|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
15:1-9 The Divine judgments about to come upon the Moabites. - This prophecy coming to pass within three years, would confirm the prophet's mission, and the belief in all his other prophecies. Concerning Moab it is foretold, 1. That their chief cities should be surprised by the enemy. Great changes, and very dismal ones, may be made in a very little time. 2. The Moabites would have recourse to their idols for relief. Ungodly men, when in trouble, have no comforter. But they are seldom brought by their terrors to approach our forgiving God with true sorrow and believing prayer. 3. There should be the cries of grief through the land. It is poor relief to have many fellow-sufferers, fellow-mourners. 4. The courage of their soldiers should fail. God can easily deprive a nation of that on which it most depended for strength and defence. 5. These calamities should cause grief in the neighbouring parts. Though enemies to Israel, yet as our fellow-creatures, it should be grievous to see them in such distress. In ver. 6-9, the prophet describes the woful lamentations heard through the country of Moab, when it became a prey to the Assyrian army. The country should be plundered. And famine is usually the sad effect of war. Those who are eager to get abundance of this world, and to lay up what they have gotten, little consider how soon it may be all taken from them. While we warn our enemies to escape from ruin, let us pray for them, that they may seek and find forgiveness of their sins.
Verse 7. - The abundance, etc.; i.e. "the property which they have been able to save and carry off with them." This, finding no place of refuge in their own territory, they convey to their southern border, where "the brook of the willows" separates their country from Edom, with the intention, no doubt, of transporting it across the brook.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Therefore the abundance they have gotten, and that which they have laid up,.... The great substance which the Moabites had got, and hoarded up:
shall they carry away to the brook of the willows; either the Moabites should carry their substance to some brook, it may be near Nimrim, where many willows grew, and cast it into the brook, or lay it by the brook side, in some private place, or under and among the willows, to preserve it from the enemy; or else the meaning is, that their enemies should take what they had with a great deal of labour got, and with a great deal of care had laid up, and carry it to the brook of the willows, some place without the city, and there divide it; or to the valley of the Arabians (q), as some render it, some part of Arabia lying between Moab and Babylon, whither they might carry it, in order to the conveyance of it into their own country at a proper time: it may be observed, that the country of Moab came after this into the hands of the Arabians; and, according to Jerom, the valley of Arabia lay in the way from Moab to Assyria; but it may be rendered "the valley of the willows", and design the land of Babylon, or Babylon itself, which was built in a plain, or on a flat by the river Euphrates, out of which many canals and rivulets were cut and derived, near to which willows in great abundance grew; as they usually do in marshy and watery places; hence the Jews in Babylon are said to hang their harps upon the willows which were by its rivers; so Jarchi thinks the land of Babylon is meant, and compares it with Psalm 137:1 which sense is approved of by Bochart and Vitringa. The Septuagint version is,
"I will bring upon the valley the Arabians, and they shall take it;''
and the Targum is,
"their border, which is by the western sea, shall be taken from them.''
(q) "in vallem Arabum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. Therefore—because of the devastation of the land.
abundance—literally, "that which is over and above" the necessaries of life.
brook of … willows—The fugitives flee from Nimrim, where the waters have failed, to places better watered. Margin has "valley of Arabians"; that is, to the valley on the boundary between them and Arabia-Petræa; now Wady-el Arabah. "Arabia" means a "desert."
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