1 Dec: St. Nahum, Prophet of the Old Testment

Many Old Testament figures are numbered among the saints by the Catholic Church. You can find them listed in the Martyrologium Romanum.

1. Commemoratio sancti Nahum, prophetae, qui Deum praedicavit cursum temporum regentem et populos in iustitia iudicantem.

NahumYes, folks, once again today is the feast of St. Nahum, whose book is betwixt Micah and Habakkuk.

We don’t know much about this figure, historically. He was from the town Alqosh close to the end of the Assyrian reign. Like Johan, Nahum warns Ninevah of its destruction (612 BC).

Whenever I hear about Assyrians I think of a poem by Byron called the Destruction of Sennacherib which, though occurring earlier than Nahum, nevertheless concerns a biblical event recounted in 2 Kings. Read it aloud for some real fun!

THE DESTRUCTION OF SENNACHERIB, first published in 1815

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.

Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,
That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.

For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;
And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!

And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride;
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.

And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail:
And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.

And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!

And some people think our guardian angels are like those girly men in the cute pictures.

2 Kings 19:35-36: And that night the angel of the LORD went forth, and slew a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. Then Sennach’erib king of Assyria departed, and went home, and dwelt at Nin’eveh.

In any event, you might sit down with Nahum today and read for a while.  Remember, there is an indulgence available for reading Sacred Scripture!

From the Prophet Nahum:

15:Behold, on the mountains the feet of him who brings good tidings, who proclaims peace! Keep your feasts, O Judah, fulfil your vows, for never again shall the wicked come against you, he is utterly cut off.

An appropriate passage for this 1st Sunday of Advent.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Rachel K says:

    Fr Z, could you elaborate on the indulgence available for reading scripture please?

  2. truthfinder says:

    Rachel K,
    the indulgence is partial if reading as a spiritual practice and with veneration for the word of God, partial under the usual norms if done for at least 30 mins.

  3. Imrahil says:

    Dear truthfinder,

    I think you wanted to say “plenary” in the second half.

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