Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Nahum 1:7

Context
NETBible

The Lord is good 1  – indeed, 2  he is a fortress 3  in time of distress, 4  and he protects 5  those who seek refuge 6  in him.

XREF

1Ch 5:20; 1Ch 16:34; 2Ch 16:8,9; 2Ch 32:8,11,21; Ezr 3:11; Ps 1:6; Ps 18:1,2; Ps 20:1; Ps 25:8; Ps 27:5; Ps 50:15; Ps 59:16; Ps 62:6-8; Ps 71:3; Ps 84:11; Ps 84:12; Ps 86:7; Ps 91:1,2; Ps 91:15; Ps 100:5; Ps 136:1-26; Ps 144:1,2; Ps 145:6-10; Pr 18:10; Isa 25:4; Isa 26:1-4; Isa 32:2; Isa 37:3,4; Jer 17:7,8; Jer 33:11; La 3:25; Da 3:28; Da 6:23; Mt 7:23; Mt 27:43; Joh 10:27; Ro 11:22; Ga 4:9; 2Ti 2:19; 1Jo 4:8-10

NET © Notes

tn The Masoretic disjunctive accent marker (zaqeph parvum) divides the lines here. Most English versions reflect this line division (KJV, RSV, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NKJV). Some extend the line: “Yahweh is better than a fortress” (NJB); “The Lord is good to those who hope in him” (NJPS); and “The Lord is good to those who trust him” (NEB). This issue is complicated by the textual problems in this verse.

tn The preposition לְ (lamed) probably functions in an emphatic asseverative sense, suggested by D. L. Christensen, “The Acrostic of Nahum Reconsidered,” ZAW 87 (1975): 22. This explains the preceding statement: the Lord is good to his people (1:7a) because – like a fortress – he protects them in time of distress (1:7b).

tc Some ancient versions read, “The Lord is good to those who trust him.” The MT reads לְמָעוֹז (lÿmaoz, “a fortress”): the noun מָעוֹז (maoz, “fortress”) with the preposition לְ (lÿ, see below). However, the LXX reflects the reading לְמֵעִיז (lÿmeiz, “to those who trust [him]”): the Hiphil participle from עוּז (’uz, “seek refuge”) with the preposition לְ. The variants involve only different vocalizations and the common confusion of vav (ו) with yod. Most English versions follow the traditional Hebrew reading (KJV, RSV, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NKJV); however, several others follow the alternate Greek reading (NEB, NJPS). The BHS editors and several other scholars favor the LXX tradition; however, the Masoretic tradition has been defended by others. The Masoretic tradition is supported by the Dead Sea Scrolls (4QpNah). The problem with the LXX reading is the absence of the direct object in the Hebrew text; the LXX is forced to supply the direct object αὐτόν (auton, “him”; for a similar addition of the direct object αὐτόν by the LXX, see Amos 9:12). The main objection to the MT reading לְמָעוֹז (“a fortress”) is that לְ is hard to explain. However, לְ may be taken in a comparative sense (Cathcart: “Yahweh is better than a fortress in time of distress”) or an asseverative sense (Christensen: “Yahweh is good; indeed, a fortress in time of distress”). See K. J. Cathcart, Nahum in the Light of Northwest Semitic (BibOr), 55; idem, “More Philological Studies in Nahum,” JNSL 7 (1979): 4; D. L. Christensen, “The Acrostic of Nahum Reconsidered,” ZAW 87 (1975): 22. Elsewhere, the Lord is commonly portrayed as a “fortress” (מָעוֹז) protecting his people (Pss 27:1; 28:8; 31:3, 5; 37:39; 43:2; 52:9; Isa 17:10; 25:4; 27:5; Joel 4:16; Jer 16:19; Neh 8:10; Prov 10:29).

sn The phrase “time of distress” (בְּיוֹם צָרָה) refers to situations in which God’s people are oppressed by enemy armies (Isa 33:2; Jer 14:8; 15:11; 16:19; Obad 12; Pss 20:2; 37:39). Nahum may be alluding to recent Assyrian invasions of Judah, such as Sennacherib’s devastating invasion in 701 b.c., in which the Lord protected the remnant within the fortress walls of Jerusalem (2 Kgs 18-19; 2 Chr 32; Isa 36-37).

tn Heb “he knows” or “he recognizes.” The basic meaning of the verb יָדַע (yada’) is “to know,” but it may denote “to take care of someone” or “to protect” (HALOT 391 s.v.; see Gen 39:6; Job 9:21; Ps 31:8). Most English versions render it as “know” here (KJV, RSV, NASB, NKJV) but at least two recognize the nuance “protect” (NRSV, NIV [which reads “cares for”]). It often refers to God protecting and caring for his people (2 Sam 7:20; Ps 144:3). When the subject is a king (suzerain) and the object is a servant (vassal), it often has covenantal overtones. In several ancient Near Eastern languages this term depicts the king (suzerain) recognizing his treaty obligation to protect and rescue his servant (vassal) from its enemies. For example, a letter from Abdi-Ashirta governor of Ammuru to the Egyptian king Amenophis III ends with a plea for protection from the raids of the Mittani: “May the king my lord know [= protect] me” (yi-da-an-ni; EA 60:30-32). Similarly, in the treaty between Muwattallis and Alaksandus, the Hittite suzerain assures his vassal that in case he was attacked, “As he is an enemy of you, even so he is an enemy to the Sun; I the Sun, will know [= “protect”] only you, Alaksandus” (see H. B. Huffmon, “The Treaty Background of Hebrew YADA`,” BASOR 181 (1966): 31-37; idem, “A Further Note on the Treaty Background of Hebrew YADA`,” BASOR 184 (1966): 36-38.

tn Or “those who trust in him” (NIV); NAB “those who have recourse to him.”



TIP #08: Use the Strong Number links to learn about the original Hebrew and Greek text. [ALL]
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