Nahum describes the battle of Armageddon and the deliverance of the Jews in chapter 1, and the fall of end-time Nineveh in chapter 2. In an end-time context, Nineveh may represent the power-base of Antichrist's empire.
Nahum was a prophet to Judah, during the 7th century BC, who prophesied the fall of Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire. About 100 years previously, Jonah had prophesied Nineveh's fall within 40 days, but God gave the city a reprieve when they repented (Jonah 3-4). Nahum prophesied sometime after 663 BC (when Thebes fell, as mentioned in Nahum 3:8) and before 612 BC when Nineveh fell. Most likely it was also before 654 BC (when Thebes was rebuilt, which he does not mention), placing Nahum's ministry during the reign of Manasseh, son of Hezekiah. The northern kingdom of Israel had been conquered and exiled by the Assyrians in 722 BC, when Hezekiah was king of Judah. Hezekiah was forced to pay tribute to Assyria (2 Kings 18:13-14), but was delivered from Assyrian conquest when God sent an angel that killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers (2 Kings 19:35). Judah was still paying tribute to Assyria during the reign of Manasseh, for Nahum describes Judah as being under Assyria's yoke (1:13-15). Nahum was from Elkosh (1:1), a location that is unknown in Israel. An abandoned Jewish synagogue in Al Qosh in northern Iraq, about 25 miles north of ancient Nineveh, contains a tomb that is purported to be Nahum's tomb. If Elkosh equates with modern-day Al Qosh, it suggests that Nahum was one of the exiles from the northern kingdom, and prophesied to Judah from his place in exile.

Historical vs. Future Fulfilment
Many details of Nahum's prophecy were fulfilled historically when Nineveh fell in 612 BC to an alliance of Babylonians, Medes, Chaldeans, Persians, Scythians and Cimmerians. However, some details suggest that Nahum's prophecy is ultimately a prophecy about the defeat of the Antichrist, and the fall of his end-time empire. Firstly, according to Nahum 1:15, after the defeat of Assyria's king, described in 1:11 as 'a wicked military strategist', Judah will never again be invaded by 'the wicked' (Search by Tags: Millennial peace). Secondly, Nahum 2:2 says that God will restore the majesty of Jacob and Israel. The restoration of the northern kingdom of Israel never occurred in history, but is prophesied in relation to the second coming of Jesus (Search by Tags: Restoration of Israel and Judah).

Also, the Antichrist is called 'the Assyrian' in Isaiah 10:5, 14:25, 30:31, and Micah 5:5. Ezekiel 38, which calls the Antichrist 'Gog' indicates that he will come from Turkey, much of which was historically part of the Assyrian Empire. According to Daniel 7:24, the end-time empire will be formed initially as a coalition of ten rulers. Revelation 17 portrays this as a beast that is sat upon and controlled by Mystery Babylon, the Great Prostitute. I understand this beast to be a resurrected Islamic Empire, created by Saudi Arabia (portrayed as Babylon in Isaiah 21) uniting a coalition of ten Arab nations. But according to Daniel 7:24, another ruler who is different to the other ten rulers, then rises to power over the beast. This is the Turkish Antichrist, who figuratively speaking unites the Babylonian and Assyrian Empires. He also creates an alliance with Iran (Ezekiel 38:5) which was previously part of the Persian and Greek Empires. Consequently, in Revelation 13:2, the end-time beast empire resembles a leopard (like the Greek empire), a bear (the Persian empire) and a lion (the Babylonian empire) - also see Daniel 7. Also historically, the last king of the Babylonian empire was Nabonidus. Nabonidus was the son of an Assyrian priestess. He spent most of his reign in Arabia, where he worshipped Sin, the moon god. In Revelation, Mystery Babylon is destroyed in chapter 18, after the beast empire turns against her (Revelation 17:16). The Antichrist and his beast empire subsequently fall in chapter 19 when Jesus defeats them at the battle of Armageddon. After the battle of Armageddon, it appears that Jesus will have some additional mopping up to do in nations that were part of Antichrist's empire, including Lebanon (Isaiah 10:34), Egypt (Isaiah 19), Sudan and Assyria including Nineveh (Zephaniah 2:12-13). At that time, the restored people of Israel will be involved in crushing remaining resistance in the surrounding nations and will expand the territories of Israel (Isaiah 26:15 and 54:3). They fight against Javan (Zechariah 9:12-15 - Javan is western Turkey and possibly Greece), and they take territory from Gaza, the West Bank, Gilead on the east side of the Jordan, Jordan and Saudi Arabia (Amos 9:12, Obadiah 1:17-20 and Zephaniah 2:4-9).

