Jeremiah 48:32
O vine of Sibmah, I will weep for you with the weeping of Jazer: your plants are gone over the sea, they reach even to the sea of Jazer: the spoiler is fallen on your summer fruits and on your vintage.
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(32) O vine of Sibmah.—Here again we have an echo of Isaiah 16:9. Sibmah appears in Joshua 13:19 as assigned to the Reubenites, in the region east of Jordan. After that date it does not appear again till we find it in these prophetic notices. Jerome (Comm. in Isa. Jeremiah 5) names it as a strong city about half a mile from Heshbon, but its site has not been identified by modern travellers. It would appear from these notices to have been famous for vineyards that extended to Jazer. The city so named, identified with the modern Es Szir, had belonged to the Amorites (Numbers 21:32, there spelt Jaazer), and lay between Heshbon and Bashan, about fifteen miles north of the former city. It passed afterwards into the possession of the Gadites (Joshua 13:25; 2Samuel 24:5), and was evidently, when the two prophets wrote, in that of the Moabites. The phrase “weeping of Jazer” implies that it was to share in the desolation of Sibmah. The “sea of Jazer” (if the text is right, the LXX. giving “city”) must have been some inland lake or pond, which has not since been identified. The “sea” of the parallel passage of Isaiah 16:8 is commonly interpreted of the Dead Sea. The “summer fruits” were the figs and pomegranates which were commonly cultivated together with the vine.

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.Or, "More than the weeping of Jazer" over its ruined vineyards "will I weep for thee, O vine of Sibmah." Compare the marginal reference. Jazer lies in an upland valley about 15 miles north of Heshbon.

Thy plants ... - "Thy branches are gone over the sea, i. e." the power of Moab is felt even on the western side of the Dead Sea; "they reached etc."

32. with the weeping—with the same weeping as Jazer, now vanquished, wept with for the destruction of its vines. The same calamity shall befall thee, Sibmah, as befell Jazer. The Hebrew preposition here is different from that in Isa 16:9, for which reason Maurer translates, "with more than the weeping of Jazer." English Version understands it of the continuation of the weeping; after they have wept for Jazer, fresh subject of lamentation will present itself for the wasting of the vine-abounding Sibmah.

plants … gone over … sea of Jazer—As the Septuagint reads "cities of Jazer," and as no traces of a lake near Jazer are found, the reading of English Version is doubtful. Retaining the present reading, we avoid the difficulty by translating [Grotius], "Thy plants (that is, citizens: alluding to the 'vine') are gone over the sea (that is, shall be transported beyond the sea to Cyprus, and such distant lands subject to Babylon; and this, too, in summertime), whereas Jazer (that is, the men of Jazer) reached the sea" (shore only, but are not transported beyond the sea); so that worse shall befall thee than befalls Jazer.


We read of this

vine of Sibmah also Isaiah 16:8,9. Both Sibmah and Jahaza were places in the portion of Reuben, Joshua 13:18,19. Sibmah was doubtless a place famous in those days for vines and vineyards. This Jahaza or

Jazer was, as it should seem, first taken and carried into captivity, which caused a great lamentation. The prophet foretells such a weeping for Sibmah as was for Jazer. By plants he means the inhabitants of Sibmah, which he prophesieth should be carried into captivity over the Dead Sea. As an aggravation of the judgment that should come upon them, God, by his prophet, tells them that the spoiler should come upon them in their vintage and harvest time. O vine of Sibmah, I will weep for thee with the weeping of Jazer,.... Sibmah was a city in the land of Moab abounding with vines, but now should be destroyed; and Jazer another city in the same country, which was destroyed before the other; and therefore its destruction should be lamented and wept over, as that had been: or "from", or "after the weeping of Jazer" (h); when that is over, or from thence will I go in course as the desolation proceeds, to weep for Sibmah: or I will weep for that "more than the weeping of Jazer" (i); make a greater lamentation for it than for Jazer; or, as some, than Isaiah made for Jazer; of which see Isaiah 16:9;

thy plants are gone over the sea; the Dead sea; meaning the inhabitants of Sibmah, the governors and common people, who were gone over sea into captivity, as it is generally understood:

they reach even to the sea of Jazer; a lake or confluence of water near to Jazer, called a sea; as it was usual with the Jews to call such seas; as the sea of Tiberias, and the like: this spread of the plants seems to refer to the multitudes of those that belonged to Sibmah, and the villages of it, which extended beyond the Dead sea, even to the sea of Jazer; but as fruitful as this vine was, and extensive as its branches were, they should come to destruction:

the spoiler is fallen upon thy summer fruits, and upon thy vintage: the king of Babylon, who came upon them with his army in the summer season, and at the time of their vintage, and devoured the fruits of their vines and fig trees, with which this country abounded; and so impoverished and ruined them. The Targum of the whole is,

"therefore as I have brought an army against Jazer, so I will bring slayers against Sibmah; they that carry them captive have waded; they have passed through the sea; they are come to the sea of Jazer; upon thy harvest, and upon thy vintage, the spoilers are fallen.''

(h) "a fletu", Pagninus, Montanus, Calvin, Schmidt. (i) "Supra fletum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Gataker.

O vine of Sibmah, I will weep for thee with the weeping of Jazer: thy plants have gone over the sea, they reach even to the sea {s} of Jazer: the spoiler hath fallen upon thy summer fruits and upon thy vintage.

(s) Which city was in the utmost border of Moab: and by this he signifies that the whole land would be destroyed and the people carried away.

32. Based on Isaiah 16:8 f.

With more than the weeping of Jazer] over its ruins, and wasted vineyards. But, by the slightest alteration of MT., we can obtain the reading in Is., viz. with the weeping of Jazer (so too LXX).

