|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
48:1-13. The Chaldeans are to destroy the Moabites. We should be thankful that we are required to seek the salvation of men's lives, and the salvation of their souls, not to shed their blood; but we shall be the more without excuse if we do this pleasant work deceitfully. The cities shall be laid in ruins, and the country shall be wasted. There will be great sorrow. There will be great hurry. If any could give wings to sinners, still they could not fly out of the reach of Divine indignation. There are many who persist in unrepented iniquity, yet long enjoy outward prosperity. They had been long corrupt and unreformed, secure and sensual in prosperity. They have no changes of their peace and prosperity, therefore their hearts and lives are unchanged, Ps 55:19.
Verse 11. - Moab hath been at ease from his youth. The "youth" of Moab dates from its subjugation of the aboriginal Emim (Deuteronomy 2:10)' Since that event, though often at war, sometimes tributary and sometimes expelled from a part of the territory claimed by them (see the inscription on the Moabite Stone), yet they had never been disturbed in their ancestral homes to the south of the river Amen. He hath settled on his less. It was the custom to leave wine for a time on its lees or sediment, in order to heighten its strength and flavour (comp. Isaiah 25:6). Emptied from vessel to vessel. Thevenot, an old traveller in Persia, remarks of the Shiraz wine that, after it is separated from the lees, it is apt to grow sour. "The wine is put into large earthen jars, each holding from ten or twelve to fourteen carabas; but when a jar has been opened, it must be emptied as soon as possible, and the wine put into bottles or carabas, otherwise it spoils and becomes sour" ('Voyages,' 2:245, quoted by Lowth on Isaiah 25:6). In the application of the figure, the "taste" of Moab means obviously the national character.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Moab hath been at ease from his youth,.... Lived in great peace and prosperity from the time they became a kingdom; being very little disturbed with wars by their neighbours, or very rarely; so that they were in very prosperous and flourishing circumstances, which occasioned that pride and haughtiness they were notorious for. This is an emblem of unregenerate men; who, though sinners from their birth, and liable to the curse of the law, subject to the stroke of death, and must come to judgment; yet stupid and quite at ease, having no sight of sin, nor feeling of the burden of its guilt, nor grief or trouble for it; no sense of danger, or fear of hell; but in the utmost security: all which arise from ignorance, hardness of heart, profaneness, and infidelity; thoughtlessness about their immortal souls; putting the evil day far from them; and being under the influence of Satan, who keeps his goods in peace:
and he hath settled on his lees; a metaphor taken from wine; which, the longer it remains on the lees, the better body it has, and the richer and stronger it is; and denotes the great tranquillity of the Moabites; the riches they were possessed of, and in which they trusted. The Targum renders it,
"quiet in their substance;''
herein they were an emblem of unconverted sinners, who are settled and hardened in the corruptions of their nature; and not at all disturbed at the evil of sin; the wrath of God; his judgments on men; the last and awful judgment; or at the terrors of hell; and likewise of such who trust in their own righteousness, and depend upon that for salvation:
and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel; like wine that has never been racked off from the vessel or vessels it was first put into: they were never removed from place to place, but always continued in their land; in which they were an emblem of such who have never seen their own emptiness, and their want of the grace of God, and have never been emptied of sin, nor of self-righteousness:
neither hath he gone into captivity; this explains in proper words the metaphor in the preceding clause: the Moabites had never been carried captive out of their own land into others; an emblem of such who have never seen their captive state to sin and Satan; or ever brought to complain of it, or become the captives of Christ;
therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed; his wealth, riches, and prosperity, continued without any change and alteration; and also his sins and vices, idolatry, pride, luxury, and which were the cause of his ruin; and for that reason are here mentioned; an emblem of unregenerate men, whose taste is vitiated by sin, and continues as it was originally; they relish sin, and disrelish everything that is good; and savour the things that be of man, and not the things of God; and so are in a most dangerous condition.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. settled on … lees—(See on Isa 25:6; Zep 1:12). As wine left to settle on its own lees retains its flavor and strength (which it would lose by being poured from one vessel into another), so Moab, owing to its never having been dislodged from its settlements, retains its pride of strength unimpaired.
emptied from vessel, &c.—To make it fit for use, it used to be filtered from vessel to vessel.
scent—retaining the image: the bouquet or perfume of the wine.
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