Jeremiah 48:1
Against Moab thus said the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Woe to Nebo! for it is spoiled: Kiriathaim is confounded and taken: Misgab is confounded and dismayed.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
XLVIII.

(1) Against Moab thus saith the Lord of hosts . . .—Better, with a different punctuation, Concerning Moab (this being the title of the section), Thus saith the Lord of hosts. In the long prophecy that follows Jeremiah in part follows in the wake of “the burden of Moab” in Isaiah 15, 16, entering even more fully into geographical details. (See Notes there.) The relations between Moab and Israel had for a long period been more or less uneasy. The former had been tributary to the latter under Ahab, but on his death Mesha revolted, and a war ensued, which ended in the defeat of the Moabites by the allied forces of Israel, Judah, and Edom (2 Kings 3). They repeated their attack, however (2Kings 13:20), and appear to have occupied the territory of the Trans-jordanic tribes on their deportation by Tiglath-pileser. Of the three places named, Nebo, memorable as the summit of Pisgah, from which Moses looked upon the land of promise, and forming part of the range of the mountains of Abarim (Deuteronomy 32:49; Deuteronomy 34:1), has been identified conjecturally with Djebel-el-Attarus, or Djebel-el-Jel’ad. Hitzig derives the name from the Sanscrit Nabho (= the cloud-heaven). Kiriathaim (= the double city) is named in Genesis 14:5 and Numbers 32:37, in the latter passage in conjunction with Elealeh, Heshbon, and Nebo. Jerome places it at a distance of ten miles west of Medaba, as one of the cities rebuilt by the Reubenites, but it has not been identified. Misgab, the “high fort” or “citadel” of Isaiah 25:12, has shared the same fate, but has been referred by some writers to Kir-Moab, or Kir-heres, as the chief fortified city of the country (see Jeremiah 48:31; Jeremiah 48:36; Isaiah 15:1; Isaiah 16:7). The article which is prefixed to it in the Hebrew has led Fürst (Lexicon) to take it in a wider sense, as meaning the plateau or highland country of Moab generally.

Jeremiah 48:1. Against Moab — Hebrew, למואב, To, or, concerning Moab, thus saith the Lord of hosts — This prophecy concerning the Moabites, as also the following which respect the Ammonites, Edomites, and other neighbouring nations, are supposed to have been fulfilled during the siege of Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar: see note on Jeremiah 47:1. Many expressions and passages are found in this chapter which Jeremiah seems to have borrowed from a prophecy of Isaiah, chap. 15., and 16., concerning a like calamity which befell Moab, in all probability when Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, seized upon their cities and fortresses, and ravaged their country, on his march through it to invade the kingdom of Israel. By comparing the parallel places much light may be mutually thrown upon them. Kiriathaim, one of the cities of Moab, here mentioned, was given by Moses to the Reubenites, as appears by Joshua 13:10, but the Moabites afterward recovered the possession of it. Blaney thinks the word which our translators have rendered Misgab, as if it were the proper name of a city, is rather to be considered as an appellative, especially as it has an article prefixed. He therefore renders it, the high fortress, observing that it may either mean Kiriathaim, before mentioned, or any other high fortress of Moab.48:1-13. The Chaldeans are to destroy the Moabites. We should be thankful that we are required to seek the salvation of men's lives, and the salvation of their souls, not to shed their blood; but we shall be the more without excuse if we do this pleasant work deceitfully. The cities shall be laid in ruins, and the country shall be wasted. There will be great sorrow. There will be great hurry. If any could give wings to sinners, still they could not fly out of the reach of Divine indignation. There are many who persist in unrepented iniquity, yet long enjoy outward prosperity. They had been long corrupt and unreformed, secure and sensual in prosperity. They have no changes of their peace and prosperity, therefore their hearts and lives are unchanged, Ps 55:19.Against Moab - Concerning Moab.

Is confounded - Is brought to shame.

Misgab - The high fort; some special fortress, probably Kir-haraseth 2 Kings 3:25.

