Jeremiah 48:12
Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will send unto him wanderers, that shall cause him to wander, and shall empty his vessels, and break their bottles.
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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.I will send - tilters "unto him and they shall" tilt "him, and they shall empty his vessels, and break their" pitchers "in pieces." "Pitchers" originally meant "skins," but the word came to signify small earthenware jars Isaiah 30:14 : thus the Chaldaeans shall destroy of Moab everything that has contained the wine of her political life both small and great. 12. wanderers—rather, "pourers out," retaining the image of Jer 48:11, that is, the Chaldeans who shall remove Moab from his settlements, as men pour wine from off the lees into other vessels. "His vessels" are the cities of Moab; the broken "bottles" the men slain [Grotius]. The Hebrew and the kindred Arabic word means, "to turn on one side," so as to empty a vessel [Maurer]. By the

wanderers here mentioned the Chaldeans are most certainly understood, who wandered from their own country to conquer other people; the word is variously translated, vagrants, travellers, removers, &c., who shall conquer the Moabites, and carry them into captivity.

And shall empty his vessels, and break their bottles: he had before compared the Moabites to wine settled upon the lees, here he saith that God would send those that should not only disturb and roll them, but ruin and destroy them.

Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord,.... This being their case, they should not continue in it; a change would be made, and that in a very short time, as there was; for, according to Josephus (p), it was about five years after the destruction of Jerusalem that the Moabites were subdued by the king of Babylon:

that I will send unto him wanderers that shall cause him to wander; the Chaldeans, who wandered out of their own country to Moab, directed by the providence of God to come there to do his work; and who, at first, might be treated by the Moabites with contempt, as vagrants, but would soon be made to know that they would cause them to wander; or would remove them out of their own country into other lands, particularly Babylon, to be vagrants there. The word may be rendered "travellers" (q); and signifies such that walk with great strength of body, in a stately way, and with great agility and swiftness; in which manner the Chaldeans are described as coming to Moab, and who should cause them to travel back with them in all haste; see word in Isaiah 63:1. The Targum renders it "spoilers"; according to the metaphor of wine used in Jeremiah 48:11, it may signify a sort of persons that cause wine to go, or empty it from one vessel to another; such as we call "wine coopers"; and this agrees with what follows:

and shall empty his vessels, and break their bottles; depopulate the cities of Moab; destroy the inhabitants of them, and make them barren and empty of men. The Targum is,

"I will send spoilers upon them, and they shall spoil them, and empty their substance, and consume the good of their land;''

see Jeremiah 48:8. The Septuagint version is, "they shall cut in pieces his horns"; which, as Origen (r) interprets them, were a kind of cups anciently used; for in former times they drank out of horns, either of oxen, or other animals; and Pliny (s) says that the northern people used to drink out of the horns of buffaloes, a creature larger than a bull, and which the Muscovites call "thur"; the same is asserted by Athenaeus (t), and others, that the horns of beasts were drinking vessels before cups were invented.

(p) Antiqu. l. 10. c. 9. sect. 7. (q) "viatores", Tigurine version. (r) Apud Drusium in fragmentis in loc. (s) Nat. Hist. l. 11. e. 37. (t) Deipnosoph. l. 11. p. 235. Rhodigin. 1. 30.

Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will send unto him wanderers, that shall cause him to wander, and shall empty his vessels, and break their bottles.
12. pour off] rather as mg. tilt (a vessel). The figure of earthenware jars of wine is continued. They are emptied by being tilted on one side, an operation which was performed slowly and carefully, that the jars might be safe and the wine run off clear while the sediment was left. This work, however, in the case of Moab shall be done roughly.

bottles] rather as mg. jars.

Verse 12. - Wanderers, that shall cause him to wander; rather, taters, and they shall tilt him. The earthen jars of which Thevenot speaks were doubtless similar to those of the Israelites. They would be tilted on one side, that the wine might run off clear from the dregs. Their bottles; rather, flagons or pitchers (of earthenware). The confusion of numbers and pronouns is remarkable. First, Moab collectively is spoken of as a wine jar; then the Moabites individually as Moab's jars; last of all, the Moabites are spoken of as possessing "jars" (i.e. all the institutions, public and private, of the state and of society). Jeremiah 48:12The devastation is a work of the Lord, and those who execute it must carry out the divine decree, so that they may not bring the curse upon themselves. The first clause is taken quite generally: the more exact specification of the work of the Lord follows in the second clause; it is the employment of the sword against Moab. "His sword" does not mean Jahveh's, but the sword carried by the devastator. רמיּה is used adverbially, but not in the sense of "deceitfully," rather "carelessly, negligently;" cf. כּף רמיּה, Proverbs 10:4; Proverbs 12:24. In Jeremiah 48:11 follows the reason why the judgment has necessarily come on Moab. Moab is compared to old wine that has lain long on its lees, and thereby preserved its flavour and smell unchanged. The taste and odour of Moab signify his disposition towards other nations, particularly towards Israel, the people of God. Good wine becomes stronger and more juicy by lying pretty long on its lees (see on Isaiah 25:6); inferior wine, however, becomes thereby more harsh and thick. The figure is used here in the latter sense, after Zephaniah 1:12. Moab's disposition towards Israel was harsh and bitter; the people were arrogant and proud (Jeremiah 48:29.; Isaiah 16:6), and so hostile towards Israel, that they sought every opportunity of injuring them (see above, p. 385f., and the comments on 2 Samuel 8:2). From his youth, i.e., from the time when Moab, after subduing the Emims (Deuteronomy 2:10), had established himself in his own land, or had become enrolled among the nations of history, - from that time forward had he remained undisturbed in his own land, i.e., without being driven out of it, had not gone into captivity (as is shown by the figure of the wine poured from one vessel into another). In this way there is a qualification made of the general statement that he remains at rest on his lees, and undisturbed. For Moab has often carried on wars, and even suffered many defeats, but has never yet been driven from his own land; nor had the temporary dependence on Israel exercised any transforming influence on the ordinary life of the people, for they were simply made tributary. This quiet continuance in the country is to cease. The God of Israel "will send to them cellarmen (Germ. Schrter), who shall bring them out of the cellar" (Germ. ausschroten), as Luther translates Jeremiah 48:12. "Schrter" are men who bring the wine-casks out of the cellar; for "schroten" means to bring out heavy burdens, especially full casks on a strong kind of hand-barrow (Germ. Hebewerkzeug), like a ladder in appearance. צעים (from צעה, to bend, incline) are those who incline a barrel or vessel for the purpose or pouring out its contents. These will not merely empty the vessels, but also break the pitchers; i.e., not merely carry away the Moabites, but also break down their political organization, and destroy their social arrangements.
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