It is therefore reasonable to understand Nahum as ultimately a prophecy about the fall of the Antichrist and his end-time empire.

Nahum 1
Nineveh is only mentioned in 1:1 and 3:7. At various other points in the book, the NET Bible adds 'Nineveh' or 'the Assyrians' for the sake of clarity, though they are not in the Hebrew text (e.g. vs. 8, 11, 13). Given that the Antichrist is figuratively called 'the Assyrian' in various end-time prophecies, it suggests that in an end-time context, Nineveh represents the political power-base of Antichrist's empire. Similarly, many end-time prophecies relate to Babylon, or 'Mystery Babylon', which figuratively represents the spiritual power-base of his end-time empire. Given that the Antichrist comes from Turkey (Ezekiel 38:1), end-time 'Nineveh' may be Ankara, the capital of modern-day Turkey. If not, it could be a city elsewhere within the boundaries of the ancient Assyrian Empire, which included much of Turkey. According to Revelation 13:2, "The dragon gave the beast his power, his throne, and great authority to rule". The dragon in this portrayal is Satan, and the beast is Antichrist's end-time empire. In the first century AD, Jesus described Satan's throne as being in the city of Pergamum in western Turkey, "To the angel of the church in Pergamum write… I know where you live – where Satan’s throne is". (Revelation 2:13). Jesus was referring to the Pergamum altar of Zeus. In the late 19th century, this was excavated by the German engineer, Carl Humann. Its western side was moved and reassembled in Berlin in the Pergamon Museum. In the 1930's, Hitler's stage for the Nuremberg Rallies was modelled on the Pergamum Altar. It was as though Satan gave Hitler his throne. Hitler was a type of antichrist, but not the final Antichrist, just as the Apostle John wrote in 1 John 2:18, "Children, it is the last hour, and just as you heard that the antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have appeared". In context of the final Antichrist and his end-time empire, what does it mean that Satan will give the beast his throne? Is Satan's throne still in Turkey? Time will tell. Jonathan Cahn has published several videos on the subject of Satan's throne and the Pergamum Altar. The abomination of desolation that Antiochus Epiphanes set up in the temple in 168 BC was also an altar of Zeus, and forms a basis for understanding the abomination of desolation that the Antichrist will set up in the temple in the end-times (Daniel 9:27, 12:11, and Matthew 24:15).

In verses 2 to 3, Nahum introduces the Lord as a zealous and vengeful God who, though slow to anger, is great in power and will not allow the wicked to go unpunished. From an end-time perspective, this sets the prophecy within the context of the 'Day of the Lord' or 'Day of Vengeance'. At his first coming, Jesus announced the 'Year of the Lord's favour' (Luke 4:19), a time period we are still in when God withholds his judgment, waiting for people to repent. At his second coming, Jesus will announce the 'Day of Vengeance' (Isaiah 61:2).

In verses 3b to 8, the Lord (Jesus) is portrayed as a mighty warrior arriving in northern Israel and laying waste to the earth and its inhabitants. The mention of Bashan, Carmel and Lebanon in verse 4 places this battle in the same vicinity as Megiddo, identifying this as the battle of Armageddon - see map below. The battle of Armageddon is Christ's final battle to defeat Antichrist and his empire. Nahum uses similar language to other prophets who describe Jesus' end-time campaigns (e.g Psalm 97, Isaiah 10:5-34, 29:1-8, 33:1-14, Amos 1:2-15, Habakkuk 3:1-15). Jesus is portrayed using various weapons, including a raging storm, a battle cry, drying up the sea and rivers, fire, earthquake, and an overwhelming flood.
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Verses 9 to 11 and 14 address the Antichrist, a wicked military strategist, who marches out agains the Lord (v11). Whatever he plots against the Lord will be completely destroyed (v9). His armies will be burned up like entangled thorn bushes or dry stubble (v10). God has decreed an end to his dynasty, and to desecrate his grave because he is despised (v14). In ancient times, a proper burial was considered very important, and it was a great humiliation for someone's grave to be desecrated. So metaphorically, it implies that Antichrist will be utterly humiliated. God also promises to destroy the idols and images in the temples of his gods, indicating that God will also humiliate and destroy Antichrist's religion. According to Daniel 11:38, the Antichrist will honour a god of fortresses. Together with the fact that he leads countries which today are all muslim nations, he is almost certainly a Muslim. Verse 14 is therefore a prophecy of the fall of Islam.

