Jeremiah 48:3
A voice of crying shall be from Horonaim, spoiling and great destruction.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) Horonaim—literally, the two caverns, or the two Horons—may imply, like other dual names of towns, that there was an upper and a lower city. It is mentioned in Isaiah 15:5, but has not been identified.

48:1-13. The Chaldeans are to destroy the Moabites. We should be thankful that we are required to seek the salvation of men's lives, and the salvation of their souls, not to shed their blood; but we shall be the more without excuse if we do this pleasant work deceitfully. The cities shall be laid in ruins, and the country shall be wasted. There will be great sorrow. There will be great hurry. If any could give wings to sinners, still they could not fly out of the reach of Divine indignation. There are many who persist in unrepented iniquity, yet long enjoy outward prosperity. They had been long corrupt and unreformed, secure and sensual in prosperity. They have no changes of their peace and prosperity, therefore their hearts and lives are unchanged, Ps 55:19.Omit shall be. "Spoiling and great destruction," literally breaking, is the cry heard from Horonaim Isaiah 15:5. 3. Horonaim—the same as the city Avara, mentioned by Ptolemy. The word means "double caves" (Ne 2:10; Isa 15:5). Another city of Moab, mentioned only in this place, and in Isaiah 15:5. Some think it the same with Horon, where Sanballat was born, Nehemiah 2:10 13:28. The prophet threatens also ruin and destruction to this city. A voice of crying shall be from Horonaim,.... Another city of Moab. The word is of the dual number; and, according to Kimchi and Ben Melech, there were two Horons, the upper and the lower; of this place See Gill on Isaiah 15:5; this also should be destroyed; and so a cry of the inhabitants of it should be heard out of it:

spoiling, and great destruction; because the city was spoiled, and a great destruction made in the inhabitants and riches of it.

A voice of crying shall be from Horonaim, spoiling and great destruction.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 3. - Horonaim. This Moabite town was probably on the borders of Edom; hence, perhaps, "Sanballat the Horonite." "Thus saith Jahveh: Behold, waters shall rise up out of the north, and shall become an inundating stream, and they shall inundate the land and its fulness, cities and those who dwell in them; and men shall cry, and all the inhabitants of the land shall howl. Jeremiah 47:3. Because of the sound of the trampling of the hoofs of his strong horses, because of the din of his chariots, the noise of his wheels, fathers to not look back to their children from weakness of hands; Jeremiah 47:4. Because of the day that cometh to destroy all the Philistines, to cut off from Tyre and Zidon every one remaining as a helper; for Jahveh destroyeth the Philistines, the remnant of the coast of Caphtor. Jeremiah 47:5. Baldness is come upon Gaza; Ashkelon is destroyed, the rest of their plain. How long wilt thou cut thyself? Jeremiah 47:6. O sword of Jahveh, how long wilt thou not rest? Draw thyself back into thy sheath; rest, and be still. Jeremiah 47:7. How canst thou be quiet, when Jahveh hath commanded thee? Against Ashkelon and against the sea-coast, there hath He appointed it."

The address opens with a figure. The hostile army that is to devastate Philistia is represented as a stream of water, breaking forth from the north, and swelling to an overflowing winter-torrent, that inundates the country ad cities with their inhabitants. The figure is often used: cf. Jeremiah 46:7-8, where the Egyptian host is compared to the waves of the Nile; and Isaiah 8:7, where the Assyrian army is likened to the floods of the Euphrates. The simile is applied here in another way. The figure is taken from a strong spring of water, coming forth in streams out of the ground, in the north, and swelling to an overflowing winter-torrent, that pours out its floods over Philistia, laying it waste. "From the north" is used here as in Jeremiah 46:20, and points back to Jeremiah 1:13-14. "An inundating stream" is here employed as in Isaiah 30:20; "earth and its fulness, a city and those who dwell in it," as in Isaiah 8:16. In Jeremiah 47:3 follows the application of the figure. It is a martial host that overflows the land, and with its mighty noise puts the inhabitants in such terror that they think only of a hasty flight; even fathers do not turn back to save their children. שׁעטהἅπ. λεγ., Syriac se‛aṭ, incedere, gradi, hence probably the stamping of hoofs. אבּירים, strong horses, as in Jeremiah 8:16. לרכבּו, instead of the construct state, has perhaps been chosen only for the sake of introducing a variation; cf. Ewald, 290, a. הפנה, to turn the back, as in Jeremiah 46:5. "Slackness of hands," i.e., utter loss of courage through terror; cf. Jeremiah 6:24 (the form רפיון only occurs here). In Jeremiah 47:4 the deeper source of fear is mentioned; "because of the day," i.e., because the day has come to destroy all the Philistines, namely, the day of the judgment determined by the Lord; cf. Jeremiah 46:10. "In order to destroy every remnant helping Tyre and Zidon." שׂריד עזר are the Philistines, who could afford help to the Phoenicians in the struggle against the Chaldean power. This implies that the Phoenicians also shall perish without any one to help them. This indirect mention of the Phoenicians appears striking, but it is to be explained partly on the ground that Jeremiah has uttered special prophecies only against the chief enemies of Judah, and partly also perhaps from the historical relations, i.e., from the fact that the Philistines might have afforded help to the Phoenicians in the struggles against the great powers of the world. Hitzig unnecessarily seeks to take לצר וּלצידון as the object, and to expunge כּל־שׂריד עזר as a gloss. The objections which he raises against the construction are groundless, as is shown by such passages as Jeremiah 44:7; Isaiah 14:22; 1 Kings 14:10, etc. "The remaining helper" is the expression used, because the other nations that could help the Egyptians, viz., the Syrians and Phoenicians, had already succumbed to the Chaldean power. The destruction will be so great as this, because it is Jahveh who destroys the Philistines, the remnant of the coast of Caphtor. According to Amos 9:7; Deuteronomy 2:23, the Philistines came from Caphtor; hence שׁארית אי can only mean "what still remains of the people of Philistia who come from the coat of Caphtor," like "the remnant of the Philistines" in Amos 1:8. Opinions are divided as to Caphtor. The prevailing view is that of Lakemacher, that Caphtor is the name of the island of Crete; but for this there are no tenable grounds: see on Zephaniah 2:5; and Delitzsch on Genesis, S. 248, Aufl. 4. Dietrich (in Merx' Archiv. i. S. 313ff.) and Ebers (Aegypten u. die Bcher Moses, i. S. 130ff.) agree in thinking that Caphtor is the shore of the Delta, but they explain the name differently. Dietrich derives it from the Egyptian Kah-pet-Hôr (district of Hor), which he takes to be the environs of the city of Buto, and the lake called after it (the modern Burlos), not far from the Sebennytic mouth of the Nile; Ebers, following the tablet of Canopus, in which the Egyptian name Kfa (Kaf) is given as that of Phoenicia, derives the name from Kaf-t-ur, i.e., the great Kefa, as the ancient seat of the Phoenicians on the shore of the Delta must have been called. But both explanations are still very doubtful, though there is no question about the migration of the Philistines from Egypt into Canaan.

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