O vine of Sibmah] Sibmah was two and a half miles W.N. W., and Jazer was ten miles N. of Heshbon. The grapes of the region of Heshbon are still said to be excellent.

thy branches] thy tendrils.

over the sea] to the W. shore of the Dead Sea. A hyperbolical metaphor to express the great luxuriance of Sibmah’s vines.

the sea of Jazer] “Sea” is an accidental repetition from the previous clause.

thy vintage] Isaiah, whose word differs only by a single letter, has “thy harvest.”

the spoiler] Isaiah has “a shouting.”Verse 32. - Shortened from Isaiah 16:8, 9. With the weeping of Jaser; rather, more than the weeping of Jazer. This may mean either "more than I weep for Jazer" (which is favoured by the insertion of "for thee") or more than Jazer weeps" (for the devastated vineyards of Sibmah); comp. Isaiah, l.c. The site of Jazer is placed by Seetzen between Ramoth (Salt) and Heshbon, where some ruins called Sir are now found. "Sibmah," according to St. Jerome, was not more than half a mile from Heshbon. King Mesha is thought to refer to it under the form Seran, miswritten for Seban (Sebam - so the form should be read - is an Old Testament version of the name; see Numbers 32:3); see inscription on Moabite Stone, line 13. It appears to have been famous for its vineyards; and Seetzen tolls us that grapes and raisins of specially good quality are still carried from the neighbouring Salt to Jerusalem. Thy plants are gone over the sea; rather, thy shoots passed over the sea. The prophet here describes the extensive range of these vines. The northern limit of their culture was Jazer, its southern or western file further shore of "the sea," i.e. the Dead Sea. By a touch of poetic hyperbole the prophet traces the excellence of vines such as those of En-gedi (on the western bank of the Dead Sea) to a Moabitish origin. The reference to the sea of Jazer throws the whole passage into confusion. There is no lake or large pool at present to be found at Jazer, and the simplest explanation is that a scribe repeated the word "sea" by mistake. The true text will then be simply," they reached unto Jazer." The spoiler. Isaiah 16:9 has the more picturesque expression, "the shouting," i.e. the wild battlecry. Moab's haughtiness and deplorable fall. - Jeremiah 48:26. "Make him drunk - for he hath boasted against Jahveh - so that Moab shall splash down into his vomit, and himself become a laughing-stock. Jeremiah 48:27. Was not Israel a laughing-stock to thee, or was he found among thieves? for whenever thou spakest of him, thou didst shake thine head. Jeremiah 48:28. Leave the cities and dwell in the rock, ye inhabitants of Moab; and be ye like a dove [that] builds its nest in the sides of the mouth of a pit. Jeremiah 48:29. We have heard the very arrogant pride of Moab, his haughtiness, and his arrogance, and his high-mindedness, and his elation of mind. Jeremiah 48:30. I know, saith Jahveh, his wrath, and the untruthfulness of his words; they have done what is untrue. Jeremiah 48:31. Therefore will I howl over Moab, and for all Moab will I cry; they mourn for the people of Kir-heres. Jeremiah 48:32. I will weep for thee [with more] than the weeping of Jazer, O vine of Sibmah, thou whose tendrils have gone over the sea, have reached even to the sea of Jazer; on thy fruit-harvest and thy vintage a spoiler has fallen. Jeremiah 48:33. And joy and gladness are taken from the garden, and from the land of Moab; and I have caused wine to fail from the wine-vats: they shall not tread [with] a shout; the shout shall be no shout. Jeremiah 48:34. From the cry of Heshbon as far as Elealeh, as far as Jahaz, they utter their voice; from Zoar as far as Horonaim and the third Eglath; for even the waters of Nimrim shall become desolations. Jeremiah 48:35. And I will destroy from Moab, saith Jahveh, him that offers on a high place and burns incense to his gods."

Through his pride, Moab has incurred the sentence of destruction to his power. In arrogance and rage he has exalted himself over Jahveh and His people Israel; therefore must he now be humbled, Jeremiah 48:26-30. The summons to make Moab drunk is addressed to those whom God has charged with the execution of the sentence; cf. Jeremiah 48:10 and Jeremiah 48:21. These are to present to the people of Moab the cup of the divine wrath, and so to intoxicate them, that they shall fall like a drunk man into his vomit, and become a laughing-stock to others (cf. Jeremiah 13:13; Jeremiah 25:15), because they have boasted against Jahveh by driving the Israelites from their inheritance, and by deriding the people of God; cf. Zephaniah 2:8. ספק, to strike, frequently of striking the hands together; here it signifies to fall into his vomit, i.e., to tumble into it with a splash. No other explanation of the word can find support from the language used. Cf. Isaiah 19:14 and Isaiah 25:10. In the last clause of Jeremiah 48:26, the emphasis lies on גּם הוּא: "he also (Moab, like Israel before) shall become a laughing-stock." This statement is enforced by the question put in Jeremiah 48:27, "Was not Israel a laughing-stock to thee?" ואם־אם shows a double question, like ה־אם; and ואם in the first clause may be further strengthened by the interrogative ה before שׂחק, as in Genesis 17:17. For other forms of the double question, see Psalm 94:9; Job 21:4; Jeremiah 23:26. On Dagesh dirimens in השּׂחק, cf. Ewald, 104, b. There is no sufficient reason for questioning the feminine form נמצאה in the Qeri; Israel is personified as a woman, just as Moab in Jeremiah 48:20, where חתּה is found. On מדּי דב, cf. Jeremiah 31:20, where, however, דּבּר בּ is used in another meaning. התנודד, to shake oneself, is a stronger expression than הניד בּראשׁ, to shake the head (Jeremiah 18:16), a gesture denoting mockery and rejoicing over another's injury; cf. Psalm 64:9.

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