Verse 9b may be a very significant statement in relation to the Holocaust, "Distress (or trouble) will not arise a second time". In my comments on Jeremiah 30:7, I question whether we should equate the 'time of Jacob's trouble' with the Holocaust rather than with the Great Tribulation. The Great Tribulation will be a time of great trouble for the world, including for Israel. Israel will experience God's severe discipline during Jerusalem's conquest by the Antichrist, but the Great Tribulation will end up as a time of great deliverance for Israel. Given how bad the Holocaust was, it is hard to imagine God allowing a repeat of the Holocaust.

Verses 12, 13 and 15 address Judah. God tells Judah that even though Antichrist's armies are large and powerful, they will be destroyed (v12). God says he afflicted Judah, but will do so no more (v12b). This suggests that God first allows Antichrist to invade and occupy Israel in order to discipline her in due measure as in Jeremiah 30:11. In 2:2, Nahum says that enemies will have plundered Israel and destroyed her fields. But now, God will break Antichrist's yoke from her neck and tear apart her shackles (v13). Judah will be delivered and never be invaded by the wicked again (literally 'the wicked one' - the NET Bible's insertion of 'Assyrians' is not in the Hebrew text). This is a picture of Millennial peace and security for Israel (v15).

Nahum 2
In chapter 2, Nahum warns the people of Nineveh that she is about to be attacked. An enemy who will scatter her is marching out to attack her (v1). This enemy is identified in verse 13 as 'the Lord who commands armies' (Jesus). Jesus attacks Nineveh in order to restore the majesty of Jacob and Israel. This is a picture of Israel's Millennial restoration under the rule of King Jesus, like Israel's golden age under the rule of King David. Nineveh in this context represents the power-base of Antichrist's empire.

Verses 3 to 10 graphically portray the sacking of Nineveh. Verse 3 describes her attackers as having shields dyed red and wearing red garments. In its historical fulfilment, this likely describes the uniforms of the Babylonian soldiers (Ezekiel 23:14). In its end-time context, this may have another significance and be an important clue that this battle occurs after the battle of Armageddon, which Nahum described in chapter 1. According to Revelation 19:13-15, when Jesus arrives at the battle of Armageddon, his royal robes are stained red. This is because they are splattered with the blood of his enemies whom he has slaughtered in his preceding campaign against Edom (Isaiah 63:1-3). It is clear in Isaiah 63:3-5 that Jesus fights alone against Edom, but various prophecies indicate that after his Edom campaign, Jesus will muster an army to fight alongside him at the battle of Armageddon (e.g. Psalm 149, Isaiah 13:1-6, Micah 4:11-13, Joel 2). This army likely comprises Jews whom he liberates from captivity during his Edom campaign (Micah 2:12-13 and 4:10-13), in the 'Bozrah breakout'. It may also include resurrected and raptured Christians (Psalm 50:1-5, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Revelation 19:14). Revelation 19:13-14 says, "He is dressed in clothing dipped in blood, and he is called the Word of God. The armies that are in heaven, dressed in white, clean, fine linen, were following him on white horses". The fact that his armies arrive in 'clean' clothing suggests that Armageddon is their first battle. Here in chapter 2, Nahum's description of God's warriors with shields and garments that are dyed red (like those of Jesus) suggests this is a later battle. They are dyed red with the blood of those they slaughtered at Armageddon.

Verse 4 describes the chariots of Jesus' army that look like lighting bolts and dash here and there like flashes of lightning. These are no normal chariots, but advanced modern weapons of war. As they advance, the sluice gates are opened and the city is flooded (v6). This was fulfilled when Nineveh was sacked by the Babylonians in 612 BC. The River Khosr ran through the city, and the Babylonians attacked when it was in flood, using it as part of their military strategy. Perhaps there will also be some kind of fulfilment of this detail in relation to the end-time fall of 'Nineveh'. After Nineveh falls, its people flee, or are taken into exile (v7-8), the city's treasures are plundered, and the city is destroyed (v9-10). Nineveh is taunted in verses 11 to 12, and God affirms that she will be destroyed in verse 13.

Nahum 3

Nineveh as a prostitute
Verse 1 gives four reasons for God's judgment of Nineveh - her bloodshed, lies, plundering, and hoarding. The extent of her destruction is portrayed in verses 2 to 3. The slain will be gathered into piles but will be so numerous that people will still stumble over their corpses. In verses 4 to 7, God likens Nineveh to a prostitute who seduces people with sorcery and enslaves them with her harlotry. She is stripped and publicly humiliated, with no-one to lament or comfort her. Metaphorically, the bible portrays cities that worship idols of false gods as prostitutes (Ezekiel 23:30). In Ezekiel 23, God likened ancient Samaria and Jerusalem to two virgins who became prostitutes because they turned from God, their husband, to worship the idols of the surrounding nations. In Isaiah 47, Babylon is addressed sarcastically as 'Virgin daughter Babylon'. Revelation 17 picks up on this portrayal, and portrays end-time Arabia as Mystery Babylon, the Great Prostitute. End-time Arabia fits this biblical portrayal because she seduces people to worship Allah, the false god of Islam. The portrayal of end-time Nineveh as a prostitute suggests that Antichrist will similarly try to make people worship Allah. Nineveh's humiliation in verses 5 to 7 suggests not just the humiliation of her people, but also of her false god.

