St. Nahum: A Saint to Encourage Trusting in God’s Justice
The LORD is good to those who wait for him, a refuge on the day of distress,
Taking care of those who look to him for protection. ―Nahum 1:7
Nahum is the seventh of the Old Testament Minor Prophets and prophesied at some point before the destruction of Nineveh in Assyria (ruins near Mosul, Iraq), which occurred in 612 B.C. Nahum came from an unidentified place known as Elkosh; some surmise it to have been located somewhere in Galilee, perhaps Capernaum (which can be translated to mean “home of Nahum”). Others claim that Elkosh is the ancient name for the present-day Iraqi town of Alqosh. Most scholars, however, seem to think that Nahum’s hometown of Elkosh was most likely within the kingdom of Judah.
While very little is known about Nahum, his strong emotions surge through his prophecies. This prophet had profoundly felt the cruel oppression of the Assyrian Empire. Assyria had been a brutal powerhouse for centuries, swallowing up the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 B.C. and then attempting to bring down Jerusalem; this empire was a constant threat and terror to the Judahites.
Interestingly, the name Nahum means “comforter” and that is what this prophet offered to the people of Judah. He seemed to have a divine understanding that the days of Assyria’s power were soon to come to an end―starting with the destruction of its capital, Nineveh. Nahum shared this premonition with the people of Judah, who surely felt encouragement and hope from his message. Nahum’s highly descriptive and sensatory words that foretold the destruction of Nineveh convey a dramatic and mighty sense of God’s eventual justice. Citing just a few examples, readers can:
- feel the quake of a mountain (1:5)
- see chariots dashing madly (2:5)
- smell the consuming smoke (2:14)
- hear the crack of a whip (3:2)
Nahum’s message of comfort to the people of Judah encouraged them to patiently trust in God’s divine justice, assuring them that all would be well―and that God’s power would far surpass the power of the Assyrian Empire.
The feast of St. Nahum is Dec. 1. Consider spending a few days with St. Nahum—read one passage below each day and see what God is trying to tell you through this Old Testament Prophet and Saint.
- Nahum 1:1–3
- Nahum 1:12–13
- Nahum 2:1–3
- Nahum 2:9–11
- Nahum 3:1–3
- Nahum 3:7