Jeremiah 48:13
And Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh, as the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel their confidence.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) Beth-el their confidence.—The name of the sanctuary stands for the golden calf that was worshipped there as the symbol of Jehovah (1Kings 12:29; Amos 7:10). That worship had been put to shame in the captivity of the Ten Tribes. So also should it be with the Chemosh-worship of Moab.

Jeremiah 48:13-17. And Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh, &c. — They shall be disappointed in their expectations of succour from their tutelary idol, as the ten tribes have been in the trust they reposed in the calf they worshipped at Bethel. Moab is spoiled, and gone up out of her cities — The words out of are not in the Hebrew; therefore some render this clause, Moab is spoiled, and the cities to which she ascended; that is, those situated on high eminences. All ye that are about him bemoan him — His calamities are so great as must needs make all who see him, or have heard of his former fame and glory, bewail his misfortunes. How is the strong staff broken — A staff, or rod, is an emblem of authority, and thence comes to signify a kingdom, or government, especially such a one as oppresses its subjects, or neighbours, Isaiah 9:4; Isaiah 10:5.

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.Israel was ashamed of Beth-el - After Salmaneser had carried Israel away, they could trust no longer in the calf of Bethel established by Jeroboam. 13. ashamed—have the shame of disappointment as to the hopes they entertained of aid from Chemosh, their idol.

Beth-el—(1Ki 12:27, 29)—that is, the golden calf set up there by Jeroboam.

It is a natural and a penal shame which is here spoken of; we are naturally ashamed when we have reposed a great confidence in, and made great boasts of, a thing which, when it comes to be tried, proveth of no use, but mischievous to us.

Chemosh was their great idol, in which the Moabites had great confidence, and of which they boasted; the prophet tells them they should be ashamed of this idol, or for this idol; as the Israelites, that is, the ten tribes, were ashamed of or for the golden calves, which Jeroboam set up at Dan and Beth-el, which were the cause of ruin to those tribes. Confidences in any thing but in God alone in a time of danger will bring both natural and penal shame.

And Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh,.... His idol; see Jeremiah 48:7; of his worship of him, prayers to him, and confidence in him; he not being able to save him from the destruction of the Chaldeans, and being carried captive by them; he himself also going into captivity:

as the house of Israel were ashamed of Bethel their confidence; that is, of the golden calf that was set up in Bethel by Jeroboam, and which the ten tribes of Israel worshipped, and in which they trusted; but that could not save them from being carried captive by the Assyrians; and so were ashamed of it, and of their idolatrous worship, and vain confidence.

And Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh, as the house of Israel was ashamed of {k} Bethel their confidence.

(k) As the calf of Bethel was not able to deliver the Israelites no more will Chemosh deliver the Moabites.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13. shall be ashamed] See on Jeremiah 2:26.

was ashamed of Beth-el their confidence] Bethel was the southern seat of Jeroboam’s idolatrous worship. But Israel found their confidence in the worship there misplaced, when Shalmaneser carried them away. Cp. Amos 5:5. Pe. remarks that the mention of Bethel and not Jerusalem in this connexion is a noteworthy proof that this ch. contains a pre-exilic element.

Verse 13. - Ashamed of Bethel; i.e. of the golden calf or bull at Bethel, set up by Jeroboam I. as a symbol of the strong God, Jehovah. This idolatry was odious to the prophetic teachers of a nobler and more spiritual form of religion. They saw that the deity and the symbol were too much confounded, and that such a religion would not save its adherents from captivity and ruin (comp. Hosea 10:15; Amos 3:14; Amos 5:5, 6). Jeremiah 48:13In this way Moab will come to dishonour through his god Chemosh, i.e., experience his powerlessness and nothingness, and perish with him, just as Israel (the ten tribes) came to dishonour through Bethel, i.e., through their golden calf at Bethel. As to the form מבטחם, with Segol in the pretone, cf. Ewald, 70, a; Olshausen, Gram. S. 377. Moab will then be no longer able to boast of his valour; this is the meaning of the question in Jeremiah 48:14 : on this term in the address, cf. Jeremiah 2:23; Jeremiah 8:8. In Jeremiah 48:15 it is further stated that the result will show this: "Moab is laid waste." ועריה עלה is variously interpreted. An explanation which has met with much acceptance, but which nevertheless is really untenable, is founded on Judges 20:40 ("The whole city went up towards heaven" i.e., in smoke and fire): "As for his cities, fire or smoke ascends;" but there is no mention here either of smoke or fire. Kimchi long ago came near the truth when he sought to find the subject שׁדד in shudad שׁדּד: "and the devastator comes against his cities." However, the contrast between עלה and ירדוּ is not fully brought out in this way: it is better to leave the subject indeterminate: "and his cities they climb" (Kueper), or: "they go up to his cities" (Bttcher, Neue Aehrenlese, ii. 163). The enemy who mounts the cities is evidently intended. The change שׁדּד into שׁדד is both unnecessary and unsuitable; but J. D. Michaelis, Ewald, Dahler, Graf, after making the alteration, translate, "The destroyer of Moab and of his cities draws near." Hitzig justly remarks, in opposition to this conjecture: "There is nothing to justify the mere placing of the subject at the head of the sentence (contrast Jeremiah 48:8, Jeremiah 48:18); besides, one does not see why the cities of Moab are distinguished from Moab itself; and cf. 20b." ירד לבּטח, "to sink down to the slaughter," cf. Jeremiah 50:27; and on this use of ירד, Isaiah 34:7. The enemy ascends into the cities, the young soldiers of Moab descend to the shambles. This threatening is enforced by the addition, "saith the King," etc. Jahveh is called the King, in contrast with the belief of the Moabites, that their god Chemosh was the king of his people (see on Jeremiah 48:7). The true King of the Moabites also is Jahveh, the God of hosts, i.e., the Ruler of the whole world.
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