The description of the fall of the Egyptian city of Thebes in verses 8 to 11, without mention of her rebuilding, helps date the Book of Nahum between 663 and 654 BC. Nahum referenced the fall of Thebes in order to convince historic Nineveh that she too would fall, despite her apparent strength and that of her allies. In the end-time context, perhaps Jesus' defeat of Egypt (Isaiah 19) will precede his destruction of end-time Nineveh. Verses 12 to 15 describe Nineveh under siege. Despite the efforts of her warriors, she will be destroyed and burned. She will be devoured like crops are devoured by a locust swarm (v15). Nahum then turns this metaphor around and likens Nineveh's merchants and officials to a swarm of locusts. When the sun rises they fly away and no-one knows where (v17). Nahum's point is that all Nineveh's merchants and officials will vanish.

Verses 18 to 19 are a concluding dirge affirming Nineveh's inevitable fall. Her shepherds (leaders) are sleeping, and her sheep (her people) will be scattered on the mountains (among the kingdoms) with no-one to regather them. All who hear about her demise will rejoice because no-one escaped her endless cruelty (v19). Historical records confirm that the ancient Assyrians were particularly cruel. It is likely that Antichrist will demonstrate similar cruelty during the Great Tribulation.
Places: Nineveh, Judah, Israel, Bashan, Carmel, Lebanon, Egypt
Tags: Day of vengeance, Antichrist as the Assyrian, Armageddon, Jesus as a mighty warrior, Jesus uses fire, Weapons of Jesus, Voice of Jesus, Holocaust, Time of trouble for Jacob, Jesus delivers Israel, Antichrist humiliated, Fall of Islam, Restoration of Israel and Judah, Israel fights alongside Jesus, War and Rapture, Overview of end-time events, Great Prostitute
1 This is an oracle about Nineveh; the book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite:

God Takes Vengeance against His Enemies

2 The Lord is a zealous and avenging God; the Lord is avenging and very angry. The Lord takes vengeance against his foes; he sustains his rage against his enemies.
3 The Lord is slow to anger but great in power; the Lord will certainly not allow the wicked to go unpunished.

The Divine Warrior Destroys His Enemies but Protects His People

He marches out in the whirlwind and the raging storm; dark storm clouds billow like dust under his feet.
4 He shouts a battle cry against the sea and makes it dry up; he makes all the rivers run dry. Bashan and Carmel wither; the blossom of Lebanon withers.
5 The mountains tremble before him, the hills convulse; the earth is laid waste before him, the world and all its inhabitants are laid waste.
6 No one can withstand his indignation! No one can resist his fierce anger! His wrath is poured out like volcanic fire, boulders are broken up as he approaches.
7 The Lord is good – indeed, he is a fortress in time of distress, and he protects those who seek refuge in him.
8 But with an overwhelming flood he will make a complete end of Nineveh; he will drive his enemies into darkness.

Denunciation and Destruction of Nineveh

9 Whatever you plot against the Lord, he will completely destroy! Distress will not arise a second time.
10 Surely they will be totally consumed like entangled thorn bushes, like the drink of drunkards, like very dry stubble.
11 From you, O Nineveh, one has marched forth who plots evil against the Lord, a wicked military strategist.

Oracle of Deliverance to Judah

12 This is what the Lord says: “Even though they are powerful – and what is more, even though their army is numerous – nevertheless, they will be destroyed and trickle away! Although I afflicted you, I will afflict you no more.
13 And now, I will break Assyria’s yoke bar from your neck; I will tear apart the shackles that are on you.”

Oracle of Judgment against the King of Nineveh

14 The Lord has issued a decree against you: “Your dynasty will come to an end. I will destroy the idols and images in the temples of your gods. I will desecrate your grave – because you are accursed!”

Proclamation of the Deliverance of Judah

15 (2:1) Look! A herald is running on the mountains! A messenger is proclaiming deliverance: “Celebrate your sacred festivals, O Judah! Fulfill your sacred vows to praise God! For never again will the wicked Assyrians invade you, they have been completely destroyed.”

