The prophecy is composed of three strophes, answering almost exactly to the three chapters into which it is divided. It begins (ch. 1.) with stating God’s purpose to inflict punishment on Nineveh. The Lord is just and severe, long-suffering, indeed, as the continued existence of Assyria proves, yet the certain Avenger of wrong-doing. Who has ever withstood his power? Earth and sea, and all the inhabitants thereof, bear witness to his irresistible might. And Nineveh must perish, in spite of its riches and its armies, because it has exalted itself against God and his people. Thus the Lord’s justice shall be revealed and established, when be brings ruin on his enemies and happiness to his children. Then (ch. 2.) the prophet announces more in detail the destruction of Nineveh. She shall be besieged, she shall struggle in vain, she shall be taken and plundered and utterly wasted. Comparing her future ruin with her past splendour, the prophet is lost in admiration of the equity and wisdom of God, who doeth all these things. What is the cause of this calamity he then proceeds to state (ch. 3.). Assyria had become notorious for cruelty, treachery, rapine, idolatry. It had seduced other nations to follow its steps. And now its might should save it no more than its strength had saved Thebes, so lately captured. Its towers and fortresses should fall, its soldiers should lose heart, its palaces be consumed with fire, its inhabitants be put to the sword, and the Assyrian empire, lately so formidable and strong, should become a byword of derision among all people.