Jeremiah 48:37
For every head shall be bald, and every beard clipped: upon all the hands shall be cuttings, and upon the loins sackcloth.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.Cuttings - Compare Jeremiah 16:6, and marginal references. 37. (See on [985]Jer 47:5; Isa 15:2, 3).

upon all … hands—that is, arms, in which such cuttings used to be made in token of grief (compare Zec 13:6).

These phrases are expounded in the beginning of the following verse, There shall be lamentation generally upon all the house-tops of Moab. Shaving of the hair, and clipping the beards, and cutting themselves, were rites and ceremonies of mourning used by these heathens.

For every head shall be bald, and every beard clipped,.... Men, in times of mourning, used to pluck off the hairs of their head till they made them bald, and shaved their beards; which, as Kimchi says, were the glory of their faces; see Isaiah 15:2;

upon all the hands shall be cuttings: it was usual with the Heathens to make incisions in the several parts of their bodies, particularly in their hands and arms, with their nails, or with knives, in token of mourning; which are forbidden the Israelites, Deuteronomy 14:1;

and upon the loins sackcloth; this is a well known custom for mourners, to put off their clothes, and put on sackcloth; all these things are mentioned, to show how great was the mourning of Moab for the calamities of it.

For every head shall be bald, and every beard clipped: upon all the hands shall be cuttings, and upon the loins sackcloth.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
37. All shall have the usual indications of mourning. See on ch. Jeremiah 16:6.

37, 38. Cp. Isaiah 15:2 f. From “for I have broken” (Jeremiah 48:38) to “upon Moab” (Jeremiah 48:44) is either wholly or in a large part the work of a supplementer.

Verses 37, 38 (first part). - Based on Isaiah 15:2 (latter part), 3 (first part). On the primitive Arabic, Egyptian, and Hebrew custom of cutting off the hair, see on Jeremiah 16:6, and comp. Herod., 2:36. Clipped. The difference from the word in Isaiah is so slight that it may easily have arisen from a copyist. The meaning is virtually the same. Cuttings. So of Philistia (Jeremiah 47:5); see on Jeremiah 16:6. Jeremiah 48:37Jeremiah 48:37 is formed out of pieces taken from Isaiah 15:2-3. קרחה is a substantive, "baldness," i.e., quite bald. גּרוּעה, decurtata, instead of גּדוּעה (in Isaiah), is weaker, but more suitable for the present connection. גּדדת, i.e., cuts or scratches inflicted on the body, as signs of mourning; cf. Jeremiah 16:6; Jeremiah 41:5. כּלּה , "It is all wailing;" nothing is heard but wailing, for God has broken Moab in pieces like a useless vessel. On the simile employed, cf. Jeremiah 22:28.
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