Isaiah 15:8
For the cry is gone round about the borders of Moab; the howling thereof to Eglaim, and the howling thereof to Beerelim.
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(8) The cry is gone round about . . .—The extent of the lamentation is emphasised by naming its farthest points. It reaches (1) Eglaim (“two pools”), probably the same as the En-Eglaim of Ezekiel 47:10, as near the Dead Sea. Eusebius (Onomast.) names it as eight miles south of Areopolis or Rabbath Moab. Josephus mentions a town Agalla as near Zoar (Ant. xii. 1, 4); (2) Beer-Elim (“the well of the terebinths”), perhaps the same as the “well” on the borders of Moab of Numbers 21:16.

(8) The waters of Dimon.—Probably the same as Dibon, the name being slightly altered (m and b, as labial letters, are closely connected in all languages) so as to resemble the Hebrew word for “blood” (dam), or dum (“silent”). Men should call the stream no more by the name of Dimon, but by that of the blood, or the silent river. (See Note on Isaiah 21:11.)

I will bring more . . .i.e., sorrow upon sorrow. The “lions” are either literally such, as in 2Kings 17:25, prowling through the streets of the deserted city (see Notes on Isaiah 13:21), or symbols of Assyrian or other invaders (Jeremiah 4:7; Jeremiah 5:6).

15:1-9 The Divine judgments about to come upon the Moabites. - This prophecy coming to pass within three years, would confirm the prophet's mission, and the belief in all his other prophecies. Concerning Moab it is foretold, 1. That their chief cities should be surprised by the enemy. Great changes, and very dismal ones, may be made in a very little time. 2. The Moabites would have recourse to their idols for relief. Ungodly men, when in trouble, have no comforter. But they are seldom brought by their terrors to approach our forgiving God with true sorrow and believing prayer. 3. There should be the cries of grief through the land. It is poor relief to have many fellow-sufferers, fellow-mourners. 4. The courage of their soldiers should fail. God can easily deprive a nation of that on which it most depended for strength and defence. 5. These calamities should cause grief in the neighbouring parts. Though enemies to Israel, yet as our fellow-creatures, it should be grievous to see them in such distress. In ver. 6-9, the prophet describes the woful lamentations heard through the country of Moab, when it became a prey to the Assyrian army. The country should be plundered. And famine is usually the sad effect of war. Those who are eager to get abundance of this world, and to lay up what they have gotten, little consider how soon it may be all taken from them. While we warn our enemies to escape from ruin, let us pray for them, that they may seek and find forgiveness of their sins.For the cry is gone round about ... - The cry of distress and calamity has encompassed the whole land of Moab. There is no part of the land which is not filled with lamentation and distress.

The howling - The voice of wailing on account of the distress.

Unto Eglaim - This was a city of Moab east of the Dead Sea, which, Eusebius says, was eight miles south of Ar, and hence, says Rosenmuller, it was not far from the south border of Moab. It is mentioned by Josephus ("Ant." xiv. 1), as one of the twelve cities in that region which was overthrown by Alexander the Great.

Unto Beer-elim - literally, "the well of the princes." Perhaps the same as that mentioned in Numbers 21:14-18, as being in the land of Moab, and near to Ar:

The princes digged the well,

The nobles of the people digged it.

8. Eglaim—(Eze 47:10), En-eglaim. Not the Agalum of Eusebius, eight miles from Areopolis towards the south; the context requires a town on the very borders of Moab or beyond them.

Beer-elim—literally, "the well of the Princes"—(so Nu 21:16-18). Beyond the east borders of Moab.

Their cry fills all the parts of the country. For the cry is gone found about the borders of Moab,.... The cry of destruction and howling because of it; the places mentioned, as is observed by some, being upon the borders of the land. Heshbon was on the north east, Elealeh on the north west, Jahaz on the south west, Horonaim further west, Zoar the utmost west, and the places following seem to be upon the borders likewise:

the howling thereof unto Eglaim; which word signifies a border, and so the Arabic word Agalon; some take it to be the same with the brooks of Arnon, Numbers 21:13 said so be the border of Moab:

and the howling thereof unto Beerelim; the same with Beer, Numbers 21:16 called Beerelim, or "the well of the mighty ones", being dug by the princes of Israel, Numbers 21:18.

