Jeremiah 48:4
Moab is destroyed; her little ones have caused a cry to be heard.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) Her little ones.—The Hebrew adjective is the same as the Zoar, the little one, of Genesis 19:20, and that city may probably have been, as in Isaiah 15:5, in the prophet’s mind. In any case the “little ones” are cities, and not children.

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.Moab - Probably the city elsewhere called Ar-Moab. See the Septuagint of this verse. 4. little ones … cry—heightening the distress of the scene. The foe does not spare even infants. Moab was both the name of the whole country, and of a principal city in it. Some by it here understand the city; by her

little ones some understand little children; others, inferior magistrates, or the common people.

Moab is destroyed,.... Either the whole nation in general; so the Targum,

"the kingdom of Moab is broken;''

and so Abarbinel; or a city so called, which some take to be the city Areopolis. Jerom (g) says, that Moab is a city of Arabia, now called Areopolis; and which also has the name of Rabbathmoab, or "grand Moab";

her little ones have caused a cry to be heard; seeing their parents killed, and they left desolate, and in the hands of the enemy; and not only so, but just going to be dashed in pieces by them. The Targum interprets it, her governors; and so Jarchi, who thinks they are so called, because they are lesser than kings. Kimchi and Ben Melech suggest, that these are called so by way of contempt. The word "tzeir" signifies both "little" and "great", as the learned Pocock (h) has abundantly proved.

(g) De locis Heb. fol. 87. H. & 93. B. (h) Not. Miscell. in Port. Mosis, p. 17, 18.

Moab is destroyed; her little ones have caused a cry to be heard.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4. her little ones have caused a cry to be heard] Read rather, with LXX, they make a cry to be heard unto Zoar (S.E. of the Dead Sea). The point then is that the cry extends throughout Moab from N. to S. Cp. Isaiah 15:5, from which also Jeremiah 48:5 is mainly taken.

4, 5. Both these vv. are probably later than Jeremiah.

Verse 4. - Moab is destroyed. The mention of Moab in the midst of towns is certainly surprising. We should expect Ar-Moab. Her little ones. The received text, as it stands, is untranslatable, and our choice lies between the correction suggested by the vowel points, and the reading of the Septuagint and a few of the extant Hebrew manuscripts, "unto Zoar." In favour of the latter, which is adopted by Ewald and Graf, it may he urged that Zoar and Horenaim are mentioned together, not only in ver. 34, but also in Isaiah 15:5, which has evidently been imitated in the following verse. It is not quite clear what "her little ones" in the first mentioned correction mean. Some think, the children; others, the poor; Hitzig prefers the small towns of Moab. On the site of "Zoar," see Smith's 'Dictionary of the Bible,' but compare Canon Tristram in 'The Land of Moab.' Jeremiah 48:4A cry is heard from Horonaim against violence and destruction. The words שׁד ושׁב are to be taken as the cry itself; cf. Jeremiah 4:20; Jeremiah 20:8. The city of Horonaim, mentioned both here and in Isaiah 15:5 in connection with Luhith, lay on a slope, it would seem, not far from Luhith. Regarding this latter place we find it remarked in the Onomasticon: est usque hodie vicus inter Areopolim et Zoaram nomine Luitha (Λουειθά). As to ̓Ωροναείμ, the Onomasticon says no more than πόλις Μωὰβ ὲν ̔Ιερεμίᾳ (ed. Lars. p. 376). The destruction over which the outcry is made comes on Moab. By "Moab" Graf refuses to understand the country or its inhabitants, but rather the ancient capital of the country, Ar-Moab (Numbers 21:28; Isaiah 15:1), in the valley of the Arnon, which is also simply called Ar in Numbers 21:15; Deuteronomy 2:9. But, as Dietrich has already shown (S. 329ff.), the arguments adduced in support of this view are insufficient to prove the point.

(Note: The mention of Moab among names if cities in Jeremiah 48:4, and in connection with Kir-heres in Jeremiah 48:31 and Jeremiah 48:36 proves nothing; for in Jeremiah 48:4 Moab is not named among towns, and the expression in Jeremiah 48:31 and Jeremiah 48:36 is analogous to the phrase "Judah and Jerusalem." Nor can any proof be derived from the fact that Rabbath-Moab is merely called "Moab" in the Onomasticon of Eusebius, and Mb in Abulfeda, and Rabbath-Ammon, now merely "Amman;" because this mode of speaking will not admit of being applied for purposes of proof to matters pertaining to Old Testament times, since it originated only in the Christian ages,at a time, too, when Rabbath had become the capital of the country, and when Rabbath-Moab could easily be shortened by the common people into "Moab." Rabbath (of Moab), however, is not mentioned at all in the Old Testament.)

שׁבר, to break,of a nation or a city (Jeremiah 19:11; Isaiah 14:25, etc.), as it were, to ruin, - is here used of the country or kingdom. צעוריה is for צעיריה, as in Jeremiah 14:3. The little ones of Moab, that raise a cry, are neither the children (Vulgate, Dahler, Maurer), nor the small towns (Hitzig), nor the people of humble condition, but cives Moabi ad statum miserum dejecti (Kueper). The lxx have rendered εἰς Ζογόρα (i.e., צעורה), which reading is preferred by J. D. Michaelis, Ewald, Umbreit, Graf, Ngelsbach, but without sufficient reason; for neither the occurrence of Zoar in combination with Horonaim in Jeremiah 48:34, nor the parallel passage Isaiah 15:5, will prove the point. Isaiah 15:5 is not a parallel to this verse, but to Jeremiah 48:34; however, the train of thought is different from that before us here. Besides, Jeremiah writes the name of the town צער (not צוער), cf. v. 34, as in Isaiah 15:5; Deuteronomy 34:3; Genesis 13:10 (צוער occurs only in Genesis 19:22, Genesis 19:30); hence it is unlikely that צעור has been written by mistake for צוער.

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