Isaiah 16:6
We have heard of the pride of Moab; he is very proud: even of his haughtiness, and his pride, and his wrath: but his lies shall not be so.
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(6) We have heard of the pride of Moab . . .—The hopes of the prophet are clouded by the remembrance of the characteristic sin of Moab. Of this the Moabite Inscription gives sufficient evidence. (See Notes on Isaiah 15) Isaiah’s language finds an echo in Jeremiah 48:29.

But his lies shall not be so.—Better, “his lies, or boasts, are of no worth,” are “not so” as they seem to be.

Isaiah 16:6-7. We have heard of the pride of Moab, &c. — The prophet, having spoken to the Moabites, now turns his speech to God’s people. The sense is, I do not expect that my counsels will have any good effect upon Moab; they will still carry themselves insolently and outrageously. His lies shall not be so — His vain imaginations, and false and crafty counsels, shall not take effect. Therefore shall Moab howl for Moab — One Moabite shall howl or lament to or for another; for the foundations of Kir-hareseth — An ancient and eminent city of Moab, called Kir, Isaiah 15:1, and Kir-haresh, Isaiah 16:11, which was preserved when their other cities were ruined, and therefore the destruction of it was more lamented. Surely they are stricken — Or broken, overthrown or destroyed.16:6-14 Those who will not be counselled, cannot be helped. More souls are ruined by pride than by any other sin whatever. Also, the very proud are commonly very passionate. With lies many seek to gain the gratification of pride and passion, but they shall not compass proud and angry projects. Moab was famous for fields and vineyards; but they shall be laid waste by the invading army. God can soon turn laughter into mourning, and joy into heaviness. In God let us always rejoice with holy triumph; in earthly things let us always rejoice with holy trembling. The prophet looks with concern on the desolations of such a pleasant country; it causes inward grief. The false gods of Moab are unable to help; and the God of Israel, the only true God, can and will make good what he has spoken. Let Moab know her ruin is very near, and prepare. The most awful declarations of Divine wrath, discover the way of escape to those who take warning. There is no escape, but by submission to the Son of David, and devoting ourselves to him. And, at length, when the appointed time comes, all the glory, prosperity, and multitude of the wicked shall perish.We have heard of the pride of Moab - We Jews; we have "all" heard of it; that is, we "know" that he is proud. The evident design of the prophet here is, to say that Moab was so proud, and was well known to be so haughty, that he would "reject" this counsel. He would neither send the usual tribute to the land of Judea Isaiah 16:1, thus acknowledging his dependence on them; nor would he give protection to the exiled Jews as they should wander through his land, and "thus" endeavor to conciliate their favor, and secure their friendship. As a consequence of this, the prophet proceeds to state that heavy judgments would come upon Moab as a nation.

He is very proud - The same thing is stated in the parallel place in Jeremiah 48:29 (compare Isaiah 16:11). Moab was at ease; he was confident in his security; he feared nothing; he sought "no" means, therefore, of securing the friendship of the Jews.

And his wrath - As the result of pride and haughtiness. Wrath or indignation is excited in a proud man when he is opposed, and when the interests of others are not made to give way to his.

But his lies shall not be so - The Hebrew phrase (לא־כן lo' kên) - 'not so' here seems to be used in the sense of 'not right;' 'not firm, or established;' that is, his vain boasting, his false pretensions, his "lies" shall not be confirmed, or established; or they shall be vain and impotent. In the parallel place in Jeremiah, it is, 'But it shall not be so; his lies shall not effect it.' The word rendered 'his lies' here (בדיו badāyv), means his boasting, or vain and confident speaking. In Isaiah 44:25, it is connected with the vain and confident responses of diviners and soothsayers. Here it means that Moab boasted of his strength and security, and did not feel his need of the friendship of the Jews; but that his security was false, and that it should not result according to his expectations. That Moab was proud, is also stated in Isaiah 25:8; and that he was disposed to give vent to his pride by reproaching the people of God, is apparent from Zechariah 2:8 :

I have heard the reproach of Moab,

And the revilings of the children of Ammon,

Whereby they have reproached my people,

And boasted themselves upon their border.