CHAPTER 48

Jer 48:1-47. Prophecy against Moab.

It had taken part with the Chaldeans against Judea (2Ki 24:2). Fulfilled by Nebuchadnezzar five years after the destruction of Jerusalem, when also he attacked Egypt (Jer 43:8-13) and Ammon (Jer 49:1-6). [Josephus, Antiquities, 10:9,7]. Jeremiah in this prophecy uses that of Isa 15:1-16:14, amplifying and adapting it to his purpose under inspiration, at the same time confirming its divine authority. Isaiah, however, in his prophecy refers to the devastation of Moab by the Assyrian king, Shalmaneser; Jeremiah refers to that by Nebuchadnezzar.

1. Nebo—a mountain and town of Moab; its meaning is "that which fructifies."

Kiriathaim—a city of Moab, consisting of two cities, as the word signifies; originally held by the Emim (Ge 14:5).

Misgab—meaning "elevation." It lay on an elevation.The judgment of Moab, Jeremiah 48:1-6, for their pride, Jeremiah 48:7-10; for their security and human confidence, Jeremiah 48:11-25; especially for their contempt of God, and insolence towards his people, Jeremiah 48:26-46. Their restoration, Jeremiah 48:47.

The prophet having, Jeremiah 46; denounced God’s judgment against Egypt, and against the Philistines, Jeremiah 47, in this chapter he cometh to do the like against the Moabites. Moab, the father of these Moabites, was the son of Lot, Genesis 19:37. the Moabites’ country lay in the way the Israelites went to Canaan, Numbers 21:11,13, near the country of the Ammonites. Balak was king of it when the Israelites passed by it, who sent for the sorcerer Balaam to curse them, Numbers 22:5, who, Numbers 24:5, &c., blessed them. They seduced the Israelites to adultery and idolatry, Numbers 25:1.

Moab was a large country, and had many cities; we shall have divers of them named in this chapter; the first that we read of Nebo in holy writ is Numbers 32:3,38. Reuben built both that and Kirathaim, as may be read there, Numbers 32:38,39. It was also the name of a mountain, Deu 34:1. It should seem that in Jeremiah’s time, the Moabites had got both the possession of Nebo, and Kiriathaim, and

Misgab, of which we read no more in Scripture. It seems to be a city built upon some hill or high place. The prophet threateneth ruin to all these three cities.

Against Moab thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel,.... The prophecy concerning Moab is introduced with these epithets of God, partly to observe that the God of Israel was the only true God, in opposition to the gods of Moab, and other nations; and partly to point out his omnipotence, being able to perform what he here predicts and threatens; as also to suggest, that for the enmity of the Moabites to his people Israel, and their contempt of them, which is taken notice of in this chapter, and the ill treatment of them, the Lord would now take vengeance on them. Some render it, "concerning Moab" (z); because every thing that is here said is not against it; the chapter concludes in favour of it; though the far greater part, and ever, all but the last verse, is against it. This prophecy, according to Josephus (a), had its fulfilment about five years after the destruction of Jerusalem;

woe unto Nebo, for it is spoiled; its walls broken down; its houses demolished; its inhabitants destroyed, and plundered of their riches; this, in prophetic language, is represented as done, because of the certainty of it. Of this city See Gill on Isaiah 15:2; It is thought to be an oracular one, where was a temple of their idol; and from whence their priests gave out oracles, promising peace, and prosperity and safety, to Moab; and therefore the desolation of that is first prophesied of, to show that no dependence was to be had on those lying oracles;

Kirjathaim is confounded and taken; a city in the tribe of Reuben, which afterwards came into the hands of the Moabites, Joshua 13:19. The word is of the dual form; and it might be a double city, like Jerusalem, consisting of a lower and upper city; or it might be divided by a river; or, as Kimchi and Ben Melech think, it was so called because it had two towers in it. It seems to be the same with Kir of Moab, Kirharesh, and Kirhareseth, Isaiah 15:1; when it was taken by the Chaldeans, the inhabitants were confounded, as having looked upon the place, and boasted of it, as impregnable;

Misgab is confounded and dismayed; so called from its being built on a high place, and well fortified; though some think that this is not the proper name of a place; but only signifies a high and fortified place both by nature and art; a place of refuge, where persons thought themselves safe; and so the Targum renders it,

"the house of their confidence;''

this, when besieged and taken by the Babylonians, threw the inhabitants into the utmost consternation and confusion. Some take it to be the same with Bamoth, a name of much the same signification, Joshua 13:17; see Isaiah 15:2.

