The context of Nahum 1:12-13 KJV reads:

12 Thus saith the Lord; Though they be quiet, and likewise many, yet thus shall they be cut down, when he shall pass through. Though I have afflicted thee, I will afflict thee no more. 13 For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder.

Verse 12 & 13 seems to be referring to a remnant who is being liberated. but in the next verse 14 He is digging a grave. and calling the 'you' vile. Who is the you in verse 14?

14 And the Lord hath given a commandment concerning thee, that no more of thy name be sown: out of the house of thy gods will I cut off the graven image and the molten image: I will make thy grave; for thou art vile.

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NIV gives more interpretive details, Nahum 1:

12This is what the Lord says:
“Although they have allies and are numerous,
they will be destroyed and pass away.
Although I have afflicted you, Judah,
I will afflict you no more.
13Now I will break their yoke from your neck
and tear your shackles away.”

14 The Lord has given a command concerning you, Nineveh:
“You will have no descendants to bear your name.
I will destroy the images and idols
that are in the temple of your gods.
I will prepare your grave,
for you are vile.”

Who is the you in Nahum 1:14?

NIV interpreted it as Nineveh. New Living Translation, Berean Study Bible, Amplified Bible, GOD'S WORD® Translation, and International Standard Version did the same.


The subject of the "burden" of the prophecy in Nahum 1 is explicitly given in the first verse, namely, נִֽינְוֵ֑ה Nineveh. The name does not explicitly appear again in the rest of the chapter.

However, most versions interpretatively re-insert the name "Nineveh" in V11 and 14 to make the underlying Hebrew clearer. Some also add it in V8 as well.

In the case of the NASB, this is all done with footnotes to leave the text closer to the Hebrew.

In any case, the antecedent of the pronouns in V8, 11, 14 is either Nineveh or the king of Nineveh. Ellicott correctly observes:

(14) And the Lord hath given.—Sudden changes of person are a common feature in Hebrew poetry.


To find the answer, I consulted The Companion Bible (Bullinger). It had this preface to the book of Nahum, which helps clarify the matter.

"Nahum concludes the seven pre-captivity Prophets... and corresponding with Jonah, which also has Nineveh for its subject. Some 87 years before, Jonah had proclaimed Jehovah's favour to Nineveh, which had prolonged its existence till now, when Nahum's prophecy of coming judgment was fulfilled without further delay.

Nahum is undated; but if ch.1 vs 11 refers primarily to the Rab-shakeh of 2 Kings 18:26-28, then we have a clue of great importance, for that speaks of the 14th year of Hezekiah, and gives us the date as 603 B.C. The Rab-shakeh - the chief of the captains, was apparently a renegade Jew, and a "counsellor" high in favour with the Assyrian king (Sennacherib)... he insisted on speaking to the common people on the wall in the Jewish language... The Rab-shakeh's words certainly show a deadly animosity towards Jehovah; which is borne out by Nah.1:11." (page 1261)

So, if Nahum 1:11 speaks of the Rab-shakeh as that "wicked counsellor" who imagined evil against God, and the following verses speak of his masters, then Nineveh is the representation of that. It would then be the dynasty of Nineveh that is meant by "no more of thy name". Nineveh would become a dead thing, cast into the grave, her bonds broken and Israel released from her cruelty, "afflicted no more" by God (vs. 12).

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