Isaiah 15:9
For the waters of Dimon shall be full of blood: for I will bring more on Dimon, lions on him that escapes of Moab, and on the remnant of the land.
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Isaiah 15:9. For the waters of Dimon — This seems to be the same place with Dibon, mentioned Isaiah 15:2; shall be full of blood — This is a third evil, and cause of lamentation; the great slaughter which the enemy should make of the people. For I will bring more upon Dimon — Hebrew, I will place, or lay upon Dimon, נוכפות, accessions, or additions, that is, I will increase those waters by the torrents that shall flow into them from the blood of the slain. The expression is strong and elegant. Bishop Lowth, however, interprets the clause, “Yet will I bring more evils upon Dimon,” that is, though the waters are full of blood, yet will I bring upon them further and greater evils. Lions upon him that escapeth of Moab, &c. — This is the fourth evil, the completion of all the rest, and the severest cause of their lamentation, that God would not even spare a remnant hereafter to restore and renew their fallen state; but would pursue them with his judgments to the last extremity, and send upon them, and on their desolate country, lions and other wild beasts, entirely to destroy all that remained. Vitringa, however, thinks that Nebuchadnezzar is pointed out in this clause; who, after the Moabites, reduced extremely low by the Assyrians, began to recruit themselves, should give the remnant of the nation to destruction, and complete the judgment which the Assyrian had begun: see Jeremiah 4:7; Jeremiah 5:6; Jeremiah 48:40. The Chaldee paraphrast must have so understood it, translating the word, which we render lion, by king: A king with his army to destroy the Moabites. 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 waters of Dimon - Probably the same as "Dibon" Isaiah 15:2. Eusobius says it was a large town on the northern bank of the river Arnon. Jerome says that the letters "m and b" are often interchanged in oriental dialects (see the note at Isaiah 15:2).

Shall be full of blood - That is, the number of the slain of Moab shall be so great, that the blood shall color the waters of the river - a very common occurrence in times of great slaughter. Perhaps by the "waters" of Dimon the prophet does not mean the river Arnon, but the small rivulets or streams that might flow into it near to the city of Dibon. Probably there were winter brooks there, which do not run at all seasons. The Chaldee renders it, 'The waters of Dimon shall be full of blood, because I will place upon Dimon an assembly of armies.'

For I will bring more upon Dimon - Hebrew, 'I will bring additions;' that is, I will bring upon it additional calamities. Jerome says, that by those additional calamities, the prophet refers to the "lions" which are immediately after mentioned. "Lions upon him that escapeth of Moab." Wild beasts upon those who escaped from the slaughter, and who took refuge in the wilderness, or on the mountains. The Chaldee renders it, 'A king shall ascend with an army, and shall destroy the remainder of their land.' Aben Ezra interprets it of the king of Assyria; and Jarchi of Nebuchadnezzar, who is called a lion in Jeremiah 4:7. Vitringa also supposes that Nebnchadnezzar is meant. But it is more probable that the prophet refers to wild beasts, which are often referred to in the Scriptures as objects of dread, and as bringing calamities upon nations (see Leviticus 26:22; Jeremiah 5:6; Jeremiah 15:3; 2 Kings 18:25).

Upon the remnant of the land - Upon all those who escaped the desolation of the war. The Septuagint and the Arabic render this, 'Upon the remnant of Adama,' understanding the word rendered 'land' (ארמה 'ădâmâh), as the name of a city. But it more probably means the land.

9. Dimon—same as Dibon (Isa 15:2). Its waters are the Arnon.

full of blood—The slain of Moab shall be so many.

bring more—fresh calamities, namely, the "lions" afterwards mentioned (2Ki 17:25; Jer 5:6; 15:3). Vitringa understands Nebuchadnezzar as meant by "the lion"; but it is plural, "lions." The "more," or in Hebrew, "additions," he explains of the addition made to the waters of Dimon by the streams of blood of the slain.

