on Nahum 2 :2
For the Lord hath turned away - Bishop Newcome reads, for the Lord restoreth, by a slight alteration in the text. I do not see that we gain much by this. The Lord has been opposed to Jacob, and the enemy has prevailed against him.
Emptied them out - Brought them from their own land into captivity. This was the emptying!
on Nahum 2 :2
For the Lord hath turned away - (rather restoreth) the excellency of Jacob Speaking of what should come, as already come. For Nineveh falls, because God restores His people, whom it had oppressed. The restoration of God's favor to His Church is the season of His punishment of their enemies; as, again, His displeasure against her enemies is a token of His favor to her. When Herod was smitten by God, "the word of God grew and multiplied" Acts 12:24. A long captivity was still before Judah, yet the destruction of the Assyrian was the earnest that every "oppressing city should cease" Isaiah 33:1.
The excellency of Jacob - The word, "excellency," is used in a good or bad sense; bad, if man takes the excellency to himself; good, as given by God. This is decisive against a modern popular rendering ; "has returned to the excellency of Jacob;" for Scripture knows of no "excellency of Jacob," except God Himself or grace from God. Jacob, if separated from God or left by Him, has no excellency, to which God could return.
As the excellency of Israel - Both the ten and the two tribes had suffered by the Assyrian. The ten had been carried captive by Shalmanezer, the two had been harassed by Sennacherib. After the captivity of the ten tribes, the name Jacob is used of Judah only. It may be then, that the restoration of God's favor is promised to each separately. Or , there may be an emphasis in the names themselves. Their forefather bore the name of Jacob in his troubled days of exile; that of Israel was given him on his return Genesis 32:28. It would then mean, the afflicted people (Jacob) shall be restored to its utmost glory as Israel. The sense is the same.
For the emptiers have emptied them out - Their chastisement is the channel of their restoration. Unlike the world, their emptiness is their fullness, as the fullness of the world is its emptiness. The world is cast down, not to arise, for "woe to him that is alone when he falleth: for he hath not another to help him up" Ecclesiastes 4:10. The Church falleth, but "to arise" Micah 7:8 : the people is restored, because it had borne chastening Ezekiel 36:3, Ezekiel 36:6-7; "for the Lord hath restored the excellency of Jacob, for the emptiers have emptied them. out and marred their vinebranches" (see Psalm 80:12-13), i. e., its fruit-bearing branches, that, as far as in them lay, it should not bear fruit unto God; but to cut the vine is, by God's grace, to make it shoot forth and bear fruit more abundantly.
on Nahum 2 :2
2:2 For - Israel and Jacob were more to God, yet he punished them; much more will he punish Nineveh. Turned - Laid low. The excellency - The wealth, the valiant men, all that Jacob gloried in. Jacob - The two tribes. Israel - The ten tribes. Emptied them - Quite exhausted them. Their vine - branches - Destroyed all the fruit of the land.