"Woe to the bloody city!" -Nahum 3:1a
In 701 BC, Sennacherib king of Assyria conquered the Judean city of Lachish. Hezekiah was king of Judah at the time. The siege and defeat of Lachish is recorded in palace artwork from Nineveh.
And so, Assyria commemorated their victory on the palace walls in Nineveh. (If Assyria was this violent during the time of Jonah, it's no wonder that he tried to run away to Tarshish!) It was against Nineveh that God declared:
"Thus says the LORD:
'Though they are safe, and likewise many,
Yet in this manner they will be cut down...
Man the fort!
Watch the road!
Strengthen your flanks!
Fortify your power mightily.
For the LORD will restore the excellence of Jacob
Like the excellence of Israel...'"
"'Behold, I am against you,' says the LORD of hosts..." Nahum 1:12-2:2, 2:13a
Photo of the archers is public domain. All other photographs are by Mike Peel (www.mikepeel.net) retrieved from Wikimedia Commons' Lachish Reliefs page.