Jeremiah 48:41
Kerioth is taken, and the strong holds are surprised, and the mighty men's hearts in Moab at that day shall be as the heart of a woman in her pangs.
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(41) Kerioth.—(See Note on Jeremiah 48:24.) Here the word is used with the article, and should probably be translated, as in the margin, the cities, as painting the wide-spread devastation that was to come on all the fortresses.

As the heart of a woman in her pangs.—See Notes on Jeremiah 30:6; Isaiah 13:8; Isaiah 21:3. The precise phrase, however, occurs only here and in Jeremiah 49:22.

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.Surprised - captured by force. 41. as … woman in … pangs—(Isa 13:8). Whether

Kerioth here be the proper name of a city, as it is Jeremiah 48:24, or an appellative noun signifying cities, is doubtful. The latter seems best to agree to this place: The cities and the strong holds are all taken; and though Moab hath in it many mighty and valiant men, yet their hearts will be full of fear, or ready to fail them, like a woman’s who is in her travail and hath great and sore pains.

Kerioth is taken,.... The name of a city in Moab, as in Jeremiah 48:24; so Jarchi, and others; but Kimchi and Abarbinel observe, that it may be taken for an appellative, and be rendered "the cities"; everyone of the cities of Moab, which were as easily and quickly taken as one city; these may intend the cities in the plain, as the strong holds those in high places:

and the strong holds are surprised; everyone of them; so that there was not a city, or a fortified place, but what came into the enemies' hands:

and the mighty men's hearts in Moab at that day shall be as the heart of a woman in her pangs; even the hearts of the soldiers, and the most courageous generals, shall sink within them; and they be not only as timorous as women in common, but as low spirited as a woman when she finds her pains are coming upon her, and the time of her delivery is at hand.

Kerioth is taken, and the strong holds are surprised, and the mighty men's hearts in Moab at that day shall be as the heart of a woman in her pangs.
41. Kerioth] See on Jeremiah 48:20-24. But, because of the parallel expression “strong holds” in the next clause, the word may simply mean cities.

Verse 41. - Kerioth is taken. Kerioth has been already mentioned in ver. 24 (see note). Another possible rendering is, The cities are taken, and this certainly agrees better with the parallel line. But a plural of kiryah, a city, does not occur elsewhere. If the identification of Kerioth with Ar-moab, the capital of Moab, be accepted (see on ver. 24), the equalization of Kerioth and "the strongholds" seems to be a stumbling block. Strongholds; or, mountain fastnesses (Jeremiah 51:30). Jeremiah 48:41No escape from destruction. - Jeremiah 48:39. "How it is broken! they howl. How hath Moab turned the back, for shame! And Moab becomes a laughing-stock and a terror to all his neighbours. Jeremiah 48:40. For thus saith Jahveh: Behold, he shall fly like the eagle, and spread his wings over Moab. Jeremiah 48:41. Kerioth is taken, and the strongholds are seized, and the heart of the heroes of Moab on that day become like the heart of a travailing woman. Jeremiah 48:42. And Moab is destroyed from being a people, because he hath boasted against Jahveh. Jeremiah 48:43. Fear, and a pit, and a snare, are against thee, O inhabitants of Moab, saith Jahveh. Jeremiah 48:44. He who flees from the fear shall fall into the pit, and he who goes up out of the pit shall be taken in the snare; for I will bring against it, against Moab, the year of their recompense, saith Jahveh."

The subject of חתּה in Jeremiah 48:39 is Moab viewed as a nation. הילילוּ might be imperative, but in this case we would be obliged to take בּושׁ also as an imperative (as Hitzig and Graf do). It is simpler to take both forms as perfects: "they howl...Moab turns the back, is ashamed" ( equals for shame). On היה לשׂחק, cf. Jeremiah 48:26. מחתּה, object of terror, as in Jeremiah 17:17. "All who are round about him," as in Jeremiah 48:17. "For (Jeremiah 48:40) the enemy rushes down upon Moab like an eagle, and seizes Kerioth and all his strongholds." The subject is left unnamed, as in Jeremiah 46:18, but it is Nebuchadnezzar. The figure of the eagle, darting down in flight on its prey, is founded on Deuteronomy 28:49 (on אל- for על, cf. Jeremiah 49:22). Kerioth, the capital, is taken (see on Jeremiah 48:24); so are the other strongholds or fastnesses of the country. The mere fact that קריּות has the article does not justify any one in taking it as an appellative, "the cities;" this appears from a comparison of Amos 2:2 with this verse. No plural of קריה occurs anywhere. Then the fear of death falls on the heroes of Moab like a woman in labour. מצרה, partic. Hiphil from צרר, uterum comprimens, is found only here and in Jeremiah 49:22, where the figure is repeated. Moab is annihilated, so that it is no longer a nation (cf. Jeremiah 48:2), because it has risen up in pride against the God of Israel; cf. Jeremiah 48:26. He who flees from one danger falls into the other. The play on the words פּחד, fear, horror, פּחת, pit, and פּח, spring-trap, as well as the mode in which it is carried out, is taken from Isaiah 24:17., - a prophecy of the judgment on the world; see a similar idea presented in Amos 5:19, but somewhat differently expressed. The Kethib הניס, perfect Hiphil, "he flees," is less suitable than the Qeri הנּס (after Isaiah). The last clause, "for I will bring," etc., is quite in Jeremiah's peculiar style; cf. Jeremiah 4:23; Jeremiah 23:12. אליה belongs to אל־מואב: the noun is anticipated by the pronoun, as frequently occurs; cf. Jeremiah 9:14; Jeremiah 41:3; Jeremiah 43:11.

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