Chapter 3

1Woe to the city of blood; it is all lies, full of robbery; the prey departs not.   אה֖וֹי עִ֣יר דָּמִ֑ים כֻּלָּ֗הּ כַּ֚חַשׁ פֶּ֙רֶק֙ מְלֵאָ֔ה לֹ֥א יָמִ֖ישׁ טָֽרֶף:
robbery: Heb. פֶּרֶק, robbery, that one breaks it away from the hand of its owner.  
the prey departs not: from its [i.e., the city’s] midst, it will never depart.  
2The sound of the scourge..and the sound of the noise of the wheels and the galloping horses and the bounding chariots.   בק֣וֹל שׁ֔וֹט וְק֖וֹל רַ֣עַשׁ אוֹפָ֑ן וְס֣וּס דֹּהֵ֔ר וּמֶרְכָּבָ֖ה מְרַקֵּדָֽה:
The sound of the scourge: The sound of striking the horses was always heard therein.  
and the sound of the noise: of the wheels of the chariots.  
and galloping horses: Heb. דֹּהֵר, skipping and jumping. And so it is in (Jud. 5:22) “By reason of the prancings, the prancings of their mighty ones.”  
3The horseman raises himself and the blade of the sword and the burnished spear and the many slain-yea, the heaps of corpses. There is no end to the bodies, and they shall stumble over their bodies.   גפָּרָ֣שׁ מַֽעֲלֶ֗ה וְלַ֚הַב חֶ֙רֶב֙ וּבְרַ֣ק חֲנִ֔ית וְרֹ֥ב חָלָ֖ל וְכֹ֣בֶד פָּ֑גֶר וְאֵ֥ין קֵ֙צֶה֙ לַגְּוִיָּ֔ה וְכָֽשְׁל֖וּ (כתיב יְכָֽשְׁל֖וּ) בִּגְוִיָּתָֽם:
and the blade of the sword: Heb. וְלַהַב; lame in French; for a knife and a sword are called לַהַב. [Some mss. have: The blade of every sword is called: לַהַב, as in (Jud. 3:22) “And the haft also went in after the blade (הַלַהַב).”  
and the burnished spear: A burnished spear, with the light glittering from it. Splendor in O.F, a shine.  
yea, the heaps of corpses: They would make many corpses, and there was no count of the bodies of the dead cast therein, to the extent that the passersby would stumble on the bodies of the dead.  
4Because of the many harlotries of the harlot, charming and enchanting, who delivers nations with her harlotries, and families with her enchantments.   דמֵרֹב֙ זְנוּנֵ֣י זוֹנָ֔ה ט֥וֹבַת חֵ֖ן בַּֽעֲלַ֣ת כְּשָׁפִ֑ים הַמֹּכֶ֚רֶת גּוֹיִם֙ בִּזְנוּנֶ֔יהָ וּמִשְׁפָּח֖וֹת בִּכְשָׁפֶֽיהָ:
Because of the many harlotries of the harlot: Because of the extensive flattery of the city, for they knew how to seduce the kings of the earth to join them, and they would eventually subordinate [these kings] to them.  
5Behold! I am against you, says the Lord of Hosts, and I will uncover your skirts upon your face-and I will show the nations your nakedness, and the kingdoms your shame.   ההִֽנְנִ֣י אֵלַ֗יִךְ נְאֻם֙ יְהֹוָ֣ה צְבָא֔וֹת וְגִלֵּיתִ֥י שׁוּלַ֖יִךְ עַל־פָּנָ֑יִךְ וְהַרְאֵיתִ֚י גוֹיִם֙ מַעְרֵ֔ךְ וּמַמְלָכ֖וֹת קְלוֹנֵֽךְ:
your skirts: Heb. שׁוּלַיִ. They are the hems of a woman’s garments.  
your nakedness: Heb. מַעֲרֵ, your exposure, as in (Micah 1:11) “With your private parts exposed (עֶרְיָה).”  
6And I will cast detestable things upon you and make you vile, and I will make you like dung.   ווְהִשְׁלַכְתִּ֥י עָלַ֛יִךְ שִׁקֻּצִ֖ים וְנִבַּלְתִּ֑יךְ וְשַׂמְתִּ֖יךְ כְּרֹֽאִי:
detestable things: Filthy garments, which make you detestable. Scripture speaks according to the topic, for he [Nahum] compared her [Nineveh] to a harlot.  
like dung: Heb. כְּרֹאִי. Like dung, an expression like (Lev. 1:16) “And he shall remove its crop (מֻרְאָתוֹ) with its intestines.”  
7And it shall come to pass that whoever sees you shall wander away from you, and he shall say, "Nineveh has been plundered." Who will console her? Whence shall I seek comforters for you?   זוְהָיָ֚ה כָל־רֹאַ֙יִךְ֙ יִדּ֣וֹד מִמֵּ֔ךְ וְאָמַר֙ שָׁדְּדָ֣ה נִֽינְוֵ֔ה מִ֖י יָנ֣וּד לָ֑הּ מֵאַ֛יִן אֲבַקֵּ֥שׁ מְנַֽחֲמִ֖ים לָֽךְ:
shall wander away from you: Shall distance himself from you.  
