For the Lord is restoring the majesty of Jacob
as the majesty of Israel,
for plunderers have plundered them
and ruined their branches.
God would restore His plundered people in the judgment of Assyria and Ninevah would fall. That’s right, the same Ninevah that God spared when they repented at the preaching of Jonah was later judged as described here in the prophetic oracles of Nahum. God was doing this to bring glory to Himself and bring justice for His people. It wasn’t that God changed His mind capriciously between the two different prophets. Rather, it is that Ninevah hardened itself against God and would reap the consequences of its own cruelty. Just as Israel was plundered and ruined, so Assyria would fall.
Ninevah had a gracious reprieve under Jonah’s preaching. But by the time of Nahum, the brief revival of respect for Yahweh was gone. And ruin was God’s decree now. The nation that once prided itself on a brutal and efficient murdering army would itself be invaded and brutalized. Chariots would race through the city chasing people down in the haste of the invading army to plunder Assyria’s wealth. What would be left? Only desolation and smoking ruin (see Nahum 2:10).
When God has His day of judgment, no one can stop it. And the past is irrelevant to the present relationship with God. He calls people to believe, know, and worship Him NOW! A past of faithfulness won’t save a generation from His judgment if their present is only faithfulessness and unbelief! And His judgment is meant to call sinners back to faith, so that futures might be fixed on Him and His mercy, grace, and provision.