December 1, 2014

Holy Prophet Nahum the Elkoshite

Prophet Nahum (Feast Day - December 1)

By Theodore Rokas

The Prophet Nahum, as we are informed in the book that bears his name, was an Elkoshite and came from the village of Alqosh (Nah. 1:1), the location of which has not yet been established. The time of the activity of the Prophet Nahum was between 663-612 B.C.

Nineveh, whose destruction he foretells, is on the edge (Nah. 1:10-14), while Thebes is on the eve of its fall. Nineveh was destroyed in 612 B.C. and Thebes in 662 B.C.

The book that bears the name of the Prophet Nahum is ranked seventh among the Minor Prophets, and it consists of three chapters with the following content: a) inscription (Nah. 1:1), b) the wrath of God against Nineveh and the prophecy concerning the prosperity of Judah (Nah. 1:2-14), and c) prophecies concerning the destruction of Nineveh (Nah. 2:1-3:19).

Central to the prophetic preaching of the Prophet Nahum is the announcement of the impending fall of Nineveh. Before this Nahum represents God through a beautiful psalm that sings of his theophany (Nah. 1:2-9) to bring about the destruction of Nineveh after speaking up against it with passion and eloquence. The nationalist style, the vividness of the images and the naturalness of the narrative suggest that Nahum is himself the author of this prophetic book and the writing time is accounted for in the last years of his activities (620-612 BC), just before the fall of Nineveh.

The preaching of Nahum is related to the prophecies against the nations that are proclaimed by the other venerated prophets against the enemies of Yahweh and Israel, and it can be accepted that the Prophet Nahum was a venerated prophet.

Nahum does not add any new ideas or concepts in Jewish theology, instead he follows the teachings of the prophets of the 8th B.C. The content of his preaching is that God punishes the enemies of the Israelite people.

His memory is honored on December 1st.

Source: “Ναούμ ο προφήτης”, Μεγάλη Ορθόδοξη Χριστιανική Εγκυκλοπαίδεια, Στρατηγικές Εκδόσεις, Αθήνα 2013, τόμος 11, σ. 447. Translated by John Sanidopoulos.