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Calvin's Commentaries, Vol. 28: Jonah, Micah, Nahum, tr. by John King, [1847-50], at

a translation of

Calvin’s Version of

The Prophecies of Nahum.


1 The burden of Nineveh, — the book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite:

2 A God jealous, and an avenger is Jehovah; Avenger is Jehovah, and a retainer of wrath; Take vengeance does Jehovah on his enemies, And keep it for his adversaries: (421)

3 Jehovah is slow to wrath, and great in power, And by clearing he will not clear: Jehovah! In the whirlwind and tempest is his way, And the cloud is the dust of his feet: (424)

4 He chides the sea, and it becomes dry; And all the rivers he dried up; Languish do Bashan and Carmel, And the flower of Lebanon languishes:

5 Mountains tremble at him, and hills melt; And burn does the earth before his face, Yea, the world, and all who dwell in it. (427)

6 Before his indignation who can stand? And who can bear the fierceness of his wrath? (429) His fury is poured out like fire, And rocks dissolve before him.

7 Good is Jehovah for strength in the day of distress; And he knoweth them who hope in him.

8 But with an inundation, he, passing through, Will make a consummation in her place; (433) And pursue shall darkness his enemies.

9 What do ye imagine against Jehovah? A consummation he makes! Not rise again shall affliction.

10 They who are like entangled thorns, And drunken as with their own drinking — Devoured shall they be as stubble fully dry. (437)

11 From thee has gone forth a contriver of evil Against Jehovah, a wicked counselor.

12 Thus saith Jehovah, — Though they are secure, and though they are many, They shall yet be cut off, and he shall pass through: (443) And through I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more;

13 For now will I break off from thee his yoke, And his bonds will I burst asunder.

14 And a command respecting thee hath Jehovah given, — “Let none be sown hereafter of thy name;” From the house of thy gods will I cut off The graven and the molten image; I will make thy grave, for thou art execrable.

15 Behold on the mountains the feet of him Who announceth, who publisheth peace! Celebrate thou, Judah, thy solemnities, Perform thy vows; for pass through thee Shall the wicked one no more, — he is wholly cut off.


1 Come up is the destroyer before thy face; Watch the fortress, guard the way, (455) Make strong the loins, fortify mightily thy strength:

2 (For taken away hath Jehovah the pride of Jacob, As he had done as to the pride of Israel; As he had done as to the pride of Israel; For emptied them the emptiers, And their branches have they cut down:)

3 The shield of his mighty ones are made red, The men of his strength are clad in scarlet; With the fire of torches is the chariot, In the day of his expedition; And the fir-trees tremulously shake:

4 In the wide places they madden with their chariots, The hurry away through the streets, The appearance of them is that of lamps, As lightnings they run here and there.

5 He will remember his valiant men, They shall stumble in their march, They shall hasten to her wall, And prepared will be the defense.

6 The gates of the rivers are opened, And the palace is dissolved;

7 And she which stood firm is cast into exile, And her maids lead her as with the voice of doves, Beating on their breasts. (463)

8 And yet Nineveh had been As a pool of waters from ancient days; But now they flee — “Stand ye, stand;” And no one regards.

9 Take ye away the silver, take away the gold; For there is no end of her preparations; Her glory is from every desirable vessel. (468)

10 Emptied and emptied is she, and denuded; And the heart is melted; And there is a knocking of the knees, And trembling in all loins, And the faces of all withdraw their brightness. (472)

11 Where is the abode of lions? Where came the lion, the lioness, the cub of the lion; And none terrified them. (474)

12 The lion tare what sufficed his whelps, And strangled for his lionesses, And filled with raving his caves, And his dens with prey.

13 Behold, I am against thee, saith Jehovah of hosts, And I will burn with smoke her chariot, And thy young lions shall the sword devour, And I will cut off from the land thy prey, And the sound of thy teeth shall no more be heard.


1 Oh blood city! The whole is full of deceit, and of ravin; From it the prey departs not.

2 The sound of the whip! The sound of the rattling of the wheel! And the horse prancing, and the chariot bounding!

3 The horseman urging onward! And the flame of the sword, and the lightning of the spear! And the number of the slain, and the mass of carcasses! And there is no end to her dead bodies, They stumble on their carcasses!

4 This is for the multitude of the fornications Of the harlot who excels in beauty, The mistress of sorceries, Who sells nations by her fornications, And tribes by her sorceries. (481)

5 Behold, I am against thee, saith Jehovah of hosts: And I will throw thy skirts over thy face, And show to the nations thy nakedness, And to kingdoms thy filthiness;

6 And I will cast on thee filth, and disgrace thee, And I will make thee an example:

7 And it shall be, that whosoever seeth thee Shall flee away from thee, and say, — “Wasted is Nineveh! Who will condole with her? Whence shall I seek comforters for thee?

8 Are thou better than populous No, Which dwelt among the rivers? The sea was around her; Whose mound was the sea, and the sea was her wall;

9 From Ethiopia was her strength, and from Egypt, And there was no end to it; Africa and Lybia were her auxiliaries:

10 Even she migrated, she went into captivity; And her infants were bound in chains.

11 Thou also shalt be inebriated, thou shalt be hid; And thou shat seek strength from the enemy.

12 All thy fortresses shall be like fig-trees with ripe fruit; If they be shaken, they fall into the mouth of the eater.

13 Behold, thy people shall be women in the midst of thee; To thine enemies shall be opened in the gates of thy land, Devour shall the fire thy bars.

14 Waters for the siege draw for thyself, Strengthen thy fortresses, Enter into the clay, tread the mortar, Make strong the brick-kiln:

15 There shall the fire devour you, Exterminate thee shall the sword, It shall devour thee as the chafer. Increase as the chafer, increase as the locust;

16 Thou hast multiplied thy merchants More than the stars of heaven; — The chafer has spoiled, and flies away.

17 Thy princes are as locusts, And thy captains are as the largest locusts; Which encamp in the fences in the cold day; The sun rises, and they fly away, And not known is the place where they are. (502)

18 Slept have thy shepherds, king of Assyria; Lie down did thy mighty men: Dispersed is thy people on the mountains, And no one gathers them.

19 There is no binding for thy fracture, Altogether grievous is thy wound; All who shall hear a report of thee, Shall, on thy account, strike the hand; For upon whom hath not passed Thy wickedness continually?

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