“How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” These words are from Nahum 1:15 but the verse is quoted in Romans 10:15 when Paul wrote about the nation of Israel. There is very little known about Nahum, although he was an Elkoshite (chapter 1:1) and his prophecy was a vision. Nahum means “comforter” or “comforted”. His message was to comfort Israel in prophesying against Nineveh.
If we are to benefit from a book like this, we need to find out what is the message about, and where is the Lord Jesus Christ in this book. The other fact is that prophets speak to the hearts of the people in bringing them back to God, and then pointing out the future restoration and glory of the nation when the Lord comes back to reign. The prophecy of Nahum is against Nineveh, which is in modern-day Iraq. About 100 years earlier, Jonah was commissioned by God to preach to Nineveh, and did not like the result after Nineveh repented. Fast-forward 100 years, Nahum enters the scene and was given the vision and the burden of Nineveh. Jonah would have loved Nahum and his prophecy. In Nahum’s time, there was another generation in Nineveh, as the previous generation that had repented at Jonah’s preaching all passed, so a new generation did not know God and had oppressed Israel and become the enemy.
We have already referred to Nahum 1:15 where we see Christ as the One who brings the glad tidings, “Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth glad tidings, that publisheth peace! Celebrate thy feasts, Judah, perform thy vows: for the wicked one shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.” The apostle Paul quoted this verse in Romans 10:15. We are to learn from this book both the strength of God in His judgment on those who reject Christ, and the strength of His protection of the believer.
The book of Nahum has three chapters, and this is where the division of the book is, in three parts.
- Chapter 1 shows the purpose of God in dealing with the oppressor, or enemy, of Israel, in this instance it is Nineveh. The chapter also shows that God is righteous in His judgement.
- Chapter 2 describes the overthrow and destruction of Nineveh.
- Chapter 3 tells us the reason for the judgment and destruction of Nineveh as the city was guilty before God.
This outline is adapted from Arend Remmers and Arno Gaebelein’s notes and outlines of the book of Nahum. The full outline and notes from the above authors are available on www.biblecentre.org, a website highly recommended and full of rich resources.