Proclamation of the Destruction of Nineveh
2 “An enemy who will scatter you, Nineveh, has advanced against you!” “Guard the rampart! Watch the road! Prepare yourselves for battle! Muster your mighty strength!”
2 For the Lord is about to restore the majesty of Jacob, as well as the majesty of Israel, though their enemies have plundered them and have destroyed their fields.

Prophetic Vision of the Fall of Nineveh

3 The shields of his warriors are dyed red; the mighty soldiers are dressed in scarlet garments. The chariots are in flashing metal fittings on the day of battle; the soldiers brandish their spears.
4 The chariots race madly through the streets, they rush back and forth in the broad plazas; they look like lightning bolts, they dash here and there like flashes of lightning.
5 The commander orders his officers; they stumble as they advance; they rush to the city wall and they set up the covered siege tower.
6 The sluice gates are opened; the royal palace is deluged and dissolves.
7 Nineveh is taken into exile and is led away; her slave girls moan like doves while they beat their breasts.
8 Nineveh was like a pool of water throughout her days, but now her people are running away; she cries out: “Stop! Stop!” – but no one turns back.
9 Her conquerors cry out: “Plunder the silver! Plunder the gold!” There is no end to the treasure; riches of every kind of precious thing.
10 Destruction, devastation, and desolation! Hearts faint; knees tremble; every stomach churns, all their faces have turned pale!

Taunt against the Once-Mighty Lion

11 Where now is the den of the lions, and the feeding place of the young lions, where the lion, lioness, and lion cub once prowled and no one disturbed them?
12 The lion tore apart as much prey as his cubs needed and strangled prey for his lionesses; he filled his lairs with prey and his dens with torn flesh.

Battle Cry of the Divine Warrior
13 “I am against you!” declares the Lord of Heaven’s Armies: “I will burn your chariots with fire; the sword will devour your young lions; you will no longer prey upon the land; the voices of your messengers will no longer be heard.”

Reason for Judgment: Sins of Nineveh

3 Woe to the city guilty of bloodshed! She is full of lies; she is filled with plunder; she has hoarded her spoil!

Portrayal of the Destruction of Nineveh

2 The chariot drivers will crack their whips; the chariot wheels will shake the ground; the chariot horses will gallop; the war chariots will bolt forward!
3 The charioteers will charge ahead; their swords will flash and their spears will glimmer! There will be many people slain; there will be piles of the dead, and countless casualties – so many that people will stumble over the corpses.

Taunt against the Harlot City

4 “Because you have acted like a wanton prostitute – a seductive mistress who practices sorcery, who enslaves nations by her harlotry, and entices peoples by her sorcery –
5 I am against you,” declares the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “I will strip off your clothes! I will show your nakedness to the nations and your shame to the kingdoms;
6 I will pelt you with filth; I will treat you with contempt; I will make you a public spectacle.
7 Everyone who sees you will turn away from you in disgust; they will say, ‘Nineveh has been devastated! Who will lament for her?’ There will be no one to comfort you!”

Nineveh Will Suffer the Same Fate as Thebes

8 You are no more secure than Thebes – she was located on the banks of the Nile; the waters surrounded her, her rampart was the sea, the water was her wall.
9 Cush and Egypt had limitless strength; Put and the Libyans were among her allies.
10 Yet she went into captivity as an exile; even her infants were smashed to pieces at the head of every street. They cast lots for her nobility; all her dignitaries were bound with chains.
11 You too will act like drunkards; you will go into hiding; you too will seek refuge from the enemy.

The Assyrian Defenses Will Fail

12 All your fortifications will be like fig trees with first-ripe fruit: If they are shaken, their figs will fall into the mouth of the eater!
13 Your warriors will be like women in your midst; the gates of your land will be wide open to your enemies; fire will consume the bars of your gates.
14 Draw yourselves water for a siege! Strengthen your fortifications! Trample the mud and tread the clay! Make mud bricks to strengthen your walls!
15 There the fire will consume you; the sword will cut you down; it will devour you like the young locust would.

The Assyrian Defenders Will Flee

Multiply yourself like the young locust; multiply yourself like the flying locust!
16 Increase your merchants more than the stars of heaven! They are like the young locust which sheds its skin and flies away.
17 Your courtiers are like locusts, your officials are like a swarm of locusts! They encamp in the walls on a cold day, yet when the sun rises, they fly away; and no one knows where they are.

Concluding Dirge

18 Your shepherds are sleeping, O king of Assyria! Your officers are slumbering! Your people are scattered like sheep on the mountains and there is no one to regather them!
19 Your destruction is like an incurable wound; your demise is like a fatal injury! All who hear what has happened to you will clap their hands for joy, for no one ever escaped your endless cruelty!