|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
48:14-47. The destruction of Moab is further prophesied, to awaken them by national repentance and reformation to prevent the trouble, or by a personal repentance and reformation to prepare for it. In reading this long roll of threatenings, and mediating on the terror, it will be of more use to us to keep in view the power of God's anger and the terror of his judgments, and to have our hearts possessed with a holy awe of God and of his wrath, than to search into all the figures and expressions here used. Yet it is not perpetual destruction. The chapter ends with a promise of their return out of captivity in the latter days. Even with Moabites God will not contend for ever, nor be always wroth. The Jews refer it to the days of the Messiah; then the captives of the Gentiles, under the yoke of sin and Satan, shall be brought back by Divine grace, which shall make them free indeed.
Verse 15. - Moab is spoiled, and gone up out of her cities. The latter part of this clause in the Hebrew is extremely difficult; the Authorized Version is indefensible. It is even doubtful whether it can be translated at all consistently with grammar, though Hitzig, a good grammarian, has adopted the suggestion of Grotius, rendering, "and her cities have gone up," viz. in smoke, i.e. they have been burnt; comp. Judges 20:40, the end of which verso ought to run thus: "The whole city went up to heaven." But even if the verb in third masc. sing. be allowable after the plural noun, it is very harsh to give it such an interpretation, when the context says nothing about fire or smoke. J.D. Michaelis and Ewald, therefore, propose to change the vowel points of the first word, rendering, "The spoiler of Moab and of her cities is gone up;" and Dr. Payne Smith inclines to follow them. We thus obtain a striking antithesis; the enemy has "gone up," and Moab's young men are gone down, i.e. are felled by murderous hands (comp. Isaiah 34:71
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Moab is spoiled,.... The whole country is ruined; which is spoken of as present, though future, after the manner of prophecy, because of the certainty of it:
and gone up out of her cities; the inhabitants of Moab were gone up out of their cities, either through fear and flight; or through force, being made to go out of them, and were carried captive. The Targum is,
"the Moabites are spoiled, and their cities are desolate;''
and so Kimchi interprets it,
"the multitude of her cities is made to cease;''
the people of them. It might be as well rendered, "and he is gone up to her cities" (u); that is, the spoiler (w), as Kimchi's father rightly interprets it; see Jeremiah 48:8; or it may be rendered, "and his cities, into which he went up" (x); that is, those are spoiled and destroyed, into which the Moabites used to go up, being built on high places; or whither they went for safety, the enemy being in their country, but in vain:
and his chosen young men are gone down to the slaughter; or, "the choice of his chosen ones" (y); the select of them, for comeliness, strength, and valour; these being taken, when the enemy entered the cities, were had down to some place of slaughter, and there put to death; or were brought down to the grave, the pit of corruption; unless this can be understood of the choice young men of the enemy, the Chaldean army; who, mounting and scaling the walls of the cities of Moab, went down into them to slay the inhabitants of them; but this is submitted to consideration. All this was not barely said by the prophet, who was but a man, though sent of God; but by the Lord himself, as it follows:
saith the King, whose name is the Lord of hosts; who is "the King" by way of eminency; the King of kings, and Lord of lords; mightier than the king of Moab, or even than the king of Babylon; and the Lord of greater armies than either; and therefore what he said should certainly be accomplished.
(u) "et civitates ejus conscendit", Montanus; "ascendit super urbes ejus", Gataker. (w) "Sub. hostis", Vatablus, Calvin; "vastator", Gataker. (x) "Et urbes ejus in quas ascendit", Schmidt. (y) "electio electorum ejus", Gataker.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. gone up … gone down—in antithesis.
out of her cities—Rather, "Moab … and her cities are gone up," namely, pass away in the ascending smoke of their conflagration (Jos 8:20, 21; Jud 20:40). When this took place, the young warriors would go down from the burning citadels only to meet their own slaughter [Grotius]. English Version is somewhat favored by the fact that "gone out" is singular, and "cities" plural. The antithesis favors Grotius.
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