8Are you better than No-Amon, which was situated among the rivers, with water around it-whose wall was the sea and of the sea, its wall?   חהֲתֵֽיטְבִי֙ מִנֹּ֣א אָמ֔וֹן הַיֹּֽשְׁבָה֙ בַּיְאֹרִ֔ים מַ֖יִם סָבִ֣יב לָ֑הּ אֲשֶׁר־חֵ֣יל יָ֔ם מִיָּ֖ם חֽוֹמָתָֽהּ:
Are you better than No-amon: Why should you rely on your wealth and your might? Are you greater than No-amon? That is, Alexandria of Egypt. Amon is an expression of a pedagogue. [Are you greater] than the great No, which trained the kings of Egypt, for they would anoint the kings there?  
whose wall was the sea: to whom the sea was their rampart and their wall. [This mode of construction is known in Aramaic as] שורה ובר שורה, a wall and the son of a wall [referring to a large wall on the outside, opposite an inside of which is built a small wall].  
9Cush was [its] strength, and Egypt, which had no end; Put and the Lubim were your helpers.   טכּ֥וּשׁ עָצְמָ֛ה וּמִצְרַ֖יִם וְאֵ֣ין קֵ֑צֶה פּ֣וּט וְלוּבִ֔ים הָי֖וּ בְּעֶזְרָתֵֽךְ:
Cush was [its] strength: The Cushites were its strength.  
Put and the Lubim: The Putim and the Lubim, who were your helpers, were also in her [Assyria’s] army.  
10She, too, went into exile in captivity. Her young children, too, were dashed at the head of all the streets. And they cast lots on her dignitaries, and all her great men were bound in chains.   יגַּם־הִ֗יא לַגֹּלָה֙ הָֽלְכָ֣ה בַשֶּׁ֔בִי גַּ֧ם עֹֽלָלֶ֛יהָ יְרֻטְּשׁ֖וּ בְּרֹ֣אשׁ כָּל־חוּצ֑וֹת וְעַל־נִכְבַּדֶּ֙יהָ֙ יַדּ֣וּ גוֹרָ֔ל וְכָל־גְּדוֹלֶ֖יהָ רֻתְּק֥וּ בַזִּקִּֽים:
She, too, went into exile: She, too, went into exile. Nevertheless, their greatness did not stand up before Nebuchadnezzar.  
were bound: Heb. רֻתְּקוּ, were fettered; an expression similar to (Isa. 40:19) “And chains (וּרְתֻּקוֹת) of silver” and (Ezek. 7:23) “Make the chain (הָרַתּוֹק),” meaning a chain.  
in chains: Heb. בַזִּקִּים, chains.  
11You, too, shall become drunk; you shall disappear; you, too, shall seek refuge from the enemy.   יאגַּם־אַ֣תְּ תִּשְׁכְּרִ֔י תְּהִ֖י נַֽעֲלָמָ֑ה גַּם־אַ֛תְּ תְּבַקְשִׁ֥י מָע֖וֹז מֵֽאוֹיֵֽב:
You, too: (Even) according to your greatness, [you] shall become drunk like her with the cup of weakness (Cf. Isa. 51:17), and you shall disappear.  
12All your fortresses are like fig trees with first-ripe fruits; if they be shaken, they fall into the mouth of the eater.   יבכָּ֨ל־מִבְצָרַ֔יִךְ תְּאֵנִ֖ים עִם־בִּכּוּרִ֑ים אִם־יִנּ֕וֹעוּ וְנָֽפְל֖וּ עַל־פִּ֥י אוֹכֵֽל:
All your fortresses: It shall be easy to conquer all your fortified cities and to ravage all that is in their midst, like the fig trees when they are with their first ripe fruits; when the tree is shaken, the first ripe fruits fall into the mouth of the eaters.  
fig trees: Heb. תְּאֵנִים, fig trees.  
they be shaken: which, if they be shaken hard by a man.  
13Behold! Your people are [like] women in your midst. For your enemies, the gates of your land shall be opened; a fire shall consume your bars.   יגהִנֵּ֨ה עַמֵּ֚ךְ נָשִׁים֙ בְּקִרְבֵּ֔ךְ לְאֹ֣יְבַ֔יִךְ פָּת֥וֹחַ נִפְתְּח֖וּ שַֽׁעֲרֵ֣י אַרְצֵ֑ךְ אָֽכְלָ֥ה אֵ֖שׁ בְּרִיחָֽיִךְ:
14Draw siege water for yourself; strengthen your fortifications; come into the clay and tread the mortar; grasp the brickmold.   ידמֵ֚י מָצוֹר֙ שַֽׁאֲבִי־לָ֔ךְ חַזְּקִ֖י מִבְצָרָ֑יִךְ בֹּ֧אִי בַטִּ֛יט וְרִמְסִ֥י בַחֹ֖מֶר הַֽחֲזִ֥יקִי מַלְבֵּֽן:
Draw siege water for yourself: When a city is about to be besieged, the people of the city gather much water into its midst in barrels, [so that they will have water] to drink during the days of the siege, when there are no cisterns within it [the city].  
come into the clay and tread: it, to make bricks therefrom, in order to strengthen the cracks in the wall.  
grasp the brickmold: Hold the brickmold, which is made for a mold of the bricks in your hand, to make bricks in it.  