Dimon: this seems to be the same place with Dibon, mentioned Isaiah 15:2, here called Dimon for the great bloodshed in it, as it here follows; such changes of a letter being not unusual in proper names, as in Merodach for Berodach, Isaiah 39:1. More; either,

1. More than upon other parts of the country, that being one of their high places, Isaiah 15:2; or rather,

2. More than hath been already mentioned.

Lions upon him that escapeth of Moab; God shall send lions to find out those that escape the fury of men. For the waters of Dimon shall be full of blood,.... Of the slain, as the Targum adds. This was a river in the land of Moab, as say Jarchi and Kimchi; it had its name from the blood of the slain, Some take it to be the name of a city, and the same with Dibon, Isaiah 15:2 but, because of the abundance of blood shed in it, got this new name; and the Vulgate Latin version here calls it Dibon; and the Syriac version Ribon; and the Arabic version Remmon:

for I will bring more upon Dimon; or "additions" (r), not merely add blood to the waters of the river, as Jarchi and Kimchi; but bring additional evils and plagues, as Aben Ezra. The Targum interprets it,

"the congregation of an army;''

but what these additions were are explained in the next clause:

lions upon him that escapeth of Moab, and upon the remnant of the land; or a "lion" (s); the meaning is, that such who escaped the sword should be destroyed by lions, or other beasts of prey, which was one of the Lord's four judgments, Ezekiel 14:21. The Targum is,

"a king shall ascend with his army, and so spoil the remainder of their land;''

and Aben Ezra interprets it of the king of Assyria; and Jarchi of Nebuchadnezzar, who is called a lion, Jeremiah 4:7 and the sense is thought to be this, that whom Sennacherib king of Assyria should leave, Nebuchadnezzar should destroy. The Septuagint and Arabic versions render the last clause, "the remnant of Adama", a city of Moab; so Cocceius.

(r) "addita", Pagninus, Montanus; "additiones", Vatablus; "additamenta", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (s) "leonem", Pagninus, Montanus, &c.

For the waters of Dimon shall be full {k} of blood: for I will bring more upon Dimon, lions {l} upon him that escapeth of Moab, and upon the remnant of the land.

(k) Of them who are slain.

(l) So that by no means would they escape the hand of God: thus will God punish the enemies of his Church.

9. the waters of Dimon] Dimon is generally supposed to be another form of Dibon, chosen for the sake of an alliteration with the word for “blood” (dâm). The conjecture may be taken for what it is worth; it has the authority of Jerome, who says, “usque hodie indifferenter et Dimon et Dibon hoc oppidulum dicitur,” and we know of no other place Dimon.

I will bring more (lit. “additional [evils]”) upon Dimon] This is the first strictly prophetic utterance in the passage; the speaker is Jehovah.

lions upon … Moab] Better: upon the fugitives of Moab (sc. I will bring) a lion. The “lion” is undoubtedly a symbol for a terrible conqueror, though it is difficult to say who is meant. It can hardly be Jeroboam II., who has already done his worst, and it is still less likely that Judah is meant. The peculiar prophetic form of the latter part of the verse has suggested to some commentators that it may have been inserted by Isaiah in the original oracle. In that case the “lion” would almost of necessity denote the Assyrians.Verse 9. - The waters of Dimon. It is thought that "Dimon" is here put for "Dibon," in order to assimilate the sound to that of dam, blood. St. Jerome says that in his day the place was called indifferently by either name. If we accept this view, "the waters of Dimon" will probably be those of the Amen, near which Dibon was situated (see the comment on ver. 2). I will bring more; literally, I will bring additions; i.e. additional calamities, which will cause the stream of the Aton to flow with blood. Lions; or, a lieu. Perhaps Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 4:7), who is said by Josephus to have conquered the Moabites, or possibly Asshur-bani-pal, who overran the country about B.C. 645 (G. Smith, 'History of Asshur-bani-pal,' p. 259).

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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