And judgment is come on the plain country; on Holon, and on Jahazah, and on Mephaath,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)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.
Holon—(Compare Jos 15:51).
Jahazah—(Nu 21:23; Isa 15:4).
Mephaath—(Jos 13:18; 21:37).
"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 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 48:14 : 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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