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Book of the Twelve Prophets of the Tanakh Old Testament
Minor Prophets
Names after the ÖVBE
Old Testament books
History books


"Little" ( Book of the Twelve Prophets )

Nahum ( Hebrew נחוםNaḥūm, cf. Nachum ) is the name of a biblical prophet and his book. It belongs to the Twelve Prophets of the Hebrew Tanakh or the Christian Old Testament . Only the unknown place of origin Elkosch (Nah 1,1) is known of the author ; his name means "comforter" or " YHWH comforts".


Nahum mentions the conquest of No-Amon ( Thebes ) (663 BC) as an event of the past, and the destruction of Nineveh (612 BC) as an event of the future. If this information is accepted, the book can be narrowed down to the first half of the seventh century, making Nahum a contemporary of Zefaniah , Habakkuk and Jeremiah .


The book Nahum shows a multi-stage development process that begins with texts from the first half of the 7th century BC. And ends in the 5th or 4th century. Based on the heading ( Nah 1.1  EU ), two editorial levels can be distinguished:

Saying about Nineveh.
Record of the vision of Elkoschite Nahum.

The first half of the verse relates to the second and third chapters of the Nahum book. Thus the Nahumbuch is divided into two parts ( Nah 1,1  LUT –2,3 LUT and Nah 2,4  LUT –3.19 LUT ). The first part makes no reference to the proclamation against Nineveh and is also linguistically different. It includes other “visions”.

It can therefore be assumed that 2.4-3.19 is the oldest part of the book. Mark points for dating can also be found here. This part deals with the events between 664 (Case No-Ammons, Nah 3.8  EU ) and 612 (Case Ninives, Nah 3.7  EU ). The main subject is the court speech against the Assyrian city ​​of Nineveh. It is unclear who this text collection is aimed at.

Only the content from 1.9 to 2.3 directs the original text to Judah as the addressee. It is about promises of salvation. The text will only have been added after the destruction of Nineveh (612), but probably not until the Babylonian exile (from 587).

After the period of exile, the two blocks were editorially interwoven through minor interventions and the alphabetically structured psalm in Nah 1,2  LUT was added.

It remains unclear what historical form the oldest text collection goes back to. Although the name Nahum can be proven in the 7th century by inscriptions, the derivation of the name via the Hebrew root נחם (comfort) makes it unlikely that the name of the real author is also hidden behind the name. It speaks more for choosing the name for programmatic reasons.

Content classification

Heading (1.1)
Praise God (1,2-2,1)
The judgment on Nineveh (2.2-3.19)
Storming the City (2.2-6)
Looting (2.7-11)
The Lions' Den (2.12-14)
Guilt and Punishment (3: 1-7)
Comparison with Thebes (3.8–15)
The inevitable judgment (3: 16-19)

See also


Web links

Commons : Nahum  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence