There shall be lamentation generally on all the housetops of Moab, and in the streets thereof: for I have broken Moab like a vessel wherein is no pleasure, said the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Upon all the housetops of Moab.—The flat roof of Eastern houses was the natural gathering place of men in a time of panic and distress, as it was, in a time of peace, for prayer or meditation, or even for festive meetings. So in Isaiah 22:1, the city described as “the valley of vision” (Samaria or Jerusalem) is represented as “gone up to the house tops.”
I have broken Moab like a vessel wherein is no pleasure.—The image is one with which the prophet had made men familiar by his symbolic act in Jeremiah 19:10. So Coniah was “a vessel wherein is no pleasure” (Jeremiah 22:28).Jeremiah 22:28. The meaning is, I have broken Moab all to pieces, as people use to do vessels they care not for; they never go about to mend such a vessel, but dash it in pieces against some stones or walls.
upon all the house tops of Moab, and in the streets thereof; the mourning, as it was general, it was public; it was seen by all, and everywhere; See Gill on Isaiah 15:3;
for I have broken Moab like a vessel wherein is no pleasure, saith the Lord; as an earthen vessel, which the potter does not like, and which is useless and unprofitable to any, and which he takes and dashes into pieces; into a thousand shivers, as the word (o) here signifies, and can never be put together again; or as a filthy unclean vessel a man cannot bear in his sight: Moab is by the Lord called his wash pot, Psalm 60:8. The Moabites were vessels of wrath, fitted for destruction by their own this; and now the time of it was come.There shall be lamentation generally upon all the housetops of Moab, and in the streets thereof: for I have broken Moab like a vessel wherein is no pleasure, saith the LORD.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)38. vessel, etc.] See on Jeremiah 22:28.Verse 38. - Lamentation generally; literally, all of it is lamentation; i.e. nothing else is to be heard. Like a vessel, etc. For this figure, see on ch. 22:28 (Jeremiah repeats himself). Isaiah 16:9. According to the Onomasticon, Jazer was fifteen Roman miles north from Heshbon. Seetzen recognises it in the ruins called es Szir at the source of the Nahr Szir; see on Numbers 21:32. According to Jerome, on Isaiah 16:8, Sibmah was only five hundred paces from Heshbon; see on Numbers 32:38. Judging from the verse now before us, and from Isa. l.c., the vines of Sibmah must have been famed for the strength and excellence of their clusters. Even now, that region produces excellent grapes in abundance. From Szalt, which lies only ten miles north from Szir, raisins and grapes are carried to Jerusalem, and these of excellent quality (Seetzen, i. S. 399; Burckhardt, p. 350). In what follows, "his tendrils crossed the sea," etc., the extensive cultivation of the grape is set forth under the figure of a vine whose tendrils stretch out on all sides. "They have crossed over the sea" has reference in Isaiah (Isaiah 16:8) to the Dead Sea (ים, as in Psalm 68:23; 2 Chronicles 20:2); not merely, however, in the sense of the shoots reaching close to the Dead Sea, but also over it, for Engedi was famed for its vines (Sol 1:14). Jeremiah also has reproduced the words taken from Isaiah in this sense. From the following clause, "they reached to the sea of Jazer," it does not follow that he has specified "the sea" by "Jazer." What tells rather the other way is the fact that עבר, which means to cross over, cannot possibly be used as equivalent to נגע עד, "to reach to." "They crossed over the sea" shows extension towards the west, while "they reached to the sea of Jazer" indicates extension towards the north. This latter statement also is an imitation of what we find in Isaiah 16:8; and "Jazer" is merely further specified as "the sea of Jazer." In spite of the most diligent inquiries, Seetzen (i. S. 406) could learn nothing from the people of that region regarding an inland lake; but in the beautiful green vale in the vicinity of Szr (i.e., Jazer) there were several ponds, which he supposes may possibly be the mare Jazer, since this valley lying among the mountains is somewhat depressed, and in ancient times was probably filled with water. The "sea" (ים) of Solomon's temple further shows that ים does not necessarily denote only a large lake, but might also be applied to a large artificial basin of water. So also, at the present day, the artificial water-basins on the streets of Damascus are called baharat, "seas;" cf. Wetzstein in Delitzsch on Isaiah 16:8. This cultivation of the vine is at an end; for the destroyer has fallen upon the fruit-harvest and the vintage. Jeremiah, by "the destroyer has fallen," explains the words of Isaiah (Isaiah 16:9), "shouting has fallen." - In Jeremiah 48:33, Isaiah 16:10 is reproduced. "Joy and gladness are taken away from the gardens, and from the whole land of Moab." כּרמל is not here a proper name, for Mount Carmel does not at all suit the present context; it is an appellative, fruit-land, i.e., the fruitful wine-country near Jazer. Jeremiah adds, "and from the land (i.e., the whole land) of Moab." The pressing of the grapes comes to an end; there is no wine in the vat; no longer is the wine pressed with "Hedad." הידד is an adverbial accusative. This is further specified by the oxymoron: a "Hedad, and yet not a Hedad." This word generally signifies any loud shout, - not merely the shout of the wine-pressers as they tread the grapes (see on Jeremiah 25:30), but also a battle-cry; cf. Jeremiah 51:14. Hence the meaning is, "Hedad is heard, but not a merry shout of the wine-pressers."
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