Jeremiah 48:24
And upon Kerioth, and upon Bozrah, and upon all the cities of the land of Moab, far or near.
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(24) Kerioth.—The name, plural in form (= cities), has been identified by Mr. Porter (Five Years, &c, ii. 191-198) with Kureiyeh, a ruined town lying not far from Buzrah, identified with the Bozrah that is coupled with it here, in the Haûran. These are, however, some sixty miles north of Heshbon, and this has been thought adverse to the identification. On the other hand, the expression “far and near” indicates that Jeremiah takes in the more distant cities to which the power of Moab may have extended. From the mention of “the palaces of Kirioth” in Amos 2:2, it appears to have been a place of importance. Mr. Grove (art. Kerioth in Smith’s Dict. Bible) suggests its possible identity with Kureiyat, not far from Dibon and Beth-meon.

Bozrah.—The name (= fortification) is familiar as belonging to the more famous city of Edom (Jeremiah 49:13). The Moabite town, identified as above with the Buzrah of the Haûran, appears in 1 Maccabees 5:26 as Bosora, one of the towns of Galaad or Gilead, and in Roman history as Bostra, the birthplace of the Emperor Philip, known as the Arabian.

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.Kerioth - A synonym of Ar, the old capital of Moab. It appears to have been a considerable place, and has been identified with El-Korriat, situated on the long ridge of Mount Attarus.

Bozrah - Probably the Bosora mentioned in 1 Macc. 5:26 in company with Bosor, i. e., Bezer. Since the word means sheepfolds, it was no doubt a common name for places in this upland region, fit only for pasturage.

24. Kerioth—(Jos 15:25; Am 2:2).

Bozrah—(See on [979]Isa 34:6); at one time under the dominion of Edom, though belonging originally to Moab (Ge 36:33; Isa 63:1). Others think the Bozrah in Edom distinct from that of Moab. "Bezer" (Jos 21:36).

God threateneth vengeance to come upon all Moab, which had great plains, Numbers 31:12 33:48. For the names of these cities, and those mentioned Jeremiah 48:22-24, some of them we read of in other places of holy writ; others we read not of, neither is it material for us to know their situation; they are not at this day to be known by their old names: they are all here mentioned as cities at this time belonging to the Moabites, to whom this vengeance is threatened, and not to them only, but to all other cities of the land of Moab wherever situate.

And upon Kerioth,.... Which once belonged to the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:25; from this place Judas Iscariot is by some thought to have his name; as if it was "Ish Kerioth", "a man of Kerioth". Grotius takes it to be the Goiratha of Ptolemy:

and upon Bozrah; not in Idumea, but in Moab; the same with Bezer, Joshua 21:36;

and upon all the cities of the land of Moab, for and near; all the rest of the cities not named, whether nearer or farther off from Aroer.

And upon Kerioth, and upon Bozrah, and upon all the cities of the land of Moab, far or near.
24. Kerioth] This may be another name for Ar of Moab (Numbers 21:28). See on Amos 2:2, C.B. Both nouns have city for their primary sense.

Bozrah] probably the Bezer of Deuteronomy 4:43; Joshua 20:8; Joshua 21:36. The B. of Jeremiah 49:13 was in Edom.

Verse 24. - Kerioth. Perhaps a synonym of Ar, the old capital of Moab (Isaiah 15:1). Hence in Amos 2:2, "I will send a fire upon Moab, and it shall devour the palaces of Kerioth." Bozrah. The capital at one time of the Edomites (see Jeremiah 49:13). The ownership of particular cities varied from. time to time in this contested region. Far or near; i.e. towards the frontier or inland. Jeremiah 48:24In 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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