(z) "ad Moab", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus; "de Moabo", Vatablus, Cocceius. (a) Antiqu. l. 10. c. 9. sect. 7.

Against Moab thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Woe to {a} Nebo! for it is laid waste: Kiriathaim is confounded and taken: Misgab is confounded and dismayed.

(a) These were cities of the Moabites, which Nebuchadnezzar took before he went to fight against Nebo King of Egypt.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1. Moab] Its territory was the high tableland E. of the Dead Sea. See further on Jeremiah 48:2.

Nebo] not the mountain (Deuteronomy 32:49; Deuteronomy 34:1), but the city (Numbers 32:38). It was taken by Mesha king of Moab (c. 895 b.c.) according to the records of the “Moabite stone.” See transl. of lines 14–18 in HDB. III. 406. Kiriathaim, Kerioth, Jahzah, Dibon, Aroer, Bozrah (Bezer), Beth-diblathaim, Baal-meon (see on Jeremiah 48:23), and Horonaim are also mentioned on that stone.

Kiriathaim] probably Kureyat, ten miles N. of the Dead Sea.

Misgab] better, as mg. the high fort. Cp. Isaiah 25:12.

broken down] better than (mg.) dismayed. So in Jeremiah 48:20; Jeremiah 48:39.Verses 1-8. - The prophet foresees the calamity of Moab, and the attendant confusion and dismay. Yes; flee, save your lives, if ye can; for your confidences have proved untrustworthy; there is no hope left. Verse 1. - Against Moab; rather, concerning Moab. Nebo! Not, of course, the mountain range referred to in Deuteronomy 32:49 and 34. I as that from which Hoses viewed the land destined for Israel, but a town in the neighbourhood, deriving its name, not from the mountain,but from the same old Semitic (and not merely Babylonian) deity. Kiriathaim. "The double city." A place of uncertain situation, but probably in the same district as Nebo; mentioned in Genesis 14:5, as the abode of the "terrible" aboriginal tribe called the Emim. Is confounded; rather, is brought to shame (as Jeremiah 46:24). Misgab; rather, the fortress. The connection shows that some definite fortress is intended, but it is difficult to say which. Graf thinks of Kir-heres (vers. 31, 36) or Kir-hareseth (another form of the same name; comp. Isaiah 16:7; 2 Kings 3:25), generally identified with Kir-Moab, the chief fortified town of the Moabites. "Thus saith Jahveh: Behold, waters shall rise up out of the north, and shall become an inundating stream, and they shall inundate the land and its fulness, cities and those who dwell in them; and men shall cry, and all the inhabitants of the land shall howl. Jeremiah 47:3. Because of the sound of the trampling of the hoofs of his strong horses, because of the din of his chariots, the noise of his wheels, fathers to not look back to their children from weakness of hands; Jeremiah 47:4. Because of the day that cometh to destroy all the Philistines, to cut off from Tyre and Zidon every one remaining as a helper; for Jahveh destroyeth the Philistines, the remnant of the coast of Caphtor. Jeremiah 47:5. Baldness is come upon Gaza; Ashkelon is destroyed, the rest of their plain. How long wilt thou cut thyself? Jeremiah 47:6. O sword of Jahveh, how long wilt thou not rest? Draw thyself back into thy sheath; rest, and be still. Jeremiah 47:7. How canst thou be quiet, when Jahveh hath commanded thee? Against Ashkelon and against the sea-coast, there hath He appointed it."

