Jeremiah 48:16
The calamity of Moab is near to come, and his affliction hastens fast.
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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.Near to come - Twenty-three years elapsed between the fourth year of Jehoiakim, when this prophecy was spoken, and its accomplishment by the invasion of Moab five years after the capture of Jerusalem. So slowly does God's justice move onward. 16. near—to the prophet's eye, though probably twenty-three years elapsed between the utterance of the prophecy in the fourth year of Jehoiakim (2Ki 24:2) and its fulfilment in the fifth year of Nebuchadnezzar. Josephus tells us this destruction came upon the Moabites five years after the siege of Jerusalem; but if it were longer, we must consider that he who speaketh is that God to whom a thousand years is but as one day. The calamity of Moab is near to come,.... As it did come within live years after the destruction of Jerusalem, as observed on Jeremiah 48:12; out of Josephus:

and his affliction hasteth fast: or, "his evil" (z) the evil of punishment for his sin; his utter destruction.

(z) "malum ejus", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Calvin, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius, Schmidt.

The calamity of Moab is near to come, and his affliction hasteth fast.
Verse 16. - The calamity of Moab, etc. The form of the verse reminds us of Deuteronomy 32:35; Isaiah 13:22. The 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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