Jeremiah 48:18
You daughter that do inhabit Dibon, come down from your glory, and sit in thirst; for the spoiler of Moab shall come on you, and he shall destroy your strong holds.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(18) Thou daughter that dost inhabit Dibon.—Dibon is mentioned among the cities of Moab in Numbers 21:30; Isaiah 15:2, and as rebuilt by the Gadites in Numbers 33:45. It is prominent in the Moabite Stone inscription as a royal city. In the distribution of the conquered territory it fell to the lot of Reuben (Joshua 13:7; Joshua 13:9), but must afterwards have been retaken by Moab. The “strongholds” indicate a fortress. In Isaiah 15:9 it appears under the form of Dimon, and is there described as abounding in water, the site being probably on the north bank of the Arnon. This last feature gives point to the words of the prophet here. Its waters will not save its inhabitants from the thirst which falls on those who are dragged as captives into exile.

Jeremiah 48:18-25. Thou daughter that dost inhabit Dibon — Thou that art exalted in pride, and rendered effeminate through luxury: Dibon being one of the chief cities of Moab; come down from thy glory, and sit in thirst — Submit to a mean condition, wherein thou shalt feel the want of all the conveniences of life. The Hebrew language expresses a barren land, which yields no sustenance by a thirsty ground, Psalm 63:2; Isaiah 35:7; Ezekiel 19:13. O inhabitant of Aroer — A town in the borders of Moab; stand by the way and espy, &c. — The prophet describes the great concern and fear that were upon them, which made them hearken to every little report that was stirring. Howl and cry — There will be just cause for a general lamentation. Judgment is come upon the plain country, &c. — The inhabitants of the low grounds have suffered the punishment they deserved. The horn of Moab is cut off — The authority and power of Moab are taken away. This is a metaphorical expression, taken from horned beasts, whose power to defend themselves, and injure other creatures, lies chiefly in their horns. And his arm is broken — His strength is exhausted, the arm of man being the instrument whereby he chiefly discovers his strength.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.Sit in thirst - Jeremiah draws a picture of the conquered inhabitants, collected outside the walls, waiting for their captors to march them away to the slave mart. The enemy occupied with plundering the houses of Dibon thinks little of the hunger and thirst of his prisoners.

Strong holds - The remains of the fortifications of Dibon are still visible.

18. (Isa 47:1).

dost inhabit—now so securely settled as if in a lasting habitation.

thirst—Dibon, being situated on the Arnon, abounded in water (Isa 15:9). In sad contrast with this, and with her "glory" in general, she shall be reduced not only to shame, but to the want of the commonest necessaries ("thirst") in the arid wilderness (Jer 48:6).

Of this

Dibon we read Numbers 21:30. It was a land for cattle, Numbers 32:3. Both Dibon, and Aroer, and Ataroth were built by-the children of Gad, to whose lot it fell, Numbers 32:34, as also to the Reubenites in part, Joshua 13 17. It should seem that the Moabites were now come into the possession of it, either by conquest, or upon the Assyrians taking the ten tribes.

Sit in thirst; it was a place well watered (otherwise it had not been fit for cattle); God threateneth that she should be

in thirst, that is, driven into some dry, barren countries.

For the spoiler of Moab shall come upon thee, and he shall destroy thy strong holds; for the king of Babylon, whom God had appointed to spoil all Moab, shall destroy thee also, and thy strong holds shall not secure thee. Thou daughter that dost inhabit Dibon,.... A city in Moab; See Gill on Isaiah 15:2. The Targum is,

"O kingdom of the congregation of Dibon;''

but this was not a kingdom of itself, though a principal city in the kingdom of Moab:

come down from thy glory, and sit in thirst; in a dry and thirsty land; in want of all the necessaries of life; in captivity; who before abounded with all good things, inhabiting a well watered and fruitful soil; see Isaiah 15:9; but now called to quit all their former glory and happiness, their fulness and felicity, and submit to the greatest straits and difficulties:

for the spoiler of Moab shall come upon thee, and he shall destroy thy strong holds; the king of Babylon and his army, who spoiled the other cities of Moab; he should come against this also, and take it, and demolish its fortifications, by reason of which it thought itself secure; but these should not be able to protect it.

Thou daughter that dost inhabit Dibon, come down from thy glory, and sit in thirst; for the spoiler of Moab shall come upon thee, and he shall destroy thy strong holds.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
18. thou daughter that dwellest (mg. art seated) in Dibon] meaning, inhabitants of Dibon See on Jeremiah 4:11.

Dibon] now Diban (the “Moabite stone” was found there in 1868) stands on two hills. Hence the expression “come down” in the text. It is four miles N. of the Arnon, and thirteen E. of the Dead Sea, and is described as now a dreary and featureless ruin.

sit in thirst] The words are apparently corrupt, but it is difficult to obtain a satisfactory emendation; perhaps sit in mire or filth.Verse 18. - Dibon; now Diban, one of the chief towns of Moab, on two adjacent hills, now covered with ruins (Tristram), in the plain of Medeba (Joshua 13:9), north of Aroer and the Amen. Here the famous Moabite Stone (on which see Dr. Ginsburg's exhaustive monograph), with the inscription of King Mesha (2 Kings 3:4), was found, which, after having been broke up and pieced together, has now found a resting place in the Louvre. It is difficult to say to which Israelitish tribe Dibon was, strictly speaking, attached; for while in Joshua 13:17 it is given to Reuben, in Numbers 32:34 and in the Moabite Stone (line 10) it is assigned to Gad, Apparently the Israelitish population fluctuated. Sometimes Gad was the most adventurous in Occupying Moabitish territory, sometimes Reuben. On the phrase, the daughter, etc., see note on Jeremiah 46:19. The form of the first verse haft is modelled on Isaiah 47:1. Sit in thirst. The expression is unexampled, and it is possible that we should alter one of the vowel points (which constitute no part of the Massoretic text), rendering, "sit in thirsty (ground)," i.e. the dust (comp. the parallel passage; Isaiah 47:1). Or there may be a less used collateral form of the Hebrew for "thirsty" (came). Canon Tristram speaks of the "waterless plain" of Diban ('Land of Moab,' p. 132). Thy strongholds. It appears from the Moabite Stone that Diben was the centre of a district which was reckoned as belonging to it; so at least we may account for the phrase, "all Dibon was submissive" (line 28). Compare the phrase in Numbers 21:25, "Heshbon, and all the villages thereof" (comp. on Jeremiah 49:2). 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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