Na’hum (consolation). Nahum, called “the Elkoshite,” is the seventh in order of the minor prophets. His personal history is quite unknown. The site of Elkosh, his native place, is disputed, some placing it in Galilee, others in Assyria. Those who maintain the latter view assume that the prophet’s parents were carried into captivity by Tiglath-pileser, and that the prophet was born at the village of Alkush, on the east bank of the Tigris, two miles north of Mosul. On the other hand, the imagery of his prophecy is such as would be natural to an inhabitant of Palestine, Nah. 1:4, to whom the rich pastures of Bashan, the vineyards of Carmel and the blossoms of Lebanon were emblems of all that was luxuriant and fertile. The language employed in ch. 1:15; 2:2 is appropriate to one who wrote for his countrymen in their native land. (McClintock and Strong come to the conclusion that Nahum was a native of Galilee, that at the captivity of the ten tribes he escaped into Judah, and prophesied in the reign of Hezekiah, 726–698.—Ed.) Prophecy of Nahum.—The date of Nahum’s prophecy can be determined with as little precision as his birthplace. It is, however, certain that the prophecy was written before the final downfall of Nineveh and its capture by the Medes and Chaldeans, cir. b.c. 625. The allusions to the Assyrian power imply that it was still unbroken. ch. 1:12; 2:8, 13; 3:15-17. It is most probable that Nahum flourished in the latter half of the reign of Hezekiah, and wrote his prophecy either in Jerusalem or its neighborhood. The subject of the prophecy is, in accordance with the superscription, “the burden of Nineveh,” the destruction of which he predicts. As a poet Nahum occupies a high place in the first rank of Hebrew literature. His style is clear and uninvolved, though pregnant and forcible; his diction sonorous and rhythmical, the words re-echoing to the sense. Comp. 2:4; 3:3.