|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.
Verses 9-16. - So sudden is the blow that Moab stands in need of wings to make good his escape. Were the human instrument to delay, the curse meant for Moab would come upon himself. Is a reason demanded? It is that Moab has long been in a state of morally perilous security, and requires to be thoroughly shaken and aroused, in order that he may discover the inability of Chemosh to help his worshippers. Verse 9. - Give wings, etc. Comp. ver. 28; also Isaiah 16:2, where the fugitive Moabites are likened to "wandering birds."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Give wings unto Moab that it may flee and get away,.... That is, give wings to the inhabitants of Moab; signifying that they were in great danger, and there was no probability of escaping it, unless they had the wings of a swift bird, or were as swift as such, and even that would not do; though perhaps their fleeing, and passing away with wings, may signify not their fleeing from danger, and their attempt to escape; but their swift and sudden destruction, compared to the swift flight of a bird; for the last clause may be rendered, "for in flying it shall fly away" (o). Some render the first clause, "give a flower to Moab", as the Vulgate Latin version; and so the word sometimes signifies, Isaiah 40:7; and the sense may be, hold up a flower to Moab, or a feather, such as is light, as the down of a thistle, as an emblem of its destruction; which shall pass away as easily and swiftly as so light a thing before the wind; but Jarchi and Kimchi interpret the word as we do, a wing. The Targum is,
"take away the crown from Moab, for going it shall go away into captivity.''
The word is used of the plate of gold on the high priest's mitre, Exodus 28:36;
for the cities thereof shall be desolate, without any to dwell therein; which expresses the utter destruction of them.
(o) "quia volando volabit", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus; "quia avolando avolabit", Schmidt; "nam avolabit", Piscator.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. Give wings, &c.—(Ps 55:6). Unless it get wings, it cannot escape the foe. "Wings," the Hebrew root meaning is a "flower" (Job 14:2); so the flower-like plumage of a bird.
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