Nahum 1:6
Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
1:1-8 About a hundred years before, at Jonah's preaching, the Ninevites repented, and were spared, yet, soon after, they became worse than ever. Nineveh knows not that God who contends with her, but is told what a God he is. It is good for all to mix faith with what is here said concerning Him, which speaks great terror to the wicked, and comfort to believers. Let each take his portion from it: let sinners read it and tremble; and let saints read it and triumph. The anger of the Lord is contrasted with his goodness to his people. Perhaps they are obscure and little regarded in the world, but the Lord knows them. The Scripture character of Jehovah agrees not with the views of proud reasoners. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is slow to wrath and ready to forgive, but he will by no means acquit the wicked; and there is tribulation and anguish for every soul that doeth evil: but who duly regards the power of his wrath?Who can stand before His indignation? - This question appeals to our own consciences, that we cannot . It anticipates the self-conviction at every day of God's visitation, the forerunners of the lust. The word rendered "indignation" is reserved almost exclusively to denote the wrath of God. : "Who can trust in his own righteousness, and, for the abundance of his works or consciousness of his virtues, not be in need of mercy? 'Enter not into judgment with Thy servant, O Lord, for in Thy sight shall no man living be justified;' and in Job it is said truly, 'Behold He put no trust in His servants, and His Angels He charged with folly. How much less in them that dwell in houses of' clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which ewe crushed before the moth?' Job 4:18-19. It were needless now to prove, that man's own deserts suffice to no one, and that we are not saved but by the grace of God, 'for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God' Romans 3:23. Wherefore he saith, 'before His indignation,' standing face to Face before Him in wrath."

Literally, "in the Face of:" guilt cannot look in the face of man, how much less, of God. The bliss of the righteous is the punishment of the wicked, to behold God face to Face. For "whoever trusts in his own works deserves His indignation. and thinking he stands, righteously does he fall."

His fury is poured out - נתך is used of the pouring out of God's wrath, Jeremiah 7:20; Jeremiah 42:18; 2 Chronicles 12:7 (as more commonly שׁפך here its native meaning is brought out the more, by adding כאש.

Like fire - , sweeping away, like a torrent of molten fire, him who presumes that be can stand before His Face, as He did the cities of the plain Genesis 19, the image of the everlasting fire, which shall burn up His enemies on every side. "And rocks are thrown down" Psalm 97:3; Psalm 50:3; Psalm 68:3; Psalm 18:8. The rocks are like so many towers of nature, broken down and crushed "by Him" literally, "from Him." It needs not any act of God's. He wills and it is done. Those who harden themselves, are crushed and broken to pieces, the whole fabric they had built for themselves and their defenses, crumbling and shivered. If then they, whose hearts are hard as rocks, and bold against all peril, and even Satan himself, whose "heart is as firm as a stone, yea, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone" Job 41:24, shall be crushed then, who shall abide?

6. fury is poured out like fire—like the liquid fire poured out of volcanoes in all directions (see Jer 7:20).

rocks are thrown down—or, "are burnt asunder"; the usual effect of volcanic fire (Jer 51:25, 56). As Hannibal burst asunder the Alpine rocks by fire to make a passage for his army [Grotius].

Who can stand before his indignation? since God can do all this, who among the Assyrians, who among the Ninevites, what kingdom or monarchy, is mighty enough to resist or defeat the counsel and power of this God, who will ere long rebuke, and pour out his indignation upon them.

Who can abide; be able to endure, or continue in flourishing, peaceful, safe, or joyful state? It is much the same with standing, before mentioned.

The fierceness of his anger; this explains the former; the heat of his anger is his indignation, and no creature can bear it.

His fury: fury in man speaks somewhat culpable and blameworthy, but in God it cannot be so, it is the intenseness of his just and wise displeasure.

Is poured out, with most righteous and wise direction by God himself who is as Nahum 1:2, which see.

Like fire; not in the unsteadiness and unruliness, but in the vehemency, spreading nature, and irresistible force of it; as in Sodom’s overthrow.

