|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
49:1-6. Might often prevails against right among men, yet that might shall be controlled by the Almighty, who judges aright; and those will find themselves mistaken, who, like the Ammonites, think every thing their own on which they can lay their hands. The Lord will call men to account for every instance of dishonesty, especially to the destitute.
Verse 4. - The valleys; i.e. long extended plains, such as were suitable for cornfields (Isaiah 17:5; Psalm 65:14), and such as characterized the territory of the Ammonites. Thy flowing valley. "Flowing;" that is, abounding with rich crops. The meaning of the phrase, however, is only probable.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Wherefore gloriest thou in the valleys,.... Of which there were many in the country of Ammon, fruitful and well watered, which were situated by the rivers of Arnon and Jabbok, the borders of this country, and in which was the plain of the vineyards; see Judges 11:13; and indeed the whole country was a vale. For, as Josephus (c) says, the country both of the Moabites and Ammonites were in the valley of Syria, or Coelesyria; that is, hollow Syria, so called from its lying low, or in a valley; for this country lay between the mountains Libanus and Antilibanus, as Strabo (d) says, and brought forth a large increase; in this they gloried, in the produce of these valleys, in the grass, corn, and vines, that grew upon them, and the flocks that fed there; but now should have no occasion to glory, all being swept away by the enemy:
thy flowing valley, or, "thy valley flows" (e); is overflowed with water, through abundance of rain, which destroyed the fruits of it, so Jarchi; or rather flowed with the blood of the slain, as Kimchi, Ben Melech, and Abarbinel; the enemy having entered it, and made so great a slaughter of men in it:
O backsliding daughter? the Targum is, O foolish kingdom; the whole kingdom of Ammon is meant, or the people of it; who, descending from righteous Lot, may be called backsliders; and, being also idolaters, have this character; for such revolt from the true God, to worship idols: it may be rendered, "refractory", "rebellious" (f); as all such persons are:
that trusteth in her treasures, saying, who shall come unto me? dwelling in valleys encompassed with mountains, and in fortified cities, and abounding in wealth and riches, whereby they were able to procure men and arms to defend themselves; thought they were safe from any enemy, and that none could come nigh them, and so dwelt at ease, and in great security.
(c) Ibid. (Antiqu.) l. 1. c. 11. sect. 5. (d) Geograph. l. 16. p. 519, 520. (e) "defluxit vallis tua", V. L. Schmidt; "fluxit", Pagninus, Montanus; "fluit", Cocceius. (f) "O filia pervesa", Schmidt; "pervicax" vel "temeraria", Grotius; "rebellis", Pagninus, Calvin; "refractaria", Montanus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. thy flowing valley—rather, "thy valley shall flow," namely with the blood of the slain; in sad contrast to their "valleys" in which they had heretofore "gloried," as flowing with milk and honey [Grotius]. Or else, as Margin, "shall flow away."
backsliding—apostate from Jehovah, the God of their father Lot, to Molech.
treasures—her resources for resisting the foe.
Who shall, &c.—Who can come … (Jer 21:13).
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