Jeremiah 48:21
And judgment is come upon the plain country; upon Holon, and upon Jahazah, and upon Mephaath,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(21) And judgment is come upon the plain country . . .—We enter here upon a list of less known names, of which Jahaz, Beth-diblathaim, Beth-Baal-meon are found on the Moabite Stone inscription (Records of the Past, xi. 165-168). Holon does not appear elsewhere. Jahazah (under the form Jahaz) appears in Numbers 21:23; Deuteronomy 2:32; Judges 11:20, as the scene of a famous battle between Sihon and the Israelites, and in Isaiah 15:4 in connexion with Heshbon and Elealeh. Mephaath was assigned to the Reubenites (Joshua 13:18), and afterwards to the Levites (Joshua 21:37; 1Chronicles 6:79), but it had clearly fallen afterwards into the hands of the Moabites. Like the other cities named, it was in the Mishor, or “plain,” on the north of the Arnon.

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.Holon - This place apparently took its name from caverns in its neighborhood. 21. plain—(Jer 48:8). Not only the mountainous regions, but also the plain, shall be wasted.

Holon—(Compare Jos 15:51).

Jahazah—(Nu 21:23; Isa 15:4).

Mephaath—(Jos 13:18; 21:37).

No text from Poole on this verse.

And judgment is come upon the plain country,.... Of Moab, which was for the most part such, especially that which lay near Arnon; the judgment of God's vengeance, punishment for sin, by the hand of the Chaldeans. The Targum is,

"they that execute vengeance are come:''

upon Holon; a city of Moab; of which see Joshua 15:51; it had its name perhaps from the sandy ground on which it stood. Grotius takes it to be the Alabana of Ptolemy:

and upon Jahazah: the same with Jahaz; see Gill on Isaiah 15:4; reckoned by Grotius to be the Jadu of Ptolemy; see Joshua 13:18;

and upon Mephaath; of which see Joshua 13:18; said by Grotius to be the Maipha of Ptolemy.

And judgment is come upon the plain country; upon Holon, and upon Jahazah, and upon Mephaath,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
21. the plain country] See Jeremiah 48:8.

Holon] not known. It is not the H. near Hebron of Joshua 15:51; Joshua 21:15.

Jahzah] one of the Levitical cities (the Jahaz of Joshua 21:36). There Moses defeated Sihon (Numbers 21:23).

Mephaath] also a Levitical city (Joshua 21:37). Both M. and Jahzah were in Reuben’s territory.

Verse 21. - The plain country. The mishor (see on ver. 8). Holon is not known from other sources. Jahazah (called Jahaz in ver. 34), according to Eusebius, still existed in his days, and lay between Medeba and Dibon. Like Heshbon and Dibon, it was claimed by the Reubenites (Joshua 13:18), and Mesha, in the famous inscription, states that the then King of Israel (Jehoram) "fortified Jahaz and dwelt in it, when he fought against me" (lines 18, 19). This was a great but only a temporary success, for Mesha adds that "Chemosh drove him out before me" (line 19). Mephaath was apparently near Jahaz, since it is always mentioned with that town (Joshua 13:18; Joshua 21:37; 1 Chronicles 6:79). Jeremiah 48:21In Jeremiah 48:21-24 the general idea of Moab's being laid waste is specialized by the enumeration of a long list of towns on which judgment has come. They are towns of ארץ המּישׁור, the table-land to the north of the Arnon, the names of which early all occur in the Pentateuch and Joshua as towns in the tribe of Reuben. But Holon is mentioned only here. According to Eusebius, in the Onomasticon, s.v. ̓Ιεσσά, Jahzah was situated between Μηδαβῶν (Medeba) and Δηβοῦς (Dibon); according to Jerome, between Medeba and Debus, or Deblathai; but from Numbers 21:23, we conclude that it lay in an easterly direction, on the border of the desert, near the commencement of the Wady Wale. Mophaath or Mephaath, where, according to the Onomasticon, a Roman garrison was placed, on account of the near proximity of the desert, is to be sought for in the neighbourhood of Jahzah; see on Joshua 13:18. As to Dibon, see on Jeremiah 48:18; for Nebo, see on Jeremiah 48:1. Beth-diblathaim is mentioned only in this passage. It is probably identical with Almon-diblathaim, Numbers 33:46, and to be sought for somewhere north from Dibon. For Kirjahthaim see Jeremiah 48:1. Beth-gamul is nowhere else mentioned; its site, too, is unknown. Eli Smith, in Robinson's Palestine, iii. App. p. 153, is inclined to recognise it in the ruins of Um-el-Jemel, lying on the southern boundary of the Hauran, about twenty miles south-west from Bozrah; but a consideration of the position shows that they cannot be the same. Beth-meon, or Baal-meon (Numbers 32:38), or more fully, Beth-baal-meon (Joshua 13:17), lay about three miles south from Heshbon, where Burckhardt (p. 365) found some ruins called Mi-n (Robinson, iii. App. p. 170, Ma-n); see on Numbers 32:38. Kerioth, Jeremiah 48:24 and Jeremiah 48:41, and Amos 2:2, is not to be identified with the ruins called Kereyath or Kreiyath, mentioned by Burckhardt (p. 367) and Seetzen (Reisen, ii. 342, iv. 384), as Ritter has assumed; for this Kereyath is more probably Kirjathaim (see on Jeremiah 48:1). Rather, as is pretty fully proved by Dietrich (in Merx' Archiv. i. 320ff.), it is a synonym of Ar, the old capital of Moab, Numbers 22:36; and the plural form is to be accounted for by supposing that Ar was made up of two or several large portions. We find two great arguments supporting this position: (1.) When Ar, the capital, occurs among the names of the towns of Moab, as in the list of those in Reuben, Joshua 13:16-21, and in the prophecy against Moab in Isaiah, Jeremiah 15 and 16, where so many Moabitic towns are named, we find no mention of Kerioth; and on the other hand, where Kerioth is named as an important town in Moab, Amos 2:2; Jeremiah 48:1, there is no mention of Ar. (2.) Kerioth is mentioned as an important place in the country in Amos 2:2, where, from the whole arrangement of the prophecy, it can only be the capital of Moab; in this present chapter also, Jeremiah 48:24, Kerioth and Bozrah are introduced as two very important towns which maintained the strength of Moab; and immediately afterwards it is added, "The horn of Moab is cut off," etc. Further, in Jeremiah 48:41 the capture of Kerioth is put on a level with the taking of the fortresses; while it is added, that the courage of the mighty men has failed, just as in Jeremiah 49:22 the capture of Bozrah is coupled with the loss of courage on the part of Edom's heroes. Bozrah is not to be confounded with Bozrah in Edom (Jeremiah 49:13), nor with the later flourishing city of Bostra in Hauran: it is the same with Bezer (בּצר), which, according to Deuteronomy 4:43 and Joshua 20:8, was situated in the Mishor of the tribe of Reuben, but has not yet been discovered; see on Deuteronomy 4:43. For the purpose of completing the enumeration, it is further added, "all the towns of the land of Moab, those which are far off (i.e., those which are situated towards the frontier) and those which are near" (i.e., the towns of the interior, as Kimchi has already explained). Thereby the horn of Moab is cut off, and his arm broken. Horn and arm are figures of power: the horn an emblem of power that boldly asserts itself, and pushes down all that opposes (cf. Psalm 75:5, 11); the arm being rather an emblem of dominion.
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