Video available here: http://youtu.be/4EE4MYHoQ1w
Another book of the Bible that you won’t find preached in
the recorded ministry of William Branham is the book of Nahum – although one
verse is mentioned five times with an alternative agenda. A portion of the Word that came from the Lord
through Nahum to Nineveh was snipped out of context to point away from the city
condemned by God and towards Chicago, Illinois.
The title line of the scroll is found in the first verse,
and it clearly describes the focal point of the prophecy and the man God spoke
through when giving that prophecy:
concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum of Elkosh.”
The book of Nahum falls chronologically between the books of
Micah and Habakkuk and foretells the downfall of the Assyrian Empire along with
its capital city, Nineveh, which lay on the eastern bank of the Tigris
river. This same city was the target of
Jonah’s mission around 200 years prior, though they repented to avoid
destruction when Jonah came to proclaim God’s Wrath. Some falsely think that Jonah’s prophecy
failed when Nineveh turned their hearts to God, but instead, it was the Word
from the Lord that never fails. The
destruction was simply postponed.
The people of Nineveh worshipped Dagon, the “fish god” of
the Philistines. This god depicted as
half-man, half-fish, and was a god of fertility. As with many of the gods of fertility, human
sacrifice was included in their worship – but Nineveh was excessively brutal in
their sacrifice according to Bible scholars.
Jonah’s fleeing from God’s will was also a flee for his life, but God
was in full control. To see a man
walking out of a fish in a city that primarily worshipped a god that was
half-man, half-fish would have been considered a sign by the city. They would listen to this man thinking that Jonah
was sent by the gods, though he was sent by the One True God.
Nineveh was one of the oldest and strongest cities in the
ancient world. This area whose ruins now
lay across the river from Mosul, Iraq, was settled as early as 6000 BC and, by
3000 BC, had become a thriving religious center for worship of the false Assyrian
goddess Ishtar, a goddess of love, sex, war, and fertility. A statue of this goddess, who was depicted as
an eight-star symbol, was sent to Egypt in the 14th century,
B.C. Interestingly, the eight gods of
Egypt come together to form the glory of Ra in Egyptian mythology, and Irenaeus
condemned the Gnostics for incorporating this series of gods into worship by
constantly looking for the number seven and associating series of seven items –
from letters in a word to physical objects – into worship. Christ was the fulfillment of the eight under
It must have seemed like defeat when Jonah returned to his
homeland, having stood as one man against the mightiest empire in the world at
the time. Jonah seems to have been
afraid to stand against them, but when he finally did, God seemingly overlooked
their pagan worship and human sacrifice. Jonah went to speak God’s wrath upon the
ancient empire, but returned to die before seeing its execution. As Nineveh turned back away from God and into
idol worship, it would seem like the gods of Nineveh were more powerful than
the One True God.
That’s why the book of Nahum is so important. Nahum shows that God never fails, and that
when His prophets speak, their prophecy cannot fail. If a prophet speaks and the words do not come
to pass, or if they have to change that prophecy to fit the situation, then
that prophet is a false prophet.
God’s prophecy starts with the declaration of His wrath, but
also with the reason for postponing that wrath:
The Lord is a
jealous and avenging God; the Lord is avenging and wrathful; the Lord takes
vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies. The Lord is slow to anger and great in power,
and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty.
This prophecy, spoken to Nineveh by God through Nahum,
declared vengeance on the Assyrian empire.
No matter how strong they thought their armies to be, and no matter how
much they relied upon their ties with Jerusalem for protection from the One
True God, they were going to be obliterated.
God was going to sever the ties made when the people repented after
hearing the Word sent through Jonah, and they would be cut off from His
people. No more would Jerusalem be bound
by fear of this idolatrous city.
Thus says the
Lord, “Though they are at full strength and many, they will be cut down and
pass away. Though I have afflicted you,
I will afflict you no more. And now I
will break his yoke from off you and will burst your bonds apart.” The Lord has given commandment about you: “No
more shall your name be perpetuated; from the house of your gods I will cut off
the carved image and the metal image.
I will make
your grave, for you are vile.” Behold,
upon the mountains, the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes
peace! Keep your feasts, O Judah;
fulfill your vows, for never again shall the worthless pass through you; he is
utterly cut off.
Though the idea seems foreign to Christians, most of the
pagan centers of worship did not serve just one god. They served many. Each god they served, each life they
sacrificed, each abomination they performed in sexual worship to a false deity
was meant for protection, provision, and power.
The more gods they bowed down to, the more they believed these three to
be accessible. While Nineveh held ties
to the Babylonian and Philistine gods, it also held ties to the God of
Jonah. But God Himself was going to
sever that connection by utterly destroying the city.
The second chapter describes Nineveh itself, in all its
glory. Nineveh is believed to have
contained the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and the city itself was a sight to
behold. When Sennacherib, the son of
Sargon II, took the throne of Assyria, he made the city truly magnificent. Streets and city squares were laid out around
the inner “Palace Without Rival,” a huge palace built 1,650 feet by 794 feet.
(503 meters by 242 meters). Eighty rooms
within the palace held magnificent wall sculptures, and many of the larger
entrances to the palace were decorated with colossal stone figures of winged
lions or bulls with the head of a man weighing up to 30 tons.
The city itself was seven square kilometers containing
fifteen gates. An elaborate system of
eight canals fed water from the hills into the city, and a series of aqueducts
filled the city with running water.
Through the inner walls of the city, Nineveh would seem like a
modern-day marvel to any visitor, and watching the chariots race through the
inner squares of the busy marketplaces would be awe-inspiring.
