Sokolow, Nahum, 1859-1936, Jewish writer and Zionist leader, b. Poland. He served (1906-9) as general secretary of the Zionist Organization, editing its various publications. With Chaim Weizmann he participated in the London meetings during World War I that led to the Balfour Declaration and the Palestinian mandate. He succeeded Weizmann as president (1931-35) of the World Zionist Organization. Sokolow was an accomplished linguist. From 1873 he contributed articles to various Hebrew newspapers, and he wrote History of Zionism, 1600-1918 (2 vol., 1919).

See biography by S. Kling (1960).

Tate, Nahum, 1652-1715, English poet and dramatist, b. Dublin. He wrote several popular adaptations of Shakespeare, the most famous being his King Lear (1681), in which he omitted the part of the fool and had Cordelia survive to marry Edgar. With Dryden he wrote the second part of Absalom and Achitophel (1682). In 1692 he became poet laureate. His metrical version of the Psalms (1696), written with Nicholas Brady, is generally regarded as tedious and verbose. He was the target of an attack by Pope in The Dunciad.

See study by C. Spencer (1972).

Nahum, 7th of the books of the Minor Prophets of the Bible. It contains oracles of doom against Nineveh, capital of the Assyrian Empire, delivered by one Nahum of Elkosh, who is otherwise unknown. The book can be divided into two sections: an acrostic announcing the coming of divine vengeance on Nineveh; and a vivid description of the city's destruction. Nineveh fell in 612 B.C., and scholars differ as to whether the book was written before the event or after it. It engages in satire and mockery and is unashamedly exultant at Nineveh's downfall, which is viewed as divine intervention. Nineveh is likened to a prostitute alluring the nations, an image applied to Rome in the Book of Revelation.

For bibliography, see Old Testament. See also E. Achtemeier, Nahum-Malachi (1986); J. J. Roberts, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah (1990).

Nahum (Hebrew: נַחוּם Naḥūm) was a minor prophet whose prophecy is recorded in the Hebrew Bible. His book comes in chronological order between Micah and Habakkuk in the Bible. He wrote about the end of the Assyrian Empire, and its capital city, Nineveh, in a vivid poetic style.

The name Nahum means “comfort.”

Little is known about Nahum’s personal history. His name means "comforter," and he was from the town of Alqosh, (Nah 1:1) which scholars have attempted to identify with several cities, including the modern `Alqush of Assyria and Capharnaum of northern Galilee. He was a very nationalistic Hebrew however and lived amongst the Elkoshites in peace. His writings could be taken as prophecy or as history. One account suggests that his writings are a prophecy written in about 615 BC, just before the downfall of Assyria, while another account suggests that he wrote this passage as liturgy just after its downfall in 612 BC.

Historical context

Archaeological digs have uncovered the splendor of Nineveh in its zenith under Sennacherib (705-681 BC), Esarhaddon (681-669 BC), and Ashurbanipal (669-633 BC). Massive walls were eight miles in circumference. It had a water aqueduct, palaces and a library with 20,000 clay tablets, including accounts of a creation in Enuma Elish and a flood in the Epic of Gilgamesh. The Babylonian chronicle of the fall of Nineveh tells the story of the end of Nineveh. Naboplassar of Babylon joined forces with Cyaxares, king of the Medes, and laid siege for three months. Assyria lasted a few more years after the loss of its fortress, but attempts by Egyptian Pharaoh Neco II to rally the Assyrians failed due to opposition from king Josiah of Judah, and it seemed to be all over by 609 BC.

The tomb of Nahum is supposedly inside the synagogue at Alqosh, although there are other places outside Iraq that lay claim also to being the original 'Elkosh' from which Nahum hailed. Alquosh was abandoned by its Jewish population in 1948, and the synagogue that purportedly houses the tomb is in a poor structural state, to the extent that the tomb itself is in danger of destruction. The tomb underwent basic repairs in 1796. A team of US/UK construction engineers, led by Huw Thomas, is currently planning ways to save the building and the tomb. Money has been allocated for renovation in 2008. 2008 is the proposed year.

Liturgical commemoration

The Prophet Nahum is venerated as a saint in Eastern Christianity. On the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar, his feast day is December 1 (for those churches which follow the traditional Julian Calendar, December 1 currently falls on December 14 of the modern Gregorian Calendar). He is commemorated with the other minor prophets in the Calendar of saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church on July 31.77


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