|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 2. - There shall be no more praise of Moab; rather, Moab's glory (or, glorying) is no more (comp. ver. 29). In Heshbon they have devised evil, etc. There is a word play in the Hebrew, which may be reproduced thus: "In Plot-house they plot evil against it" (so J. F. Smith's Ewald). Against it (literally, her) means "against Moab." Heshbon was at the time an Ammonitish town (it had in days gone by been Amoritish, Numbers 21:26); see Jeremiah 49:3; but was on the border of Moab. O Madmen. There seems to be again a word play, which has been to some extent reproduced thus: "Thou shalt become still, O Still house." The name Madmen does not occur again, though an allusion to it has been fancied in Isaiah 25:10, where the Hebrew for "dunghill" is madmenah.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
There shall be no more praise of Moab,.... It shall be no more commended for a rich, populous, and fruitful country, being now laid waste; though the next phrase,
in Heshbon, or "concerning Heshbon" (b), should be read in connection with this; and then the sense is, there shall be none any more in Heshbon to praise the country of Moab, what a fine and fertile country it is, since that city will be destroyed also; or there will be no more a Moabite to boast of his being an inhabitant in Heshbon, such an utter destruction will be made of it; or there will be no more boasting of Moab, or of any Moabite concerning Heshbon, what a famous, opulent, or strong city that is, since it is no more. Of this city See Gill on Isaiah 15:4;
they have devised evil against it; that is, the Chaldeans devised evil against Heshbon, to besiege it, take and destroy it: there is in the expression a beautiful allusion to the name of the city of Heshbon, which has its name from a word that signifies to devise and consult (c);
come, and let us cut it off from being a nation: this is what the Babylonians consulted together against Heshbon; and not only against that, a principal city; but against the whole country of Moab, to make such an entire desolation of it, that it should be no more a nation: that which the Moabites with others devised against the people of Israel is now devised against them; a just retaliation this; see Psalm 83:4;
also thou shalt be cut down, O Madmen; or utterly destroyed: it may be rendered, "shall become silent" (d); the voice of man shall not be heard in it, especially the voice of praise, of boasting, and rejoicing: there is in this clause also an elegant allusion to the name of the place, which comes from a root that signifies to "cut down", or "be silent" (e). This is thought by Grotius to be the Madiama of Ptolemy (f):
the sword shall pursue thee; after it has destroyed other cities, it should come in great haste and with great force to Madmen; or it should pursue after the inhabitants, of it, that should make their escape, or attempt to do so. The Targum is,
"after thee shall go out those that slay with the sword.''
(b) "nulla amplius gloriatio Moab in Chesbon", Calvin; "non ultra laus, Moab in Chesbon", Montanus; to the same purpose Vatablus. (c) a "cogitavit", "excogitavit". (d) "silebis", Montanus; so R. Judah in Ben Melech; "ad silentium redigeris"; so some in Vatablus. (e) . (f) Geograph. l. 6. c. 7.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. no more praise—(Isa 16:14).
in Heshbon—The foe having taken Heshbon, the chief city of Moab (Jer 48:45), in it devise evil against Moab ("it") saying, Come, &c. Heshbon was midway between the rivers Arnon and Jabbok; it was the residence of Sihon, king of the Amorites, and afterwards a Levitical city in Gad (Nu 21:26). There is a play on words in the Hebrew, "Heshbon, Hashbu." Heshbon means a place of devising or counsel. The city, heretofore called the seat of counsel, shall find other counsellors, namely, those who devise its destruction.
thou shall be cut down … Madmen—rather, by a play on words on the meaning of madmen ("silence"), Thou shalt be brought to silence, so as well to deserve thy name (Isa 15:1). Thou shalt not dare to utter a sound.
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