Nahum 3:15

There shall the fire devour thee; the sword shall cut thee off, it shall eat thee up like the cankerworm: make thyself many as the cankerworm, make thyself many as the locusts.

There shall the fire devour thee,.... In the strong holds, made ever so firm and secure; either the fire of divine wrath; or the fire of the enemy they should put into them; or the enemy himself, as Kimchi; and so the Targum,

"thither shall come upon thee people who are as strong as fire:''

the sword shall cut thee off; it shall eat thee up as the cankerworm: that is, the sword of the Medes and Chaldeans shall utterly destroy thee, as the cankerworm is destroyed by rain or fire; or rather, as that creature destroys all herbs, plants, and trees it falls upon, and makes clear riddance of them, so should it be with Nineveh:

make thyself many as the cankerworm; make thyself many as the locust; which go in swarms, innumerable, and make the air "heavy" in which they fly, and the earth on which they fall, as the word {y} signifies. The locust has one of its names, "arbah", in Hebrew, from the large numbers of them; so a multitude of men, and large armies, are often signified in Scripture to be like grasshoppers or locusts, for their numbers; see Judges 6:5. So Sithalces king of Thrace is represented {z} as swearing, while he was sacrificing, that he would assist the Athenians, having an army that would come like locusts, that is, in such numbers; for so the Greek scholiast on the place says the word used signifies a sort of locusts: the sense is, gather together as many soldiers, and as large an army, as can be obtained to meet the enemy, or cause him to break up the siege: and so we find {a} the king of Assyria did; for, perceiving his kingdom in great danger, he sent into all his provinces to raise soldiers, and prepare everything for the siege; but all to no purpose, which is here ironically suggested. The word in the Misnic language, as Kimchi observes, has the signification of sweeping; and some render it, "sweep as the locust" {b}; which sweeps away and consumes the fruits of the earth; so sweep with the besom of destruction, as Jarchi, either their enemies, sarcastically spoken, or be thou swept by them.

{y} dbkth "aggravate", Montanus; "onerate", Tigurine version; "gravem effice te", Burkius.
{z} Aristophan. in Acharnens. Act. 1. Scen. 1.
{a} Diodor. Sicul. l. 2. p. 113.
{b} So R. Sol. Urbin. Ohel Moed, fol. 39. 1.