But God did not care how great the city had become, nor how
much power they thought they had. God’s
destruction was declared because they had returned to their false gods.
The scatterer has come up against you. Man the ramparts; watch the road; dress for
battle; collect all your strength. For
the Lord is restoring the majesty of Jacob as the majesty of Israel, for
plunderers have plundered them and ruined their branches. The shield of his mighty men is red; his
soldiers are clothed in scarlet. The
chariots come with flashing metal on the day he musters them; the cypress
spears are brandished. The chariots race
madly through the streets; they rush to and fro through the squares; they gleam
like torches; they dart like lightning. He
remembers his officers; they stumble as they go, they hasten to the wall; the
siege tower is set up. The river gates
are opened; the palace melts away; its mistress is stripped; she is carried
off, her slave girls lamenting, moaning like doves and beating their breasts. Nineveh is like a pool whose waters run away.
Notice that last verse, “Nineveh is like a pool whose waters
This entire scroll, remember, was a prophecy written against
Nineveh for leaving worship of Yahweh and turning back to false gods. And each chapter in the book specifically
mentions Nineveh as the target of this prophecy through Nahum. God was describing his coming justice upon
the city of Nineveh, and describing how this mighty empire was coming to an
But during the five times William Branham mentions Nahum, he
only mentions the fourth verse of chapter two – the rest of the book is left
unread. The first verse goes unnoticed –
the title line describing this scroll written to Nineveh, and even the eighth
verse of chapter two, describing Nineveh as being the city whose chariots run
through the streets is avoided during the ministry. It would seem as though William Branham did
not read this book.
The first time Nahum is mentioned is in 1953, a sermon
entitled “Elijah.” William Branham
clearly states that Nahum was wrong, and that God could not have been
describing Nineveh – simply because the normal road for that time was not large
enough to hold a chariot.
When the prophet give, twenty-five hundred years ago, that
missionaries would travel from place to place and go into the nations and
wouldn't leave a track behind them, coming by airplane. Twenty-five hundred
years ago, before there was thought such a thing. Nahum, four thousand years
ago, said that the chariots would rage in the broad ways and look like their
headlights would be like a--a torches and they would run like lightning. And
anybody's ever been in the oriental countries, their little old streets are not
much wider than that--that aisle through there, just where a horseman could go
down, or--or a carriage. And he seen the broad ways, he said they'd be the--the
carriages shall rage in the broad ways. That prophet, through the power of God,
looking down through an eye of God and said there'd, in other words, there'll
be automobiles, there'll be airplanes, and men will come in the last days where
they'll be, "Heady, highminded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of
God; trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, despisers of those that are
good; having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof: from such turn
away." That's the Scripture. We're at the end time, friend.
Each time Nahum was mentioned by William Branham, this
fourth verse is the only mentioned. And
each time, William Branham rejects the verses that came directly from God,
telling Nahum that this prophecy was against Nineveh.
That great eagle called Nahum, four thousand years ago, went
up so high in the Spirit of God until he seen Outer Drive in Chicago, four
thousand years later. Said, "The chariots shall rage in the broad ways:
they shall run like lightning, they shall seem like torches, they'll justle one
Nahum, twenty-five hundred years ago, saw the--the horseless
carriages here in the broad ways.
Did you ever think of Nahum, when he--he saw Outer Drive in
Chicago, four thousand years ago?
But when God speaks through His prophets, His Word cannot
fail. If God told Nahum that the vision
was against Nineveh, and that Nineveh was soon fall, then it was Nineveh that
would fall – not Chicago, Illinois.
Chicago was not the city filled with human sacrifice, temple
prostitution, and a rising force against the ancient world as described in this
Behold, I am against you, declares the Lord of hosts, and
will lift up your skirts over your face; and I will make nations look at your
nakedness and kingdoms at your shame. I
will throw filth at you and treat you with contempt and make you a spectacle. And all who look at you will shrink from you
and say, “Wasted is Nineveh; who will grieve for her?” Where shall I seek comforters for you?
Notice, God said “Wasted Nineveh,” not “Wasted
Chicago.” One can only assume the reason
why Branham avoided the book of Nahum, and why he tried to focus this prophecy
of destruction against the city in Illinois, but it was to an agenda that
suited the purposes of Branham and not the perfect will of God. 1953 was the first time Branham snipped this verse
out of context, and interestingly is the same year of his “Chicago Campaign”
that most followers of his ministry are familiar with. This prophecy of doom for Chicago would seem
to some as a publicity stunt.
But again, God’s Word never fails. When God speaks, He already knows the outcome
– because He IS the beginning AND the end.
He spoke through Nahum that Nineveh would fall, and Nineveh did
Around 627 BC after the death of its last great king
Ashurbanipal, devastating civil wars began to break out, destroying the empire
from within. Assyria was attacked by
both the Babylonians and the Chaldeans, as well as the Medes, Persians,
Scythians, and Cimmerians. By 612 BC,
the empire was about to crumble and the fight moved into the city of
Nineveh. House to house throughout the
city, rebel forces tore through the city with a motive to kill – not to take
captive. After conquering the city, they
completely razed it to the ground. Any
who could not escape were either deported or massacred in the countryside. Many unburied skeletons were found by the
archaeologists at the site, depicting a horrific site of bloodshed with mounds
of bodies to lie rotting in the sun. The
Assyrian empire then came to an end by 605 BC
To deny the book of Nahum is to deny this happened. To deny this prophecy against Nineveh,
falsely pointing it to Chicago for some unknown agenda, is to deny God keeping
His Word. And to deny the Word is to
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.