The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleNahum 1:8
But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the
Of Nineveh, against whom this prophecy was, and
upon whom it lay as a burden, (Nahum 1:1) ; and now though the Lord was good
to them that trust in him, and a strong hold to them in a time of
trouble; yet he was determined to destroy their enemies the Assyrians,
and Nineveh their chief city; and that by the means of a powerful army,
which, like a flood or inundation of water breaking in, overruns and
carries all before it; and very fitly may the Medes and Babylonians,
who joined together in an expedition against Nineveh, be compared to
such a flood for their number and force; since, as the historian tells
F25 us, they were no less than four hundred thousand men: though this
may be literally understood; for as the same writer F26 observes,
``there was an oracle received by the Ninevites from their
ancestors, that Nineveh could never be taken by any, unless
the river (on which it stood) first became an enemy to it;
and so it was, that, in the third year of the siege, the
river, being swelled with continual rains, overflowed part of
the city, and broke down the wall for the space of two and
half miles; hence the king concluded the oracle was fulfilled,
and gave up all hopes of safety; and through the breach of
the wall the enemy entered, and took the city;''
and an "utter end" was made of it, and of the place of it, insomuch
that historians and geographers disagree about it; some say it was
situated upon the river Euphrates, others upon the river Tigris, which
is the most correct; some say on the east of that river, others on the
west; some will have it to be above the river Lycus, and others below
it; so true is that of Lucian F1, that Nineveh is now entirely lost,
and no traces of it remain; nor can one easily say where it once was;
and travellers in general, both ancient and modern, agree that it lies
wholly in ruins, and is a heap of rubbish. Benjamin Tudelensis F2, who
travelled into these parts in the twelfth century, relates, that
between Almozal or Mosul, and Nineveh, is only a bridge, and it
(Nineveh) is a waste; but there are villages, and many towers. Haitho,
an Armenian F3, who wrote more than a hundred years after the former,
``this city (Nineveh) at present is wholly destroyed; but, by
what yet appears in it, it may be firmly believed that it was
one of the greatest cities in the world.''
Monsieur Thevenot F4, who was upon the spot in the last century,
``on the other side of the river (Tigris from that on which
Mosul stands) at the end of the bridge begins the place,
where, in ancient times, stood the famous city of Nineveh.
--There is nothing of it, (adds he) now to be seen, but some
hillocks, which (they say) are its foundations, the houses
being underneath; and these reach a good way below the city
and darkness shall pursue his enemies;
the enemies of God and his
people, who would make such a devastation of Nineveh; even he would
cause all manner of calamities, often signified in Scripture by
darkness, to follow and overtake them; so that they should be brought
into the most uncomfortable and distressed condition imaginable.
F25 Diodor. Sicul. l. 2. p. 111. Ed. Rhodum.
F26 Ibid. p. 113, 114.
F1 (episkop) . sive, "contemplantes", in fine.
F2 Itinerarium, p. 62.
F3 Apud Bochart Phaleg. l. 4. c. 20. p. 255.
F4 Travels, par. 1. B. 1. c. 11. p. 52.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Nahum 1:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=na&chapter=001&verse=008>. 1999.