Ezekiel 25:8
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because that Moab and Seir do say, Behold, the house of Judah is like unto all the heathen;
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(8) Moab and Seir.—The two nations, here mentioned together, are afterwards treated separately—Moab, Ezekiel 25:8-11, and Edom, Ezekiel 25:12-14. Moab, springing from the same source with Ammon, was closely associated with it in its history and fortune, and is denounced in nearly the same prophecies. It was a more settled and stronger people, and also contributed its quota to the armies of Nebuchadnezzar. Additional prophecies in regard to it may be found in Numbers 24:17 and Isaiah 15, 16, besides those immediately connected with the prophecies expressly against Ammon already cited. The Moabites, so far as they were separated from the Ammonites, lay immediately to the south of them.

Ezekiel 25:8-10. Because that Moab and Seir, &c. — By Seir the Idumeans are intended. The prophet joins them together as guilty of the same crime, and then denounces particular judgments against each of them. Behold, the house of Judah is like unto all the heathen — Hebrew ככל הגוים, like all the nations; subdued by Nebuchadnezzar indiscriminately with them; they are not distinguished from their neighbours by the protection of the God whom they worship, and they find no advantage in worshipping of him, over those who worship other gods. It appears from hence, that the Jews had boasted, and the Gentiles till then acknowledged, that the Jews were under an extraordinary providence. The LXX. here read, the house of Israel and Judah. Therefore will I open the side of Moab from the cities — I will expose Moab to be invaded, and open a passage for his enemies to enter his frontier cities, and from thence to possess themselves of the best part of his country. Unto the men of the east — See Ezekiel 25:4. That the Ammonites may not be remembered, &c. — May make no figure among their neighbours, their strength being entirely broken.

25:8-17 Though one event seem to the righteous and wicked, it is vastly different. Those who glory in any other defence and protection than the Divine power, providence, and promise, will, sooner or later, be ashamed of their glorying. Those who will not leave it to God to take vengeance for them, may expect that he will take vengeance on them. The equity of the Lord's judgments is to be observed, when he not only avenges injuries upon those that did them, but by those against whom they were done. Those who treasure up old hatred, and watch for the opportunity of manifesting it, are treasuring up for themselves wrath against the day of wrath.Prophecies against Moab which lay south of Ammon, and shared Ammon's implacable hostility to the children of Israel.

Seir was close to Moab. Edom is identified with Mount "Seir" in Ezekiel 35:1-15; and "Seir" is therefore probably coupled with "Moab" here because, being near neighbors closely leagued together, they expressed a common exultation at Jerusalem's fall.

8. Moab, Seir, and Ammon were contiguous countries, stretching in one line from Gilead on the north to the Red Sea. They therefore naturally acted in concert, and in joint hostility to Judea.

Judah is like … all … heathen—The Jews fare no better than others: it is of no use to them to serve Jehovah, who, they say, is the only true God.

Moab; the children of Lot by the elder daughter, the whole nation going under the name of the first father of them, near but evil neighbours to Israel and Judah.

Seir; the seed of Esau, who are, Edom, Idumeans, or Seir, from the mountain where they first planted themselves; near of kin in blood, but bitter enemies to the Jews: though both here joined, yet Moab is first doomed, Ezekiel 25:9-11, and Seir next, Ezekiel 25:12-14.

The house of Judah; the peculiar people of God, who had his law, temple, worship of his own appointment, among them.

Is like unto all the heathen; are no more a select people than others; their religion no better, nor their god but as the gods of their neighbours, and they no more benefited by their, worshipping of him. Thus, atheist-like, they dethrone God, and debase him to an equality with their own idols. More particularly Moab’s sin is set out, Jeremiah 48.

Thus saith the Lord God,.... By his servant the prophet, to whom the word of the Lord came; as concerning the Ammonites, so likewise concerning the Moabites, as follows:

because that Moab and Seir do say; that is, the Moabites, and the Edomites, which latter are meant by Seir, that being the seat of them; these lived near one another, and bore a like enmity to the Israelites and Jews, and had the same sentiments concerning them, and said the same things of them: only Moab is mentioned in the Septuagint and Arabic versions: the Moabites are first prophesied of, and then the Edomites, who both joined in saying, behold, the house of Judah is like unto all the Heathen; it fares no better with them than with the rest of the nations, who do not profess and serve the same God they do; they are fallen into the hands of the king of Babylon, as well as others; and have no more security against him, nor protection from him, than other people; they pretend to serve and worship the one only living and true God, and to be his covenant people, and to be favoured with privileges above all other nations; and yet are brought into the same miserable circumstances, and left in them, as others are; where is the God they boast of, and their superior excellence to the rest of the world? thus blasphemously, as well as wickedly, did they insult them, which was provoking to the Lord. The Targum renders it interrogatively,

in what do the house of Judah differ from all people?''

and so the Septuagint,

"behold, are not the house of Israel and Judah in like manner as all nations?''