The rocks are thrown down by him; though foundations do support other things, yet they cannot support themselves against their God when once angry. Who can stand before his indignation?.... No creature whatever; no man nor body of men; not Nineveh, and the inhabitants of it; nor the whole Assyrian empire:

and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? not the great men of the earth; not kings or generals of armies; not kingdoms and nations, ever so numerous and powerful; but all must be consumed by him, who is a consuming fire; see Jeremiah 10:10;

his fury is poured out like fire; or like metal that is melted by fire, and poured out by the force of it; or like fire of lightning poured out of the heavens, which is quick, powerful, and penetrating, and there is no resisting it:

and the rocks are thrown down by him; by the Lord, by his wrath and fury; kingdoms that seemed as strong and immovable as rocks and mountains are thrown down; as such have been by the force of fire bursting from the midst of them, as Etna, Vesuvius, and others.

{g} Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him.

(g) If all creatures are at God's commandment, and none are able to resist his wrath, will man flatter himself, and think by any means to escape, when he provokes his God to anger?

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
6. Nahum 1:6 draws the general conclusion from the preceding. The description, Nahum 1:2-5, is one of the manifestation of the Lord on the more terrible side of His being. For though His revelation of Himself at the Exodus and later (Jdg 5:4-5) had for its purpose the delivery of His people, this implied wrath and vengeance upon their enemies (Habakkuk 3:12-13). Hence the exclamation, Who can stand before his indignation! cf. Malachi 3:2.

His fury is poured out] A common figure, particularly in Jer., e.g. Jeremiah 7:20, Jeremiah 42:18, Jeremiah 44:6; cf. 2 Chronicles 12:7; 2 Chronicles 34:21; 2 Chronicles 34:25; and Daniel 9:11; Daniel 9:27. The expression “poured out like” may mean, is poured out and acts like fire, or the idea may be that of a fiery stream; Isaiah 30:33, “the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it.”

rocks are thrown down] or, rent in pieces. The word is used of throwing down an altar, Jdg 6:30, beating down a tower, Jdg 8:17, high places, city walls and cities themselves, 2 Kings 23:8; 2 Kings 25:10; Jeremiah 39:8; Jeremiah 4:26. The rending of the rocks is not ascribed to the fire but to Jehovah Himself (by Him, lit. from Him, because of Him); but several writers have suggested by it. The second half of Nahum 1:6 continues the idea of the first half, the impossibility of standing before His anger: it is a flood of fire.Verse 6. - Who can stand? (Psalm 76:7; Joel 2:11; Malachi 3:2; comp. Revelation 6:17). His fury is poured out like fire (Deuteronomy 4:24); like the brimstone and fire that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:24), or like the molten lava that issues from a volcano (Jeremiah 7:20). Septuagint (reading differently), ὁ θυμὸς αὐτοῦ τήκει ἀρχάς: consumit principatus (Jerome). Are thrown down; rather, are rent asunder (comp. 1 Kings 19:11; Jeremiah 23:29). If such is the power of God, how shall Assyria resist it? Jonah begins by answering the last question, saying that he was "a Hebrew," - the name by which the Israelites designated themselves in contradistinction to other nations, and by which other nations designated them (see at Genesis 14:13, and my Lehrbuch der Einleitung, 9, Anm. 2) - and that he worshipped "the God of heaven, who created the sea and the dry" (i.e., the land). ירא has been rendered correctly by the lxx σέβομαι, colo, revereor; and does not mean, "I am afraid of Jehovah, against whom I have sinned" (Abarbanel). By the statement, "I fear," etc., he had no intention of describing himself as a righteous or innocent man (Hitzig), but simply meant to indicate his relation to God - namely, that he adored the living God who created the whole earth and, as Creator, governed the world. For he admits directly after, that he has sinned against this God, by telling them, as we may see from Jonah 1:10, of his flight from Jehovah. He had not told them this as soon as he embarked in the ship, as Hitzig supposes, but does so now for the first time when they ask about his people, his country, etc., as we may see most unmistakeably from Jonah 1:10. In Jonah 1:9 Jonah's statement is not given completely; but the principal fact, viz., that he was a Hebrew and worshipped Jehovah, is followed immediately by the account of the impression which this acknowledgement made upon the heathen sailors; and the confession of his sin is mentioned afterwards as a supplement, to assign the reason for the great fear which came upon the sailors in consequence. מה־זּאת עשׂית, What hast thou done! is not a question as to the nature of his sin, but an exclamation of horror at his flight from Jehovah, the God heaven and earth, as the following explanatory clauses כּי ידעוּ וגו clearly show. The great fear which came upon the heathen seamen at this confession of Jonah may be fully explained from the dangerous situation in which they found themselves, since the storm preached the omnipotence of God more powerfully than words could possibly do.
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