|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 7. - In thy works; i.e. either "in thy evil deeds" (comp. Isaiah 28:15) or "in thy idols" (frequently called "the work of men's hands," e.g. Deuteronomy 4:28, and sometimes simply "works," e.g. Isaiah 41:29; Isaiah 57:12; comp. Isaiah L 31). Chemoah. In Numbers 21:29 Moab is called "people of Chemosh," the patron-god being the king and lord of his people. In accordance with the strictly localizing theory of the nature of deity, current among primitive nations, Chemosh is said to go into captivity together with his worshippers (comp. Jeremiah 49:3; Amos 1:15). This helps us to understand the idolatry into which the Jews fell during the Exile (Isaiah 42:17); they imagined that Jehovah himself was "in captivity," and restrained from putting forth his power on behalf of his worshippers. The text reading is not Chemosh, but Chemish; the latter form does not occur elsewhere, but has been thought to illustrate the name of the Hittite city Carchemish (the Hittites or their predecessors may have been worshippers of this deity), i.e. "castle of Chemosh."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For because thou hast trusted in thy works,.... The strong works and fortifications they had made about their cities, and so thought themselves safe in them; which is the sense of the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions, and those that follow them. Kimchi and Ben Melech interpret it of their cattle and other possessions, as the word is rendered in 1 Samuel 25:2; which they observe. It may very well be understood of their idols, the works of their hands, in which they placed their confidence; and therefore their chief God after mentioned is threatened to be taken and carried away:
and in thy treasures: their gold and silver, and other riches they had heaped together:
thou shalt be taken: some particular city seems to be meant, the city Moab, or Ar of Moab, Jeremiah 48:4; or Horonaim, Jeremiah 48:5;
and Chemosh shall go forth in captivity, with his priests and his princes together; this was the god of the Ammonites, Judges 11:24; and of the Moabites, 1 Kings 11:7; hence the Moabites are called the people of Chemosh, Numbers 21:29; which Philo the Jew (i) explains thus; that is, thy people and power are found blind, and deprived of sight; and says that Chemosh is interpreted "as groping", or feeling, which is the property of one that cannot see. "Mosh" in Hebrew signifies to grope or feel; and "caph" is a servile letter, and a note of similitude; and by another Jewish writer (k) Chemosh is called the god of the blind. Jerom (l) takes it to be the same idol with Baalpeor, thought by some the Priapus of the Heathens. Camus, the god of festivals and merriment, seems to have had his name from hence; very probably the sun was worshipped by the Moabites under this name, which may be so called from its swiftness; for the Arabic word, "camash", signifies swift and hastening (m); as the sun is to run its race. The Moabites put their trust in this their deity; and to let them see that he would be of no avail unto them, in this time of their distress, he himself should be taken away by the enemy out of his temple, for the sake of the gold or silver that was upon him, and with him the priests that attended his service; or his worshippers, as the Targum; and the princes of the nation that served him, and supported the worship of him, and defrayed the expenses of it.
(i) Allegor. l. 2. p. 104. (k) R. Iedaia Habadreshi, Bechinat Olam, c. 30. p. 184. (l) Comment in lsaiam, c. 15. 2.((m) Vid. Castell. Lex. Polyglott. col. 1749. & Gol. Lex. Arab. p. 2064.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. thy works—namely, fortifications built by thy work. Moab was famous for its fortresses (Jer 48:18). The antithesis is to Jer 48:6, "Be … in the wilderness," where there are no fortified cities.
thou … also—like the rest of the surrounding peoples, Judah, &c.
Chemosh—the tutelary god of Moab (Nu 21:29; Jud 11:24; 1Ki 11:7; 2Ki 23:13). When a people were vanquished, their gods also were taken away by the victors (Jer 43:12).
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