For the cry is gone round about the borders of Moab; the howling thereof unto Eglaim, and the howling thereof unto Beerelim.
8. Summing up the effect of the previous description and explaining the forsaking of the land.

the cry (of destruction, Isaiah 15:5) is gone round …] We should expect the two places in the second half of the verse to mark the extreme limits of the country—the “Dan and Beersheba” of Moab. Eglaim is probably the village Αἰγαλείμ mentioned by Eusebius as lying 8 Roman miles S. of Rabba. Beer-elim (“well of the mighty ones”?) is unknown, but has been plausibly identified with the “well” (Bě’çr) of Numbers 21:16-18, in northern Moab.Verse 8. - Eglaim... Beer-Elim. Unknown sites on the borders of Moab, both probably towards the south. The enemy has come in from the north, and has driven the population southwards. A hope has been entertained of the pursuit slackening; but it is disappointed. The enemy causes grief and "howling" in every part of the territory. But just as horror, when once it begins to reflect, is dissolved in tears, the thunder-claps in Isaiah 15:1 are followed by universal weeping and lamentation. "They go up to the temple-house and Dibon, up to the heights to weep: upon Nebo and upon Medebah of Moab there is weeping: on all heads baldness, every beard is mutilated. In the markets of Moab they gird themselves with sackcloth; on the roofs of the land, and in its streets, everything wails, melting into tears. Heshbon cries, and 'Elle; even to Jahaz they hear their howling; even the armed men of Moab break out into mourning thereat; its soul trembles within it." The people (the subject to עלה) ascend the mountain with the temple of Chemosh, the central sanctuary of the land. This temple is called hab-baith, though not that there was a Moabitish town or village with some such name as Bth-Diblathaim (Jeremiah 48:22), as Knobel supposes. Dibon, which lay above the Arnon (Wady Mujib), like all the places mentioned in Isaiah 15:2-4, at present a heap of ruins, a short hour to the north of the central Arnon, in the splendid plain of el-Chura, had consecrated heights in the neighbourhood (cf., Joshua 13:17; Numbers 22:41), and therefore would turn to them. Moab mourns upon Nebo and Medebah; ייליל, for which we find יהיליל in Isaiah 52:5, is written intentionally for a double preformative, instead of ייליל (compare the similar forms in Job 24:21; Psalm 138:6, and Ges. 70, Anm.). על is to be taken in a local sense, as Hendewerk, Drechsler, and Knobel have rendered it. For Nebo was probably a place situated upon a height on the mountain of that name, towards the south-east of Heshbon (the ruins of Nabo, Nabau, mentioned in the Onom.); and Medebah (still a heap of ruins bearing the same name) stood upon a round hill about two hours to the south-east of Heshbon. According to Jerome, there was an image of Chemosh in Nebo; and among the ruins of Madeba, Seetzen discovered the foundations of a strange temple. There follows here a description of the expressions of pain. Instead of the usual ראשיו, we read ראשיו here. And instead of gedu‛âh (abscissae), Jeremiah (Jeremiah 48:37) has, according to his usual style, geru'âh (decurtatae), with the simple alteration of a single letter.

(Note: At the same time, the Masora on this passage before us is for geru‛ah with Resh, and we also find this reading in Nissel, Clodius, Jablonsky, and in earlier editions; whilst Sonc. 1486, Ven. 1521, and others, have gedu‛ah, with Daleth.)

All runs down with weeping (culloh, written as in Isaiah 16:7; in Isaiah 9:8, Isaiah 9:16, we have cullo instead). In other cases it is the eyes that are said to run down in tears, streams, or water-brooks; but here, by a still bolder metonymy, the whole man is said to flow down to the ground, as if melting in a stream of tears. Heshbon and Elale are still visible in their ruins, which lie only half an hour apart upon their separate hills and are still called by the names Husban and el-Al. They were both situated upon hills which commanded an extensive prospect. And there the cry of woe created an echo which was audible as far as Jahaz (Jahza), the city where the king of Heshbon offered battle to Israel in the time of Moses (Deuteronomy 2:32). The general mourning was so great, that even the armed men, i.e., the heroes (Jeremiah 48:41) of Moab, were seized with despair, and cried out in their anguish (the same figure as in Isaiah 33:7). על־כן(, thereat, namely on account of this universal lamentation. Thus the lamentation was universal, without exception. Naphsho (his soul) refers to Moab as a whole nation. The soul of Moab trembles in all the limbs of the national body; ירעה (forming a play upon the sound with יריעוּ), an Arabic word, and in יריעה a Hebrew word also, signifies tremere, huc illuc agitari - an explanation which we prefer, with Rosenmller and Gesenius, to the idea that ירע is a secondary verb to רעע, fut. ירע. לו is an ethical dative (as in Psalm 120:6 and Psalm 123:4), throwing the action or the pathos inwardly (see Psychology, p. 152). The heart of the prophet participates in this pain with which Moab is agitated throughout; for, as Rashi observes, it is just in this that the prophets of Israel were distinguished from heathen prophets, such as Balaam for example, viz., that the calamities which they announced to the nations went to their own heart (compare Isaiah 21:3-4, with Isaiah 22:4).

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