gam, is here emphatical; it was introduced, that the Ninevites might know, that they could not possibly escape the punishment which they deserved; for God continues ever like himself. Thou then shalt be also inebriated This would not be consistent, were not God the judge of the world to the end. There is then a common reason for this proceeding; hence it necessarily follows, — since God punished the Alexandrians, the Assyrians cannot escape his hand, and be exempt from punishment.

He adds, Thou shalt be hidden Some refer this to shame, as though the Prophet had said, — “Thou indeed showest thyself now to be very proud, but calamity will force thee to seek hiding-places, in which to conceal thyself.” But I am more inclined to this meaning, — that Nineveh would vanish away, as though it never had been; for to be hidden is often taken in Hebrew in the sense of being reduced to nothing.

He afterwards says, Thou shalt also seek strength, or supplies, from the enemy. The words מעוז מאויב, meouz meavib, may admit of two meanings, — either that she will humbly solicit her enemies, — or that on account of her enemies she will flee to some foreign aid; for the preposition מ, mem, may be taken in both senses. If we adopt the first meaning, then I think that the Prophet speaks not of the Babylonians, but of the other nations who had been before harassed by the Assyrians. Thou shalt now then humbly pray for the aid of those who have been hitherto thine enemies, — not because they had provoked thee, but because thou hast as an enemy treated them. Now it is an extreme misery, when we are constrained to seek the help of those by whom we are hated, and hated, because we have by wrongs provoked them. But the other sense is more approved, for it is less strained: Thou shalt also seek aids on account of the enemy; that is, as strength to resist will fail thee, thou wilt seek assistance from thy neighbors. 246246     Thou shalt seek a refuge from the enemy. — Newcome. But מעוז is rather a defense, aid, assistance, that which affords strength. — Ed. It follows —

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