Jerom, on the place, relates a fable of the Jews, that when the city and temple were opened, the Ammonites, Moobites, and Edomites, went into the temple, and saw the cherubim over the mercy seat, and said, as all nations worship images, so Judah hath the idols of their religion. Jarchi makes mention of such a Midrash, but with some difference.

Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because that Moab and Seir do say, Behold, the house of Judah is like unto all the heathen;
8. Moab and Seir] LXX. omits and Seir. Ezek. elsewhere always says “mount Seir” (Ezekiel 35:2-3; Ezekiel 35:7; Ezekiel 35:15), and Edom, with which mount Seir is joined (Ezekiel 35:15) has a special prophecy directed against it (Ezekiel 25:12-14). The phrase “like unto all the nations” implies knowledge of some claim to preeminence on the part of Judah. Moab rejoices that these pretensions have received a signal refutation.

8–11. Prophecy against Moab

The Moabites, like the Ammonites, were recognised by Israel as a kindred people (Genesis 19:30). Technically the border of Moab on the N. was the Arnon, but they had pretensions to the district lying beyond this stream at least as far as the head of the Dead Sea, and these pretensions they often asserted. Practically the tribes of Reuben and Gad seem to have been unable to make good their claim to this territory by dispossessing the Moabites. The peoples appear to have mixed together, and frequently Moab is found in possession of the fertile district and the numerous cities which covered it (Mesha’s Inscrip.). The country was subdued by David, and on the division of the kingdom fell as a dependency to northern Israel, to which it paid a yearly tribute of 200,000 fleeces of wool (2 Kings 3:4), though making frequent struggles for independence (2 Kings 1:1; 2 Kings 3:5; 2 Kings 13:20). Unlike the Ammonites, who continued a half-nomad people, the Moabites became more a settled nation, and appear to have attained to a considerable degree of civilization. Their language was closely allied to Hebrew, and the art of writing appears familiar as early as the beginning of the 9th century (Mesha’s Inscrip.). After the intervention of the Assyrians in western Asia Moab with the neighbouring peoples became tributary to that power. Hostilities between Israel and Moab were too frequent, and along with Ammon they helped towards the downfall of Judah at the hands of the Chaldeans (2 Kings 24:2; Zephaniah 2:8). Their warfare was characterized by inhuman excesses (Amos 2:1), and the people are stigmatised as proud and boastful (Isaiah 15, 16; Zephaniah 2:8-10). Moab is referred to after the return (Ezra 9:1; Nehemiah 13:1; the ref. Isaiah 25:10 is of uncertain date and meaning), and as late as Daniel 11:41.

Verse 8. - Moab and Seir. "Seir" stands elsewhere for Edom, but here appears as distinguished from it, the latter nation having a distinct message in Ver. 12. A possible explanation is found in 2 Chronicles 20:23, where we find Moab and Ammon joined together against the inhabitants of Mount Seir. The Moabites may have retained possession of it, and so Ezekiel may have coupled the two names together. Their sin also, like that of Ammon, is that they exulted in the fall of Jerusalem. It was come down to the level of other cities, no longer exalted above them by the blessing of Jehovah. The Moabite Stone, found in the ruins of Dibon ('Records of the Past,' 9:165), on which Mesha, King of Moab, narrates his conquests over neighboring nations, including Israel, testifies to the strength of the kingdom, and in Isaiah 15. and 16. it is represented as conspicuous for its pride. They too, like the Ammonites, served in Nebuchadnezzar's army (2 Kings 24:2). Ezekiel 25:8Against the Moabites

