Nahum 2

1 Assyria would hear of the threat of the Medes and Babylonians coming and muster their forces. It would be futile, though, because the invading forces would certainly defeat Nineveh.
2 Assyria had gone a long way in weakening Israel. They had destroyed the Northern Kingdom and oppressed the Southern. Assyria's defeat would give Judah some relief, but Judah would eventually be defeated by Babylon, and thus be punished for its own sins. Later, however, Judah would be freed, and again become an important nation.
3 This section describes the attack on Nineveh. The Medo-Babylonian army was made up of mighty men. The red shields could refer to a few different things. The shields might have been red with Assyrian blood. Some ancient armies dyed their shields red to strike fear into their enemies and, as some have suggested, to hide any of the attackers' blood to prevent them from losing confidence. In archeological digs, copper shields have been recovered leading some to suggest that this verse refers to the reddish glint of reflected sunlight of such shields.

The Medes and Babylonians were particularly fond of the color red, and their soldiers were dressed in it (Ezek 23:14-15). Red dye at the time was often obtained from a worm.

The chariots would be made of shiny iron. Some have suggested that this might refer to blades (scythes) attached perpendicular to the wheels that would mow down soldiers as the chariot passed through. However, to this point, no such Medo-Babylonian chariots have been found. Nonetheless, chariots were an advanced weapon during these times, as several other verses throughout the Bible suggest.

The KJV uses the term "fir trees" to describe the cypress spears. The sight of this "forest" of weapons advancing towards Nineveh would cause fear among the ranks of defenders.

4 The Ninevehvites thought it was impossible for enemies to enter the city, yet they would see numerous enemy chariots rushing around the city streets. In its day, the chariot was a fast vehicle which could move "like lightening."
5 The Assyrian soldiers would come to the defense, but they stumbled around because of the drunken party they had been engaged in, according to ancient historians. They hurried to the wall to defend it, and set up a mantelet (a protective shelter). If these few verses are in sequential order, it would appear that the city wall had already been breached at another location, so this defensive position would have been futile.
6 The flooding of the Tigris is already explained in Nahum 1:8. The destruction from this flood would be very great. It allowed a big enough breach to allow chariots through the wall, and did significant damage to the main palace, which was probably near the river just inside the wall. It is thought that once the Medo-Babylonian army was in the city, they seized control of the floodgates which controlled the irrigation canals within the city and opened them all to flood the streets. Considering that the Tigris was apparently already far above its normal flood level, this is not difficult to imagine.
7 Some translations use the word "Huzzab" here, but there is no record of any person or god named that. The word literally means "it is decreed," but apparently the translator made a mistake and assumed it was a proper noun.

The wealth of Nineveh would be carried away by the invading armies. The young women were often spared in war and were led away as captives. They would cry, but the sound would be subdued and the sound would be like that of a mourning dove. They would be pounding their chests, which was a way of expressing great distress.

8 In a play on words, Nahum describes Nineveh as a pool of water. It had been increasing and stable for a very long time (Gen 10:11). When the waters from the Tigris flooded in, however, the people would flood out. Calls for the people (and soldiers) to stand their ground would go unheeded.
9 Nineveh had become very wealthy because of the booty it had taken after its many victories over surrounding nations. Now it would be plundered. Considering that the archeological dig today has bountiful artifacts, it is obvious that there was more treasure than could possibly be taken by the invading army. They focused on the precious metals and left most of the works of art and other valuables behind.
10 This powerful, aggressive, and successful city would be filled with fear. Nineveh would be emptied of its most costly treasures and people. Those who survived would mourn as they saw or heard that their enemies had buried their beautiful city so that it would never again be inhabited.
11 Lions figured prominently in Assyrian sculptures, and symbolically stood for the pride and strength of the kingdom. God compares Nineveh to a pack of lions - fierce and undisturbed because of their power. Yet, there would come a day when no one would be able to find their "den" (i.e., the city itself). Indeed, for many centuries after the attack, the gigantic city was buried so well that people did not know it was there, or even if Nineveh had been a real place.
12 Assyrians were known as vicious and cruel warriors. They used the spoils of war to raise generation after generation of soldiers with a lust for blood and riches.
13 Assyria's reign of terror was about to end. They would no longer prey upon others, and they would no longer have messengers announcing war or collecting tribute.

The Assyrians apparently burned every city they conquered. In return, their city and their weapons of war would be burned.

God had graciously sent Jonah to prevent this disaster, but the Assyrians only listened for a little while, and then turned away from God. The prophecy of Jonah was postponed (Jonah 3:4), but Nahum now prophecies that it will come true, and Nineveh will be so completely destroyed that it would cease to be a city.