|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
16:6-14 Those who will not be counselled, cannot be helped. More souls are ruined by pride than by any other sin whatever. Also, the very proud are commonly very passionate. With lies many seek to gain the gratification of pride and passion, but they shall not compass proud and angry projects. Moab was famous for fields and vineyards; but they shall be laid waste by the invading army. God can soon turn laughter into mourning, and joy into heaviness. In God let us always rejoice with holy triumph; in earthly things let us always rejoice with holy trembling. The prophet looks with concern on the desolations of such a pleasant country; it causes inward grief. The false gods of Moab are unable to help; and the God of Israel, the only true God, can and will make good what he has spoken. Let Moab know her ruin is very near, and prepare. The most awful declarations of Divine wrath, discover the way of escape to those who take warning. There is no escape, but by submission to the Son of David, and devoting ourselves to him. And, at length, when the appointed time comes, all the glory, prosperity, and multitude of the wicked shall perish.
Verse 8. - The fields of Heshbon (see the comment on Isaiah 15:4). The whole of the Mishor, or Belka, on the edge of which Hesbdn stands, is cultivable and capable of producing good crops. The Moabites stored water in reservoirs (Song of Solomon 7:4), and made their country a garden. The vine of Sib-mah. "Sibmah" is mentioned in Numbers 32:8 and Joshua 13:19 among the towns of the Reubenites. According to Jerome ('Comment. in Esaiam'), it was less than half a mile distant from Heshbon. Jeremiah follows Isaiah in lamenting the destruction of its vines (Jeremiah 48:32). The lords of the heathen have broken down the principal plants thereof. "The lords of the heathen" are probably the Assyrians, who made a practice of destroying the fruit trees in an enemy's country, for the mere purpose of doing mischief ('Ancient Monarchies,' vol. 2. p. 84). It is wanton to discard this very satisfactory sense for the strange one that "the choice plants have broken down - i.e., made drunk - the lords of the heathen" (Cheyne). The rendering of the Authorized Version is supported by Gesenius, Ewald, Rosenmüller, Meier, and Dr. Kay. They are come even unto Jazer; rather, they (the vines)reached to Jazer; i.e. the vine of Sibmah was cultivated as far as Jazer. Jazer lay about twelve miles north of Heshben, in the territory of Gad (Numbers 32:35). It is probably identified with Es Szir, which is in the required position, and retains a trace of the name (Seetzen,' Reisen,' vol. 1. pp. 397, 398). They wandered through the wilderness; rather, they strayed into the wilderness; i.e. the cultivation was pushed eastward into the actual midbar, or desert. Her branches are stretched out; or, her offshoots are spread abroad; i.e. the young shoots or slips are taken by the cultivators and spread further and further. They are even carried across the Dead Sea, and planted on its western shore. Mr. Cheyne supposes the prophet to refer to the "vineyards of En-gedi" (Song of Solomon 1:14).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For the fields of Heshbon languish,.... Through drought; or because of the forage of the enemy, and their treading upon them; or because there were no men left to till and manure them. Of Heshbon See Gill on Isaiah 15:4. It seems to have been a place famous for fields and pastures, and to have been a very fruitful and well watered place; hence we read of the fish pools in Heshbon, Sol 7:4 though Aben Ezra and Kimchi think the word signifies vines, as they suppose it does in Deuteronomy 32:32,
and the vine of Sibmah; called Shebam and Shibmah, in Numbers 32:3 thought to be the Seba of Ptolemy (e); and seems to have been famous for vines and vineyards:
the lords of the Heathen have broken down the principal plants thereof; that is, the Chaldeans and their army, and commanders and principal officers of it, dealing with them as the Turks do with vines, wherever they meet with them, destroy them; though Jarchi and Kimchi interpret all this figuratively, both here and in the above clauses, of the inhabitants of these places, the multitude of the common people, and their princes, some being killed, and others carried captive; to which sense the Targum,
"because the armies of Heshbon are spoiled, the multitude of Sebama are killed, the kings of the people have killed their rulers:''
they are come even unto Jazer; meaning either the Chaldean army, or the Moabites, who had fled hither; or rather this is to be understood of the vines of Sibmah, expressing the excellency and large spread of them, which reached even to Jazer; which, as Jerom says (f), was fifteen miles from Heshbon, called Jaazer, Numbers 21:32,
they wandered through the wilderness; the wilderness of Moab, Deuteronomy 2:8 not the lords of the Heathen, nor the Moabites, but the vines and their branches, which crept along, and winded to and fro, as men wander about:
her branches are stretched out; that is, the branches of the vine Sibmah:
they are gone over the sea; the Dead Sea, called the sea of Jazer, Jeremiah 48:32 or rather a lake near that city.
(e) Geograph. l. 5. c. 19. (f) De locis Hebraicis, fol. 92. G.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. fields—vine-fields (De 32:32).
vine of Sibmah—near Heshbon: namely, languishes.
lords of … heathen—The heathen princes, the Assyrians, &c., who invaded Moab, destroyed his vines. So Jeremiah in the parallel place (Jer 48:32, 33). Maurer thinks the following words require rather the rendering, "Its (the vine of Sibmah) shoots (the wines got from them) overpowered (by its generous flavor and potency) the lords of the nations" (Ge 49:11, 12, 22).
come … Jazer—They (the vine shoots) reached even to Jazer, fifteen miles from Heshbon.
wandered—They overran in wild luxuriance the wilderness of Arabia, encompassing Moab.
the sea—the Dead Sea; or else some lake near Jazer now dry; in Jer 48:32 called "the sea of Jazer"; but see on Jer 48:32 (Ps 80:8-11).
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