God the ensnarer
By Craig C. White
When Hebrew prophets talk about the burden of a city or nation they are describing the portion of God’s judgment that it must endure. The book of Nahum describes the city of Nineveh’s plight. Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian Empire. In 612 BC God sent a flood of water to destroy Nineveh. Today the city of Mosul in northern Iraq is built around the ruins of ancient Nineveh. Mosul is the hometown and headquarters of ISIS. I think that Nahum is also describing the plight of ISIS in Mosul today!
Nahum 1:1 The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.
The name Nahum means comfort. He didn’t comfort the city of Nineveh but he did comfort the nation of Israel by telling them that one of their enemies would be vanquished by God. Nahum was one of the Israeli captives that were taken away by the Assyrian Empire around 740 BC. So during the time that Nahum wrote his book he lived in Assyria or what we call northern Iraq today. Nahum lived in a town called Elkosh. Today the small town of Elkosh is known as Alqosh. Alqosh is located about twenty miles to the north of the city of Mosul. As a matter of fact Alqosh overlooks the Mosul dam. If the Mosul dam was ever to burst, Alqosh is as close as you could get to the dam without drowning. What does the name Elkosh mean? Elkosh means God the ensnarer.
To ensnare means to catch something in a trap. God set a trap for Nineveh. God ensnared the city of Nineveh by planting it by the Tigris River. In 612 BC God sent torrential rains which overflowed the banks of the Tigris River flooding the city. The city of Mosul is sitting in an even worse trap. In 1985 construction of the Mosul dam was completed. Ever since the dam was put into service there have been concerns about its stability and safety. It seems that the ground it was built on is dissolving! The dam requires constant upkeep to prevent it from failing. The Mosul dam is located just north of the city. If the dam burst it would send a sixty foot high wave of water over the city of Mosul. So Nahum the comforter represents God the ensnarer; otherwise known as Elkosh!