Author and Date
The book contains the "vision of Nahum" (), whose name means "comfort" and is
related to the name Nehemiah, meaning "The Lord comforts" or "comfort of the Lord."
(Nineveh's fall, which is Nahum's theme, would bring comfort to Judah.) Nothing is known
about him except his hometown (Elkosh), and even its general location is uncertain.
In the author speaks of the fall of Thebes, which happened
in 663 b.c., as already past. In all three chapters Nahum prophesied Nineveh's fall, which was fulfilled
in 612 b.c. . Nahum therefore uttered this oracle between 663 b.c. and 612 b.c., perhaps near the end of
this period since he represents the fall of Nineveh as imminent (. This would place
him during the reign of Josiah and make him a contemporary of Zephaniah and the young Jeremiah.
The focal point of the entire book is the Lord's judgment on Nineveh for
her oppression, cruelty, idolatry and wickedness. The book ends with the destruction
of the city.
According to , God is not only kind but also stern. In Nahum, God
is not only "slow to anger" () and "a refuge . . . for those who trust in him"
(), but also one who "will not leave the guilty unpunished" ().
God's righteous and just kingdom will ultimately triumph, for kingdoms built on wickedness and tyranny
must eventually fall, as Assyria did.
In addition, Nahum declares the universal sovereignty of God. God is Lord
of history and of all nations; as such, he controls their destinies.