God sent his prophet Nahum to announce the coming destruction of the Assyrian Empire and to assure God’s people of their deliverance. While announcing judgment upon all sinners, Habakkuk wrote, “The righteous will live by his faith.” Zephaniah announced the coming of the great day of the Lord’s judgment but encouraged the faithful not to fear.
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“Nations more powerful than the Lord’s chosen people were always threatening their very existence. Assyria was one such nation, perhaps the most cruel and powerful of them all.” (Page 9)
“Nineveh will certainly be destroyed—but the reason for that lies in who God is and how he acts in the world.” (Page 27)
“At the time Nahum wrote, the Assyrian Empire was at the height of its geographical expansion. It covered all of the Fertile Crescent and beyond. It included what today is western Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, eastern Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, northern Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. A formidable, far-flung power indeed!” (Page 11)
“Whatever strength he needed to face the troublesome times ahead, the Lord, he believed, would provide without fail. The Lord would enable him to skip like a deer rather than plod along in despair. His feet would barely touch the ground, a picture of joy and a carefree spirit.” (Page 144)
“This leaves a date for Habakkuk between 609 and 605 b.c. That would make him a younger contemporary of Nahum and Zephaniah. This date also places him right in the middle of Jeremiah’s ministry. He may even have served with Jeremiah for a number of years.” (Pages 86–87)
Professor, Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary.