Nahum (/ˈneɪ.əm/ or /ˈneɪhəm/; Hebrew: נַחוּם Naḥūm) was a minor prophet whose prophecy is recorded in the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament. His book comes in chronological order between Micah and Habakkuk in the Bible.[1] He wrote about the end of the Assyrian Empire, and its capital city, Nineveh, in a vivid poetic style.[2]

Russian Orthodox icon of the Prophet Nahum, 18th century (Iconostasis of Transfiguration Church, Kizhi Monastery, Karelia, Russia).


Little is known about Nahum's personal history. His name means "comforter," and he was from the town of Alqosh (Nahum 1:1), which scholars have attempted to identify with several cities, including the modern Alqosh in northern Iraq and Capharnaum of northern Galilee.[3] He was a very nationalistic Hebrew, however, and lived amongst the Elkoshites in peace. Nahum, called "the Elkoshite", is the seventh in order of the minor prophets.


Nahum (watercolor circa 1888 by James Tissot)

Nahum's writings could be taken as prophecy or as history. One account suggests that his writings are a prophecy written in about 615 BC, just before the downfall of Assyria, while another account suggests that he wrote this passage as liturgy just after its downfall in 612 BC.[4][5]

The book was introduced in Reformation theologian Calvin's Commentary[6] as a complete and finished poem:

No one of the minor Prophets seems to equal the sublimity, the vehemence and the boldness of Nahum: besides, his Prophecy is a complete and finished poem; his exordium is magnificent, and indeed majestic; the preparation for the destruction of Nineveh, and the description of its ruin, and its greatness, are expressed in most vivid colors, and possess admirable perspicuity and fulness.

— Rev. John Owen, translator, Calvin's Commentary on Jonah, Micah, Nahum

There are indications that an acrostic underlies the present [text]. Thus 1:2 begins with the first letter of the alphabet (א), vs. 3b (‘in whirlwind’) with the second letter (ב), vs. 4 with the third (ג), and so on until from ten to sixteen of the twenty two letters have appeared. In places the scheme breaks down… in the process of transmission what was once an alphabetic poem has now been seriously corrupted, rearranged, and supplemented.[7]

Nahum, taking words from Moses himself, has shown in a general way what sort of "Being God is". Calvin argued that Nahum painted God by which his nature must be seen, and "it is from that most memorable vision, when God appeared to Moses after the breaking of the tablets."[8]

Although all three chapters fall below the standards set by the developed Judaeo-Christian tradition concerning the nature of God and man’s relation with his brother man… it is one of the world’s classic rebukes of militarism…. All tyrants are doomed. They make enemies of those whom they attack and oppress; they become corrupt, dissolute, drunken, effeminate; they are lulled into false security…

— Charles L. Taylor, Jr.[7]


Tomb of Nahum
Tomb of Nahum
Nahum is located in Iraq
Shown within Iraq
LocationTown of Alqosh, Northern Iraq, 50km north of Mosul
Coordinates36°44′18.87″N 43°05′45″E / 36.7385750°N 43.09583°ECoordinates: 36°44′18.87″N 43°05′45″E / 36.7385750°N 43.09583°E
TypeShrine to the biblical prophet Nahum
CulturesAssyrian, Jewish, Kurdish
Site notes
Excavation datesNone
ConditionPartial Collapse, Stabilized in 2018
Public accessyes

The tomb of Nahum is supposedly inside the synagogue at Alqosh, although there are other places outside Iraq which also lay claim to being the original "Elkosh" from which Nahum hailed. Alqosh was abandoned by its Jewish population in 1948, when they were expelled, and the synagogue that purportedly houses the tomb is now in a poor structural state, to the extent that the tomb itself is in danger of destruction. The tomb underwent basic repairs in 1796. When all Jews were compelled to flee Alqosh in 1948, the iron keys to the tomb were handed to an Assyrian man by the name of Sami Jajouhana[9][1]. Few Jews visit the historic site, yet Jajouhana continues to keep the promise he made with his Jewish friends, and looks after the tomb.[10]

As of early 2017, the tomb was in significant disrepair and was threatened by the rise of ISIS in Iraq.[11] A team of engineers conducted a survey of the tomb and determined that the tomb was in danger of imminent collapse and might not survive another winter.[12] A team led by the U.S.-based 501(c)(3) non-profit, the Alliance for the Restoration of Cultural Heritage ("ARCH") raised the funds necessary to stabilize the site.[12] After raising the necessary funds, ARCH partnered with the Prague-based GEMA Art Group, experts in historic preservation and reconstruction to do the immediate stabilization work.[12] Following coordination with local partners, the initial stabilization work was completed in January, 2018.[13] The stabilization work is expected to prevent further deterioration of the structure for between two and three years.[13] With the tomb and its surrounding structure stabilized, ARCH is planning on raising the funding necessary to fully restore the site.[13] On 26 April 2019, the United States government announced that it would contribute $500,000 to restore the tomb.[14]

Two other possible burial sites mentioned in historical accounts are Elkesi, near Ramah in the Galilee and Elcesei in the West Bank.[15]

Liturgical commemoration

The Prophet Nahum is venerated as a saint in Eastern Christianity. On the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar, his feast day is December 1[16][17][18] (for those churches which follow the traditional Julian Calendar, December 1 currently falls on December 14 of the modern Gregorian Calendar). He is commemorated with the other minor prophets in the Calendar of saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church on July 31.


  1. ^ "The Chronology of Biblical Prophets", Adapted from Hauer, C.E. & Young, W. A., An Introduction to the Bible: A Journey into Three Worlds, p.123, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1994
  2. ^ Introduction to Nahum at the International Bible Society website
  3. ^ Nahum at The Catholic Encyclopedia
  4. ^ Heaton, E. W., A Short Introduction To The Old Testament Prophets, p. 35, Oneworld Publications, P.O. Box 830, 21 Broadway, Rockport, NA 01966, ISBN 1-85168-114-0
  5. ^ "Nahum".
  6. ^ "Commentaries on Twelve Minor Prophets".
  7. ^ a b Taylor, C. L.-I. (1956). The Interpreters' Bible (first ed., Vol. VI Lamentations through Malachi, p. 954). (S. T. George Arthur Buttrick, Ed.) Nashville: Abingdon Press.
  8. ^ Calvin; Commentary on Jonah, Micah, Nahum Archived 2012-11-30 at
  9. ^ Sami Jajouhana
  10. ^ "An Alqosh Man Struggles to Keep a Promise to an Old Friend".
  11. ^ Schwartzstein, Peter (19 February 2015). "Surrounded by Conflict, an Ancient Synagogue Crumbles in Iraq". National Geographic. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  12. ^ a b c "Progress made on saving Prophet Nahum's tomb in Iraq". The Jerusalem Post | Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  13. ^ a b c Neurink, Judit (2018-03-21). "Hebrew prophet's tomb in Iraq saved from collapse". Al-Monitor. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  14. ^ staff, T. O. I. "US to donate $500K to restore tomb of biblical prophet Nahum in Iraq". Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  15. ^ Renovation - Al Qush Synagogue and the Tomb of Nahum Archived 2012-02-11 at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ Great Synaxaristes: ‹See Tfd›(in Greek) Ὁ Προφήτης Ναούμ. 1 Δεκεμβρίου. ΜΕΓΑΣ ΣΥΝΑΞΑΡΙΣΤΗΣ.
  17. ^ Prophet Nahum. OCA - Feasts and Saints.
  18. ^ December 1. The Roman Martyrology

External links

Book of Nahum

The Book of Nahum is the seventh book of the 12 minor prophets of the Hebrew Bible. It is attributed to the prophet Nahum, and was probably written in Jerusalem in the 7th century BC.


Capernaum ( kə-PUR-nee-əm, -⁠nay-əm; Hebrew: כְּפַר נַחוּם‎, romanized: Kfar Naḥūm, lit. 'Nahum's village'; Arabic: كفر ناحوم‎, romanized: Kafr Nāḥūm) was a fishing village established during the time of the Hasmoneans, located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. It had a population of about 1,500. Archaeological excavations have revealed two ancient synagogues built one over the other. A house turned into a church by the Byzantines is said to be the home of Saint Peter.

The village was inhabited continuously from the 2nd century BC to the 11th century AD, when it was abandoned sometime before the Crusader conquest. This includes the re-establishment of the village during the Early Islamic period soon after the 749 earthquake.

J. Holiday

Nahum Thorton Grymes (born November 29, 1982), better known by his stage name J. Holiday, is an American singer, songwriter, rapper and actor. He came into prominence in 2007 with his breakthrough hit "Bed", peaking at number five on the US Billboard Hot 100. His debut album, Back of My Lac', was released in October 2007 and peaked at number 5 on the US Billboard 200. The album would also hit number 32 in the United Kingdom. Back of My Lac' has sold just over 700,000 copies worldwide.

His second album, Round 2 was released on March 10, 2009. It peaked at number four on the Billboard 200 and contain only one single, "It's Yours". After label changes and several release delays, Holliday's third album, Guilty Conscience, was released in January 2014. The album peaked at number forty-two on the US music charts.

Leicester Galleries

Leicester Galleries was an art gallery located in London from 1902 to 1977 that held exhibitions of modern British and French artists' works. Its name was acquired in 1984 by Peter Nahum, who operates "Peter Nahum at the Leicester Galleries" in Mayfair.