6. We—Jews. We reject Moab's supplication for his pride.

lies—false boasts.

not be so—rather, "not right"; shall prove vain (Isa 25:10; Jer 48:29, 30; Zep 2:8). "It shall not be so; his lies shall not so effect it."

The prophet, having spoken to the Moabites, and acquainted them with their duty and interest, now he turneth his speech to God’s people, whom he armeth and comforteth against their approaching misery. The scope and sense of the prophet in this verse is this, I do not expect that my counsels will have any good effect upon Moab, they will still carry themselves insolently and outrageously towards you, and they promise themselves that they shall now effect what they have long desired, even satisfy their malice in your total and final destruction; but they shall be disappointed of their hopes. It is well known to me, and you, and all their neighbours, that they are a haughty and furious people; and therefore they will scorn my advice, and doubt not to stand upon their own legs.

His lies shall not be so; his vain imaginations, and false and crafty counsel, shall not take effect. But the words are and may be otherwise rendered, but his strength (as this word is rendered, Job 18:13; Heb. bars, which are the strength of gates or doors) is not so; not equal to his pride or fury. Or thus, exactly according to the words and order of the Hebrew text, not so lies. A concise speech, such as are very common in this and other prophets. And these words may possibly be brought in as the words of the Moabites, making this short reply to the prophet’s counsels and threatenings, directed to them in the foregoing verses of this chapter: It is not or shall not be so as thou sayest; thy words are but lies, we fear not thy threats against us. But this I propose with submission. We have heard of the pride of Moab,.... These are the words of the prophet, either in the name of the Lord, or in the person of the Jews, or of other nations, who had heard very frequently, and from many persons, and from every quarter, of the excessive pride of this people, and had many instances of it related to them, which foretold their ruin; for pride comes before a fall:

(he is very proud): though his original was so base and infamous; and therefore there is little reason to hope or expect that he would take the advice above given him, or do the good offices for the Jews he was exhorted to; his pride was such, that he would despise the counsel of God, and would never stoop to do any favour for his people:

even of his haughtiness, and his pride, and his wrath; of his contempt of the people of God, and his wrath against them:

but his lies shall not be so; or, "his strength" shall "not be so" (b); as his wrath: he shall not be able to do what in his pride and wrath he said he would do; all his wicked thoughts and devices, all his haughty and wrathful expressions, will signify nothing; they will all be of no effect, for God resisteth the proud, see Jeremiah 48:30. It may be rendered, "not right", that of "his diviners" (c); their words and works, what they say or do; so the word is used in Isaiah 44:25.

(b) "non sicut, fortitudo ejus"; so some in Vatablus. (c) "non rectum divinorum ejus", Vitringa.

We have heard of the pride of Moab; he is very proud: even of his haughtiness, and his pride, and his wrath: but his {f} lies shall not be so.

(f) Their vain confidence and proud bragging will deceive them, Jer 48:2.

6. (Jeremiah 48:29-30.) The prayer is rejected. The writer, speaking in the name of his countrymen, exposes the hollowness of Moab’s professions of allegiance and submission, as altogether opposed to the arrogant spirit for which the nation was notorious. On the pride of Moab cf. (besides Jeremiah 48:29) ch. Isaiah 25:11; Zephaniah 2:8. The national spirit has found an enduring monument in the inscription of the Moabite Stone.

