Jeremiah 48:1
Against Moab thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Woe unto Nebo! for it is spoiled: Kiriathaim is confounded and taken: Misgab is confounded and dismayed.
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(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.


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.

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. Jeremiah 48:1Calamities to come on Moab. - Jeremiah 48:1. "Thus saith Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel, Woe to Nebo, for it is laid waste! Kiriathaim is come to dishonour, it is taken: the fortress is come to dishonour and broken down. Jeremiah 48:2. Moab's glory is no more. In Heshbon they have devised evil against her, [saying], Come, and let us cut her off from [being] a nation: thou also, O Madmen, art brought to silence; the sword shall go after thee. Jeremiah 48:3. A sound of crying from Horonaim, desolation and great destruction. Jeremiah 48:4. Moab is destroyed; her little ones have caused a cry to be heard. Jeremiah 48:5. For they ascend the ascent of Luhith with weeping - weeping: for on the descent of Horonaim the enemies have heard a cry of destruction. Jeremiah 48:6. Flee, save your life! and be like one destitute in the wilderness. Jeremiah 48:7. For, because they trust [was] in thy works, and in thy treasures, thou also shalt be taken; and Chemosh shall go into captivity, his priests and his princes together. Jeremiah 48:8. The destroyer shall come to every city, and no city shall escape; and the valley shall perish, and the plain shall be laid waste, as Jahveh hath said."

With the exclamation "Woe!" Jeremiah transports the hearers of the word of God at once into the midst of the catastrophe which is to come on Moab; this is with the view of humbling the pride of this people, and chastening them for their sins. The woe is uttered over Nebo, but holds also of the towns named afterwards. Nebo is not the mountain of that name (Deuteronomy 32:49; Deuteronomy 34:1), but the city, which probably did not lie far from the peak in the mountain-range of Abarim, which bore the same name (Numbers 32:3, Numbers 32:38; Isaiah 15:2), although in the Onomasticon, s.v. Ναβαῦ, the situation of the mountain is given as being six Roman miles from Heshbon, towards the west, and s.v. Ναβώρ, that of the city, eight Roman miles south from Heshbon, for both accounts point to a situation in the south-west. The Arab. name nba equals is still applied to some ruins; cf. Robinson's Palestine, iii. p. 170. "Kiriathaim is taken." The site of this town, mentioned as early as Genesis 14:5, has been fixed, since the time of Burckhardt, as that of a mass of ruins called et Teim, about five miles south of Heshbon; but Dietrich, in Merx' Archiv. i. S. 337ff., has shown this is incorrect. According to Eusebius, in his Onomasticon, Kiriathaim lay ten Roman miles to the west of Medeba: this suits not merely the position of et Teim, but also the ruins of Kereyat south-west from Medeba, on the ridge of Mount Attarus, a little to the south of M'kaur (Machaerus), and of Baara in the Wady Zerka Maein, where also is the plain mentioned in Genesis 14:5, either in the plain stretching direct east from Kereyat between Wady Zerka Maein and Wady Wal, or south-east in the beautiful plain el Kura, described by Burckhardt, p. 371ff., between the Wal and the Mojeb. Nebo and Kiriathaim lay on the eastern border of the high range of mountains, and seem to be comprehended under המּשׂגּב, "the height, the high fortress," in the third clause of Jeremiah 48:1, as the representatives of the mountain country of Moab. Various expositors, certainly, take the word as a proper name designating an elevated region; Graf and Ngelsbach take it to be a name of Kir-Moab (Kir-heres, Kir-haresheth, Jeremiah 48:31, Jeremiah 48:36), the chief fortress in the country, the modern Kerek in the southern part of Moab; but no valid proof has been adduced. By "the height" Hitzig understands the highlands, which learn of the fall of these towns in the lowlands, and feel this disgrace that has come on Moab, but have not yet themselves been taken. But this view is untenable, because the towns of Nebo and Kiriathaim are not situated in the level country. Again, since הובשׁה is common to the two clauses, the distinction between נלכּדה and חתּה could hardly be pressed so far as to make the latter the opposite of the former, in the sense of being still unconquered. The meaning rather is, that through Nebo's being laid waste, and the capture of Kiriathaim, the fortress on which the Moabites trusted is no more. And to this Jeremiah 48:3 appropriately adds, "the boasting of Moab is gone," i.e., Moab has no more ground for boasting. "In Heshbon they (the enemy, or the conquerors) plot evil against Moab." Heshbon was formerly the capital of the Amorite kingdom of Sihon (Numbers 21:26; Deuteronomy 2:24, etc.), and was assigned to the tribe of Reuben (Joshua 13:17); but because it lay on the boundary of the territory belonging to the tribe, it was given up to the Gadites, and set apart as a Levitical city (Joshua 21:37). It lay ten Roman miles east from the Jordan, opposite Jericho, almost intermediate between the Arnon and the Jabbok, and is still pointed out, though in ruins, under the old name Heshbn (see on Numbers 32:37). At the time of Jeremiah it was taken possession of by the Ammonites (Jeremiah 49:3), consequently it was the frontier town of the Moabite territory at that time; and being such, it is here named as the town where the enemy, coming from the north, deliberate regarding the conquest of Moab - "meditate evil," i.e., decide upon conquest and devastation. The suffix of עליה refers to Moab as a country, and hence is feminine; cf. v. 4. "We will destroy it (Moab) מגּוי, so that it shall no longer be a nation." Just as in בּחשׁבּון חשׁבוּ there is a play on the words, so is there also in the expression מדמן תּדּמּי which follows. This very circumstance forms an argument for taking Madmen as a proper name, instead of an appellative, as Venema and Hitzig have done, after the example of the lxx: "Yea, thou shalt be destroyed (and made into) a dunghill." In support of this rendering they point to 2 Kings 10:27; Ezra 6:11. But the verb דּמם, in its meaning, ill accords with מדמן in the sense of a dung-heap, and in this case there would be no foundation for a play upon the words (Graf). It is no proof of the non-existence of a place called Madmen in Moab, that it is not mentioned elsewhere; Madmena in the tribe of Benjamin (Isaiah 10:31), and Madmanna in Judah (Joshua 15:31), are also mentioned but once. These passages rather show that the name Madmen was not uncommon; and it was perhaps with reference to this name that Isaiah (Isaiah 25:10) chose the figure of the dunghill. דּמם, to be silent, means, in the Niphal, to be brought to silence, be exterminated, perish; cf. Jeremiah 49:26; Jeremiah 25:37; Jeremiah 8:14, etc. As to the form תּדּמּי instead of תּדּמּי , cf. Ewald, 140, b; Gesenius, 67, Rem. 5. The following clause refers to Madmen: "after thee shall the sword go;" cf. Jeremiah 9:15.

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