If you ever went to Sunday School when you were a child you probably have heard the story of Jonah.
God sent the prophet Jonah to Nineveh to tell them to repent. Jonah, feeling the people of Nineveh were worthless scum took off in the opposite direction in direct disobedience to God.
Jonah fled by way of ship. The vessel he was on suffered quite a bit of difficulty, and when the crew figured out Jonah was the cause of their problems, they threw him overboard.
Jonah is promptly swallowed by a whale, then after three days in the creature’s belly, the whale spits him out on dry land. Jonah gets the hint and travels to Nineveh, tells them of the coming judgment of God and the city repents. Sadly the story of Jonah ends with him being angry because the Ninevites repented and are now right with God. God gives Jonah a good tongue lashing and leaves him on a hilltop outside of the city. It is there the book of Jonah ends. When you read the book, it leaves you wondering what happened next.
If the book of Jonah were about the prophet Johah then maybe God would have continued the narrative, but the book is actually about the repentance of the city of Nineveh; Jonah just happens to be the main character.
Unbeknownst to many is that Jonah is not the only book of the Bible about Nineveh. The entire book of Nahum concerns itself with the city of Nineveh. Here is the very first verse of the book; Nahum 1:1, “The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.”
If you look on a modern day map, you will not find the city named Nineveh, not because the city no longer exists, but because names change over the centuries; Biblical Nineveh is modern-day Mosul.
Iraqi and Kurdish forces started an assault on Mosul Sunday in an attempt to regain the city from ISIS which has held the city for a little over two years.
Will the current events in the city be the fulfilling of Biblical prophecies? God only knows.
What does the Bible say? What is in the future for Mosul?
The U.N. estimates Mosul’s population to be just over one million, but the Bible tells us that some day the city of Nineveh will become a pasture for animals to rest. Zephaniah 2:13-15, “And he will stretch out his hand against the north, and destroy Assyria; and will make Nineveh a desolation, and dry like a wilderness. And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her … their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds … how is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in! every one that passeth by her shall hiss, and wag his hand.”
God uses the word “desolation” twice, but He also says, the animals will “sing in the windows” indicating that some structures will still be standing, but it appears that all the people could be gone.
Nahum 3 foretells of the destruction of the city; here are only a few of the details.
Multitudes of people are killed. There will be so many corpses in the streets people will stumble over them (v3).
People will flee by the scores, even those that are already without the city (v7).
Many children will die and the “great men” will be captured and taken away (v10).
Women will be left in the city as the gates open and the invaders come through. This verse also speaks of “fire” being used in some way to get through the defenses (v13).
The military leaders stationed within the city flee away at sunrise and are not found (v17).
Is the current attack on Mosul going to be the fulfillment of the destruction of the city, or does this happen at a still future time? As I said, God only knows. The destruction foretold in chapter three can be summarized as this – there will be massive damage. The loss of thousands, possibly tens, or hundreds of thousands of civilian lives. Children are unprotected, and the women left for naught. Lastly, from what Nahum 3:17 tells us, if what is happening now is the fulfillment of prophecy, then the ISIS leaders will escape to fight another day.