but his lies shall not be so] Better: the unreality of his pratings (a contemptuous word, cf. ch. Isaiah 44:25). R.V. “his boastings are nought.”Verse 6. - We have heard of the pride of Moab. A new section commences. Moab has not accepted the offer of mercy made in vers. 1-5, and is therefore denounced afresh. Her "pride" prevented her from renewing her subjection to the house of David, and therefore it is her pride which is specially condemned. His lies shall not be so; rather, of no worth are his boast-tags. The result will not correspond with them. As Moabitis has thus become a great scene of conflagration, the Moabites cross the border and fly to Idumaea. The reason for this is given in sentences which the prophet again links on to one another with the particle ci (for). "Therefore what has been spared, what has been gained, and their provision, they carry it over the willow-brook. For the scream has gone the round in the territory of Moab; the wailing of Joab resounds to Eglayim, and his wailing to Beeer-Elim. For the waters of Dimon are full of blood: for I suspend over Dimon a new calamity, over the escaped of Moab a lion, and over the remnant of the land." Yithrâh is what is superfluous or exceeds the present need, and pekuddâh (lit. a laying up, depositio) that which has been carefully stored; whilst ‛âsâh, as the derivative passage, Jeremiah 48:36, clearly shows (although the accusative in the whole of Isaiah 15:7 is founded upon a different view: see Rashi), is an attributive clause (what has been made, worked out, or gained). All these things they carry across nachal hâ‛arâbim, i.e., not the desert-stream, as Hitzig, Maurer, Ewald, and Knobel suppose, since the plural of ‛arâbâh is ‛arâboth, but either the Arab stream (lxx, Saad.), or the willow-stream, torrens salicum (Vulg.). The latter is more suitable to the connection; and among the rivers which flow to the south of the Arnon from the mountains of the Moabitish highlands down to the Dead Sea, there is one which is called Wadi Sufsaf, i.e., willow-brook (Tzaphtzphh is the name of a brook in Hebrew also), viz., the northern arm of the Seil el-Kerek. This is what we suppose to be intended here, and not the Wadi el-Ahsa, although the latter (probably the biblical Zered

(Note: Hence the Targ. II renders nachal zered "the brook of the willows." See Buxtorf, Lex. chald. s.v. Zerad.))

is the boundary river on the extreme south, and separates Moab from Edom (Kerek from Gebal: see Ritter, Erdk. xv 1223-4). Wading through the willow-brook, they carry their possessions across, and hurry off to the land of Edom, for their own land has become the prey of the foe throughout its whole extent, and within its boundaries the cry of wailing passes from Eglayim, on the south-west of Ar, and therefore not far from the southern extremity of the Dead Sea (Ezekiel 47:10), as far as Beer-elim, in the north-east of the land towards the desert (Numbers 21:16-18; עד must be supplied: Ewald, 351, a), that is to say, if we draw a diagonal through the land, from one end to the other. Even the waters of Dibon, which are called Dimon here to produce a greater resemblance in sound to dâm, blood, and by which we are probably to understand the Arnon, as this was only a short distance off (just as in Judges 5:19 the "waters of Megiddo" are the Kishon), are full of blood,

(Note: דם מלאוּ, with munach (which also represents the metheg) at the first syllable of the verb (compare Isaiah 15:4, לּו ירעה, with mercha), according to Vened. 1521, and other good editions. This is also grammatically correct.)

so that the enemy must have penetrated into the very heart of the land in his course of devastation and slaughter. But what drives them across the willow-brook is not this alone; it is as if they forebode that what has hitherto occurred is not the worst or the last. Jehovah suspends (shith, as in Hosea 6:11) over Dibon, whose waters are already reddened with blood, nōsâphōth, something to be added, i.e., a still further judgment, namely a lion. The measure of Moab's misfortunes is not yet full: after the northern enemy, a lion will come upon those that have escaped by flight or have been spared at home (on the expression itself, compare Isaiah 10:20; Isaiah 37:32, and other passages). This lion is no other than the basilisk of the prophecy against Philistia, but with this difference, that the basilisk represents one particular Davidic king, whilst the lion is Judah generally, whose emblem was the lion from the time of Jacob's blessing, in Genesis 49:9.

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