Nachum Ish Gamzu

Nachum Ish Gamzu (Hebrew: נחום איש גמזו‎, Naḥum Ish Gamzu) was a Tanna of the second generation (first century).

Nahum B. Zenil

Nahum B. Zenil is a Mexican artist who often uses his own self-portrait as the principal model for a cultural critical interpretation of Mexico, especially concerning homosexuality and mestization. Zenil was born in 1947 in the state of Veracruz. In 1959, he enrolled at the Escuela Nacional de Maestros (National Teachers' School) in Mexico City, from which he graduated in 1964. It was during this period in which Zenil became interested in painting. He later entered the Escuela Nacional de Pintura y Escultura (known as La Esmeralda) in Mexico City in 1968. He is also one of the founding members of the Semana Cultural Gay ("Cultural Gay Week"), which occurs yearly at the Museo Universitario del Chopo. His art is often compared to that of Frida Kahlo, in which the self becomes the principal object of their paintings letting the viewer discover the artists as individuals as well as the broader social and cultural contexts in which they lived through the medium of self-portraiture.

Nahum Commentary

The Nahum Commentary or Pesher Nahum, labelled 4QpNah (Cave 4, Qumran, pesher, Nahum) or 4Q169, was among the Dead Sea Scrolls in cave 4 of Qumran that was discovered in August 1952. The editio princeps of the text is to be found in DJD V., edited by John Allegro. The text is described thus: 'one of the "continuous pesharim" from Qumran, successive verses from the biblical Book of Nahum are interpreted as reflecting historical realities of the 1st century BCE."

Nahum Goldmann

Nahum Goldmann (Hebrew: נחום גולדמן) (July 10, 1895 – August 29, 1982) was a leading Zionist and the founder and longtime president of the World Jewish Congress.

Nahum J. Bachelder

Nahum Josiah Bachelder (September 3, 1854 – April 22, 1934) was the 49th governor of New Hampshire. He was a farmer and Republican politician from East Andover, New Hampshire, United States. Bachelder lived at and operated his family farm throughout his life, was a leader in the Grange, and served a single term as Governor of New Hampshire.

He became politically active when he joined the Grange, a farmers' advocacy group, in 1877. Bachelder became Master of the local Grange for Merrimack County. He was appointed to New Hampshire's State Board of Agriculture, and served from 1887 until 1913, remaining in this post even through his two years as governor.

Bachelder was elected as the Master of the State Grange in 1891 and held the post until he resigned to become governor in 1903. After his term as Governor of New Hampshire, he served as the Master of the National Grange. He died on his farm in East Andover in 1934 and is buried in the Proctor Cemetery in Andover.

Nahum Korzhavin

Nahum (Naum) Moiseyevich Korzhavin (Russian: Нау́м Моисе́евич Коржа́вин; real surname Mandel, Russian: Мандель; 14 October 1925 – 22 June 2018) was a Russian poet of Jewish descent, a dissident and emigrant who moved to Boston, Massachusetts in 1973 and lived there 43 years. He spent the last two years of his life in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to be near family.Korzhavin was given the Big Book National Award-2006 for his contribution to literature. He was the only Big Book finalist to get into the short-list with a book of memoirs.

Korzhavin created a vivid detailed picture of his life and his country in his prose work under the expressive title In Temptations of the Bloody Epoch.

In 2005 Korzhavin participated in They Chose Freedom, a four-part television documentary on the history of the Soviet dissident movement.

Nahum Mitchell

Nahum Mitchell (February 12, 1769 – August 1, 1853) was a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts.

Born in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Mitchell attended the local school.

He graduated from Harvard University in 1789.

He studied law in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

He was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts.

He served as member of the State house of representatives 1798-1802.

Mitchell was elected as a Federalist to the Eighth Congress (March 4, 1803 – March 3, 1805).

He was not a candidate for renomination.

He was again a member of the State house of representatives in 1809 and 1812.

He served as judge of the common pleas court 1811-1821 and chief justice 1819-1821.

He served in the State senate in 1813 and 1814.

He served as member of the Governor's council 1814-1820.

State treasurer of Massachusetts 1822-1827.

Librarian in 1835 and 1836 and treasurer 1839-1845 of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Mitchell's love for music began early, was leader of the church choir and a teacher of music in East Bridgewater. One of his pieces was performed in the World's Columbian Exposition concerts in Chicago in 1893. He was also one of the first American composers; his work sold more than 100,000 copies.

He died in Plymouth, Massachusetts, August 1, 1853.

He was interred in Old Central Street Cemetery, East Bridgewater, Massachusetts.

Nahum Parker

Nahum Parker (March 4, 1760 – November 12, 1839) was a United States Senator from New Hampshire.

