on Nahum 2 :3
The shield of his mighty men is made red - These things may refer to the war-like preparations made by the Ninevites: they had red shields, and scarlet or purple clothing; their chariots were finely decorated, and proceeded with amazing rapidity.
The fir trees shall be terribly shaken - This may refer to the darts, arrows, and javelins, flung with destructive power.
on Nahum 2 :3
Army is arrayed against army; the armies, thus far, of God against the army of His enemy; all without is order; all within, confusion. The assailing army, from its compactness and unity, is spoken of, both as many and one. The might is of many; the order and singleness of purpose is as of one. The shield, collectively, not shields. "His mighty men;" He, who was last spoken of, was Almighty God, as He says in Isaiah; "I have commanded My consecrated ones; I have also called My mighty ones, them that rejoice in My highness" Isaiah 13:3.
Is reddened - Either with blood of the Assyrians, shed in some previous battle, before the siege began, or (which is the meaning of the word elsewhere ), an artificial color, the color of blood being chosen, as expressive of fiery fierceness. The valiant men are in scarlet, for beauty and terror, as, again being the color of blood . It was especially the color of the dress of their nobles one chief color of the Median dress, from whom the Persians adopted their's . "The chariots shall be with flaming torches," literally, "with the fire of steels , or of sharp incisive instruments. Either way the words seem to indicate that the chariots were in some way armed with steel. For steel was not an ornament, nor do the chariots appear to have been ornamented with metal. Iron would have hindered the primary object of lightness and speed. Steel, as distinct from iron, is made only for incisiveness. In either way, it is probable, that scythed chariots were already in use. Against such generals, as the younger Cyrus and Alexander , they were of no avail; but they must have been terrific instruments against undisciplined armies.
The rush and noise of the British chariots disturbed for a time even Caesar's Roman troops . They were probably in use long before . Their use among the ancient Britons , Gauls and Belgians , as also probably among the Canaanites , evinces that they existed among very rude people.
The objection that the Assyrian chariots are not represented in the monuments as armed with scythes is an oversight, since these spoken of by Nahum may have been Median, certainly were not Assyrian. "In the day of His preparation" , when He musters the hosts for the battle; "and the fir-trees shall be terribly shaken;" i. e., fir-spears (the weapon being often named from the wood of which it is made) shall be made to quiver through the force wherewith they shall be hurled.
The chariots shall rage - (Or madden , as the driving of Jehu is said to be "furiously," literally, in madness) "in the streets." The city is not yet taken; so, since this takes place "in the streets and broad ways," they are the confused preparations of the besieged. "They shall justle one against another," shall run rapidly to and fro, restlessly; "their show (English margin) is like torches," leaving streaks of fire, as they pass rapidly along. "They shall run" vehemently, "like the lightnings," swift; but vanishing.
on Nahum 2 :3
2:3 The shield - One part for the whole of the armour, and furniture. Mighty men - Medes or Chaldeans. Red - With the blood of the slain. Torches - Torches were always carried in them. In the day - When he shall muster his armies. Shaken - By axes cutting them down for the war.