Hebrew Prophets II
Azusa Pacific University
Dr. Bruce Baloian
April 1, 2003

I.   Background
A.   Probably one of the oldest minor prophets
1.   Before the fall of Nineveh but after the Sac Thebes
2.   663-612 BC
B.   Some see it as a liturgy and it can be dated whenever we want; however, those who take it seriously place this book very old
C.   Theme: prophecy against the nation of Assyria
II.   Two oracles
A.   1:2-2:2 - Hymn to Yhwh
1.   Definition of Hymn: theme is central on who God is not how we feel about God
2.   Acrostic Poem Form (after verse 8 it disappears)
B.   2:3-3:19 - Oracle against Nineveh
III.   Why is Nahum looked down upon?
A.   It is very much centered on Yhwh's love for Israel and His hate for the rest of the world
B.   It is contrasted with Jonah
C.   Some people conclude that this is a spiritually "weak" book because supposedly God is the God of the whole world, not just the Jews
D.   Baloian's response: true universalism (Yhwh loves the whole world) starts with particularism (Yhwh loving Israel)
1.   Look at Abraham as an example: it took Yhwh to bless one man before there would be other nations
2.   As Christians we should find confidence in the fact that Yhwh remains faithful to Israel so we don't need to worry about Him leaving us as well
3.   Look how God calls us individually (particularism) for the purpose of reaching others (universalism)