Parker was born in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. During the Revolutionary War he served in the Continental Army at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777. He settled in Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire in 1786, was a member of the board of selectmen from 1790 to 1794 and clerk and town treasurer from 1792 to 1815.

Parker was a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives from 1794 to 1804 and in 1806-1807; in 1804 and 1805 he was a member of the Governor's council. He was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the U.S. Senate and served from March 4, 1807, to June 1, 1810, when he resigned.

From 1807 to 1813, Parker was a justice of the Court of Common Pleas for Cheshire and Sullivan Counties. He was associate justice of the western circuit from 1813 to 1816 and a judge of the court of sessions of Cheshire County in 1821 and of the court of common pleas of Hillsborough County in 1822. He was a member of the New Hampshire Senate and its president in 1828.

Parker died in Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire in 1839, aged 79, and was interred in the Town Cemetery.

Nahum Sokolow

Nahum Sokolow (Nahum ben Joseph Samuel Sokolow, Hebrew: נחום ט' סוקולוב Nachum ben Yosef Shmuel Soqolov, Yiddish: סאָקאָלאָוו‎, 10 January 1859 – 17 May 1936) was a Zionist leader, author, translator, and a pioneer of Hebrew journalism.

Nahum Sonenberg

Nahum Sonenberg, (Hebrew: נחום סוננברג‎; born December 29, 1946) is an Israeli Canadian microbiologist and biochemist. He is a James McGill professor of biochemistry at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He was an HHMI international research scholar from 1997 to 2011 and is now a senior international research scholar. He is best known for his seminal contributions to our understanding of translation, and notable for the discovery of the mRNA 5' cap-binding protein, eIF4E, the rate-limiting component of the eukaryotic translation apparatus.

Nahum Stelmach

Nahum Stelmach (Hebrew: נחום סטלמך‎; 1936–1999) was an Israeli footballer and manager.

Nahum Tate

Nahum Tate ( NAY-əm TAYT; 1652 – 30 July 1715) was an Irish poet, hymnist and lyricist, who became England's poet laureate in 1692. Tate is best known for The History of King Lear, his 1681 adaptation of Shakespeare's King Lear.

Nahum the Mede

Nahum the Mede (Hebrew: נחום המדי‎, transliteration: Nahum HaMadi) was a first-century tanna of the first generation who came to the Land of Israel from Media. He lived in Jerusalem and according to Nathan the Babylonian, he was one of the three most renowned criminal judges in the city. He was one of the seven great contemporaries of Johanan ben Zakai who had survived the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans and who probably became members of the Sanhedrin at Yavne.

The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot

The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot is located in Tel Aviv, Israel, at the center of the Tel Aviv University campus in Ramat Aviv.

The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot is a global institution that tells the ongoing story of the Jewish people, intended for people of all faiths. Through its educational programming, the institution works to connect Jewish people to their roots and strengthen their personal and collective Jewish identity. The museum presents a pluralistic narrative of Jewish culture, faith, purpose and deed as seen through the lens of Jewish history and current experience today.

Formerly the Nahum Goldmann Museum of the Jewish Diaspora (Hebrew: בית התפוצות‎, "The Diaspora House"), the museum launched a large-scale renewal in 2016, adding a new wing with rotating temporary exhibitions, the Alfred H. Moses and Family Synagogue Hall featuring synagogue scale models, and Heroes - Trailblazers of the Jewish People, a children's interactive exhibition. Museum renovations will culminate with the opening of a new permanent core exhibition in early 2020. It is a center for Jewish discourse, engagement, education and research, encompassing a pluralistic and comprehensive worldview.

Twelve Minor Prophets

The Minor Prophets or Twelve Prophets (Aramaic: תרי עשר‎, Trei Asar, "Twelve"), occasionally Book of the Twelve, is the last book of the Nevi'im, the second main division of the Jewish Tanakh. The collection is broken up to form twelve individual books in the Christian Old Testament, one for each of the prophets. The terms "minor prophets" and "twelve prophets" can also refer to the twelve traditional authors of these works.

The term "Minor" relates to the length of each book (ranging from a single chapter to fourteen); even the longest is short compared to the three major prophets, Isaiah, Ezekiel and Jeremiah. It is not known when these short works were collected and transferred to a single scroll, but the first extra-biblical evidence we have for the Twelve as a collection is c. 190 BCE in the writings of Jesus ben Sirach, and evidence from the Dead Sea Scrolls suggests that the modern order was established by 150 BCE. It is believed that initially the first six were collected, and later the second six were added; the two groups seem to complement each other, with Hosea through Micah raising the question of iniquity, and Nahum through Malachi proposing resolutions.

Prophets in the Hebrew Bible
Patriarchs / Matriarchs
Israelite prophets
in the Torah
Mentioned in the
Former Prophets
Virgin Mary
See also

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