Ezekiel 25:8. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Because Moab, like Seir, saith, Behold, like all other nations is the house of Judah: Ezekiel 25:9. Therefore, behold, I will open the shoulder of Moab from the cities, from its cities even to the last, the ornament of the land, Beth-hayeshimoth, Baal-meon, and as far as Kiryathaim, Ezekiel 25:10. To the sons of the east, together with the sons of Ammon, and will give it for a possession, that the sons of Ammon may no more be remembered among the nations. Ezekiel 25:11. Upon Moab will I execute judgments; and they shall learn that I am Jehovah. - Moab has become guilty of the same sin against Judah, the people of God, as Ammon, namely, of misunderstanding and despising the divine election of Israel. Ammon gave expression to this, when Judah was overthrown, in the malicious assertion that the house of Judah was like all the heathen nations, - that is to say, had no pre-eminence over them, and shared the same fate as they. There is something remarkable in the allusion to Seir, i.e., Edom, in connection with Moab, inasmuch as no reference is made to it in the threat contained in Ezekiel 25:9-11; and in Ezekiel 25:12-13, there follows a separate prediction concerning Edom. Hitzig therefore proposes to follow the example of the lxx, and erase it from the text as a gloss, but without being able in the smallest degree to show in what way it is probable that such a gloss could have found admission into an obviously unsuitable place. Seir is mentioned along with Moab to mark the feeling expressed in the words of Moab as springing, like the enmity of Edom towards Israel, from hatred and envy of the spiritual birthright of Israel, i.e., of its peculiar prerogatives in sacred history. As a punishment for this, Moab was to be given up, like Ammon, to the Bedouins for their possession, and the people of the Moabites were to disappear from the number of the nations. Ezekiel 25:9 and Ezekiel 25:10 form one period, לבני קדם in Ezekiel 25:10 being governed by פּתח in Ezekiel 25:9. The shoulder of Moab is the side of the Moabitish land. In the application of the word כּתף to lands or provinces, regard is had to the position of the shoulder in relation to the whole body, but without reference to the elevation of the district. We find an analogy to this in the use of כּתף in connection with the sides of a building. In 'מהערים וגו' , the מן cannot be taken, in a privative sense, for מהיות; for neither the article הערים, nor the more emphatic מעריו מקּצהוּ, allows this; but מן indicates the direction, "from the cities onwards," "from its cities onwards, reckoning to the very last," - that is to say, in its whole extent. מקּצהוּ, as in Isaiah 56:11; Genesis 19:4, etc. This tract of land is first of all designated as a glorious land, with reference to its worth as a possession on account of the excellence of its soil for the rearing of cattle (see the comm. on Numbers 32:4), and then defined with geographical minuteness by the introduction of the names of some of its cities. Beth-Hayeshimoth, i.e., house of wastes (see the comm. on Numbers 22:1), has probably been preserved in the ruins of Suaime, which F. de Saulcy discovered on the north-eastern border of the Dead Sea, a little farther inland (vid., Voyage en terre sainte, Paris 1865, t. i. p. 315). Baal-meon, - when written fully, Beth-Baal-Meon (Joshua 13:17) - contracted into Beth-Meon in Jeremiah 48:23, is to be sought for to the south-east of this, in the ruins of Myun, three-quarters of an hour's journey to the south of Heshbon (see the comm. on Numbers 32:38). Kiryathaim was still farther south, probably on the site of the ruins of El Teym (see the comm. on Genesis 14:5 and Numbers 32:37). The Chetib קריתמה is based upon the form קריתם, a secondary form of קריתים , like דּתן, a secondary form of דּתין, in 2 Kings 6:13. The cities named were situated to the north of the Arnon, in that portion of the Moabitish land which had been taken from the Moabites by the Amorites before the entrance of the Israelites into Canaan (Numbers 21:13, Numbers 21:26), and was given to the tribe of Reuben for its inheritance after the defeat of the Amoritish kings by the Israelites; and then, still later, when the tribes beyond the Jordan were carried into captivity by the Assyrians, came into the possession of the Moabites again, as is evident from Isaiah 15:1-9 and Isaiah 16:1-14, and Jeremiah 48:1, Jeremiah 48:23, where these cities are mentioned once more among the cities of the Moabites. This will explain not only the naming of this particular district of the Moabitish country, but the definition, "from its cities." For the fact upon which the stress is laid in the passage before us is, that the land in question rightfully belonged to the Israelites, according to Numbers 32:37-38; Numbers 33:49; Joshua 12:2-3; Joshua 13:20-21, and that it was therefore unlawfully usurped by the Moabites after the deportation of the trans-Jordanic tribes; and the thought is this, that the judgment would burst upon Moab from this land and these cities, and they would thereby be destroyed (Hvernick and Kliefoth). על, not "over the sons of Ammon," but "in addition to the sons of Ammon." They, that is to say, their land, had already been promised to the sons of the east (Ezekiel 25:4). In addition to this, they are now to receive Moab for their possession (Hitzig and Kliefoth). Thus will the Lord execute judgments upon Moab. Ezekiel 25:11 sums up what is affirmed concerning Moab in Ezekiel 25:9 and Ezekiel 25:10, in the one idea of the judgments of God upon this people.

The execution of these judgments commenced with the subjugation of the Ammonites and Moabites by Nebuchadnezzar, five years after the destruction of Jerusalem (vid., Josephus, Antt. x. 9. 7, and M. von Niebuhr, Gesch. Assurs, etc., p. 215). Nevertheless the Ammonites continued to exist as a nation for a long time after the captivity, so that Judas the Maccabaean waged war against them (1 Macc. 5:6, 30-43); and even Justin Martyr speaks of ̓Αμμανιτῶν νῦν πολὺ πληθος (Dial. Tryph. p. 272). - But Origen includes their land in the general name of Arabia (lib. i. in Job). The name of the Moabites appears to have become extinct at a much earlier period. After the captivity, it is only in Ezra 9:1; Nehemiah 13:1, and Daniel 11:41, that we find any notice of them as a people. Their land is mentioned by Josephus in the Antiq. xiii. 14. 2, and xv. 4, and in the Bell. Jude 3.3. 3. - A further fulfilment by the Messianic judgment, which is referred to in Zephaniah 2:10, is not indicated in these words of Ezekiel; but judging from the prophecy concerning the Edomites (see the comm. on Ezekiel 25:14), it is not to be excluded.

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