The address opens with a figure. The hostile army that is to devastate Philistia is represented as a stream of water, breaking forth from the north, and swelling to an overflowing winter-torrent, that inundates the country ad cities with their inhabitants. The figure is often used: cf. Jeremiah 46:7-8, where the Egyptian host is compared to the waves of the Nile; and Isaiah 8:7, where the Assyrian army is likened to the floods of the Euphrates. The simile is applied here in another way. The figure is taken from a strong spring of water, coming forth in streams out of the ground, in the north, and swelling to an overflowing winter-torrent, that pours out its floods over Philistia, laying it waste. "From the north" is used here as in Jeremiah 46:20, and points back to Jeremiah 1:13-14. "An inundating stream" is here employed as in Isaiah 30:20; "earth and its fulness, a city and those who dwell in it," as in Isaiah 8:16. In Jeremiah 47:3 follows the application of the figure. It is a martial host that overflows the land, and with its mighty noise puts the inhabitants in such terror that they think only of a hasty flight; even fathers do not turn back to save their children. שׁעטהἅπ. λεγ., Syriac se‛aṭ, incedere, gradi, hence probably the stamping of hoofs. אבּירים, strong horses, as in Jeremiah 8:16. לרכבּו, instead of the construct state, has perhaps been chosen only for the sake of introducing a variation; cf. Ewald, 290, a. הפנה, to turn the back, as in Jeremiah 46:5. "Slackness of hands," i.e., utter loss of courage through terror; cf. Jeremiah 6:24 (the form רפיון only occurs here). In Jeremiah 47:4 the deeper source of fear is mentioned; "because of the day," i.e., because the day has come to destroy all the Philistines, namely, the day of the judgment determined by the Lord; cf. Jeremiah 46:10. "In order to destroy every remnant helping Tyre and Zidon." שׂריד עזר are the Philistines, who could afford help to the Phoenicians in the struggle against the Chaldean power. This implies that the Phoenicians also shall perish without any one to help them. This indirect mention of the Phoenicians appears striking, but it is to be explained partly on the ground that Jeremiah has uttered special prophecies only against the chief enemies of Judah, and partly also perhaps from the historical relations, i.e., from the fact that the Philistines might have afforded help to the Phoenicians in the struggles against the great powers of the world. Hitzig unnecessarily seeks to take לצר וּלצידון as the object, and to expunge כּל־שׂריד עזר as a gloss. The objections which he raises against the construction are groundless, as is shown by such passages as Jeremiah 44:7; Isaiah 14:22; 1 Kings 14:10, etc. "The remaining helper" is the expression used, because the other nations that could help the Egyptians, viz., the Syrians and Phoenicians, had already succumbed to the Chaldean power. The destruction will be so great as this, because it is Jahveh who destroys the Philistines, the remnant of the coast of Caphtor. According to Amos 9:7; Deuteronomy 2:23, the Philistines came from Caphtor; hence שׁארית אי can only mean "what still remains of the people of Philistia who come from the coat of Caphtor," like "the remnant of the Philistines" in Amos 1:8. Opinions are divided as to Caphtor. The prevailing view is that of Lakemacher, that Caphtor is the name of the island of Crete; but for this there are no tenable grounds: see on Zephaniah 2:5; and Delitzsch on Genesis, S. 248, Aufl. 4. Dietrich (in Merx' Archiv. i. S. 313ff.) and Ebers (Aegypten u. die Bcher Moses, i. S. 130ff.) agree in thinking that Caphtor is the shore of the Delta, but they explain the name differently. Dietrich derives it from the Egyptian Kah-pet-Hôr (district of Hor), which he takes to be the environs of the city of Buto, and the lake called after it (the modern Burlos), not far from the Sebennytic mouth of the Nile; Ebers, following the tablet of Canopus, in which the Egyptian name Kfa (Kaf) is given as that of Phoenicia, derives the name from Kaf-t-ur, i.e., the great Kefa, as the ancient seat of the Phoenicians on the shore of the Delta must have been called. But both explanations are still very doubtful, though there is no question about the migration of the Philistines from Egypt into Canaan.

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