We have heard the pride of Moab, (he is exceeding proud) his loftiness, and his arrogance, and his pride, and the haughtiness of his heart.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)We have heard the pride of Moab . . .—It will be seen that here and in the next verse the very words of Isaiah (Isaiah 16:6) are reproduced. The prophet seems to find a pleasure in going back to the old words as showing that the fault of which he spoke was inveterate, and had shown itself incurable. It is, however, a free reproduction, and Jeremiah, instead of making the whole utterance that of the Jews, inserts the words, “I know his wrath, saith the Lord,” which come as an oracle from God, affirming the judgment of the people.Jeremiah 48:29; Jeremiah 48:39. We have heard the pride of Moab — The several synonymous terms made use of in this verse are meant to express the great pride and insolence of Moab. Though some of these terms are not found in the parallel passage, (Isaiah 16:6,) yet in the main they agree therewith; and “while they describe the overweening pride and haughtiness of Moab, and the intemperance of his rage, they intimate the small pretensions he had for such high assuming, either in respect of the extent of his power, or his actual performances.” I know his wrath — Hebrew, עברתו, his fierce wrath, or rage; but it shall not be so — He shall not be able to execute it, or bring to pass what he thinks to do: his power shall not be equal to his malice. His lies shall not so effect it — Or rather, have not so effected, the verb being in the past time. But this latter part of the sentence seems more properly rendered by Blaney, thus: “But he is not alike,” (that is, equal to his wrath and threats,) “in the extent of his ability he is not alike in performing.”Jeremiah 4:29. The sole chance of escape is refuge in inaccessible fastnesses.Isaiah 16:6, &c., concerning Moab, very little differing from this: Isaiah lived some years before this prophet, who yet complaineth of them for the same sins, so as they were not at all reformed. God saith he had heard of their pride and arrogancy; a vice which commonly attendeth ease and prosperity, and is exceeding odious in the sight of God, so as a wicked man is often in Scripture set out under the notion of a proud man. Jeremiah 48:30; and who here speaks in the plural number, because of the plurality of persons in the Godhead; as he afterwards does in the singular number, to denote the unity of the divine essence:
(he is exceeding proud) his loftiness, and his arrogancy, and his pride, and the haughtiness of his heart; a heap of words to express the same thing; suggesting that the instances of his pride were many, and that it was exceeding great indeed: these many words were little enough; and indeed words were wanting fully to declare it. The same was observed in Isaiah's time, and in much the same language; only more words are here used, to show that his pride was increased since that time; see Isaiah 16:6.We have heard the pride of Moab, (he is exceeding proud) his loftiness, and his arrogancy, and his pride, and the haughtiness of his heart.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)29, 30. Expanded from Isaiah 16:6. For pride as a characteristic of Moab cp. Isaiah 25:11; Zephaniah 2:8-10.
29–39. See introd. summary to the ch. The passage may contain some Jeremianic matter, but on the whole is late (see also on Jeremiah 48:37-38) and borrowed to a large extent from Is. 15., 16. (chs. which are perhaps earlier than Isaiah’s time and republished by him. See Skinner, C.B. ad loc.).Verses 29, 30. - These verses are an expansion of Isaiah 16:6. The boastfulness of Moab seems to have much impressed its Israelitish neighbours (comp. vers. 14, 27). It has been thought to be illustrated by the inscription on the Moabite Stone; but we must remember that all national monuments of this sort have a tendency to exaggeration. Verse 29. - We have heard; viz. the prophet and his countrymen. 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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