on Nahum 3 :1
Wo to the bloody city! - Nineveh: the threatenings against which are continued in a strain of invective, astonishing for its richness, variety, and energy. One may hear and see the whip crack, the horses prancing, the wheels rumbling, the chariots bounding after the galloping steeds; the reflection from the drawn and highly polished swords; and the hurled spears, like gashes of lightning, dazzling the eyes; the slain lying in heaps, and horses and chariots stumbling over them! O what a picture, and a true representation of a battle, when one side is broken, and all the cavalry of the conqueror fall in upon them, hewing them down with their swords, and trampling them to pieces under the hoofs of their horses! O! infernal war! Yet sometimes thou art the scourge of the Lord.
on Nahum 3 :1
Woe to the bloody city - Literally, "city of bloods" , i. e., of manifold bloodshedding, built and founded in blood Habakkuk 2:12; Jeremiah 22:13, as the prosperity of the world ever is. Murder, oppression, wresting of judgment, war out of covetousness, grinding or neglect of the poor, make it "a city of bloods." Nineveh, or the world, is a city of the devil, as opposed to the "city of God." : "Two sorts of love have made two sorts of cities; the earthly, love of self even to contempt of God; the heavenly, love of God even to contempt of self. The one glorieth in itself, the other in the Lord." : "Amid the manifold differences of the human race, in languages, habits, rites, arms, dress, there are but two kinds of human society, which, according to our Scriptures, we may call two cities. One is of such as wish to live according to the flesh; the other of such as will according to the Spirit." "Of these, one is predestined to live forever with God; the other, to undergo everlasting torment with the devil." Of this city, or evil world, Nineveh, the city of bloods, is the type.
It is all full of lies and robbery - Better, "it is all lie; it is full of robbery" (rapine). "Lie" includes all falsehood, in word or act, denial of God, hypocrisy; toward man, it speaks of treachery, treacherous dealing, in contrast with open violence or rapine . The whole being of the wicked is one lie, toward God and man; deceiving and deceived; leaving no place for God who is the Truth; seeking through falsehood things which fail. Man "loveth vanity and seeketh after leasing" Psalm 4:2. All were gone out of the way. Alb.: "There were none in so great a multitude, for whose sake the mercy of God might spare so great a city." It is full, not so much of booty as of rapine and violence. The sin remains, when the profit is gone. Yet it ceases not, but perseveres to the end; "the prey departs not;" they will neither leave the sin, nor the sin them; they neither repent, nor are weary of sinning. Avarice especially gains vigor in old age, and grows by being fed. "The prey departeth not," but continues as a witness against it, as a lion's lair is defiled by the fragments of his prey.
on Nahum 3 :1
3:1 The prey - Extortion and rapine.