Jeremiah 48:14
How say you, We are mighty and strong men for the war?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14-17) How say ye . . .—In the boast that follows we trace the characteristic pride of Moab. The prophet points to the fact that the pride is brought low. She, too, is subject, like other nations, to invasion and defeat. He summons her people to wail for her overthrow. The “staff” is the sceptre of the ruler, as in Psalm 110:2. The “rod” is the stick with which a man walks (Genesis 32:10; Exodus 12:11), but which may also be used as a weapon. The epithet “beautiful” perhaps points to the splendour of a royal staff or wand of ivory and gold.

48:14-47. The destruction of Moab is further prophesied, to awaken them by national repentance and reformation to prevent the trouble, or by a personal repentance and reformation to prepare for it. In reading this long roll of threatenings, and mediating on the terror, it will be of more use to us to keep in view the power of God's anger and the terror of his judgments, and to have our hearts possessed with a holy awe of God and of his wrath, than to search into all the figures and expressions here used. Yet it is not perpetual destruction. The chapter ends with a promise of their return out of captivity in the latter days. Even with Moabites God will not contend for ever, nor be always wroth. The Jews refer it to the days of the Messiah; then the captives of the Gentiles, under the yoke of sin and Satan, shall be brought back by Divine grace, which shall make them free indeed.Mighty - Heroes, veteran warriors. 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.

How can ye justify what you say, or why say you so, or to what purpose do you brag of your valour? How say ye, we are mighty and strong men for the war? The Moabites were proud, haughty, and arrogant; boasted much of their strength and valour; of the strength of their bodies, and fitness for war, and skill in it; and of the strength of their fortified cities; and thought themselves a match for the enemy, and secure from all danger: for this their pride, vanity, and self-confidence, they are here reproved, since their destruction was at hand. How say ye, We are mighty and strong men for the war?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 14. - We are mighty; rather, we are heroes. The Hebrew is gibborim, the name of David's select warriors (2 Samuel 23:8). The exclamation is designed to represent vividly to the mind the sinful vain glory specially characteristic of Moab. Moab will not be saved from destruction by any trust on their works or on their treasures. The lxx, Vulgate, and Syriac render מעשׂיך by fortresses, hence Ewald would read מעוניך instead; but there is no ground for the change, since the peculiar rendering alluded to has evidently originated from מעשׂה having been confounded with מעוז. Others, as Dahler, refer the word to idols; but these are always designated as מעשׂי יד. Graf translates "property," and points to 1 Samuel 25:2; Exodus 23:16; but this meaning also has really nothing to support it, for מעשׂה in these passages denotes only agriculture and its produce, and the combination of the word with אוצרות in this passage does not require such a rendering. We abide by the common meaning of "doings" or "works," not evil deeds specially (Hitzig), but "all that Moab undertakes." Neither their efforts to maintain and increase their power, nor their wealth, will avail them in any way. They shall be overcome. Moab is addressed as a country or kingdom. לכד, to seize, capture; of a land, to take, conquer. Chemosh, with his priests and princes, shall go into exile. כּמישׁ is perhaps a mere error of the copyist for כּמושׁ, Chemosh, the chief deity of the Moabites and Ammonites, worshipped as a king and the war-god of his people: see on Numbers 21:29. As in the last-named passage the Moabites are called the people of Chemosh, so here, not merely the priests, but also the princes of Moab, are called his priests and his princes. The Kethib יחד is not to be changed, although Jeremiah elsewhere always uses יחדּו, which is substituted in the Qeri; cf. Jeremiah 49:3. In confirmation of this, it is added, in Jeremiah 48:8, that all the cities of Moab, without exception, shall be laid waste, and the whole country, valley and plain, shall be brought to ruin. המּישׁור, "the level," is the table-land stretching from the Arnon to Heshbon, and north-eastwards as far as Rabbath-Ammon, and which originally belonged to the Moabites, hence called "the fields of Moab" in Numbers 21:40; but it was taken from them by the Amorites, and after the conquest of the latter was taken possession of by the Israelites (Deuteronomy 3:10; Deuteronomy 4:43; Joshua 13:9), but at that time had been taken back once more by the Moabites. העמק is the valley of the Jordan, commonly called הערבה, as in Joshua 13:27 and Joshua 13:19; here it is that portion of the valley towards the west which bounds the table-land. אשׁר can only be taken in a causal signification, "because," as in Jeremiah 16:13, or in a relative meaning, quod, or "as."
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