Nahum takes place in Assyria again, but some time after Jonah. Jonah preached that punishment was coming to them for their evil ways, but they all repented and God desisted. They have returned to their ways and God has again sent them a prophet to warn them.
I think it’s interesting that these are not of the “chosen people” and makes me wonder about the whole idea of God not caring about others before sending Christ and allowing the apostles to preach to the Gentiles. It’s a message I heard a lot as a kid but if God was sending people to warn the Assyrians, could there be others whose missions were not recorded or whose records did not survive?
The chapter mostly talks about the impending destruction of Nineveh and Assyria for their “wickedness”. It does flip between addressing Assyria and Israel in different passage, which does get confusing but the sentiment is still readable. Assyria will be punished for what they have done and Israel will be brought out of their oppression.
Again, Nahum is talking about the “destruction of Nineveh” and goes into an in depth description of it. Included is the defiling of the queen, referred to as the mistress of the palace, and the lamenting of her slave girls. Okay, defile is mentioned, but stripped is. Even if she isn’t raped, she’s humiliated.
While still talking about the destruction of Nineveh, the tone changes. It more like it has happened and now they are taking a look at the aftermath. There is a mention of “stumbling over the bodies” and that it was all because of the “whorings of the prostitute”.
The problem that I have over and over again is the imagery of the prostitute and what we’ve learned about women in that life. Today, there are many forced into the life of prostitution and very few who say they chose it. I can’t see how it would have been much different in a time or place where options were further limited for women. It didn’t take much to discredit a woman enough to not be marriageable and then what did she have to do? I know this answer would have been different in different times and communities and families but the insistence that prostitutes are all just money-grubbing and immoral is bothersome for me. It seems that many would have been punished for being in a situation that caused them the abuse they were already receiving. Was this first abuse not enough?
At the same time, I do get the disgusting nature of those who are money-grubbing and immoral. I just hesitate to associate it with prostitution so much as those people who were running the whore houses and therefore requiring that work of the women (or men) there or perhaps certain kinds of business owners.