The Book of Nahum in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE
I. Authorship and Date.
1. The Name:
The name Nahum (nachum; Septuagint and New Testament Naoum;
Josephus, Naoumos) occurs nowhere else in the Old Testament;
in the New Testament it is found in Lk 3:25. It is not
uncommon in the Mishna, and it has been discovered in
Phoenician inscriptions. It means "consolation," or
"consoler," and is therefore, in a sense, symbolical of the
message of the book, which is intended to comfort the
oppressed and afflicted people of Judah.
2. Life and Home of Nahum:
Of the personal life of Nahum, practically nothing is known.
In Nah 1:1 he is called "the Elkoshite," that is, an
inhabitant of Elkosh. Unfortunately, the location of this
place is not known.
The Four Traditions
One tradition, which cannot be traced beyond the 16th
century AD, identifies the home of Nahum with a modern
village Elkush, or Alkosh, not far from the left bank of the
Tigris, two days' journey North of the site of ancient
Nineveh. A second tradition, which is at least as old as the
days of Jerome, the latter part of the 4th century, locates
Elkosh in Galilee, at a place identified by many with the
modern El-Kauze, near Ramieh. Others identify the home of
the prophet with Capernaum, the name of which means "Village
of Nahum." A fourth tradition, which is first found in a
collection of traditions entitled "Lives of the Prophets,"
says "Nahum was from Elkosh, beyond Bet Gabre, of the tribe
of Simeon." A place in the South is more in harmony with the
interest the prophet takes in the Southern Kingdom, so that
the last-mentioned tradition seems to have much in its
favor, but absolute certainty is not attainable...