15There a fire shall consume you; a sword shall cut you off, it shall consume you as the nibbling locust [does]. You shall be swept away by the nibbling locust; you shall be swept away like the increasing locust.   טושָׁם תֹּֽאכְלֵ֣ךְ אֵ֔שׁ תַּכְרִיתֵ֣ךְ חֶ֔רֶב תֹּֽאכְלֵ֖ךְ כַּיָּ֑לֶק הִתְכַּבֵּ֣ד כַּיֶּ֔לֶק הִֽתְכַּבְּדִ֖י כָּֽאַרְבֶּֽה:
You shall be swept away: Heb. הִתְכַּבֵּד, with a broom of destruction.  
like the nibbling locust: which finishes and destroys completely all the vegetation of the field. Some interpret: -Heb. הִתְכַּבֵּד כַּיָּלֶק. You shall be covered heavily with troops like the nibbling locust, wherein הִתְכַּבֵּד is an expression of a heavy people (עַם כֶּבֶד).  
16You have increased your traffickers more than the stars of the heavens; the nibbling locust spreads out and flies away.   טזהִרְבֵּית֙ רֹֽכְלַ֔יִךְ מִכּֽוֹכְבֵ֖י הַשָּׁמָ֑יִם יֶ֥לֶק פָּשַׁ֖ט וַיָּעֹֽף:
the nibbling locust spreads out and flies away: They will swiftly go out for commerce like the locust that spreads out [its wings] and flies.  
17Your princes are like the increasing locust, and your marshals like armies of locusts which alight on the walls on a cold day; the sun shines, and it flies away, and its place is not known-where they are.   יזמִנְּזָרַ֙יִךְ֙ כָּֽאַרְבֶּ֔ה וְטַפְסְרַ֖יִךְ כְּג֣וֹב גּוֹבָ֑י הַֽחוֹנִ֚ים בַּגְּדֵרוֹת֙ בְּי֣וֹם קָרָ֔ה שֶׁ֚מֶשׁ זָֽרְחָה֙ וְנוֹדַ֔ד וְלֹֽא־נוֹדַ֥ע מְקוֹמ֖וֹ אַיָּֽם:
Your princes: Heb. מִנְּזָרַיִ, your princes. The “mem” is a radical and a root of the word, like the “mem” of מִשְׁמַרְתְּ, your watch (Num. 18:3); of מִשְׁמַעְתֶּ, your service (I Sam. 22:14); and of מִנְעָלֶ, your lock (Deut. 33: 25). But sometimes the “mem” is defective; e.g., נְזִיר אֶחָיו, the prince of his brothers (Gen. 49:26); and, similarly, לִנְזָרִים, princes (Amos 2:11).  
and your marshal: Heb. יְטַפְסְרַיִ. Your appointees.  
like armies of locust: Heb. כְּגוֹב גּוֹבָי, like armies of locusts. גּוֹבָי is comme langouste in French, like locusts.  
which alight on the walls on a cold day: So is the habit of the numerous locust, the fly, the finishing locust, and the nibbling locust; during the cold times they adhere to the walls, and when warmth comes they fly away from there and go away. So will all your people be exiled.  
and it flies away: Heb. וְנוֹדַד, and it moves.  
and its place is not known where they are: Where they are and where they went.  
18Your leaders slumber, O King of Assyria; your mighty men are at rest; your people are scattered on the mountains, and no one gathers them in.   יחנָמ֚וּ רֹעֶ֙יךָ֙ מֶ֣לֶךְ אַשּׁ֔וּר יִשְׁכְּנ֖וּ אַדִּירֶ֑יךָ נָפֹ֧שׁוּ עַמְּךָ֛ עַל־הֶֽהָרִ֖ים וְאֵ֥ין מְקַבֵּֽץ:
Your leaders slumber: Heb. נָמוּ, an expression of slumber  
are at rest: They cannot stand up.  
are scattered: Heb. נָפָשׁוּ, like נָפֹצוּ, as all letters emanating from one source are interchangeable. “Zayin”, “shin”, “sammech,” and “tzaddi” all emanate from the tip of the tongue and the bottom of the teeth.  
19No one is pained over your destruction; your wound is grievous; all who hear your report clap hands over you, for upon whom did your harm not pass constantly?   יטאֵֽין־כֵּהָ֣ה לְשִׁבְרֶ֔ךָ נַחְלָ֖ה מַכָּתֶ֑ךָ כֹּ֣ל | שֹֽׁמְעֵ֣י שִׁמְעֲךָ֗ תָּ֚קְעוּ כַף֙ עָלֶ֔יךָ כִּ֗י עַל־מִ֛י לֹֽא־עָֽבְרָ֥ה רָעָֽתְךָ֖ תָּמִֽיד:
No one is pained over your destruction: No one is troubled over your destruction, for everyone rejoices. כֵּהָה is an expression of a darkened thing.  
clap hands: to rejoice.